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Bookstores May Boycott New Amazon-Published Books

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-embracing-the-future dept.

Books 210

destinyland writes "Amazon has begun signing their own authors and then publishing the books themselves, leaving booksellers 'wary' as Amazon 'tries to have it all,' according to a Boston newspaper. The co-owner of an independent bookstore near Cambridge considered boycotting Amazon's new line of books, complaining, 'They are a huge competitor, and they don't collect sales tax, giving them an unfair advantage.' A children's bookstore noted that 'the pie is getting cut into fewer pieces. I'd be nervous if I were an adult book publisher.' Borders bookstore has already declared bankruptcy, leaving The Daily Show to joke that bookstores should simply become 'digital downloading' stations — or a 'living history' museum where future generations can learn what a 'magazine rack' was."

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210 comments

Can't blame them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155450)

They're being destroyed, and all they have left is snark [zackthemacgeek.com].

Re:Can't blame them (3, Informative)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155542)

Of course I can blame them. As a former author the entire system was geared against the author. I have talked to several authors who have shifted to the new self-publish ebook paradigm eg Amazon. They love it. They get to keep more of their own money, and with Amazon they get a half decent DRM. And you got to give credit to Amazon they preserved with the Kindle and it is doing well.

The fact that independent bookstores go downhill is not a surprise, and they have to adapt and think of other ways to make money.

Re:entire system was geared against the author (4, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155778)

You are quite right!

Slashdot has spent a lot of mindshare on the evils of the Music biz, but not too far behind that the book industry was pretty nasty too.

However I will go out on a limb and say that Borders deserved to croak for missing the boat TWICE. Not only did they goof giving the online side to Amazon, but they missed the REASON Amazon was beating them - centralized selection. But come on gang, can we admit to ourselves how totally crappy it is to order a book on amazon and have to wait for it to be delivered?!

What Borders missed the chance for, and the media blanked the stories about, is Print On Demand. It's been carefully slammed as "eew, why would you do that?". But books are digital, right? All Borders (or Barnes & Noble - they should have had a vision meeting and worked on it *Together!*) had to do, was invest in a beautiful untouchable-quality POD system. "Can't find that obscure book that only did a 7,000 copy small press run? We'll print it for you in an hour!" (You do need the hour, getting a book that doesn't fall apart does need time for the pages to be cut and fit and glued right.)

The shelf selection would be a Lead-In sample, just to get people thinking of what they want. The POD could also fix gaps in series etc. On and on. And yes, the systems are here - Harvard University Bookstore has one. In my hand are three sample Google-Books editions of some very rare Buddhist books, one of which answered a theory question I had for five years. A year ago they had some cover art licensing gaps, so it has only a blue white text cover, but that's irrelevant. The book is REAL, and equal quality to standard paperbacks.

So THIS is the true casualty of the Intellectual Property bickering. But the forces that be missed the chance. POD is coming, and the first company to nail it will re-write publishing.

Re:entire system was geared against the author (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156178)

POD is coming, and the first company to nail it will re-write publishing.

To be fair, POD has been coming to rewrite publishing for the last twenty years or so. But I tend to agree, if I could go to a bookstore and walk out five minutes later with a decent printed copy of any book in existence at a reasonable price then I'd go there a lot more.

POD? Don't think so. (4, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156396)

Speaking as an owner of a literary agency as well as a fellow with many thousands of physical books in my library, IMHO POD had its market potential nuked by the same forces that are impacting normal print. That is (a) the ability to carry an entire library in a Kindle, iP[od|ad|hone], general purpose Android device, other dedicated readers like the Nook, your home computer, laptop, etc; (b) the ability to put a title you want to read in your hands in seconds, (c) the ability to read what would have been a heavy volume on a relatively light device. Print (not POD) also suffers from (d) the eBook and POD ability to get a book from "last word written/edited" to the sales channel in what is effectively zero time.

Good POD devices are expensive; and demand, like demand for any physical book, is dropping as more and more people hop on the eBook bandwagon. This makes payback for the POD device an uncertain proposition for the host business.

The entire book business is in flux. One reason authors are interested (and understandably so) in Amazon's all-in-one model is the horrible royalty conditions the legacy publishers have imposed upon eBooks. With a normal book, the tradition is an advance, then royalties. With an eBook, the approach so far has almost always been give the publisher the book, they'll charge all costs to its account, and when it pays them off, they'll come with a (very small) royalty. There are several consequences to this, one of which is critical. For an established author who isn't top tier (meaning, can't demand an up front royalty), income from the previous traditionally published book fades away in the normal fashion as buzz for it dies down, but income for a new eBook via the same route won't even start for a year or more -- and in the meantime, the publishers still expect the author to do a great deal of the marketing out of pocket. That's a very tough situation to find yourself in, particularly if you are trying to make it as a full time writer.

Re:Can't blame them (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155790)

However, there is a monopolistic danger if Amazon becomes the one major player in publishing, and controls all aspects of the chain from advances to the e-reader.

They can't (yet) prevent others from competing in the same market, but they do have a huge customer base as a bootstrapping advantage.

Re:Can't blame them (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156308)

You can only have a monopoly with government backing. If Amazon becomes the only player it will be because they are serving the authors and customers the best. As long as the government doesn't create artificial barriers to entry than it is not a problem. As long as Amazon runs their business well they will succeed. If it goes to their head and they start to abuse their place thinking they have no competition they will be sorely mistaken.

Re:Can't blame them (2, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155998)

You do realise that when enough of book stores go down, demand for books will eventually follow? Bookstores create demand by letting people window shop, read, touch real books.

As amazon has proven, virtual shop will have something that is tailored for your preferences. Which for next generations means mostly games, videos and music. Creating supply creates demand in entertainment, and vice versa - reducing supply reduces demand as customers simply spend their entertainment budget elsewhere.

Now, publishers had this coming with extremely author-hostile policies they had for last couple of decades. But what the hell do independent book stores have to do with it?

Re:Can't blame them (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156206)

You do realise that when enough of book stores go down, demand for books will eventually follow? Bookstores create demand by letting people window shop, read, touch real books.

I've bought way more ebooks in the last year than I did physical books the year before.

Re:Can't blame them (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156380)

The argument is that for every one of you, in ten years there will be ten youths that will have no contact with books, and won't buy any, because they never ran into a bookshop and browsed it in their lives. Not that it undercuts the number of the current clients.

Re:Can't blame them (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156400)

Bullshit, if anything Amazon makes it sweeter for the little guys! I've probably been blowing a good $100 a month on little bookstores through Amazon, because my mom loves funky cheesy horror that you can't find around here and thanks to Amazon having such a HUGE selection of used books cheap thanks to all the little mom and pop shops instead of trying to figure out which books she's read or not I just throw a C-note on my account and tell mom to go nuts. She's happy with having new books constantly showing up, I'm happy because i don't have to figure out what to buy her anymore, hell even the local library is happy because when mom runs out of shelf space she brings them another load!

Book people are book people, same as nerds are nerds and jocks are jocks. that is just who they are and that won't change with the loss of hipster hangouts like Borders, where overpriced books and overpriced coffee collide. Instead what will happen to the little mom and pop shops will be the same thing that happened to the local pawn shop. I walked in and said "How do you guys stay in business, when there is hardly ever any cars here?" and he just pulled back to curtain to show his kid hunched over a PC. he said "eBay and Amazon friend, we make a good 25% profit and nothing stays more than a week or so."

It'll be the same with books, hell you'll have relationships with the booksellers even! There is one little gal in I believe SF mom has bought enough from she shoots me a heads up when they get a new one by one of mom's authors and I get a free bump to first class shipping. She's happy she has a steady customer that always buys from her, I'm happy because yet again I don't have to guess. it works nicely and its all thanks to Amazon!

Re:Can't blame them (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156128)

They get to keep more of their own money, and with Amazon they get a half decent DRM.

There's no such thing as 'half decent DRM'. I'm pissed off that Amazon don't tell you whether books for sale there have DRM, because I was caught by my first DRM-infested book purchase there this week and had no way to tell before I bought it.

Kindle DRM pisses off your readers and, according to a quick Google search, is useless against pirates because it appears to be easy to remove if you don't mind downloading dubious and possibly illegal software.

The only people who benefit from Kindle DRM are Amazon, because unless you crack the DRM it requires you to either buy a Kindle or use their Kindle software to read the books you buy. Pirates just download the pre-cracked books.

Re:Can't blame them (3, Funny)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155650)

Coming next - Blockbuster boycotts movies that are available on Netflix... oh, wait...

Re:Can't blame them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155752)

Meaning that Amazon doesn't have restrooms... oh well.. I'll just have to use my own. It's just across the hall after all.

Book publishers and sellers are overpaid, lazy and up their own backsides. I honestly can't think of any group more ripe for a digital arse-raping. Except for music companies... but we've already had lots of digi-arse-play with them.

The Amazon Kindle is the first ereader that I could honestly recommend to a normal person - and by normal I mean not a geeky weirdo like me. It's not going to stop there either - just wait until we get proper rollable displays and electronics

Re:Can't blame them (4, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155870)

Yes I can, because they refuse to compete in the one place they can win; Right Fucking Now. I have wanted a book, and gone to several stores so I could have it that day, and no one would have it. "We can order it for you" does not work, since I can too and for less. Yet, every time I go into Barns and Noble, they have less books? WTF?!? How can you have books 1,2,5,7,9, and 11 in a 13 book series, and not expect people to want the missing ones? (Real story. Dresden Files) Here is a plan. Instead of 14 stores in Houston with a crappy selection, how about 4 stores with an amazing selection?

Sauce for the goose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155504)

I'd be nervous if I were an adult book publisher

Adult movie publishers seem to be doing OK.

Re:Sauce for the goose... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155956)

Actually, they're not. Cable companies have reported extremely weak pay to view sales, low enough to impact their revenues in a very visible way last year. There was an article about it on slashdot, look it up.

Re:Sauce for the goose... (3, Interesting)

WidgetGuy (1233314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156474)

The summary attributed that quote to (an owner/employee) of "A children's bookstore...". I don't think he or she was speaking of the same type of "adult" books you (and some of the people who replied to your post) think she meant. I believe she meant "not children's books."

Of course, you may have been making a sarcastic comment, in which case, "never mind!" ;-)

On a personal note, I bought one of the first Nooks sold by Barnes and Noble. At the time, it was (IMHO) better than the Kindle. I still use it everyday.

The best feature? I can order a mystery novel sitting on my couch at 3:00AM and before I can exit the Nook Store and get over to My Library (on the Nook), the entire book is already there waiting for me. The original Nook has both WiFi and (free) 3G. Because books are not very large (even books that are compilations of other books) the download time in either case is about the same (at home, or places with WiFi hotspots, it always uses the WiFi). Otherwise, it uses 3G.

The second best feature: I have "low vision." Before my vision started to decline, I used to read about 40 books a year. Over the last 10 or so years, that went down to about 4 per year. Since I got the Nook, I'm making up for lost time. In the last two years, I've read about 80 books per year (all on the Nook). You see, my Nook (as with most eBook readers) lets me change the font size (as well as the font face) so I can actually read the book without straining too much. Can't do that with a paperback.

Finally, if you take your Nook into a B&N store, it will immediately connect to their in-house WiFi and display "coupons" for money off on coffee, accessories and even books. Friday is "free eBook day" (you don't have to be in the store to take advantage of this benefit -- just press a button on the touch screen and it's downloaded to your Nook).

Barnes and Nobel is still around because they have embraced the changes the Internet has wrought in the retail book selling market. The Nook was their gutsiest move yet, but they've done other creative things to stay competitive (like compete successfully with Amazon's pricing for books bought online and a $25USD per year Members program that is very similar to the $75USD per year Amazon Prime program). And, by the way, Barnes and Nobel had a "self-publishing" mechanism in place years ago (c. 2000). Still do, I believe.

Nope, I don't work for Barnes & Nobel. I'm a software developer. Just a very satisfied customer.

Technology changes markets (1)

durkzilla (1089549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155520)

Just ask the people who deliver ice to houses.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155656)

Refrigeration replaced iceboxes once electricity was ubiquitous, and state-sponsored rural electrification projects helped with that. Online book purchases require broadband, which isn't entirely ubiquitous in rural areas yet, but hopefully we're getting there.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155724)

I'm pretty sure you've already made his point....technology changes markets. Why do we think we've got a right to make money or survive or whatever the same way we have all along without adapting to change. It's a ridiculous notion that leads us to use legal systems and silliness like boycots instead of trying to innovate and compete. Oh well, just one more group thrashing against change it's just sad to see companies and in some cases whole industries flopping around in their death throws when they could save themselves by creating new revenue streams rather than spending all their profits trying to lock in old revenue for all of eternity. Risky investments and innovation got you their folks not avoiding risk and using legal maneuvering to try to extend your last good idea for the next 1000 years.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

smarkham01 (896668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155828)

Sorry, those were Federal, not state, programs

Re:Technology changes markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155850)

Hush hush, we can't allow Facts to get in the way of our hatred of the US gubb'mint.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155834)

online book purchases DO NOT require broadband. That's the whole point of the kindle 3g. I own one, it works great.

Re:Technology changes markets (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155922)

online book purchases DO NOT require broadband. That's the whole point of the kindle 3g.

3G is "broadband", not in the FCC sense of 4 Mbps but at least in the sense of being a lot faster than dial-up.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155938)

What do you think 3g is, and do you have any idea how many areas of the U.S. do not have it; not even wireless coverage at all for that matter?

Re:Technology changes markets (2)

SpiralSpirit (874918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155950)

how many bookstores are in those rural areas? I'd bet you'd find better 3g coverage than you would bookstore coverage.

Re:Technology changes markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155944)

Even if it's not 3G or broadband, most books are only a few megabytes. Waiting half an hour to download a book on 56K is much faster than having to go and come back to the nearest bookstore for most people.

Re:Technology changes markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155902)

Online book purchases require broadband, which isn't entirely ubiquitous in rural areas yet, but hopefully we're getting there.

Why does browsing a few web pages and downloading a 400-800kb file require broadband? I get that it'll be a less pleasant experience over dial-up, but of all the recent online media trends, it seems eBooks is the most dial-up friendly.

Skin-tone illustrations (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155968)

Why does browsing a few web pages and downloading a 400-800kb file require broadband?

From the summary: "I'd be nervous if I were an adult book publisher." I imagine that books with a lot of skin-tone illustrations are bigger than 800 kB.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155920)

"Online book purchases require broadband" - not so. Kindle runs over both Wi-Fi and 3G (hardly "broadband") and on it you can browse, select and purchase books, and magazines that are downloaded in less than a minute. Everyone in the US in range of a cell tower can have any book in their hands within a couple of minutes.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156070)

Plus most ebooks are 500kB so you could download it over a 9600 baud modem in a few minutes.

Re:Technology changes markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156230)

Online book purchases require broadband, which isn't entirely ubiquitous in rural areas yet

Why? For a few hundred KBytes? Dial-up will cope with that. We're not talking about HD TV streams. We're talking about a text file with a little markup, you know, like a typical web page sans-images.

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155774)

I'm sure they'd tell me that not much has changed from their perspective in the past few years.

(Ice is one of the things you can get delivered by supermarkets where I live)

Re:Technology changes markets (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155900)

Just ask the people who deliver ice to houses.

In that case it was different methods to get the same product; Ice. A textbook and an eBook are NOT the same product. I have yet to find an eReader I like as much as a book, even for pleasure reading. But for reference reading, nothing comes close. Bookstores need to recognize that they can work as a niche, and fill that niche, not pretend nothing has changed.

Uh-Oh (2)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155526)

There we go again... Is this the correct chronological order of ascension to evilness: Microsoft, Apple, Amazon...?

Re:Uh-Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155632)

There we go again... Is this the correct chronological order of ascension to evilness: Microsoft, Apple, Amazon...?

I believe SCO retains first place in perpetuity. I think Microsoft is 7th, behind Khmer Rouge.

Re:Uh-Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155878)

What about IBM and Oracle?

Re:Uh-Oh (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155924)

Left some out... IBM, beat by Microsoft, Apple, Google (or Google Apple, it is a tough call) Facebook, Netflix (I have to pay more, and deal with you dam popups?) Amazon. And throughout it all as an undercurrent SONY... (We were evil before Evil was cool)

Re:Uh-Oh (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156298)

All these little demons are sitting at the foot of Exxon-Mobil. There's a universe of evil that is far more evil than can be written in a book.

Re:Uh-Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156430)

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Re:Uh-Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156208)

No. It's IBM -> MS -> Apple -> Google -> ???

Anyone can set up an online store for their goods, and there's plenty of competition from regular retailers.

Well, what do they offer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155548)

All that the "independents" in my area offer is the same junk as in the supermarket "best-sellers" list or remaindered copies of over-hyped books.

Ask them to order-in something different and they claim "that is out of print" and perhaps I would prefer some garbage written by Jeremy Clarkson as that is also filed in the Transport section.

Let them die.

Re:Well, what do they offer? (2)

catchblue22 (1004569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156146)

All that the "independents" in my area offer is the same junk as in the supermarket "best-sellers" list or remaindered copies of over-hyped books.

Ask them to order-in something different and they claim "that is out of print" and perhaps I would prefer some garbage written by Jeremy Clarkson as that is also filed in the Transport section.

Let them die.

Go visit Powell's Books in Portland. Then come back and tell me you will eat your words. Most people do not understand what a real bookstore looks like, one that is devoted not to playing the corporate money game, but instead to disseminating knowledge and culture. Go to bookstores in Paris' Latin Quarter. When I was there, these stores were full of people. Philosophical works were displayed prominently; Voltaire, Rousseau, Sartre were easy to find, while empty vapid corporate writing was difficult to find.

Perhaps I am a bit of a luddite, but I am deeply uncomfortable with literature that only exists as states in a chip. If we could imagine a totalitarian government, perhaps like Stalin's or Mussolini's, there is the potential for such a government to implement widespread control over what we read and write. We all take for granted the freedom of the internet, but that can change. A totalitarian government could build systems that could track every page you read, and wipe books out of existence with the execution of a single command. At least with a printed book, there is no way to wipe it out other than to physically destroy it. There is no possibility of surreptitiously modifying the work after it has been published, deleting words or paragraphs without a trace. I have read enough history to have a deep distrust of human nature. A survey of the history of the Roman Empire should be enough to display what we are capable of doing.

Re:Well, what do they offer? (3, Insightful)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156270)

You seem to be so smart!

And yet you're too stupid to realize why your comment is dumb.

A bookstore like you describe can't survive unless it's in an area where people actually care about those books. Small town bookstores sell the crap you mentioned, because it SELLS. Voltaire, Rousseau, and Sartre DON'T.

Signed,
someone who owns a comic book store in a small city and who is constantly nagged by so-called experts for focusing on manga (which sells) instead of used 80s comic books (which don't sell).

No kidding (-1, Troll)

Crazy_entertainer (2442572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155572)

A lot of people collect clown memorabilia and the Ringly Bros have been trying to create several books. B&N wont touch it unless we pay them for shelf space before it sells which is very illegal but no one cares. So they tried Amazon and are now being backlisted [clownsong.com] due to copyrights. That is BS

Quality Control? (2)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155574)

The article identifies ONE well-selling book. Amazon has been doing print-on-demand and e-publishing for thousands of hacks already, and even for some algorithms that do nothing but mash Wikipedia pages together. I really wouldn't be surprised if this ends up working more as leverage for those services than to pounce on the next big authors.

What bookstores? There's B&N. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155604)

What competing bookstores? There's Barnes and Noble, and a few remaining independents. Borders is in bankruptcy liquidation. ("Everything must go! 40-60% off! Store fixtures for sale.) Barnes and Noble is in financial trouble. [examiner.com] When they go, there won't be much left.

When the big guys give it up, the distribution channel dries up.All the warehousing and shipping needed to service little bookstores isn't profitable if the volume is too small.

Bookstores are going the way of record stores and video rental stores. Gone. It's sad, but probably inevitable.

Re:What bookstores? There's B&N. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155714)

Bookstores are going the way of record stores and video rental stores.

Isn't this really more about publishers than bookstores, though?

If Amazon is effectively positioning itself as the entire supply chain from author to reader, a lot of middlemen are going to get cut out, which in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing if they no longer serve a useful purpose but cream a bit off the top anyway.

However, given that Amazon have little credible competition for two major sales channels (on-line ordering of paper books, and distribution of e-books), there is a very real danger here that this series of events will follow:

  1. Amazon will become an effective monopoly publisher and distributor in many countries.
  2. Books with good quality content and good production values will then become a thing of the past, because quality costs a lot to produce, readers can't examine the books before they've paid for it the way they can in a bricks 'n' mortar book store, and not enough people will exercise any legal right of return they may have to make a difference to the policy.
  3. More and more people will move to e-book readers because paper books just aren't nice any more.
  4. It will no longer be possible to buy a book, lend it to a friend, or pass it on to your kids, because you will only ever be licensed to have the content, and Amazon can pull it right back out of your e-book reader any time they wish.

Rather like DRM and AAA games, we are in danger of being left with no-one producing good work that you can simply pay for and enjoy any more, just mediocrity with strings attached.

Re:What bookstores? There's B&N. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155750)

Isn't this really more about publishers than bookstores, though?

It is. We'll probably still have a publishing industry, but it will publish the few mass-market titles that appear in racks at non-bookstore retailers, like drug stores and supermarkets. Everything else will be remote-order or on line only. For those books, the publisher has a very limited role and function.

Re:What bookstores? There's B&N. (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155946)

In all seriousness, if you have a problem with this trend, produce something good and sell it in physical form. Or open a book store. Just because a lot of the culture is shifting this direction doesn't mean that one or two people with a vision can't start a movement in the other direction, if they can convince enough people.

Personally I don't see physical books vanishing anytime soon. Until they provide contracts equivalent to what you can do with paper books, libraries will still have a need for physical copies. And personally I prefer to buy things in hardcopy when they're anything that I expect to take seriously.

In all seriousness though, how many people really pass books down to their children anymore? Society's changed... physical tokens of personal expression aren't nearly what they once were, and I honestly think that's a good thing in the long run. Being less attached to hauling around physical delivery media like books and CDs also leads to less attachment to random things like cars and trinkets, and more emphasis on experiences and ideas. Even if Amazon does pull whatever random book you personally connect with (which is so unlikely to happen it's approaching impossible in the first place) that doesn't remove any of the impact the book had on your life. And on the other side, self-publishing an ebook may be the only way for someone who writes your favorite book ever to start a career.

Re:What bookstores? There's B&N. (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156066)

This is pretty much the fear of most people I know who are into books and know about amazon. This effect will be slowed down by libraries, but it will likely push through regardless.

The "tax excuse" for not adapting (4, Informative)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155610)

They are a huge competitor, and they don't collect sales tax, giving them an unfair advantage

No Amazon has an "unfair advantage" over an independent book store because:
a) It doesn't have sales staff who spend most of their time not actually doing anything.
b) Doesn't pay prime commercial rents on its facilities.
c) Has a collection so vast that no physical book store could compete.
d) Is a huge corporation so purchasing, HR, marketing, shipping etc is amortised by the sheer volume they sell.
e) Is a huge corporation and negotiates favourable tax breaks with state and federal authorities.

Amazon doesn't want to pay state taxes not because paying them would make them unprofitable, but because working out the taxes for 50 US states plus all the other countries they ship to (who would probably start demanding tax collection if Amazon caved to the states) is an unholy nightmare.

Bricks-and-mortar stores need to stop whining about on-line businesses not paying sales taxes, and need to start restructuring their businesses to deal with advantages that huge retailers like Amazon have. Here in Australia the b&m retailers are whining that imports under $1000AUD don't pay 10% sales tax, completely ignoring that those goods are generally 30% - 50% cheaper then the same product from a b&m store. A 3% - 5% price increase on those imports isn't going to save b&m stores.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (5, Informative)

destinyland (578448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155710)

Actually, Amazon has already calculated the taxes for every region where they sell. They actually collect that tax when they're re-selling items from other retailers (for example, K-Mart).

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2990 [cbpp.org]

So their opposition has nothing to do with the "OMG it'd be an unholy nightmare" scenario. Bezos has even said Amazon incorporated in Seattle specifically for the tax advantage, and Amazon's own shareholder's documents specifically identify sales taxes as a competitive advantage.

But in fact, Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, likes to say that Amazon already collecting state sales taxes. In this year's shareholders' call in June, Bezos told investors that "in more than half of the geographies where we do business - certain states, as well as Europe and Asia - all together, more than half of our business is in jurisdictions where we already collect sales tax or its equivalent, like the value-added tax."

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156328)

Amazon has bricks and mortar in a lot of places, so of course they have to collect there. It's one of the reasons I buy a lot of stuff at other online retailers.

So while the state-tax issue helps Amazon, it's also helping a number of mom-n-pop online resellers.

Borders? Computer Library? They're still fucked.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156432)

Wrong. Sales tax isn't as simple as each state rate in the US. In Europe it's trivial, what's VAT for the entire country. In the US you have state sales tax, county tax that changes just a few miles down the road, and even city tax, again another change for crossing the road.

The US needs a single sales tax to address this issue. But as that's a fed level thing, against the constitution, it's never going to happen. Even at state level, counties and cities are not going to give up their control of local income.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155716)

It's not an unholy nightmare: It actually relatively simple. Third party vendors will do most of the heavy lifting for you. I've worked at companies that charged tax in 50 states with no issues, very little actual code to support said taxes, and no more than a few extra clerks to handle giving the actual tax back to the states. Home Depot does it. Barnes and Noble does it. Catalog companies do it wherever they have presence. Why in the world can't Amazon do it?

It's an issue of not just having an even bigger advantage over B&Ms, but to make sure that no other online seller that manages to avoid collecting taxes gets an advantage over them.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155720)

because working out the taxes for 50 US states plus all the other countries they ship to (who would probably start demanding tax collection if Amazon caved to the states)

What the hell? If there are really countries that give Amazon some special exemption to sales tax then I doubt it has anything to do with whether they "cave to the states". In the UK Amazon applies VAT just like everyone else. As you'd expect. Not on paper books, because those are zero rated for everyone, but on other goods including kindle books. I would expect the rest of the EU expects Amazon to collect VAT too, and I'm sure Amazon do.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156060)

Amazon does collect sales taxes around the world, because they are mandatory in most countries (all EU for example), so they pay those taxes pretty much everywhere, but of course, there is one glaring exception -- the USA.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156256)

Not sales taxes, but large corporations frequently state/country shop to get deals on payroll taxes, corporate taxes, utility pricing and the like.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1, Insightful)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155740)

Amazon doesn't want to pay state taxes not because paying them would make them unprofitable, but because working out the taxes for 50 US states plus all the other countries they ship to (who would probably start demanding tax collection if Amazon caved to the states) is an unholy nightmare.

Aww, that's too bad, maybe their business model doesn't work then.

I see your point that book shops should quit whining and do something instead. You're absolutely right. But why should Amazon get a free pass when it comes to sales tax? That it's complicated because they are a centralised organisation shipping to multiple destinations, then it's really a case of taken the good with the bad. Otherwise they must split out their warehouses according to where they ship if it makes it easier for them.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156190)

I see your point that book shops should quit whining and do something instead. You're absolutely right. But why should Amazon get a free pass when it comes to sales tax?

Here's an idea. If sales tax is killing your business, maybe you could... drum roll... petition your politicians to get rid of the sales tax.

If most people are buying from Amazon solely to avoid sales tax then clearly it's a highly unpopular tax.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156260)

"If most people are buying from Amazon solely to avoid sales tax then clearly it's a highly unpopular tax." What is a "popular" tax that people voluntarily pay? I wasn't aware there was such a thing.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156272)

But why should Amazon get a free pass when it comes to sales tax?

Please refer to Article I Section 9 [wikipedia.org] of the United States Constitution.

Are you American? If so, you should be ashamed of yourself for not fucking knowing this shit. Seriously. What happened to teaching civics in school?

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155764)

You forgot one:

f) Their customers get to visit local stores, examine the books there to decide which they want to buy entirely at the local store's expense, and then go buy it from Amazon anyway because it's cheaper.

Personally, I buy books I care about (presents, for example) from a good local store precisely because I value the customer service they offer and being able to browse. But every time I go in these days, it seems like someone is standing holding their iWhatever and ordering off Amazon right there in the middle of the bookshop floor.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155992)

I occasionally do that: Sometimes I see an item for $30 when I can get the same thing on Amazon for $5.99 - and for big ticket items, sometimes the difference can be hundreds of dollars. It's called comparison shopping, and I also do it for big ticket items even if I only shop online. If I show up at the store, it means that I am giving them a chance to compete for my business. They don't have a right to my business. Yes, I can sometimes see the actual item at a store, but Amazon often has customer reviews that warn me of problems or give me more reasons to buy an item. How many stores have that?

Besides all this, Amazon (and other online retailers) have to charge for shipping. Sometimes it is above and beyond the quoted price, and sometimes it is figured into the price - but either way the customer ultimately pays for it. Except for big ticket items, the shipping charges are greater than the sales tax would have been - so where exactly is the competitive advantage?

Even so, I sometimes pay a little more for the convenience of having an item immediately. That is another competitive advantage that retail outlets have.

The fact is, Amazon provides a service and products that customers find valuable, and Amazon prospers. If other sellers have not figured out how to remain competitive despite at least two advantages, that is hardly Amazon's fault.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156094)

FYI: they pay taxes to other countries they ship to. If they didn't their goods would simply get impounded in customs.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156184)

FYI: they pay taxes to other countries they ship to. If they didn't their goods would simply get impounded in customs.

Amazon UK don't charge tax on shipments to me; if customs decide I need to pay tax I have to collect it at the post office and pay there.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156392)

That would be because it pays VAT in UK, and under EU rules that is the tax that needs to be paid for sales inside EU.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

zyzko (6739) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156498)

And Amazon UK won't ship Kindle to me. They just say go to US site (which calculates taxes right there when ordering and charges that on your credit card and authorizes to courier firm to do the tax/toll handling).

This from Finland.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156246)

As I mentioned in my post Australia doesn't charge sales tax on imports under $1000 AUD (because it was costing more then it was generating). AFAIK most other countries charge import duties to cover the missing sales tax which the reciever has to pay to get their package.

I would bet Amazon only pays sales taxes to countries where it was a business presence.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156402)

Possible, but then again amazon has business presence in pretty much all major countries.

Re:The "tax excuse" for not adapting (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156248)

"Amazon doesn't want to pay state taxes not because paying them would make them unprofitable, but because working out the taxes for 50 US states plus all the other countries they ship to (who would probably start demanding tax collection if Amazon caved to the states) is an unholy nightmare." Not true at all. Everything is automated. It would take exactly *one* table in a database to check against zip codes. It would be very simple to do, and eventually, every online retailer will have to do it, and it'll be integrated into basic accounting software.

sure thats a start (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156522)

in my state, books are taxed, magazines aren't

in my state, sugar soda is taxed, bread isn''t

you have to maintain a list of what is, and isn't taxed, in each zipcode...

Bookstores to Shoot Self in Foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155658)

Sure, you can boycott Amazon published books, but then anyone wanting to buy Amazon published books in an old-style bookstore will have to in effect partially boycott you and bring their business elsewhere. The customer is king, not old-style bookstores indicating why they're on their way to the dustbin of history due to self-destructive business practices.

Sales tax (1)

deains (1726012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155670)

If Amazon aren't required to pay it, that's the fault of unfair legislation, not of the company itself. And here in the UK they do charge VAT*, as they do in many other countries they trade in, so it's a bit misleading to say they don't pay the tax at all.

And it's not like there's anything stopping these bookstores setting up online shops and reaping the same tax benefits - except bitching about Amazon is a lot easier than trying to compete directly with them. Pitch the two on the same playing field and it's clear Amazon will be the winner, as they're the ones with the USP.

* - there's a small loophole allowing stuff to be shipped from Guernsey VAT-free which Amazon uses for some items, but that's due to be closed up at some point.

Re:Sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37155848)

If Amazon aren't required to pay it, that's the fault of unfair legislation, not of the company itself. And here in the UK they do charge VAT*, as they do in many other countries they trade in, so it's a bit misleading to say they don't pay the tax at all.

The purchaser is required to Pay sales tax. The merchant is required to collect the sales tax. If the merchant doesn't collect the sales tax for the state then most states require the purchaser pay a use tax.

The ideal of the sales tax is that they are getting something from the area that is collect the tax. Roads, police service, side walks, property law enforcement, etc, etc. As has been held up time and time again, a transaction in one state cannot be regulated by another state. The only authority with jurisdiction over interstate commerce is the federal government and at this time, there are lots and lots and lots of taxes and regs, but not an interstate sales tax for direct to consumer purchases. It started with catalogues and has just gotten easier over the internet.

No sales tax is one of the big benefits of buying from Amazon, and they know that, howeve

Re:Sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156022)

No sales tax is one of the big benefits of buying from Amazon, and they know that, howeve

No, it isn't because you still have to pay it. Just because most people don't doesn't make Amazon the bad guy.

Re:Sales tax (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156338)

Who is the sales tax supposed to benefit? I pay property taxes to pay for my schools, police, fire, ect. The sales tax is a tax for the state to generate money to service business interests like courts ect. If the store is out of state it seems the state they qree located in should complain not where they deliver the box.

Cutting out the middleman (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155824)

This is good news. Hopefully, Amazon will start publishing school textbooks, too, at a fraction of the overinflated price that conventional publishers currently charge.

Better yet, publish them as e-books and sell Kindles to school boards.

Re:Cutting out the middleman (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156352)

The middle men always bitch when they are cut out. It goes to show a natural monopoly won't last long if it's abused. The music and book publishers abused their position for so long they actually thought they were indispensable. They thought wrong.

Borders bankruptcy and Amazon (2)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37155880)

There is a borders within a half mile walk from my apartment. It's in a high densitiy urban setting along with a plethora of other shops, two movie theaters, numerous restauraunts, etc.

Everytime I'm out on a leisurely stroll, I go in and browse throught the Philosophy, Religion, Politics, History, and IT sections. They very rarely have anything I want to read. With the bankruptcy, I've been stopping in more often as they get new shipments from their warehouse. After four visits, they finally had one title I was willing to buy for the price they offered, a paperback reprint of William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience.

Meanwhile, at Amazon, they have a metric truckload of independent affiliates offering rare and hard to find titles. I can find the out of print /Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy/ by Dvornik from one reseller or Dominic O'Meara's /Platonopolis/ by another. Amazon offers an interface that allows me to browse the titles of a multitude of independent bookstores that cater to my tastes. Borders never offered that.

So what we're actually seeing is the death of mass-market booksellers in preference to sellers that allow independent affiliates that specialize in various niches to prosper.

I'll take that over Borders anyday.

Re:Borders bankruptcy and Amazon (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156118)

So what we're actually seeing is the death of mass-market booksellers in preference to mega-mass-market Amazon

fix'd

Brilllian plan (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156032)

"Hello Mr Bookstore Owner, I'm looking for Big New Amazon Thriller."
"Oh, you can't buy that here. We don't sell Amazon books. Amazon are evil."
"So you're not going to sell me the books I want to buy?"
"No. If you want to buy Amazon books you'll have to buy them from Amazon, or the bookstore down the road which does stock them."
"Well, guess I won't be buying anything from you in future then."

With policies this retarded it's no wonder so many bookstores are going bust.

Re:Brilllian plan (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156342)

What bookstore has ever had every book you ever wanted?

You'll buy what you find there. You'll go elsewhere if they don't have it. In one out of a few million instances, Shopper A will try to order Book B through a particular outlet C. And if they say "we don't have it and we can't even get it," shopper A will move on to outlet D and come back to outlet C because it's still better than outlet D.

Thing is, outlet D is Amazon, and there aren't many that are better at just being an outlet.

Re:Brilllian plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156384)

This is a cunning idea. But there are two misconceptions in your little play:

1. There will be no bookstore down the road which does stock them.
2. Pretty soon, there will be no bookstore at all anymore. ^^

Also, Amazon IS evil in this case.

No, a story does not have to always have a good and a bad side. It can have only bad sides. Many of them even.

The book is in the mail (3, Interesting)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156036)

When on this subject, I always recall that great movie "You've Got Mail", where a small "Shop Around The Corner" is out-foxed by a big chain. "Can we save the Shop Around The Corner?" Asks Kathleen Kelley and the crowd goes wild. Of course, while offering verbal encouragement, the crowd continues to not offer its business. Is that evil? Uncharitable? Unwise? "I've heard Joe Fox compare books to olive oil", says Kathleen Kelley. Kathleen Kelley is a walking encyclopedia on the subject of children's books and can offer you advice on what to read with your kids. Kathleen Kelley hosts a reading hour to get kids interested in reading. Kathleen Kelley knows who you are and always offers service with a smile. Is it worth it?

The Shop Around The Corner employs four people: the owner, Kathleen Kelley, and two college students. Let's peg decent wages for them at, say, $100000, $60000, and 2x$20000. In New York, you can barely live on this. Let's add rent on the place at $20000/year, and other miscellaneous expenses of $20000/year on business license, electricity, insurance, whatever. That comes to $240000/year, $960/day. "Is that why it costs so much?" "That's why it's worth so much." The store is open, say, 12 hours a day, 8am-8pm. That's $80/hour, or $1.33/minute. How fast can you check out? Friendly service with a smile takes time.

Small shops can get away with higher markup. The books, after all, are already there, so there's an expectation of immediate satisfaction which can tolerate a higher price. Let's say $10 markup for hardcovers and $2 on paparbacks, which is just barely on the line between making a profit and losing your customers. If an average customer buys a hardcover and two paperbacks, each checkout nets you $14. You need to get a customer like that every 10 minutes to get the aforementioned income level. Now, if you've ever been to a small bookstore, you'd know that they are usually empty. I don't know if people hate books, or what, but I've never seen more than ten people in a store at once, and that's a crowd. That was twenty years ago. I imagine now things are even worse. I can not imagine how anyone can run a small bookstore profitably.

What exactly do you get at "Shop Around The Corner" that you do not get on Amazon? Customer service. If you are the kind who likes to chat, to ask advice, and to receive books from a real human being, that must be invaluable to you. Only, can't you get better social interaction by spending time with your friends? Ok, there's also advice about what to read. After all, Kathleen Kelley knows everything. Well, that's why we have friends who tell us what we might like, book clubs, review sites, and amazon lists and recommendations. Ok, but isn't it nice to pick up a real book, feel the binding, smell the pages, and flip through it to see if what's inside? A nice thing to have indeed, but is it really worth a $10 markup?

The bottom line is: you go to the bookstore to buy a book. You don't need to go there to socialize or to ask advice. You just need the book. Amazon gets you the book with minimum overhead, so you can spend that money you saved on something you like instead of on keeping Kathleen Kelley in business. Oh, by the way, the author of the book is surely more important to you than she is, and the authors get 40% royalties when they publish on Amazon, and maybe 10% elsewhere (if they haggle real hard). Isn't it better to reward the creators rather than useless, but nice, middlemen?

Re:The book is in the mail (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156142)

The bottom line is: you go to the bookstore to buy a book. You don't need to go there to socialize or to ask advice.

I dunno. At the bookstore I used to buy from when I was living in England there was this hot twentyish blonde chick who was unable to do up the top half of the buttons on her blouse and would lean over when running your credit card through the machine.

You don't get that at Amazon.

Re:The book is in the mail (1)

destinyland (578448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156144)

Er, but that movie ends when the "Shop Around The Corner" is driven out of business by the chain bookstore. Kathleen Kelley falls in love with the chain store's owner, Tom Hanks, and surrenders happily to loss of her locally-owned business.

A humorous footnote. Mega-corporation AOL paid $5 million to the producers of the film so they'd change its title to AOL's catch-phrase -- "You've Got Mail" - proving once that even movie-goers themselves have to surrender to the whims of corporations.

Re:The book is in the mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156440)

You are aware that nobody *forces* you to go watch a movie, do you? Let alone one as cheesy as this one or in general as crappy as one driven by money instead of by making a great movie.

Re:The book is in the mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156276)

Please. Amazon offers real world reviews of books by everyone, not just 1 bookstore owner that may or may not have read that book, or even know of it.

In terms of knowledgeable employees, amazon reviews are more correct that most any standard store employee.

Re:The book is in the mail (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156284)

Of course, greed trumps common sense. What else do you get from the small store? You get some of your money coming back in the form of local taxes, and those people working there may patronize *your* business. Sending your money to an anonymous warehouse in the middle of Nebraska is selfish and short-sighted.

Re:The book is in the mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156480)

There are quirks to the debate, of course. You can read the reviews for common books on Amazon, then go pick up the book at the local store. You can also do the reverse - browse at the store, buy online.

You can browse at a local store, and what you'll see is the cross section of books in the section of the store you browse. As opposed to a web site which may have a vested marketing interest in steering you specifically towards certain books and away from others. Especially true if Amazon becomes a publisher. Some types of browsing (by genre, IMO) are easier in a physical store. Other types (by author, or by price) are easier online; that just falls right out of the way databases and search software works. Recommendation systems are still voodoo.

Of course, if you're browsing in a physical store and see something you like, you can truly "buy it now", right there, and be walking out of the store a few minutes later with physical possession of the book instead of waiting a week for the free online shipping (or waiting a just a few days for the faster shipping with the extra price that makes the book cost more online than it did in the store). IMO, that synergy is what makes browsing work in general; you walk into the store thinking "I could use something new to read" and you walk out with something new to read.

ebooks change this formula a lot. They remove the ability to physically browse, alas. But it's also a lot harder for Amazon to lock in an ebook monopoly; any new competitor can jump in without needing all the warehouses and shipping contracts. And there's nothing really stopping a physical store from having physical books and a "buy the ebook now, in-store" feature. Or perhaps bundling the two, so if you buy the physical book you get the ebook too for just a dollar more. Basically the contest has not yet been decided.

Borders going bust is going to slam B&N's quarterly profit though. All the money spent on those store closing sales is money that won't be spent in B&N this month.

Headline generalize much? (1)

Jahava (946858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156288)

From what I can see, the actual story is that one bookseller has considered boycotting Amazon in response to one strong-selling Amazon book.

Headline makes it sound like this is an industry-wide trend, but then again, this is Slashdot...

while( ! article.isWorthwhile() ) { article.generalize(); } article.publish();

ok (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156404)

so my number 1 complaint about (new) bookstores is they never have what I am looking for, so now I have even less of a reason to go to them

have fun, your 200,000 square foot coffee shop really cant be doing that well

Books. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37156514)

If it's not printed on paper, it's not a book, it's an eBook.
The single source that is causing this upheaval is the fact that the Banksters haven't been eliminated or arrested.

Bookstores are going out of business cause people don't have money to buy books. Like linux journal whining about ink, paper, and advertisers, they should raise the fucking price.

Mean while those Banksters are sucking the world dry. Not ONE brought to justice yet.
So we can continue down this road, of greed, lost jobs, and digital lockup of what used to be goods and services, or we can put all these fucking globalists in a prison.

Let's not "go digital" (1)

xiando (770382) | more than 2 years ago | (#37156544)

I know bookstores have few customers these days, but I like them and need them. I like to relax in the bathtub with a good book. I prefer paper books over "ebooks", reading a webpage on the screen is fine, reading a whole book is not.
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