I don’t understand much about the book business. But I do know what makes a person want to go and be somewhere. I read a good blog post at The Devil’s Accountant about the troubles small bookstores have with the existing book business and the emerging business of ebook publishing. Small bookstores have to purchase books at wholesale for too much money and can’t make enough profit when they sell at retail. That’s true. But most movie theaters can’t make much money selling tickets either. They sell candy and sodas at big markups to make good money. In fact, there’s no such thing as the ‘movie business.’ There’s only a candy selling business that uses movies to bring you up to the candy counter.
An important point I’d also like to make about independent and small bookstores is that most of them really suck. Seriously. Most small bookstores are just a modest room full of books on poorly built shelves. Dead boring. Nothing puts me to sleep faster than a crappy independent bookstore. Good riddance to them. Most independent bookstores can’t hold a candle to any Barnes & Noble or a Borders. Don’t open a bookstore if all you want to do is sell books. You’re an idiot if you do. And I won’t give you my money. I’ll give it to Amazon. They are not boring. They are smart and interesting. I enjoy watching them slaughter dull little bookshop owners every single day. It’s a fascinating and wonderful bloodbath. These booksellers are being eaten by lions and their screams are rare amusement.