Tag Archives: the new yorker

Is Amazon Bad for Books?

Do we need to be worried about Amazon?

It wasn’t a love of books that led him to start an online bookstore. “It was totally based on the property of books as a product,” Shel Kaphan, Bezos’s former deputy, says. Books are easy to ship and hard to break, and there was a major distribution warehouse in Oregon. Crucially, there are far too many books, in and out of print, to sell even a fraction of them at a physical store. The vast selection made possible by the Internet gave Amazon its initial advantage, and a wedge into selling everything else. For Bezos to have seen a bookstore as a means to world domination at the beginning of the Internet age, when there was already a crisis of confidence in the publishing world, in a country not known for its book-crazy public, was a stroke of business genius.

Via the New Yorker

Against Acknowledgments at the End of Novels

The acknowledgments page will conclude with the sort of crowd-pandering favored by stumping politicians—with expressions of awe and humility for the author’s supportive parents, brilliant children, and devoted spouse. Apparently having dedicated the book to these same people was insufficient as a gesture.