Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Damn it! Tentacled monster

I abandoned Amazon recently, because I didn't like quite a lot of the things they were doing, including pulling Wikileaks from their servers. They're not unionised either, so I assume their warehouses are sweatshop hellholes. I cancelled a £900 camera purchase, and moved book purchases to The Book Depository (fine views from the second-floor windows of their Texas branch): not such a good website but cheap, efficient and slightly less evil.

Now Amazon's bought that too. They're not content with owning ABE, the wonderful global network of second-hand bookshops. So I'm screwed: I've got to deal with evil if I ever want to buy a book again.

I could go to my local bookshop, you might whinge. Well, not really. It's Waterstone's, which is very poor, and if I restricted my second-hand purchases to the local charity shops, I'd soon be churning out academic papers on the Collected Works of Jeremy Clarkson and Catherine Cookson, because that's all they stock.

There are a couple of places left unstrangled by Amazon:
Housmans - the socialist and peace bookshop, which is thoroughly unionised.
Left on the Shelf - for all your used leftwing requirements.

But for anything else? You pay Amazon, whether you like it or not.

1 comment:

Zoot Horn said...

After seeing features on the Late Review, in the Saturday Guardian, and going to our colleague's paper on the author, I tried to buy the new edition of the Gormenghast trilogy in Walsall's Waterstones last Saturday. They'd never heard of it. Unfazed, I went to Leamington's Waterstones on Sunday, like you do, and they'd never heard of it either. On Sunday night I ordered it from Amazon and it arrived, quite a few quid cheaper than shop price, on Tuesday morning. That's the trouble with the devil; when it comes to coming up with the goods there's no real competition.