~Post by Chris Hoyt
A few thoughts on the recent Amazon scandal.
Coming from a small town (Weches, Tx Pop. 22) I can see how Amazon appeals to the middle of nowhere folk that I once was. As a youngster, I relied on trips to Wal-Mart for books and, more importantly, Comic Books to feed my ravenous mind grapes. Such are the ways of a small town upbringing. So now here we are in Austin. Having been thrown to the wolves of modern society and technological advancement, I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. An Independent bookstore was, to me, very much like a homosexual….I didn’t even know there was such a thing till I met one. I work at Bookpeople in Austin, TX and have for going on four years now. In that time I have learned many a thing regarding independent retail, and how it differs from Amazon.
What Amazon will do for you:
Sell you books and such, sometimes at a low price, and send them to you.
What Amazon will NOT do for you:
Provide a puppet show for your children.
Have a book drive to support those who can’t afford such entertainments.
Host authors for book signing events.
Have a parking lot party where you, and many like you, can gather in anticipation, dressed in your finest magical attire, drink butter beer or what have you, and generally have a great coming together of like minded excitement.
Let you shake (insert favorite author here)’s hand and say “Hey, I really like your books” and have them say “Thank You, I really appreciate you supporting what I do and paying me to keep doing what I love so that I, in turn, can provide you with more to enjoy.”
Host a book fair at your local school.
Host a literary camp so your kids can have lightsaber battles with real lighsabers
Have an event about a beer book and provide beer at said event.
Have an event about a cookbook and provide food at said event.
Read your kid a book at story time.
Support other local retailers and, in fact, team up with other local retailers to host an event.
Host a former President, or several.
Introduce you to a slightly hungover bookseller who is so damn dreamy your palms are sweating and you might have romance asthma because you’re having trouble breathing while said bookseller is combining words like “Tiger’s” and “Wife” and making it sound so so erotic and maybe it’s love, or, no it’s probably just lust but damn if it don’t feel good and right, and internet could never…..you get the point.
(This post originally appeared as Hoyt’s facebook status. He is being duly compensated for its use here. Thanks, man.)