I don’t understand why some of us, book lovers I mean, champion independant bookshops. Are they supposed to combine retail trade with bibliophilia? BookAngst writes, “We LOVE to love independent booksellers, and much of the applause they receive for hand-selling is indeed well-deserved. On the other hand, for all of the hand-wringing that goes on about the big chains driving the independents out of business, for most of my authors on book tour, it’s the Indie stores that draw the smallest crowds.” So do some book lovers dislike chain booksellers (not chain media-sellers, there’s a difference) because they dislike big?
Are the same people the ones who complain about publisher-owned bookshop? Is there really anything to fear in a bookshop owned by HarperCollins or Little, Brown, & Co? I think “The Little Brown Book Shoppe” is a great name, though I guess it would be a Time-Warner store now. Some publishers already sell their books directly through their websites, and Barnes & Noble, a retailers, publishes their own line. I don’t understand why such a store would be a bad thing. If the publisher sold only his books, he would limit his resale market. If he sold his books with everyone else’s, becoming simply a good store with perhaps less overhead for his stock of books and maybe a better avenue for selling damaged merchandise or unpopular selections, then what’s to complain about? Is it that some book lovers have it in their heads that corporations are bad, that business is ugly and the bane of decent society, so chains and publisher-owned bookshops are perversion of the pure, liberating bookseller?