Slate‘s technology columnist, Farhad Manjoo, tries to pour cold water all over Richard Russo’s NYT opinion piece, “Amazon’s Jungle Logic,” which argues that shopping at Amazon endangers local businesses.
Manjoo’s column, “Don’t Support Your Local Bookseller” asserts that killing off indie bookstores might not be such a bad thing because they are, “some of the least efficient, least user-friendly, and most mistakenly mythologized local establishments you can find,” calling them “cultish, moldering institutions.”
What does “efficiency” mean to Majoo? Lower prices. Indies are not “efficient” because “Rent, utilities, and a brigade of book-reading workers aren’t cheap, so the only way for bookstores to stay afloat is to sell items at a huge markup.”
Paging George Orwell.