Friday, February 14, 2014


Construction by Ian Wright
Those wishing to add impact to their dulled, handkerchief-twisting laundry list of good-ol'-days despairs could do worse than reading George Packer's extensive piece in the New Yorker about the format and impact of Amazon, the retailing behemoth of ... well ... everything ... but books in particular.

“Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value.” (Dennis Johnson)

In the pre-Internet 1960's, when I was about to take a book-publishing job in New York, a friend who had worked at Random House wrote me a letter of support-cum-caveat: "You have to remember," he wrote, "that you're not selling books. You're selling shoes."

Jeff Bezos, the lynchpin of Amazon, has merely underscored the observation. However enriching ideas may be, still they rarely make a man as rich as Bezos.

The ship may now be dead or dying in the water, but I am glad in my lifetime to have read a few books, loved a few books, raged at a few books....

Rich people may be very imaginative, but my experience is that they frequently lack imagination.

1 comment:

  1. I dunno, Adam. You think the Grand Judge will throw the book at those guys?

    Sounds like you're still cooking there, Prolific Pundit!