booksellers for almost 40 years, we've seen seismic shifts in the retail
landscape. Recently, much has been made in the media about one
particular publisher (Hachette) and one particular book retailer
(Amazon), and, although it is at the heart of our everyday reality,
we've never preached about it much. Not to you. If you're reading this
newsletter, you get it. You know how important buying local is in all
the ways it is important. You all agree with us that it's important to
keep shops in your neighborhood, not only because of the great stuff
they do in the community, but also because once they're gone, they may
never come back. You also know that if one entity controls the supply
chain, well then eventually that entity can do anything it wants.
History has shown that that almost never ends well. You also know that
we cannot afford to lose any more diversity in publishing, because if we
do, not only will our choices narrow, but we may soon not even remember
that having choices is what keeps us free. You know that if the
consumer himself does not, someone in society does pay
for discounting. And that the ever more constant expectation of
discounting is translating to less ideal living conditions for some
along the supply chain somewhere.
We know you get it, and
we appreciate your support. Things are great here at the Garden and we
intend to keep it that way with your awesome patronage far into the
Here are the links we
like best on the current state of the conversation. If you like the
links, share them with your friends in less evolved places. We're so
lucky here. Here's to everyone else catching up!
Sherman Alexie on The Colbert Report 4 June 2014
The Stranger's Paul Constant's thoughtful reaction to that.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild author/illustrator Peter Brown's lovingly written response to his publisher.
And, an earlier piece from 2012, author Maria Semple's op-ed column from the Seattle Times.