Friday, June 09, 2017

Indies vs. Amazon: 'More Books, More Warmth, No Algorithms'

 Shelf Awareness

"The description of the new Amazon retail bookstore in Manhattan gives the feel of all the warmth of the website, with a smaller selection. I have run an independent, family-friendly, politically progressive community bookstore for the past 34 years. Our selection depends not on an algorithm at all; it relies on what we judge our readers will like or feel is important.

"Our store invites that cranky toddler, the person who needs a safe space to rant about the latest lies of the Trump administration, the cancer patient who needs to talk and that local teacher who knows our staff can find what she needs.

"I hope that we will continue to serve readers who understand that a monopoly in the book business will not serve a country of independent thinkers."

--Nancy Braus, co-owner of Everyone's Books, Brattleboro, Vt., in a letter to the New York Times today in response to a story "At Amazon's New Bookstore, No Coffee but All the Data You Can Drink."

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