Friday, July 16, 2010

We Couldn't Have Said It Better

We don't usually talk about Amazon to our customers, and that won't change. But every now and then, when a thoughtful, well written article catches our eye, we will reprint it here.

In a column for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Nancy Ettenheim wrote:

"I remember when first burst onto the book scene. I am a book junkie, and there is no fix like a huge bookstore for someone like me. Amazon is the mother of them all. Meanwhile, back in Milwaukee, it very soon became apparent that every dollar I spent at Amazon was a dollar that Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops would never get. After one or two purchases at Amazon, I quit, went cold turkey. But we all know the results of everyone's collective love affair with Amazon: Schwartz is now out of business, one of the truly great losses to our community.

"It is clear that online buying does not just pose a hypothetical threat to our local businesses--the casualties are already out there. We owe it to ourselves, our community and our local business owners who bust their butts to stay in business to carefully consider the ramifications of our online buying. If each of us changes his or her purchasing habits even part of the time, we will have assisted in the reinvestment in our own community."

From "Dissecting Amazon" in Shelf Awareness

Pam, Shelf Life


  1. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Preach it, Pam! Actually, that whole article was pretty amazing. I suggest people check it out. I'm not tech-savvy enough to make it a clickable link, but here's the address for the article:

  2. The link is in the post under Dissecting Amazon.

  3. Great article! I couldn't agree more. I think we forget how powerful our decisions as consumers are. Especially now, when people are actually paying attention to the economy, it's a good reminder that a strong local economy will only happen with support from the community. Unless you want all of your friends and relatives to work for wal-mart/amazon/starbucks, don't shop there!

    Sherman Alexie makes some interesting comments on local book culture in this interview.

  4. kelsey, thanks for sharing that sherman alexie interview. i love it and i think it is such an important statement for an author to make.

  5. Seconded, Pam, well said. There have been some great studies (, for one) done proving how little money (spent at a big box store) comes back to the community (via taxes, wages, charity, etc.) versus money spent at locally owned stores. And that's just the money aspect; there is so much else at stake. It's hard to communicate that to people who get lists of recommendations from you and then go buy at Amazon or B&N or whoever has it on sale that week.

  6. I read recently the line, "Buy where you want to be able to shop in the future." It reminds me to buy from neighborhood stores. Besides my wonderful University Book Store, I also love buying books at the TWO new bookstores on Capitol Hill: Elliott Bay and Ada's Technical Books. I feel incredibly lucky to have new bookstores opening in my neighborhood.


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