Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Killer Amazon Sales

According to Publishers Weekly, Amazon.com's total merchandise sales rocketed up an amazing 21% for the fourth quarter and media sales were up 19% world wide for the year (a year which was not influenced by Potter sales). On the one hand, these are incredibly uplifting stats. After years of down stats, books are finally making a comeback. More sales means more people with books, means more folks reading. However, on the other hand, it's quite possible that this supposed huge popularity spike in book sales is more a reflection of market share, and not a statement on the reading habits of the nation.

I suggest that the latter is true in part because I am a hypocrite. A book bigot. And I accuse more than a few of you of doing the same. We know who we are, we say "Think Globally, Buy Locally", "Support Your Local Mom and Pops". Which I did for so many years. Fuck the internet profiteering. If I wanted a book, I'd walk over to City Lights in North Beach, or Green Apple Books in the Sunset, or Stacey's or Powells City of Books, where I would browse to my heart's content and pay in cash.

But something happened to me. I admit it. I got lazy. I became bored with my lack of choice in those stores. I logged on for the first time. Created an account. The Amazon interface is so intuitive! One click purchasing! In my underwear! And how do they always seems to know just what I'm looking for before I do! I was quickly out of control. The UPS man knew my by my first name, I had to get a bigger mail box. All because, I admit it, I love Amazon's cheap, infinite selection of books!


I haven't been to City Lights in nearly two years. The last time I was at Green Apple was for the last Harry Potter, it was midnight and I had been out drinking. I was at Powells last week but that was just because it was a convenient place to meet a friend before we went to lunch.


Hi, my name is Joshua, and I'm addicted to Amazon.com.


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