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Book Buying Philosophies – Shop Sensibly

Today in Wired News: Read Between the Lines  there is an interesting article on the art of book-buying.   If anything it emphasises how pervasive “the web” has become:

One of the singular pleasures of wandering into an eclectic independent is the joy of discovering the unexpected. (It’s called “browsing.” That’s real browsing, by the way, not the word as it’s been hijacked to put a smiley face on the soulless practice of online shopping.) You go into the shop intending to find the latest novel by your favorite author and you emerge, perhaps an hour later, with two or three other titles under your arm, by authors you hadn’t even heard of before breakfast.

But surely this doesn’t just apply to book-buying, it applies to almost everything.   Small, independent businesses depend on your business, if we keep going this way corporate blandness beckons – fixed ranges across all stores regardless of the market served, suppliers bidding for shelf space.

By the same token the internet provides niche businesses with access to a global market.   If we shop sensibly hopefully we can have the best of both worlds.   Cheap airport thrillers, and reasonably-priced edgy variety – just give me more Jasper Fforde[^]!   We don’t want to have to rely on K-Mart to provide us with quality or variety of reading material – that would be worse than having to  get quality coffee from  St*rbucks.   The same crap in lots of syrupy “flavours”.

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