Contrarian

Manjoo: Kill Indie Bookstores!

Amazon's latest plot to kill local retailers drew widespread fire for its callousness. Sure we can hate Amazon for being so brazenly anti-local, writes Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo, but let's not pretend they're killing literary cultures. "Amazon doesn’t host readings and it doesn’t give you a poofy couch to sit on while you peruse the latest best-sellers. But what it does do—allow people to buy books anytime they want—is hardly killing literary culture. In fact, it’s probably the only thing saving it." The sacrosanct indie bookstore, by contrast, is wildly inefficient, drives up prices, and doesn't have all that much to do with community.