AMAZON: LETTER TO A EDITOR
from Patrick Neal Bookseller, Jaffé & Neale Bookshop & Café (Courtesy of The Bookseller)
Philip Jones’ editorial “Give and Take” explains Amazon’s recent success and Jeff Bezos stepping down. It’s undoubtedly clear that publishers have benefited in parallel with Amazon from the pandemic. But his conclusion that “overall for the customer the book business is better now than it was” uses too narrow a perspective.
I think too many people have drunk the Amazon Kool-
It’s only in the short-
On top of that, the pandemic has highlighted who helps in a crisis. That has been small businesses, community and local religious groups. I am sure these people would agree that economies of scale don’t always give good overall results.
It’s essential that high streets and small communities are not seen as something quaint from the 1950s and for the middle-
We are so fortunate to work in an industry that publishes books by James Rebanks, Greta Thunberg and most importantly Rutger Bregman. We must heed their words.
I hope, now that Bezos is retiring, Amazon will be recognised as an old-
But there’s only one retirement present I would recommend for Mr Bezos, a tiny book written when [the author] was nine years old, but more relevant today than ever; Ernest Friedrich Schmacher’s Small is Beautiful.
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