Is Amazon Killing Literary Culture?

Richard Russo took to the NYT to encourage more shopping at local bookstores. Farhad Manjoo rejects Russo's logic, noting that independent bookstores charge twice as much as Amazon:

After all, if you’re spending extra on books at your local indie, you’ve got less money to spend on everything else—including on authentically local cultural experiences. With the money you saved by buying books at Amazon, you could have gone to see a few productions at your local theater company, visited your city’s museum, purchased some locally crafted furniture, or spent more money at your farmers’ market. Each of these is a cultural experience that’s created in your community. Buying Steve Jobs at a store down the street isn’t.

But say you don’t care about local cultural experiences. Say you just care about books. Well, then it’s easy: The lower the price, the more books people will buy, and the more books people buy, the more they’ll read. 

D. G. Myers applauds:

Despite feeling sorry for the employees who lost their jobs, I wasn’t particularly upset to see Borders go bankrupt, and I am not saddened by the plight of the independent booksellers. They bet everything upon the literary elite, and the shooter has crapped out.

Chad Post vehemently disagrees. Scott Esposito broadens the debate: 

We seem to presume that it’s always the best thing for the economy and our own well-being if we can get an item for the absolute least money possible to spend on it without actually stealing it. … , I believe in a diverse world, and one where one-stop-shopping is not a dream but a nightmare. That’s why I like indie bookstores and why I buy from both indies and Amazon.

A tumblr tracks the backlash.