Sunday, January 16, 2011
Book Store Myths
I’m talking here about myths, not delusions. Delusions are often funny unless the person holding them is also holding a machete. Myths are not funny, they’re too much like Beliefs, and Beliefs are like Principals and you know what people are like with their damned principals. So let’s go there.
Myth number 1 is that kids today don’t read. This is usually said very loudly to no-one in particular by people who are bitter about the biochemistry of aging. Oddly, they rarely buy a book. They know kids today spend hours in front of a computer monitor and wonder why they don’t instead spend hours in front of the TV watching Gilligan’s Island and The Beverly Hillbillies like we did. But it’s not true; kids buy a lot of books. I try to slow them down a bit but kids today just don’t listen.
Myth number 2 is that eBooks will supplant printed books. Well, it’s not a zero-sum game. EBooks will replace a small part of the paper book market, but if radio can co-exist with TV, and pencils with keyboards, then we don’t need to worry about the future of paper. (This myth was sponsored by The Pulp and Paper Institute of Canada)
Myth number 3 is that used books are cheaper if purchased on line. Well if you include shipping costs, they rarely are. Also, you might be interested to know that used books purchased on line are packaged by underpaid Albigensian monks that because of their vows of silence can’t complain about their terrible working conditions.
Myth number 4 is that to be successful, a used bookstore must both specialize and offer a wide selection of everything. This is only true if you’re schizophrenic.
Myth number 5 is that books printed in China gives you scurvy. This one might just be true.