Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.
If you value books and the people who write them, I beg you to read this article from the NY Times and then to alter your buying habits accordingly.
Sadly, we writers fear that if consumers don't start a grassroots movement to support us, in another few years there may be no more decent books out there -- consider what the article says has already happened in Russia: . . . in the country of Tolstoy and Chekhov, few Russians, let alone Westerners, can name a contemporary Russian author whose work regularly affects the national conversation.
One of the reasons I have recently left the book site Goodreads in favor of this site, www.thereadingroom.com and www.slice.com/bookshelf is in protest against companies like Amazon, who has recently purchased Goodreads, and their increasing monopoly of the book marekt. As Andy Ross said in an article in The Nation recently, “Monopolies are always problematic in a free society, and they are more so when we are dealing with the dissemination of ideas, which is what book publishing is about."
I am delighted to have Amazon be one of the outlets for my work, just not the ONLY outlet -- which is the direction in which I fear we're headed -- since they have indicated they are more interested in their own profit margin (what large corporation isn't?) rather than supporting publishers, writers and enriching literary culture.
Thanks for reading.