Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wally the Mart strikes again

Just when you thought that life at an independent bookstore couldn't get any tougher, out comes Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. Not that the book is a problem, or even Mr. Brown or his publisher. No, it's the wonderful world of discounting that is eat into your neighborhood bookstore a surely as a mouse can gnaw through a flaking classic.

For months, had been promoting The Lost Symbol at a discount of 42 percent, which is cheaper than your mom-and-pop bookshop can get it from a wholesaler. Then comes WalMart offering a whopping 52 percent off each copy...or well below the price that motley mom and pooped-out pop can buy it directly from the publisher.

So...what's an independent bookstore to do? Suck it up and remind you that as you bemoan the bookshops closing around you, remember that buying from your independent bookseller will go a long way toward keeping bookstores alive.

A side note: WalMart's current TV and web ads feature the game Monopoly. To our mind, that seems a bit redundant.

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