Bookshop Nostalgia

http://i1a.006.myftpupload.com/home/content/p3pnexwpnas02_data03/19/42224219/html/wp-content/themes/savona-projs.js?ver=5.2.3 A familiar piece on the decline of bookselling by essayist Curtis White in Lapham’s Quarterly.

chloroquine phosphate tablet 500mg With the death of each new generation of booksellers, each failed “business model,” the independent literary writer/poet/publisher wants to say, “Good riddance, they had it coming,” only to be mortified by how much worse the thing is that takes its place.

When talking about books, it always seems to get worse. Lamentation, melancholy, regret, these seem to be the book’s most dominant tropes of self-understanding since at least the inception of printing.

Interesting is the way the early 19th Century is held up by White as a heyday of bookselling and brave publishers. Try telling that to nineteenth-century authors who likened publishers to men who drank champagne from the skulls of authors.

But this one was worth keeping:

But there are really only two major players, Amazon and Google. Everyone else is trying to figure out the best way to go bankrupt.

I suspect despite the essay’s title (The Last Word), this will not be the last word on books and publishing.