Happy Ever After In The Marketplace

Back in February George Packer wrote a feature story for The New Yorker about Amazon and the status of books as just another commodity. Amazon’s current annual revenue from book sales stands at $5.25 billion, which is seven percent of the company’s overall $75 billion in profits.

Packer writes that “Amazon sells a bewildering array of products: lawnmowers, iPods, art work, toys, diapers, dildos, shoes, bike racks, gun safes, 3-D printers.” The site’s huge selection and abundance of unbeatable deals attract consumers the world over.

I love Amazon. It’s where I buy most of my books. They are cheaper and ship fast, sometimes for free after I add to my cart a pack of smiley face boxer shorts I don’t really need.

But I hold books in higher esteem than lawnmowers or gun safes. Call me naïve, but I cherish ideas, placing them above profit margins. Of course authors, publishers and Amazon disagree. Everything, I know, has a price. Nothing transcends the marketplace.

Below I’ve included a ranking, from most to least precious, of what I value in this world. It’s the exact list formulated by the ancient Greeks, composed, no doubt, on a tablet:

  1. People
  2. Ideas
  3. Flat Screen TVs

5 thoughts on “Happy Ever After In The Marketplace

  1. Tom Trebswether July 22, 2014 / 2:44 pm

    Referring to a tablet you must mean an ipad.


  2. writingisknowing July 22, 2014 / 2:47 pm

    Yes, but a very crude prototype.


  3. Michele Maros July 22, 2014 / 3:31 pm

    Because Greeks invented everything. Also…”I’m watching my iPad!” (exaggerated Boston accent)


  4. writingisknowing July 22, 2014 / 3:39 pm

    Including Windex.


  5. Michele Maros July 22, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    I didn’t know how to spell exaggerated. I was convinced there was a Z or two Zees.


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