The Atlantic: Amazon Just Replaced the Public Library

The Atlantic: Amazon Just Replaced the Public Library Amazon Bookstore Libraries Stupid Nonsense When a news organization has to cover an important story like Amazon's new bookstore, they can usually either find an expert to write the article, or just have a staff writer do it.

Or they can take The Atlantic's approach, and find someone who has never ever visited either a bookstore or a library and have that person write the story.

No, seriously, Megan Garber's piece on Amazon's bookstore reads like she has never been in a bookstore, or a library for that matter. Writing that "There are a lot of shelves. There are a lot of books!", Garbar goes on to write:

But Amazon Books is also much more than simply another delivery platform. This is a store in the manner of TOMS, with its attached artisanal cafes, and of Anthropologie,  with its integrated art installations: It’s a space that encourages patrons to hang out in, to spend time in, to settle down in. Amazon Books, like a Barnes & Noble of yore, comes complete with plush leatherette chairs for relaxed reading. There are open areas for browsing and chatting. There’s a kids’ area. (“Relax, read, and discover great books with your children,” the release invites.)

Which is also to say that Amazon Books is trying to be a place of community—a place where people will meet and hang out. A place that celebrates both introspection and extroversion. A place much like Apple’s buzzing, light-flooded, free-wifi-enabled temples—only with the tech gadgets on display being, for the most part, books.

And to make matters worse, Garber goes on to conclude that "Amazon Books could become something else in the process, emulating institutions that have been their own kinds of cathedrals: libraries". (I would quote more, but every time I tried I vomited a little in my mouth.)

I haven't read anything this ridiculous since Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited last year, when any number of fools assumed that libraries are nothing more than warehouses for books, and suggested that we should close all the libraries and give everyone a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

No, Amazon has not opened a library today in Seattle; they've launched a bookstore. Amazon Books isn't doing anything that you can't find in other bookstores (aside from limiting the selection). Furthermore, libraries do far more than serve as the focal point for a community of book lovers.

Next!

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. Liz3 November, 2015

    That article is ridiculous. Some of the comments on that story are pretty hilarious and basically saying the same thing you are here. My personal favorite “Oh look-Amazon sells Frisbees! Did Amazon just replace the public park?” I wonder how old Megan Garber is? Did no one at The Atlantic read her article or is it an echo chamber over there?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 November, 2015

      I loved that comment!

      Reply
  2. Did Ayn Rand worshippers just take over The Atlantic? Ivy-educated writer confuses Amazon store with public library | TeleRead4 November, 2015

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  3. Frank4 November, 2015

    Garber is a young staff writer that normally covers pop culture topics. I am not a fan of her work.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 November, 2015

      That makes me wonder why The Atlantic has a pop culture writer in the first place.

      Reply
  4. Frank4 November, 2015

    @Nate While The Atlantic prefers more serious pieces, writing about pop culture brings in the people. It is too bad that this magazine has to do things it is not good at in order to get people to read its content.

    Reply
  5. […] reacties daarop waren dat Amazon bibliotheekje ging spelen, wat weer reacties losmaakte dat ze helemaal niet deden. Of zouden mogen. Allemaal heel menselijke reacties dus en geheel in lijn met hoe (veel mensen die […]

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