July 26, 2018
A Forbes contributor has suggested replacing libraries with Amazon bookstores
by Michael Seidlinger
I hate everything about this, but here we go. Panos Mourdoukoutas, chair of the economics department at LIU-Post and a writer for Forbes, has published an opinion piece suggesting that Amazon Books stores should replace libraries. It wasn’t a joke.
The article has since been taken down, but alas, you can still read and recoil in disgust at the proposition. Or, you could just hear about it here, because yeah, I’m going to recap the thing in nauseating detail.
Mourdoukoutas’s reasons for opening more Amazon stores to replace libraries:
- A reduction of libraries would save taxpayers money
- More stores would enhance the value of Amazon stock
- Local libraries no longer offer vital services
- Amazon stores are better than libraries and have better selection
- Physical books are less valuable, more like collectables now
- Amazon Go is essentially a library with a Starbucks
- Amazon Books is replacing local bookstores anyway, so why not do the same for libraries?
Yes, he’s being serious.
My reasons why libraries are perhaps among the last sanctuaries for local communities:
- They help educate and spread vital information
- They bolster communities with local events
- They have books that you can read
- Who here actually has Amazon stock?
- They’re not owned by Jeff Bezos (and hopefully we can keep it that way)
- You are free to borrow books (and other media)!
- So what if they don’t serve coffee (I bet some libraries do, though, also)
- What if you can’t afford to buy a book but still want to read and spread the word? Where do you go? That’s right, you go to the library.
- Shut up, guy. Your argument is invalid
Yes, I am being serious.
Michael Seidlinger is the Library and Academic Marketing Manager at Melville House.