April 22, 2013
Australian bookseller frustrated with Amazon declares “Kindle amnesty” days
by Claire Kelley
A bookseller in Australia has decided to act on his frustration with Amazon’s business practices, tax policies, and proprietary .mobi format. Jon Page, the owner of Pages and Pages, a leading Sydney independent bookstore in the suburb of Mosman, has announced “Kindle amnesty” days, encouraging people to come to his story to dispose of their Kindle and purchase a BeBook Touch, an .epub and .pdf reading device that Pages and Pages carries in their store. If they do, he’ll give them a fifty dollar gift certificate to spend at the bookstore. Page spoke to the Guardian about what has inspired him to do this:
Pages & Pages is no longer sitting passively by while Amazon steals our customers and steals their reading choices. Through this campaign we want people to understand what Amazon is doing and make an informed choice to have choice… The ebook is not a threat to physical bookshops. This new format presents bookshops and readers with many wonderful opportunities to sell and read more books. What does threaten bookshops is a company who engages in uncompetitive behaviour, pays no tax in Australia and misleads readers with restrictive devices and fake book reviews.
On the bookstore’s news page, a blog post about the announcement tells customers that “Amazon has over 65% of the ebook market in Australia and over 75% of eReaders owned in Australia are Kindles.” Page makes the case that while Amazon has a monopoly on the industry, his store is worth supporting because they do the following—none of which Amazon does:
- support local schools
- pay taxes in Australia
- employ local people
- give Mosman Village character
- respect readers privacy
Thinking of himself as a sort of Robin Hood of the ebook industry, Jon Page announced that the first Kindle/BeBook Amnesty swap on Friday. “Happy customer. Happy Bookseller!” he declared on Twitter.
Claire Kelley is a the former Director of Library and Academic Marketing.