Brick-and-mortar is the new coal
Re “Amazon.com is a 21st century deal with the devil,” Opinion, June 4
Are book stores and other brick-and-mortar retailers different than the coal industry?
Just to establish my credentials as a reader: I have read books just about continuously since my teenage years, and I’m 67. I buy a few books every month. However, I do buy most books and lots of other products on Amazon.com. It’s convenient, and I know whether the item is in stock (unlike, for example, in my local drug store).
So isn’t it up to the public to support bookstores and other retail establishments? And should these stores continue to exist if we find better and cheaper alternatives?
The analogy to the coal industry is by no means perfect (bookstores don’t pollute). But Amazon, like renewable energy, provides an alternative that consumers prefer. Maya Levinson
Finally, someone has crawled out from underneath our material excesses to witness further societal decline due to the “point and click” shopping mentality. I wholeheartedly agree with Amy Koss about the “devilish” effects of shopping online, the closing of malls and stores and the resulting unemployment.
However, Koss should have also mentioned the benefits of getting outside and engaging with the outdoors, the buildings, the clothing and the paraphernalia, and with actual human beings. How many serendipitous chats have I experienced looking at dresses, tchotchkes and dazzling earrings?
It is perhaps no coincidence that our current social interactions leave a lot to be desired. I believe we are losing a lot more than we realize. Sandy Mishodek
Running Springs, Calif.
Koss, for some strange reason, is wistful about the decline of mall culture and squarely blames Amazon for its demise.
Amazon has done a lot of underhanded things, but it should be applauded for hastening the elimination of those super-sized retail behemoths that are a blight on the landscape and have made a weekend religion out of over-spending on things none of us really want or need.
To carp over Amazon’s cheaper prices, convenience and vast selection is silly and misguided. We all need stuff, for better or worse, and as an author, Amazon has been nothing short of a godsend. I have sold far more books with it than without it. Marc Weingarten