Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

The Big-Box Retailer Book Clubs

Three Percent, a site dedicated mostly to international lit, recently featured two must-read posts — “Predatory Pricing Practices” (which includes a clip from the Colbert Report featuring Douglas Rushkoff) and “Anti-Fixed Book Price Essay” — about the predatory pricing practices that stores like WalMart are using to drive down book prices. In short, they’re employing books as loss leaders to sell other products.

See also: the NY Times‘ recent article about big box retailers pushing a HUGE proportion of booksales these days and creating “bestsellers”. Could Target really be the next Oprah’s Book Club? It’s interesting to think that a big-box store might play a role in bringing literary fiction to an audience that otherwise wouldn’t read it. Might this power be used for good…or is it 100% evil?

(Thanks to Jeremy and Celeste for sending me links and thoughts on these stories.)

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