Lots of asks about this, so let me say a few things once and for all, though this is by no means an exhaustive list. Amazon quite frankly doesn’t give a damn about the book industry and yet demands huge discounts from publishers who so often acquiesce. The Macmillan cluster a few years ago was a huge nail in the coffin for me — read about their horrible tactics here (if the link is broken, copy paste with http: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/02/01/all-the-many-ways-amazon-so-very-failed-the-weekend/ )
They frequently lie about list / rrp to make their discounts seem bigger. The working conditions in the stock rooms are terrible and when a story came out this week about it all Amazon UK said was, basically, “it’s legal.” As Tim Waterstone said, “the pattern of Amazon’s dealing with others over the years; rude, contemptuous, arrogant and subversive would be a standard reaction.”
There are alternatives to online book buying (if I want a US cover, for example, I’ll order it through the Barnes and Noble website). Why would I want to support a company who isn’t driven by growing the book industry but solely by growing its own revenue and destroying the high street. I worked in an independent bookshop for five years — and unlike Amazon, we paid all the tax we should have, supporting the running of the community that makes it possible for people to afford luxuries like books. They had £7bn in sales and paid £0 corporation tax which is fucking disgusting — and I saw the value of that beautiful store. That place is now gone, partly because of high rents but it sure as hell didn’t help when people came in, asked for recommendations and walked out with no books because they’d take our specialist advice and buy it on Amazon. Maybe I’m nostalgic, deluded, stuck in the past. But I don’t use Amazon, or Audible, or now, sadly, GoodReads, or LoveFilm.
James Daunt put it best: “If the bookshops go, they will never come back.”
The question isn’t why don’t I buy from Amazon. It’s why do you?