WHAT THE WHAT THE WHAAT!?!?

so i got a phone call today from a representative of Amazon! apparently, he was given the task of reaching out to independent bookstores in order to ‘build’ a ‘relationship’ with the indies in order to ‘partner’ with us in a program to sell Kindles in our store…yea, really. so, in my most incredulous voice i asked him if he was serious and stated flatly that we wouldn’t be interested.

he said he understood and that he knew Amazon was facing a number of ‘hurdles’ they would need to cross in order to implement this program. that being the case, would i be willing to clarify any specific problems that i might foresee as being a dealbreaker. i repeated his request back to him partly out of disbelief and partly to give him a chance to back out of the way of this oncoming rhetorical trainwreck, but he insisted he wanted to hear my concerns. so i said ok and let him have it:

-the Kindle has to be open source.
-Amazon has to stop its predatory business practices such as undercutting the prices of an entire market of products (books) that they themselves do not depend on for revenue and/or creating sleazy apps that encourage people to buy from Amazon while they’re actually standing in a bookstore.
-and three, Amazon needs to start paying sales tax in all 50 states of the union and stop sucking all the money out of every community they infiltrate.

at the end of this rant (which was not quite as clearly stated in real life partly due to my being flabbergasted at actually being given the opportunity to tell the monster what i think of it) he calmly and quite graciously said that he understood and that he felt Amazon was making progress on all three of those fronts (…!!…). i told him good luck as i thought his masters had given him a very difficult task and we both laughed and he said he understood and thanked me for my time. 
that was it. i can honestly say i have not enjoyed a phone call full of so much balls-out audacity since the city of Beverly Hills called us the day after Dutton’s closed its branch there and asked if we would like to open a branch of Skylight  Books in Beverly Hills…
—charles