THE PRICE OF BOOKS, THE VALUE OF CIVILIZATION

Toby Mundy, former CEO of Atlantic Books, shares his thoughts on the current disputes between Amazon and its suppliers, and the unique value that books provide as “the only medium for thick descriptions of the world that human beings possess.” — DJ

Pandaemonium

library george peabody 2

Toby Mundy is one of Britain’s leading publishers and was, until June, CEO of Atlantic Books. He has a new blog; his first post is a superb essay that takes the current fraught struggle between Amazon and publishers as a starting point for a meditation on the significance of books to human life.  I am delighted to repost that essay here.


Toby Mundy
Amazon knows the price of everything.
But does it care about its value?

In his recent piece about Amazon on Techcrunch, John Biggs argued that ‘Books are about to go the way of magazines and newspapers. The value of a large hunk of text in prose form is diminishing and the price people will pay for it is also falling.’ This echoes the views of Russell Grandinetti, Amazon’s senior vice president for Kindle, and now one of the most influential people in world publishing. Here he is…

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