‘This is revolutionary’: new online bookshop unites indies to rival Amazon

LINK 👉 The Guardian / 2, Nov, 2020

“Bookshop.org, which launched in the US earlier this year, has accelerated UK plans and goes online this week in partnership with more than 130 shops”

‘It’s been a wild ride’ … Andy Hunter, the founder of Bookshop.org. Photograph: Idris Talib Solomon

Thoughts 💭 /

It’s a bit old, but this is an article by The Guardian which was introduced in Vol. 86 of my favorite news letter “Lobsterr” about an online bookstore called “Bookshop” whose mission is to financially support local independent bookstores. The story is about how a group of people who wanted to support their beloved local independent bookstores and publishers who were struggling came together to create an alternative to the biggest players in the industry. This article cites the story of David and Goliath, the original story of “giant killing”.

As of January 2019, the world’s 26 richest people reportedly had assets of about 1.5 trillion USD, almost as much as the assets of the 3.8 billion poorest people, half of the world’s population. Among them, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is said to have a personal fortune of about 200 billion USD, and even if we worked for 2,000 years without a break at an extremely high hourly wage of $8,000, we would not be able to reach Bezos’ fortune. He is truly a modern giant. The reason why I’m feeling so good and heartbreaking about this story even though I am not working in an independent bookstore, is because a bunch of small local bookstores are trying to fight against a giant that “no one even tries to fight” and creating an alternative choice for the people.

少し古いが、これは僕の大好きなNews Letter “Lobsterr” のVol.86 で紹介されていたThe Guardianによる「Bookshop」という地元の独立系書店を資金面で支援することを使命とするオンライン書店の記事。苦しんでいる地元の愛する独立系書店や出版社を支えたいと願う人が結集した結果、業界最大手に対抗するオルタナティブな選択肢が生まれたという話なのだが、この記事では、弱小な者が強大な者を打ち負かす番狂わせ、つまり「ジャイアント・キリング」の元になったダビデとゴリアテの話が引用されている。

2019年1月の時点で世界の富豪26人の資産は約150兆円に上り、世界人口の半数に当たる貧困層38億人が持つ資産とほぼ同額と報じられた。中でもAmazonの創業者ジェフ・ベゾス氏の個人資産は約20兆円とも言われており、8000ドル(84万円)という超高額の時給で2000年間休みなく働き続けたとしても、ベゾス氏の資産には到達できないそうだ。まさに現代の巨人だ。独立系書店で働いているわけでもないのに胸のすく気持ちがするのは「誰も戦いを挑もうともしない」巨人を相手に地元の弱小書店が束になって戦いを挑もうとしているからだ。