Amazon? More like Scamazon

Jeanne Mardegan, News Editor, Web Editor

A couple of times a year, I take a trip to Michigan to spend some time with my family friends who live there. On my last trip, I spent loads of time talking about books with my friend Amy, as she had gotten back into reading. 

However, I noticed that nearly every time she finished a book, Amy simply went out and bought another one, usually on Amazon. Like Amy, this new generation of readers tends to turn to the billion-dollar company for their new reads, rather than the library or local bookstores.

Thanks to online platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, communities of readers are resurging and I get new recommendations every day. As envious as I am of these content creators’ large bookshelf collections, I can’t help but acknowledge how unsustainable their spending habits can be when it comes to book buying. Many of them have deals with Amazon, which they push onto their fan bases to use their affiliate links in order to make some money off of the books they’re recommending. Or people that have busy lives use online retailers to get the book the next day rather than make an additional stop at a local business or the library. 

Mom-and-pop bookstores are a dying breed that have to sell at the retail price to make ends meet, and I believe in supporting local bookshops whenever I can. The problem is that Amazon has the funds to sell books at a lower price, due to the fact that they can make a profit in other ways. So yes, it’s much cheaper to get the latest Emily Henry read from Jeff Bezos, but this deflation has created a faulty narrative that the retail price is “expensive,” when in reality, that’s the way it’s always been. 

Now, I’m not going to sit here and say that I’ve never purchased literature through Amazon because that would be a lie. My fellow romance readers know that there are many books that are self-published, thus, Amazon is one of the few places to purchase such works. Plus, for many, it’s utilized since it can be more affordable. 

However, I use Amazon as a last resort when it comes to purchasing my new reads. As someone who used to buy books that I never got around to even touching, I’ve created a new rule for myself in which I don’t buy books until I’ve already read them or I’ve read and loved three books by the author in the past. Not only has this saved me money, but it’s also stopped me from turning to Amazon when I want to pick up my latest read.

Moral of the story: you can totally read books without having to buy them. I love having copies of my personal favorites in which I turn back to for a fun reread, but owning a copy of every book I’ve ever read isn’t necessary. I encourage those who want to join the reading bandwagon to look up some recommendations and then check out the library to see if they house the titles. I’m willing to bet that they’re sitting on a shelf, waiting to be your next favorite read.