Thursday, December 1st, 2011
6

Everything Is Free Now

"If Hollywood had a bad summer at the Box Office, I think we can all agree that was because Green Lantern sucked, not that 'David After Dentist' was so good on YouTube that we all stayed home."
What happens when all books are free, as they are at Baltimore's The Book Thing?

6 Comments / Post A Comment

jfruh (#713)

I know you're supposed to make some kind of connection to a larger theme in these things but the Book Thing (which is right around the corner from my house, huzzah) is such a weird, idiosyncratic institution that i don't think you have to worry about it heralding some brave new world? It's essentially a nonprofit bare-bones used book store; its main innovation is that it uses the high-value books that are occasionally unwittingly donated to subsidize everybody else. It still consists entirely of books that someone somewhere along the line paid for — you'll never have the perfect copies in the physical world that have changed the economics in the digital realm.

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

@jfruh – The Book Thing is kind of feast or famine too. If you set out to find a particular book, you're probably out of luck. Sometimes it's full of out of date encyclopedias, sometimes there's good stuff.

jfruh (#713)

@Ham_Snadwich Yeah, in some ways it's like the opposite of Amazon, which is for instantly buying the one specific book you just heard/read about. The Book Thing is all about wandering around looking at everything until you find the one thing you'd never heard of but that you kind of have to have, especially when it's free.

deepomega (#1,720)

@jfruh So it's like freeganism, for books!

Annie K. (#3,563)

@jfruh I've never been there and I'm probably 10 minutes away. Thanks, Choire, for the reminder. What a good thing.

I've definitely heard the nouns "box" and "office" together, not sure about "green" and "lantern". The rest makes no sense at all.

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