The Internet: Friend or Enemy?
Laurie Cohen’s story of how the feds prosecute Internet crimes is yet another reminder of so much unpleasantness in that electronic jungle. The phishing scams, the fact that 94 percent of all e-mail is Spam, the predators gunning for your children—all of it makes for a truly unsavory universe.
Recently, I heard how the Internet destroyed a small business person.
Independent bookstores are struggling. They cannot compete on price with the giants—Barnes & Noble and Borders—who buy in vast quantities and earn the highest discounts from publishers.
What’s more, many people go into bookstores to check out a title and then go home and order it from Amazon.com at a huge discount.
Such was the case with the owner of a small community bookstore in a popular New Jersey tourist town. Not only did she sell books, but also put on children’s programs, hosted book discussions and invited authors to come speak and autograph their books.
At one such event, folks were lined up, waiting for the author to sign their books when the store owner overheard one woman tell another, “Actually I got my copy at Amazon.com; it was much cheaper.”
It was such an emotional kick in the stomach that she closed the store in disgust.
To her, the Internet was the enemy.
Head House Books
Two blocks from where we live, a wonderfully articulate and enthusiastic young man named Richard de Wyngaert, recently opened Head House Books—an elegantly appointed little store with its own easy-to-navigate Web site (http://www.headhousebooks.com) that features a vast selection of books. Here is de Wyngaert’s message:
Welcome to Head House Books, a beautiful, vital, locally owned, independent bookstore.
We are dedicated to serving our community by providing exemplary customer service and a broad spectrum of hand selected books that range across all subject areas and disciplines.