Amazon announced yesterday that Seattle super-librarian Nancy Pearl has signed a contract with the company to launch the Book Lust Rediscoveries series. Amazon’s press release reads: “Book Lust Rediscoveries will publish approximately six books a year and will be made available for sale in print editions via Amazon.com and as audiobooks via Amazon.com and Audible.com, at bookstores, wholesalers and libraries nationwide and as eBooks in the Kindle Store.” Bookstores? Probably not many, as Seattle Mystery Bookshop deftly illustrates in today’s blog post.
Pearl’s alliance with Amazon comes just one year after she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the independent booksellers of the Pacific Northwest. Alarm bells started to ring when she was recently heard in an NPR interview describing her Kindle in glowing terms and divulging how frequently she now recommends the Amazon e-reader. Not just any e-reader, like the type that support books that can be purchased from many independent bookstores, but specifically, Amazon’s proprietary Kindle. Turns out, it wasn’t just a personal one-off, it was an insider pitch.
No one is looking to diminish what Nancy Pearl has done for the love of reading and take away an award. But Northwest Book Lovers has removed her link from our blogroll, and there are many in the book trade–people who have hosted Pearl in their stores, handsold hundreds, even thousands, of her books–who are disappointed in her allegiance with, not just a competitor, but a dirty opponent.
As the crew at Seattle Mystery put it: “It’s like hearing a favorite old song used on a car commercial. You can never listen to it the same again.”