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Posts Tagged ‘bookstore’

Friday Fun! (On Thursday!)

Hello my lovely readers!  You are getting this week’s Friday Fun a day early because tomorrow’s my birthday, and I took the day off work and will be staying far away from the computer all day!  I’m turning 24!  I have to say, ever since I turned 20, I just feel like I’m improving with age. Like wine.  Only with a lot more work than it takes for wine to get better with age, because let’s face it, they just stick that shit in a cellar somewhere and abandon it, whereas I work damn hard to get better.  Anywho.

By some awesomeness two of my best gal pals also have tomorrow off, so I’ll be spending the day with them, getting bubble tea, going to a farmer’s market, and probably hitting up a bookstore too.  Of course one of my favorite veg restaurants will also be visited.  Because of the fact that my birthday falls on a holiday weekend I tend to get my presents early or late or get informed of what I will be getting.  My dad contributed money so I could get my a/c unit, and my brother informed me he’ll be giving me homemade goat cheese he made himself from his own goats.  It’s a whole bunch of awesomeness.  Also, tonight I’ll be going out to dinner with my third best gal pal (there are three of them), so the celebration is nicely spread out.

I know, you guys do not care this much about my birthday, but I get four days off for it and am EXCITED!! Plus, I freaking love the 4th of July.  I mean, one of my majors in uni was US History.  Plus! The fireworks! The drinking! The bbq’s! The music! Did I mention the fireworks? The fireworks!!

Ok, that was a ridiculously excited post, but I think that’s warranted if only for the fact that I have a four day weekend. Four. Days. Wheeeeee!

Happy weekends, everyone! What will you be reading? What will you be doing for the 4th? *waves*

Amazon Isn’t a Library

April 13, 2009 4 comments

Apparently, it recently came to light that Amazon has removed GLBT books from their online ranking system.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t find a GLBT book if you are looking for it though.  I checked myself this morning, so I wouldn’t be going on hearsay.  When I typed in “heather has,” the auto-completion drop down box immediately completed it with “heather has two mommies.”

Another complaint people are putting forward is that a search for “homosexuality” pulls up books that are against the homosexual lifestyle higher in the rankings than supportive books.  I checked this.  The first result I got for “homosexuality” was Dark Obsession: The Tragedy and Threat of  the Homosexual Lifestyle.  The second result was a genre tag for “homosexuality, ” and a choice of fiction or nonfiction.  I clicked on nonfiction and was immediately led to a result page consisting entirely of books supportive of GLBT people, including Gay America: Struggle for Equality.  Back to my original results page, the third hit was a book from a gay erotica series.

Ok, so Amazon is still selling and displaying books supportive of the GLBT lifestyle.  No, they aren’t the first hit.  No, they aren’t included in the selling rankings.

Newsflash:  Amazon isn’t a library.  Amazon has no ethical responsibility to fairly and equally display both (or multiple) sides of controversial issues.  Amazon is a private retailer.  Whoever owns Amazon can choose what stock to carry, as long as it is legal.  They clearly cannot sell pot, for instance.  Amazon may also choose how prominently to display their stock.  Imagine a traditional bookstore.  They choose what books to place in the windows to draw people in.  I view the sales rankings as similar to this.

What it all boils down to is that Amazon has the right, as a bookstore, to choose what books to stock and how prominently to display them.  Even if they flat-out refused to sell GLBT books, that isn’t “book banning.”  Amazon is not the government.  For comparison, a couple of GLBT friends could start their own bookstore and decide that they didn’t want to carry anything anti-GLBT or pro-fundamentalist Christianity.  Do you think the whole nation would be up in arms about this?  No, it wouldn’t be.  They would say “good on them, overcoming that adversity.”  Well, the fact of the matter is, if we’re talking rights, anti-GLBT people have rights too.

Amazon isn’t breaking any laws.  Amazon didn’t make some hit-list of gay people to refuse to sell to.  That legally would be considered discrimination.  Amazon isn’t even refusing to sell GLBT books.  It simply isn’t displaying them as prominently.  Well, they are a private business, and that’s their right.  If you have a problem with it, feel free to boycot them and send them a letter explaining why you will no longer be buying from them.  However, stop with all the hate and fear-mongering against them.  Quit making a mountain out of a mole-hill.  Quit being a wanna-be martyr.  There are far bigger issues in the world than where Amazon ranks GLBT books.  If you have a problem with it, boycot them and move on.

For the record, I won’t be boycotting Amazon, as I like them, and I don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong.  Odd stance for a libertarian librarian, I know.