Friday, February 3, 2012

The record store as public good

Leon Wieseltier on Amazon and the closing of Washington, D.C.’s Melody Record Shop:

How easy must every little thing be? A record store in your neighborhood is also convenient, and so is a bookstore. There is also a sinister side to the convenience of online shopping: hours once spent in the sensory world, in the diversified satisfaction of material needs and desires, can now be surrendered to work. It appears to be a law of American life that there shall be no respite from screens. And so Amazon’s practices raise the old question of the cultural consequences of market piggishness. For there are businesses that are not only businesses, that also have non-monetary reasons for being, that are public goods. Their devastation in the name of profit may be economically legitimate, but it is culturally calamitous. In a word, wrong.

Going to Melody (The New Republic, found via Music Clip of the Day, where you can read more)
Record stores I have known
Relic Rack, Sam Goody’s, J&R
Record Service

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