The End of Maths as We Know It
Posted on September 21st, 2011
Last week brought the news that Waterstones’ iconic 3 for 2 promotion would no longer apply to books. Publishers are divided about whether this makes good sense, but there is no denying it shows a huge shift in the way Waterstones intend to do business. Book discounts are sort of taken as an industry given, and the recommended retail price often bears no relation at all to what price we expect to receive.
And yet that rrp is extremely significant to book buyers: it indicates what publishers think a book is worth. It is our badge of value. I quite like the idea of allowing this value to be respected, and encouraging retailers to recognise this. Perhaps it heralds a return to the time when books are allowed to be things of beauty; to be inherently valuable, rather than just a commodity sold to the lowest bidder.