"If, like us, your Twitter feed is on fire today with more colorful versions of the sentiment, 'Screw you, Slate,' allow us to explain what’s going on: Slate’s technology columnist, Farhad Manjoo, has published a piece in which he argues that we should all abandon independent bookstores for Amazon. The column is response to Richard Russo’s New York Times op-ed, in which the author criticizes a particularly disgusting promotion that had the online retailer rewarding shoppers for finding a copy of a book they wanted to buy in a local bookstore, scanning the barcode, and buying it on Amazon instead.
While Manjoo concedes that this particularly customer-poaching strategy was a poor idea, he doesn’t agree that consumers should support independent bookstores — which he calls 'cultish, moldering institutions' — over the Internet giant. Aside from being cheaper (because they can afford to buy books in bulk and don’t have to pay overhead on retail space) and boasting a wider selection (because Amazon’s warehouses are more spacious than any individual store), Manjoo believes that independent book sellers just aren’t very user-friendly, suffering from 'no customer reviews, no reliable way to find what you’re looking for, and a dubious recommendations engine.'
I find it sad, actually, that Manjoo — a generally sharp and smart technology writer — finds clicking around on Amazon to be more fun than browsing the shelves of a real-life bookstore where (gasp!) one might actually interact with other book lovers."
— Judy Berman, FlavorWire