I can't tell you how ecstatic I was when Amazon started up - I am a bibliomane, and although I loved bookshops it was so frustrating having to seek books that I knew existed - let alone the now pure joy of being offered almost instantly those books and even those I had not known about!
But one must beware of unintended consequences. It is one thing to browse Amazon and find titles which please; but it is completely another to browse a physical bookshop then order the book from Amazon, even if it is cheaper. That is stealing the service provided by the bookshop.
I was appalled when I heard that one of the columnists on the Guardian newspaper whose writing I enjoy admitted that she does this. I have heard of this behaviour not only with books: folks browse in all sorts of shops for the products they desire, then even in the shop itself will use their phones to check prices and order cheaper online instanta.
This is stealing service. If we keep doing it, especially during a time when it is difficult for retailers to maintain showrooms, then the retailers will hit the dust.
And, of course, one price we perhaps do pay by getting some goods more cheaply is that the retailer does not pay tax in our country, hence helping to deprive us of services - perhaps such as libraries.
Pause for thought (sketch piece from Diebenkorn, reverse applique 2006)I do buy lots of books from Amazon, and browse and buy on Amazon. But, if I see a book in a bookshop I buy it there, because that shop did me the service of letting me see the whole book.