Amazon Turns Books into Garbage

"Sir, your wife, under pretence of keeping a bawdy-house, is a receiver of stolen goods." -- Samuel Johnson

Today, Amazon dominates internet sales
With dangerous power and mountains of cash,
And part of its wealth, say reliable tales,
Comes from fencing for thieves who turn books into trash.

If you want to sell books to make money, you can,
With no need or occasion to write or to think.
Find a popular book you can easily scan,
And print it on newsprint in smudgeable ink.

If your poems won't sell and you want to sell more,
Just give them a title that's much in demand,
Like The Lord of the Rings or 1984
So they end up on lists with the best in the land.

Then sell them through Amazon! They won't object.
It's none of their business what you choose to do.
As long their share of the swag they collect,
They are perfectly happy to fence them for you.

If the book is important, it's fair to suppose
Ill effects beyond author and buyer may spread.
If a doctor misreads a medicinal dose,
A patient may be badly damaged, or dead.

But what does it matter? Collateral harm
Is a paltry, minute side-effect of the plan,
Which for more than two decades has worked like a charm,
Of making Jeff Bezos the world's richest man.


This is part of the collection Verses for the Information Age by Ernest Davis