The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop once changed a light bulb)

The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford, now closed (as usual) for business: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: was randomly decrepit and proven to be more than neo-bankrupt: it was so analogue it was anal and now deceased.

Shrödinger’s Piece of String or How Long Is a Cat?

It makes sense to save money and avoid exploitation from unscrupulous traders who overcharge. Yet discounted prices can sometimes involve moral deviance, zero hour contracts, for instance, and unfair, perhaps even crippling, work conditions. Traders seek usually to preserve their profit on discounted items (the term loss leader can be applied otherwise, sometimes foolhardiness), but I suggest that there can be a moral counter balance to the level of profit involved and that this can be measured.

I will suggest that the employment issues I mentioned above have been assigned to Amazon. Note that I have skin in the game: I’m a struggling, hard done by bookseller, boo hoo, although in truth I’m not sure I have much bitterness, if any, but I am open to the charge of bias. However it is well documented that Amazon avoid tax, possibly legally. I will suggest also that they can be be charged with making exploitative use of migrant labour although that observation is rather unscientific, and it seems to me that in any case most migrant labour is exploited.

Slightly beyond the most important issues of the day this (which might be how to stuff Leicester City next year and what should I have for lunch), but I think within the remit of cultural chitter chatter, especially here in Oxford, coz these same cultural ‘lefty’ lot bang on also about climate change, identity politics, ‘outmoded’ moral thought (give over!), fairtrade, now racism and naughty Brexit. And another thing: online purchase can further destroy local ties within a community and its holistic, local economy, so why be indiscriminate and careless in your selection of trader? Moreover I reckon some who chitter chatter much about stuff listed above persist on buying from certain traders knowing of the considerations listed above or, even worse, choosing to not question themselves of these considerations.

I mean come on, I have been told how supposedly naughty the Brexit vote was because it chose to be ignorant of the issues involved. So what is the reckoning here?


Note: this blog is a bit po-faced and pompous, and if you don’t shop here already, you may wish to boycott the shop in future 🙂

The illustration used is from, and you can buy it as a poster online.


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This entry was posted on 5th July 2016 by in, bookselling and tagged , .

News of Albion Beatnik Press

Two new series of titles – American Vintage and British Vintage – 24 titles to be published in 2019

Sarah Gillespie’s Queen Ithaca Blues

“Dipped in song, these are dizzying poems in which lovers are skyscrapers and words walk on wires between them.Bright with horror and stricken with laughter, Sarah Gillespie’s lyrical collection lives in the extremities, dealing with loss, vertigo and joy.” – Caroline Bird


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