Evil neo-liberal consumers threaten the book trade

“Fixed book prices are sacrosanct for this government,” said (via David Millán) socialist minister of culture, Carmen Calvo, after a meeting with booksellers, who are pissed off about discounts offered by larger, more efficient operators under legislation introduced by the previous government. Lots of subsidy for the industry gets laundered through the education system, but, moan the small guys, poorer regional authorities aren’t living up to their promise to repurchase textbooks every four years, whatever their state. Now that I’ve got Google Print and I can smuggle books in from cheaper countries disguised as hard porn, I personally couldn’t give a large lump of Portuguese poo if 55% of Andalusian bookshops (that’s 11 in total) close in 2006. With any luck they’ll be replaced by yet more seedy bars and cocatecas, which is where real literature is created.

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