France vs. Amazon vs. Book Sellers

Dysfunctional Literacy

I’m not an expert on French books.  I don’t speak or read French, and from what I understand, most French books are written in French, so there’s a pretty good chance that I wouldn’t understand French books if I tried to read them.  Then again, I’m American, and we Americans are notorious for not knowing anything that’s not about the United States, so maybe French books are written in English and I don’t know it because I’m an ignorant American.

Even though I don’t read French books, I’m writing about France because the French have an interesting bookselling law that is very different from bookselling laws in the United States.  From what I understand, the French only allow a 5% disparity in book prices, which means that Amazon can’t undercut other stores with huge discounts (this law was passed in 1981, before Amazon was even a gleam).  Amazon can’t even…

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