11.14.2010

Is Price Everything?

I got a letter from Vanguard College informing me that there were incentives to being an alumni, such as 7% off from the Christian bookstore site, Blessings.com.

It's no secret that Christian bookstores have been feeling the pressure from sites like Amazon offering every book under the sun and the price difference isn't unsubstantial either.  Upon receiving the news I took a quick look at my Amazon 'wish list' and compared prices with Blessings.  Most of the time Blessings' prices were more than double that of Amazon!!

Here are the examples from what Blessings had (there were even a number they don't carry):



The First Letter to the Corinthians by Gordon Fee - Blessings: 82.99 / Amazon: 36:54
Suprised by Hope by N.T. Wright - Blessings: 32.99 / Amazon: 14.88
Dictionary of the Old Testament - Historical Books - Blessings: 74.99 / Amazon: 37.80

Totals: Blessings: 190.97 / Amazon: 89.22

Obviously, Amazon is still far cheaper, even with the 7% off.

And just when the argument seems settled: this comes out.  Certain people have been using Amazon Kindle's self-publishing service in order to release books that promote pedophilia and Amazon has done little about it.  So far, only books that have been explicitly mentioned by CNN have been taken off.

Should the 'ethics' (or morality?) of a 'secular' establishment determine whether I buy there? As a Christian should price be the deciding factor?  Should I deal with bookstores that only sell Christian materials because they only sell Christian materials?  And if so, to what extent?

I should note that we should not be as naive to believe that Christian Bookstores are necessarily owned by Christians.  While in Edmonton I had the opportunity to see inside Christian radio there, and the 2 stations (while I lived there) were not owned by Christians.