- if someone is reading your blog then there's a very good chance they will know about Amazon
- they are a trusted seller on the internet
- it is very rare to find books that aren't listed and available on Amazon
The more I thought about this practice, however, the more I started to question my motivations. I also gave some thought to the explicit and implicit messages I was sending to whoever clicked on the link I had made. I was certainly endorsing whichever company I linked to and recommending their services to those that trusted me enough to read my words. But what wasn't I saying at the same time? What options were being left out?
Whenever I mention a book title I have now made the choice to link to Worldcat. Worldcat is "the world's largest library catalog" and links to libraries worldwide. Because the website can find your location geographically they can find the libraries closest to you that have the book you are viewing. I feel that linking to this kind of resource sends a different message, and it is one that speaks a message about community and not capitalism. The Library used to be as much the center of community as the church, but many local libraries no longer have the funding they need to stay viable and are closing. One of the reasons they are closing is because people just aren't going to the Library anymore so local municipalities don't feel the need to provide funding. Also, the library doesn't have the opportunity to build relationships with local donors.
If more of us start directing our readers to the local library instead of the huge booksellers, that might change. In my opinion more community is a good thing, more relationship with the others around us is a good thing. And that's why I link to Worldcat.