Yes, it’s one of those overdone memes where people take a memorable shot from a movie and superimpose text over it. But it’s still amusing enough to share, especially given where I saw it pop up—a reshare of a post on Penguin Random House’s official Facebook account. “Boromir speaks the truth—it’s never that simple,” PRH says in the Facebook post.
Many of the most popular comments below the post are all about how you buy more bookshelves or stack books on the floor. You have to go down at least a couple of screens before you get to the commenter who says, “No, this is when the tough get ebook readers and libraries get donations.”
I could make some sort of snarky comment about PRH’s and other Big Five publishers’ attempt to foreclose on e-books as an option for dealing with bookshelf clutter by driving the prices up, but by this point the joke is painfully obvious. Anyway, selling fewer e-books seems to be what the big publishers want right now. Say what you will about them, they are getting what they want, even if what they want is stupid.
On the bright side, they seem to be cheerfully ceding the market to self-publishers and small presses, rather than trying to out-compete them. I wonder when and if they’ll realize they’re making a mistake?