The book trade is elitist (I use that word in the lazy way it is usually bandied about) and it is in our interest to be so...
Books are exempt from VAT cos they are seen to have "educational" value. If books are treated as "media" or products like any other then why the hell should they be exempt? This is something many newcomers to the trade have totally failed to grasp or appreciate.
Many internet sellers are avoiding paying tax. This is unfair on trad retailers who pay hefty rates bills.
Amazon makes a good deal of money charging third party sellers comission. These third party sellers are often running nice little businesses, undercutting traditional shops, but pay no tax. Ask the second-hand bookseller over the road about this. It really pisses him off!
What is the tax situation for the likes of Amazon? Do they pay any equivalent of rates? If not why not? Their lorries use the roads, they are a burden on services like any business and so should pay their fair share towards these costs - I know nothing about this really - anyone enlighten me?