A big kerfuffle after the New York Times published a story about a guy doing what every one in the world had to suspect at some point that every one was actually doing all along: he was paid to write reviews for books on Amazon. And some very big writers at Amazon were part of the ploy. I think people need to remember something. The book blurb is marketing. And like in everything else, sometimes you go too far. The line between brilliant idea and awful lie can sometimes be very very tiny. But the idea of using a blurb to sell books? That’s what it’s there for. And the reader reviews on Amazon are there for one reason only: marketing. Yes, yes, community, sharing, blah blah blah. Democracy. No. The reader reviews are Amazon’s way of making you stay on the site longer. They are stickiness. They were not put there for any other reason. The more you share, the longer you’re on the site. And the longer you’re on the site, the more stuff you buy. And dishonest reviews? Please. It’s nothing new. In each and every issue of the late great Spy magazine, a small section called Logrolling in our Time proved to everyone that cynicism is a valid defence mechanism when reading blurbs. Any blurb. They knew then. Proving once again, AGAIN! that nothing is free.