05/06/2012 03:33 pm ET

Nobody Seems To Understand What Jeff Bezos Is Doing. Does He?

A couple months ago, realizing it would be futile to hold out any longer against the tsunami of pop cultural peer pressure, I decided to go ahead and read The Hunger Games. I jumped over to Amazon, searched for the Kindle edition, and I was presented, as usual, with a page infested with ugly strikethroughs. This is Amazon’s way: Jeff Bezos will never just show what you’re going to pay when you buy something from his site. He also wants to make sure you know what you’re not paying. When you buy The Hunger Games for your Kindle, you won’t pay $14.99, the publisher’s suggested digital price. You also won’t pay $8.99, the publisher’s suggested price for the paperback—which happens to be what Barnes & Noble will charge you a Nook version of The Hunger Games.

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