I bought a real book in a real store the other day without researching prices online beforehand and felt wildly self-indulgent. Surely Amazon could better the store’s 30% discount? Not so, it seems. The on-line giant was only offering 25% off on that particular title. Once you could count on Amazon for discounts on hardcovers and trade paperbacks of about 37% and 25% respectively. Not anymore. You can still get great deals, but it’s certainly not guaranteed. A random survey of hardcovers I’m interested in suggests discounts range from 50% to 11%. Slowly but surely online prices seem to be rising, which must give comfort to independent booksellers struggling with thin margins.