Letter: Book trade should reform, not complain

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Sir: The imposition of VAT on books (David Lodge, Comment, 2 November) could be offset by the abolition of the Net Book Agreement. Books in Britain are already more expensive than they need be, because of the implicit tariff we all have to pay to prevent bookshop price wars. I buy my books by mail- order from America. Despite a 20 per cent postal surcharge, they are still cheaper than the UK editions. Before the book trade bemoans price rises from a new tax, it should set its own house in order.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID E. FLAVELL

Peterlee, Co Durham

2 November

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