An anonymous reader writes "As physical book stores continue to struggle and disappear, the NY Times puts the changing book industry into perspective as a cost of the existence of Amazon. Further, it's a cost that hasn't been fully paid, as other effects of Amazon's ascendancy have yet to be felt. Quoting: 'One consequence of this shift is that soon no one will know what a book's "real" price is. Price will be determined by demand and perhaps by whim. The first seeds of this can be seen in the Justice Department's suit against the leading publishers, who felt that Amazon was pricing their e-books so low that it threatened their viability. The government accused the publishers of colluding to raise prices in an anti-consumer move. Amazon was not a party to the case, but it emerged the big winner.' Economists, publishers, and readers no longer have confidence that a book will cost the same amount this week as it did the last."