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There are far fewer independent bookstores

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There are far fewer independent bookstores [#permalink] New post 12 Oct 2013, 01:46
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Difficulty:

  65% (hard)

Question Stats:

50% (02:26) correct 50% (01:20) wrong based on 143 sessions
There are far fewer independent bookstores than there were 20 years ago, largely because chain bookstores prospered and multiplied during that time. Thus, chain bookstores succes has been to the detriment of book consumers, for the shortage of independent bookstores has prevented the variety of readily available books from growing as much as it otherwise would have.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument relies?

a) book consumers would be better off if there were a greater variety of readily availble books than there currently is
b) independent bookstores typically do not sell the kind of books that are available in chain bookstors
c) the average bookstore today is larger than the average bookstore of 20 years ago.
d) the average bookstore today is smaller than the average bookstore of 20 years ago.
e) some book consumers value low prices more highly than wide selection
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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Re: There are far fewer independent bookstores [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2013, 04:34
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After narrow down to choice A and B, I marked Choice B, which is wrong. The correct answer is A and I have done deep analysis to understand, why I got my answer wrong. Following is my analysis, which may be useful to others as well.

The meaning of the argument was not well understood by me. Particularly this sentence is very important "Thus, chain bookstores success has been to the detriment of book consumers". It informs that success of chain book stores has resulted in harm or damage to book consumers.

Passage Analysis
Premise : "There are far fewer independent bookstores than there were 20 years ago, largely because chain bookstores prospered and multiplied during that time." - informs the reason why independent book stores has reduced in last 20 years.

Conclusion: Thus, chain bookstores success has been to the detriment of book consumers, for the shortage of independent bookstores has prevented the variety of readily available books from growing as much as it otherwise would have.

The conclusion informs that success of chain book stores has resulted in harm to book consumers and this is because success of chain book stores has led to reduction of independent book stores.

If the independent book stores are not reduced, then book consumers would have variety of readily available books.

Now going to choices:-

Choice B:- out of scope - No where in the argument it is written any thing on kind of books sold by either chain book stores or independent book stores
Choice C:- out of scope - Nothing has been mentioned on sizes of book stores
Choice D:- out of scope - same as Choice C
Choice E:- out of scope - Nothing has been mentioned on low price of books

Choice A:- this is right choice because book consumer would be happy if variety of readily available books is there
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Re: There are far fewer independent bookstores [#permalink] New post 17 Oct 2013, 06:30
IMO A.

Apart from A all the other choices seem out of scope.

a) book consumers would be better off if there were a greater variety of readily available books than there currently is. Correct. The argument says that chain bookstores will act as a 'detriment of book consumers', which implies customers will prefer individual bookstores over chain bookstores.
b) independent bookstores typically do not sell the kind of books that are available in chain bookstores. Incorrect. The argument does not mention anything about the kind of books.
c) the average bookstore today is larger than the average bookstore of 20 years ago. Incorrect. Irrelevant information. We are not concerned with the size of the bookstore.
d) the average bookstore today is smaller than the average bookstore of 20 years ago. Incorrect. Same as C
e) some book consumers value low prices more highly than wide selection. Incorrect. The argument does not mention anything about the price of books.
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There are far fewer independent bookstores [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2014, 12:22
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So this is how I attacked the question:

The question tells us that there is a reasoning error in the stimulus, and that it's an assumption that is NECESSARY for the conclusion to be drawn.

The stimulus:
Premise 1: Indie Bookstores have decreased because Chain BS increased
Premise 2: B/c of the shortage (ie. Indie BS decrease), the variety of readily available books has slowed.

Conclusion: "Chain bookstores' success has been to the detriment of book consumers".

So, before going to the answer choices, I thought, what's the assumption they are making? Because without this assumption, the argument would be invalid. We see there is this new variable, "book consumers", and some type of negative impact to them, so the assumption has to revolve around this somehow. So I paraphrased the assumption as: If consumers had better variety of books, they would be better off then they are now...leading to answer choice (A).

Even without that, we can eliminate incorrect answer choices, and come to (A) as a process of elimination.

(B) We don't necessarily know anything about sales of books. BUT, even if we did, it wouldn't be enough to come to the conclusion on how this has impacted consumers. This answer choice doesn't absolutely lead us to the conclusion about how this situation leads to a negative impact on the consumers. So, this can be eliminated. (Remember keep in mind your conclusion.)

(C) & (D) These are out of scope. It has no influence on the argument, and has no influence on the conclusion.

(E) Nothing was mentioned about pricing, so again, this is out of scope. But even if this was true, does it led to our conclusion to negative impact on the consumers? No.
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There are far fewer independent bookstores [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2014, 01:28
Katnisslogic wrote:
So this is how I attacked the question:

The question tells us that there is a reasoning error in the stimulus, and that it's an assumption that is NECESSARY for the conclusion to be drawn.

The stimulus:
Premise 1: Indie Bookstores have decreased because Chain BS increased
Premise 2: B/c of the shortage (ie. Indie BS decrease), the variety of readily available books has slowed.

Conclusion: "Chain bookstores' success has been to the detriment of book consumers".

So, before going to the answer choices, I thought, what's the assumption they are making? Because without this assumption, the argument would be invalid. We see there is this new variable, "book consumers", and some type of negative impact to them, so the assumption has to revolve around this somehow. So I paraphrased the assumption as: If consumers had better variety of books, they would be better off then they are now...leading to answer choice (A).

Even without that, we can eliminate incorrect answer choices, and come to (A) as a process of elimination.

(B) We don't necessarily know anything about sales of books. BUT, even if we did, it wouldn't be enough to come to the conclusion on how this has impacted consumers. This answer choice doesn't absolutely lead us to the conclusion about how this situation leads to a negative impact on the consumers. So, this can be eliminated. (Remember keep in mind your conclusion.)

(C) & (D) These are out of scope. It has no influence on the argument, and has no influence on the conclusion.

(E) Nothing was mentioned about pricing, so again, this is out of scope. But even if this was true, does it led to our conclusion to negative impact on the consumers? No.


The conclusion of "shortage of independent bookstores has prevented the variety of readily available books from growing as much as it otherwise would have" can be arrived at only when we assume that "independent bookstores typically do not sell the kind of books that are available in chain bookstores"
When this assumption is challenged, the conclusion falls apart. what if independent bookstores would have sold the same types of books as those sold by chain bookstores. In such condition there would have been no adverse impact on variety of books available to consumers.
There are far fewer independent bookstores   [#permalink] 23 Aug 2014, 01:28
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