Mireille Raad's blog
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The thrill gone

A few months ago, I got a Kindle to test out books for Civic Books. Seeing a Kindle again, made me think of this xkcd comic.

Kindle

I couldn’t help but smile as I thought of the hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy. I sat back and looked up books that I would love to read. I got the free samples and spent some good time reading. It was amazing.

After an hour or so, I stretched out and put the Kindle down. This is when I got a little sad. This is also when I realized that the thrill of new tech is gone away from me (read the last sentence in your best BB King singing voice).

Instead of a magic tablet, the Kindle looked to me like a locked device meant to only promote transactions through Amazon. It has Good Reads, which was purchased by Amazon. Audible, Amazon Free time, Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and so on. The Amazon buzzwords kept coming at me with every click.

This was my inner monologue:

  • ๐Ÿ˜‡ ๐Ÿคจ: do not click “buy”, you won’t be getting a book, you will be purchasing a proprietary file format.
  • ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ๐Ÿ™„: you seriously are gonna care? You can always read your files on kindle.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‡: but who knows what is gonna happen 10 years from now. Your library is sacred. Get it on apple books as a compromise? it is an epub, which is open!
  • ๐Ÿ˜ˆ: we all know what happens when you hold the iPad. You will be playing games in no time instead of reading. Also iPads have glare, look at this lovely e-ink on the kindle.
  • ๐Ÿ˜ˆ: besides, this is soooo convenient… you could be reading this lovely book now. You won’t have to wait for a few days to get the book delivered.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‡: yeah right. You are currently reading 10 books, you can wait a day or two.
  • ๐Ÿ˜ˆ: but you don’t have physical space anymore for more books.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‡ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ: ohhhh how about a DIY project for making new shelves instead of reading.
  • ๐Ÿ˜‡: wow, look at you, so entitled with your first world problems. You can wait two days to get a book delivered.

Amazon has every right to try to keep customers locked into using their products and marketplace. It is just that now when I look at a new piece of technology, the thrill is gone away from me… I am weary. I know my data will be sold, something is gonna spy on me or there is some weird scheme to advance some weird business model.

But as BB king says,

You know, I'm free, free now, baby
I'm free from your spell
Oh, free, free, free now, baby
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's all over
All that I can do is wish you well