There’s some irony in the fact that book delivery takes so long now from Amazon, due to their prioritized order fulfillment. Their humble beginnings are so far behind them.


📚 I rarely read a book quickly, because it’s hard for me to get past the feeling that a chapter break is something that means it’s time to put down the Kindle.


📚 David Sedaris – Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim: Sedaris has such a self-deprecating humor and a true love of people and their eccentricities.



Patrick Rhone writes about why he used Amazon for affiliate links and why he no longer does so. He now favors a site called Indiebound, which serves to federate a group of independent bookstores and positions itself as the conscientious consumer alternative to Amazon.

In the post, Rhone quotes Dan J on the danger of using the ubiquitous e-commerce site for book recommendations.

The problem with linking to Amazon as a “safe default” is the same as the problem with just publishing your book on Amazon and calling it a day: it entrenches Amazon as The One True Place Where Books Are, and, while convenient, that’s not good… it’s not good for society to have one big private corporation responsible for distributing such a huge proportion of the collective written work of the human race.

This highlights a problem that pops into my brain every time I make a purchase from Amazon. Not only do I not want Amazon to own the market on books, I don’t want them to own the market on almost any category of consumer goods. I would rather they not be the leading retailer of apparel, furniture, electronics, vinyl records, hygiene merchandise or any other product groups.

When I was younger, Blockbuster Video was in its ascendency. As they grew, I watched a pattern emerge. When there were good, independent video stores in the same area, Blockbuster aggressively sent out coupons that offered excellent deals on rentals. They were enticing and certainly gave a customer reason to choose them over the competition. When, inevitably, the independent stores went our of business, the well of coupons from Blockbuster magically dried up. I witnessed this phenomenon play out a number of times.

I can’t help but think of the Blockbuster strategy whenever I can choose between Amazon and a viable alternative. The alternative would preferably be an independent business, but even another corporate chain is better. A chain or independent, hopefully, that specializes in a certain segment of products and that can build their business around enthusiastic customers.

I say all of these things as an Amazon shareholder who fully believes the market has room for a variety of retail establishments and that, despite that, Amazon will continue to grow.


Appreciating the Analog in a Digital World

(image via Artificial Photography | Unsplash)

Are people reading paper books and listening to vinyl records just to impress others?

Over at Christ and Pop Culture, Luke T. Harrington wrote a piece on the new brick and mortar Amazon store, and the hopelessness of Amazon trying to be hip.

I wonder if Amazon understands that hipsterism is essentially performative.I’m not here to go all Judith Butler on it, but it seems to me that a lot of the reason people like unpopular things is so that they can be seen liking them.

The unpopular things he is referring to is what you might also refer to as “legacy media formats.” Included in that category would be physical media such as paper books and vinyl records. His argument is that these formats have no inherent benefit over their digital counterparts, and that people only indulge in them to impress others.