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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Of the many expenses Iíve been cutting back on this year, the easiest for me was the book club, because Iíve been doing about ninety percent of any reading on my Kindle since I got it last spring. If a book isnít available on Kindle, Amazon kindly provides me with a way to tell the publisher that Iíd read it if it were. Any non-Kindle book that Iíve read this year has probably come from my extensive collection of books I already owned, many of which came from this book club.

And so far, I havenít bought anything for my Kindle that I havenít actually read. Thatís because Amazon makes a healthy free sample available before I have to buy the whole book. About a third of the time, I get to the end of the sample and, instead of buying the rest of the book, I move on to another sample. This has been a wonderful way to wean myself from the book club syndrome, where I bought everything I thought I might want to read, and then let it sit on the shelf forever (or longer). Thatís why I have shelves and shelves full of books, some read and many more unread.

But I still intend to get to all those books some day. I just have to live to be three hundred years old.

Now my plan is to see how long the book club will keep me as an active member, before they realize Iím never going to buy anything from them again. I still get the emails and the monthly catalogues, with an occasional heartfelt plea. Why havenít we heard from you lately? How can you resist the latest offer? What if we threw in an extra book for free? Or a box of candy? Or a brand new car?

It hasnít gone quite that far yet, but I donít expect their patience with me to last forever. Iím waiting for the threats. Iím waiting for ďor elseĒ to appear in one of their pleas. When I see ďthis is your last chance,Ē Iíll be a little sad, because I like to go through the catalogues and read about what books are available, and then buy them on Kindle.

9 December 2008

The elves pooped out halfway down from the top.

This isnít another ad for Kindle. Iíve done several testimonials in the months Iíve been using it, and I never regret for a second the fact that I was, as they say, an ďearly adopter.Ē I do have a tinge of regret that they dropped the price by fifty bucks a couple of months after I adopted mine, but I knew I was paying a lot when I bought it, and (after researching the alternatives) I plunged in anyway. I use it every day, and I can honestly say (or at least guess) Iíve completed more books this year than in any year since— maybe 1971? That was the year I graduated from college.

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