Amazon Rant: Behold the power of Twitter, the interwebs, and angry readers and writers.
I used to patronize Borders exclusively until my local (within walking distance) closed. There are still a couple within driving distance, but their selections have dwindled. The B&N near me is huge, but the customer service is horrendous and their romance section is pathetic. The indie near me stocks very little genre fiction, and NONE of it is romance. The plaque at the register indicates that they will happily order books, but the occasions when I have inquired about ordering romance novels were ugly — the clerks rolled their eyes and made it clear that I was wasting their time. As a result, I’ve been buying more and more from Amazon; it used to be that I bought only OOP stuff from Amazon sellers, but now I probably get two Amazon boxes of new books every month. I won’t tell you how much I spend there, because it is an embarrassingly large number in comparison to other line items in my budget.
And Kindle. Oh, how I ❤ my Kindle. (Currently unnamed, but I’ve been contemplating call it Elphaba, since it would do the equivalent of melting if it got wet.) I love the immediacy of the one-click purchasing and the instant download.
So now what? I can choose between crappy stocking and customer service from brick & mortar stores, or I can put up with patronizing, judgmental, homophobic behavior from an online retailer.
Third choice: buy ebooks directly from publishers, and stop buying paper books at all. Yes, I love my Kindle, but I can read ebooks on it without buying them from Amazon. And the public library is still free, so I can borrow new releases from their collection, which is pretty good, if not as convenient as having the books delivered to my doorstep by my friendly neighborhood mail lady.
Number 3 is the winner, I think.
The economy hasn’t driven me to this decision — indeed, I would cut MANY other things out of my discretionary spending before I stopped buying books, if it were a question of finances. No, instead it is stupidity and resentment for vendors who either aren’t listening or don’t care or who care about the wrong things that have made this an easy decision for me.
Thank you, Amazon. See you around. Maybe. Or not. Probably not.
I’m not going to post about the ugliness that I think underlies Amazon’s behavior, because I can’t even type about it without descending into stuttering incoherence and outrage.