Amazon is in Some Hot Water

Amazon is in hot water right now. The website has Holocaust denial books listed for sale.

This is difficult for me to defend at all. Some might say free speech. Others might say history. But is it okay to sale a book most likely branding itself as fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth?

I’m not sure where this falls on the list of issues facing the company, but it’s mist definitely an issue. I’d argue Holocaust denial is one of the most dangerous things we encounter as humans. Why? Because it opens the door to repeat history. To repeat a major aspect of the worst armed conflict the world has ever known.

I have a wristband I bought at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum last year when I visited DC. It says “What you do matters.” Take note, Amazon. Because what you do matters.

I’ve worn that wristband everyday since I bought it. To remind myself that my voice and actions are important to ensure that we never go back to our worst days as humans.

I’m not Surprised

I told y’all last week that 1984 had catapulted to the top of Amazon’s bookstore. Well it’s still there. And it’s been followed by a number of dystopian classics that people feel may give them some insight into what’s happening today.

It Can’t Happen Here. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Brave New World. Fahrenheit 451. Animal Farm.

One might say these books are always selling fairly well. Sure. But not thousands of copies that are required to stay in the top 10 on the website for several days.

Have you had any thoughts to read any of these books once more? I have. I own two of the titles mentioned and read 4 of them.

Amazon Launches Prime Reading

If you have a Prime account like I do, then you’re likely already aware of the many perks associated with the subscription. And now Amazon adds to it again.

Prime Reading is exactly what you’d expect it to be. You get to read any book that’s included in the service. I believe it’s currently over a thousand titles at launch. You also get free access to current magazines. I haven’t subscribed to a magazine in about a decade, but I’ve really been considering subscribing to Sports Illustrated or National Geographic. And they’re both included!

There is no subscription service that gives you greater value for your money than an Amazon Prime menbership. There’s books, movies, TV shows, two-day shipping, Prime Now, and I bet members will one day get to fly into space before nonmembers. HA!

Does Prime Reading make you want a Prime membership any more than before? Or if you’re already a Prime member, will you take advantage of the new program?

Everyone Thinks They Know What you Want to Read

As readers we are constantly bombarded with book recommendations. Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Goodreads. PEOPLE. That random guy in the bookstore who saw you glancing at that book on President Reagan. Book bloggers. The list never ends.

And now there’s a new player in the game. Shelfjoy. Which is so pointless it makes me laugh. Shelfjoy is absolutely no different than any other recommendation you’ve ever gotten. It recommends books based on topics you’ve already shown an interest in. Which is exactly what every other site or person does because obviously if you’re interested in a particular title, then you MUST be interested in what I think is “similar”.

They claim every book is hand-curated, but my understanding is it amounts to a bunch of lists on different topics. It isn’t creative. It isn’t groundbreaking. And it isn’t new. And it’s only available on Facebook Messenger, so there’s that. I think you can send them a message and they reply with a book for you to read. How grand. 

I’m convinced every book recommendation is someone somewhere trying to infiltrate my brain. What do you think?

My BIGGEST Book Haul Ever!

When I quit my job at Half Price Books recently I had a tough choice to make. I could either buy all of the books I wanted before my employee discount was no longer valid or I could just forget about them. I of course chose to buy.

This is the result. There were so many I couldn’t get them all in the picture for the thumbnail. Ha!

Now watch! It’s super quick!

2016 Reading Update

I’ve started and finished reading two books within the last week. Which means I’ve now finished 10 percent of my overall reading goal of 50 books this year. I know I’m WAY behind, but I’m currently out of work. Perhaps I have time to catch up now?

I read one book for my 2016 Reading Challenge and one from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read List. Which means videos for both on the way this week!

After nearly seven months of 2016 are you on track to complete your goal for the year?

Check Your Amazon Accounts!

You know that little court case that’s been slithering through the system for a few years now? The one that alleged Apple conspired with publishers against Amazon to raise eBook prices. Well Apple (the lone remaining party) has finally exhausted all of its legal challenges and has agreed to pay $400 million to customers who purchased eBooks between 2010 and 2012. If you did then you should have an Amazon credit on your account right now. The amount will depend on the number of NYT bestsellers and other ebooks you purchased.

I’m not sure if it’s a digital credit or a regular one. So check!

I’m glad Apple has finally had to fork over some money. Screw them and the publishers for what they did and getting caught. The publishers have all settled already.

Get Away From Me With Your Stupid Recommendations!

This week Amazon decided to use its Amazon books Twitter account to give out recommendations for Father’s Day. They claimed to give out the recommendations based on the information people gave them. But it’s stupid.

One guy said he’s a fan of sci-fi and they reommended some random sci fi title from that. Another guy said he wants cheap books. They recommended a $0.99 title on Kindle. No. Just no.

Get away from me with that nonsense. Thankfully, they’re done now. I think.

Amazon Set to Open how Many Bookstores?

Y’all should know by now that Amazon opened its first brick and mortar bookstore just recently in Seattle. They claimed to use their years of online book selling to create the best of both online and in-store shopping.

Now we’re hearing about more stores on the way. This isn’t surprising in itself until you hear the number of stores they’re preparing to open. I’ll give you a minute to guess because I imagine you’re original guess will be just as good as mine.

Ready?

Reports have surfaced claiming Amazon is preparing to open 300-400 bookstores. Am I surprised they’re looking to expand their bookstore presence into other cities? No. Am I surprised by the number of stores they’re looking to open? Yes. Very much so.

A little perspective on that number. Barnes and Noble is easily the big man on campus when it comes to bookstores in the United States. They operate more than 600 stores. Then we have Books-A-Million at more than 200 stores. And I believe Half Price Books comes in third at over 100 stores. Amazon would jump right to the second spot. And I think they’d mostly damage Books-A-Million. Why? Well Half Price Books is a completely different kind of bookstore. They’ve weathered the move to digital and back to print very well. Barnes and Noble has huge stores with Starbucks coffee and tens of thousands of books, and their print business has remained profitable for some time even while the Nook threatened the existence of the entire company. Yes, it was that bad. And Books-A-Million is REALLY struggling. There have been rumors for some time that the company may go private. They’ve also started directly competing with Half Price Books with their 2nd and Charles store.

Amazon looking to open more of its bookstores isn’t all that surprising to me. It gives more people the opportunity to try out their devices before buying AND it gives them a chance to increase their market share. I think the move will be successful, but I think both Barnes and Noble and Half Price Books will be just fine. Books-A-Million cannot like this news one bit.

What do you think of Amazon potentially opening 300-400 more bookstores? My main thought is for them to put one near me! Hehe.