Though I’ve resisted for a while, I’ve been thinking of getting an e-reader. Finally realized that it won’t be in PLACE of actual books, but in addition too. I still love having actual books, but there are certain scenarios where and e-reader makes more sense. Like being able to bring a bunch of books on vacation without hauling…a bunch of books. Or being able to read and knit at the same time cause I don’t have to hold a book open.
I was leaning toward a Kindle Fire (inexpensive tablet AND e-reader), when the latest Amazon story broke about their price check app, where they offer discounts and coupons for customers reporting on competitors’ in-store prices.
Despite some past missteps of theirs, I’ve been a fan. I don’t buy myself books there as I try to support local indy bookshops, but I definitely buy a bunch of other stuff through Amazon because of the ease. No longer.
They can claim all they want that they’re not trying to go after small businesses but rather big retail chains, but that won’t stop them from getting data on and increasing their advantage over small business while using their customers to do so. And really, the whole idea of it just feels….sleazy.
So between my already well-entrenched loyalty to my local bookstore and this latest sign of corporate greed, I’m done with Amazon. I will not get a Kindle. I will be closing out my Amazon Visa. I will not buy anything else from them. And I will, in general, be spreading the word to others that it’s worth considering doing the same.
So what’s my e-book solution? Looks like I’m going with a Nook. Might seem a bit counter-intuitive to go from one big corporation to another, but there’s a Barnes and Noble just up the street from my office and, as the receipts from my local indy bookshop note:
How much money stays in your community when you spend $100?
At a locally owned business: $68
At a local chain: $43
At Amazon: $0 *
So bound books from the independent bookstores. E-book reader from a local chain. And since Amazon gives $0 for my community, from now on I will give $0 to them.
*I have no idea how accurate these numbers are**, but the logic and point behind it is sound. With a locally owned business, the taxes, staff wages, and profits stay in the community. With a chain, the taxes and staff wages stay in the community. With Amazon….yep, that’s a big fat zero.
**Edited to Add (12/19/11): I checked with the bookstore and apparently they were using a Civic Economics study for these numbers. It’s from 2004 and focused on Chicago, but my guess is that, while the exact numbers might not hold true, the theory behind them is still pretty solid.