People Who Dump on Amazon Annoy Me

I really hate it when useless screechers who haven’t made anything of value dump on people who provide an invaluable service. Look at this idiot who can’t write a normal sentence, yet thinks it’s OK to condescend to Amazon:

Ironically, Amazon itself realizes that its recommendation algorithms – formulaically predictive! – aren’t actually up to the task of promoting a vital reading/listening culture. Its solution was to attempt to cannibalize the serendipity offered by traditional retailers by offering people discounts to browse in shops and then scan in barcodes to buy the items online. It’s almost like their vision is to destroy book culture to make a buck off it – or, charitably, that they don’t realize that many of the costs and inefficiencies they’re stripping out are necessary parts of the system.

If one truly wishes to participate in Amazon’s vibrant reading culture, one could skip the recommendation carousel and go to the reviews written by actual readers. As one of the top reviewers at Amazon, I can guarantee that my reviews are neither formulaic nor predictive. They are the same reviews that you read here on my blog, so you tell me. Formulaic or not? And as you travel from one review to another, you can have all the serendipity that you can possibly wish for. The personal reviews that Amazon has been accumulating by the thousand are the greatest asset of this company (which is why it rewards its best reviewers with expensive gifts even if every review one writes is completely negative.) I hardly make any book purchase any more without consulting Amazon’s reviews.

For people like me, who live in the boondocks and whose neighborhood only has a bookstore that peddles endless Bibles and very little else, Amazon is incredibly helpful. I use it all the time and my Homepage even used to be Amazon’s page because I visited it so often. Thanks to Amazon, people read a lot more and discover new books a lot more easily. If it weren’t for Amazon, I’d be excluded from the book culture because I don’t have a way to take myself to St. Louis every time I want a new book.

As for the serendipity of regular bookstores, the only one I have in town is beyond predictable. Bibles, fancy leather bags to hold the Bibles, accessories for the Bibles, then more Bibles, and books in Spanish peddling the weirdest branches of American fundamentalism to Hispanics. Of course, there is also a Harlequin section and the “cheesy bestseller of the month” section. Yes, this kind of a store must definitely promote the book culture.

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4 thoughts on “People Who Dump on Amazon Annoy Me”

  1. I love Amazon, and my Kindle. I use the free Kindle downloads a lot so I can read as much as I like (as I’m on a budget and short of space), but when I get a free book I make a point of leaving a review.

    It’s my way of saying thank you for making these books available (and replacing my local library which is all in French and I much prefer reading in English).

    I refer to reviews a lot too, and even for free books, if the reviews make me not want to read the book then I won’t download.

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  2. Amazon.com has to be one of the all-time greatest things to ever happen for book lovers. I mean think about it, you look up one book and they provide you with a list that shows other books relating to this one book you looked up, often books that you’ve never heard of and didn’t even know existed. In addition, usually books on Amazon are chock full of reviews, and fairly accurate ones at that (although not always).

    And then there’s all of the lists created by readers. You can find lists on almost every subject and it is just amazing, because you can get sooooo much information on various books to read. And each book leads automatically to even more books.

    One of my favorite things is when one book leads to books on an entirely different subject but one that you actually happen to be passionate about. And then when these books lead to even other books on still other subjects that you are also passionate about.

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  3. “cannibalize the serendipity”? What does that even mean?

    Also, I like how the writer seems to forget people with handicaps that make getting to a bookstore difficult to impossible. Now someone in a wheelchair can buy as many books as they like with a click of a button. Katie bar the door the barbarians are here.

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