Some years ago I received an offer from the Daily Telegraph, which basically offered a full subscription for little more than £2 a week. I couldn’t believe it and, like the monkey who puts its hand in the narrow-necked jar in search of nuts, I immediately subscribed. Once the monkey closes its fists on those nuts it cannot escape without releasing the nuts. I don’t know how many monkeys ever escaped from such a devilish trap, but it was a close run thing with me.
Every day the letter box clicked followed by a soft plop on the carpeted hall. A dull thud on the weekend when the paper rivalled the size of a telephone directory. And slowly the horror began.
I couldn’t keep up – not without sacrificing big chunks of the day. It was particularly bad because when it comes to reading I’m a bit OCD. Life has no meaning unless I read everything in front of me – even sports reports – and I hate sport. I even found myself reading a report on a Manchester United game. Enough said.
Great oceans of paper lapped and curled round my feet and every day there came another plop, sometimes a thud.
At last I had to give my almost free gift away, and by golly it hurt. I come from a culture that never gives anything away.
And life improved on the instant.
Now I’m confronted with a new and more subtle threat. The Kindle Daily Deal. Sometimes its selection is generic and random and I sigh with relief and skim ‘delete’. Another sandbag against the flood of new titles is to read the one or two star reviews. That usually works. But more and more I’m sensing complex algorithms closing in on me as they measure my tastes. And more and more – for a mere 99p – I’m buying the damn things. The books are piling up, books I may/will never read.
If I was a clever monkey; if I was a monkey with just half a brain I’d delete the Kindle daily deal immediately and unread – better still consign it to spam. But Poo Bear has a better brain than I do when it comes to deals too good to refuse.
How many books does a kindle hold? How many years have I left?