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Friday, 11 July 2014

The Kindle Daily Deal

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?


Maria Zannini said...

Since the digital revolution, one of the things I miss most is reading the paper before dawn when the house was quiet and I could read in peace.

But you have me beat. I only read what interests me. Sports isn't one of them.

I still have a ton of books on my Nook (and so sorry I got that one) that have gone unread. Someday.

Mike Keyton said...

It's still hard to avoid the newspapers, Maria. Our supermarket, Waitrose, gives them away if you spend £5. I could refuse them but I don't : )

Ref the Nook, I remember you asking around as to which to buy. What's so wrong with the nook. I must confess, I'm happy with my kindle - apart from the growing crack addiction to the Daily Deal

Maria Zannini said...

The Nook is fine. It's just with so many of my purchases from Amazon, I'm always having to convert files so I can read them on the Nook.

re: newspapers
They're nearly extinct here. Part of the reason is because they're so very expensive.

Mike Keyton said...

The press is experiencing falling circulations here, too. Ref nook Vs kindle - it's still not too late to go to the dark side : )

Veronica Sicoe said...

I have also amassed quite a large collection of ebooks (either free, discounted or because they were written by someone I regularly see on Twitter/Facebook and I bought it out of a fleeting curiosity to check on that person's "talents"), which I'm certain I will never get around to reading.
I still gravitate preponderently to books I choose for a certain aspect I'm interested in: the topic, the writer's style, the plot, or simply because they're considered a "classic" of the genre and I want to see why.
So I understand your predicament. I'm also somewhat stuck in it. The only advice I can give you is what I apply myself - if it's free, I'll store it somewhere. If I don't start reading it within the year, and the blurb still doesn't entice me, I delete it. Good riddance.