Tag Archives: amazon

Amazon’s New Woody Allen Show Would Be A Bad Idea Even If He Wasn’t A Pedophile

As news broke yesterday that Amazon Studios brokered a deal with controversial filmmaker and alleged pedophile Woody Allen to create a TV series for the fledgling streaming network, perhaps no one encapsulated the reaction better than Allen himself. “My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.” Keep reading »

My First Year In New York City, As Told By My Amazon Purchase History

This piece was originally published on The Daily Dot.

After 26 years of living in California, I moved to New York City in February 2014. I did not handle it well. Although I was moving for a fun job to a city I’d often fantasized about living in, I still found myself on the corner of First Street and First Avenue in the East Village every single day after work, sobbing on the phone to my mom, begging her to convince my dad it wouldn’t be giving up if I moved back home.

As people often tell you, living in New York City is hard. Gone were the days when I could use my car as a makeshift closet in case the weather dipped. Suddenly, I had to learn about things like “layering” and “the Polar Vortex,” which I was previously convinced were things New Yorkers made up to make their lives sound more difficult than they actually were. And gone were the days when getting groceries was as easy as filling up an SUV with bags from one of the many Targets in a five-mile radius. Now the closest superstores were multiple subway lines away.

So rather than spend my time negotiating how much I could schlep home in one bag on the subway from IKEA, I did what any good online shopping addict would do. I turned to Amazon. Keep reading »

Amazon Released A List Of Its Most Popular Kindle Highlights

Kindle’s popular highlights are pretty much the only reason I would have to read anything on a Kindle anymore. I have successfully boycotted Amazon for books and most other things for the last several months, but I still find myself amazed at the popular highlights, mostly because of their extraordinary mediocrity. I’m pretty sure that most people just highlight something popular because they see that other people have highlighted it, and they think that necessarily means it’s important — and I’m pretty sure that there has to be a cadre of people who are trolling the popular highlights. Some of the highlights in the Song of Ice and Fire books just made no damn sense. There were whole passages of “Hodor Hodor Hodor” that got highlighted by at least tens of readers.

In any event, Amazon released a list of the most popular highlights of all Kindle books, and while most of them are insightful or at least novel on their own (which IMO is the point of highlighting? I could be wrong), others, isolated from their context, don’t make much sense. For example, from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

“THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DIED!”roared Black. “DIED RATHER THAN BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS, AS WE WOULD HAVE DONE FOR YOU!”

Also — nitpicky, but whatever — the passage of The Hunger Games in which the rules of the Hunger Games are explained isn’t particularly useful. Like, would you quote that in a paper? (I say no, you could paraphrase and cut down your quoted word count.) Would you come back to it as guidance later on? The book hammers the rules home throughout the narrative, so it’s not like you’re needing a reminder. It doesn’t give you any insight about Katniss, it’s just exposition. And yet it’s one of the most popular highlights on Kindle.

Of course, all of this is coming from a woman who does this to books she loves…

…So take from that what you will. I’m just looking at this list and going, all right, these are the most popular highlights on Kindle, but what does it tell us about our reading habits or what makes great literature? I’m just going to hazard a guess: I think that highlighting on Kindle is more a way for the reader to feel like they’re interacting with a real book than it is a method people use for critical reading or even, necessarily, to mark ideas they think are profound or want to come back to. I also think that it’s a way of feeling like you’re part of a reading community (ergo highlighting merely because other people highlighted — I’m not going to pretend I haven’t done it). But I don’t really see that these are identifications of great writing, nor do I think they’re representative of what makes the novels included on the list as popular as they are.

To me this raises the question of how we read, especially how we read popular fiction. What’s your reading and highlighting strategy? I’m very curious.

[The Atlantic]

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5 Alternatives To Amazon For Your Book-Buying Needs

5 Alternatives To Amazon For Your Book-Buying Needs

You might have seen Stephen Colbert’s take on the Amazon vs. Hachette debacle, or you might have seen articles floating around Facebook, or friends declaring that they’re not buying books from Amazon anymore. What’s the big deal, right?

Here’s what’s happening: Hachette is a gigantic publisher — right up there with Harper Collins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon and Schuster — and it owns a huge imprint, Little Brown and Company. Amazon wanted to slash prices on books published by Hachette and its imprints, and Hachette refused to undersell its product, so Amazon resorted to bullying tactics: removing “Buy” buttons from Hachette book pages, suggesting that customers buy the books from used book stores (authors receive no royalties from used books), enlarging links to similar titles from different publishers, delaying shipments by 3-4 weeks, or claiming not to be able to sell titles at all — anything to decrease the sales of Hachette titles until Hachette caves. Keep reading »

The Amazon Reviews For Haribo Sugarless Gummy Bears Are Disgustingly Hilarious

The Amazon Reviews For Haribo Sugarless Gummy Bears Are Disgustingly Hilarious

The reviews on Amazon are often a treasure trove of hilarity, but occasionally they are both amusing and educational. For example, I had no idea until today that if I were to eat a handful of Haribo sugarless gummy bears, I could expect my insides to turn into hot lava. According to the hundreds of reviews for the candy on Amazon, these gummy bears are incredibly tasty going in and incredibly painful coming out. As I’m a journalist, I plan on finding and ingesting these bears myself to confirm the validity of the reviews. I have a very strong and regular constitution, so if these Haribo sugarless gummies manage to give me “projectile diarrhea so foul and so watery it could have gone through … nylons,” as one reviewer described, you’ll know they’re to be avoided. I’ll report back! In the meantime, check out some more of the hilarious reviews of these unintentional laxatives after the jump! [Amazon via Slightly Viral] Keep reading »

British Bookseller Waterstones Overshadows Amazon’s New Drone Program

Genius!

Sorry, Amazon: your robot drone delivery program just got one-upped, in terms of both efficiency and novelty. The future of delivery will not be dependent on technology, but rather winged animals — that is, if one British book retail giant has any say in it. Waterstones has trounced Amazon’s plans (which, really, now seem quaint in comparison) by announcing the introduction of their O.W.L.S., or Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service. A fleet of specially trained owls will be ordained with the task of delivering your Waterstones package within 30 minutes. Dispiritingly, this is only proposed as a future plan: as the bookseller’s appropriately named press manager, Jon Owls, reasons, “It takes ages to train owls to do anything, and we only just thought of it this morning.” [Refinery29]

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