Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

I worked in a library for two years, in college, and so I always find the discussions about secure information and privacy very interesting. Personally, the only reason I wouldn’t want someone to have my reading/book buying history is because I’d have to be embarrassed about how many romance and kids books I read. But I understand, and support, the principle – there is no way, without strong evidence of CRIMINAL activity, that anyone has a right to anyone else’s reading records.

That’s why I was glad to see that Amazon is not lightly handing over purchasing histories to North Carolina(inĀ this article). I can understand wanting Amazon’s financial data for tax reasons, but knowing the individual books for each person? There’s no reason for that. And while the library’s policy about not giving out any patron information is a little more comprehensible, as they are a public institution, Amazon seems to understand their duty to their customers too.

Amazon is suing North Carolina to insure that North Carolina cannot get those purchasing histories of individuals. While Amazon is a large company, that does not mean that the same principles of privacy shouldn’t occur at some level. In fact, I would argue, it’s even more important – those histories show the books that people found important enough to buy, not just borrow. I borrow books from the library all the time that I only read a few pages of, but I BUY books I usually already know I like (books that mean something more to me than a causal read). I expect that a lot of other people do the same.

Usually, the scope and expanse of the Amazon realm scares me (they have so much power over book buying!), but in this case, I’m supporting Amazon. Go AMAZON!


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I really like how Publisher’s Weekly has a Morning Report, so I’ve decided to do my own with stories that have caught my attention recently.

Amazon is not going to set prices of e-books!! This is great news for publishers, as the recommended e-book price by Amazon was $9.99 which was not enough. Publishers put so many man hours into a book, with editing, design, and marketing that it doesn’t matter that the books isn’t actually printed. The book is still expensive. And $9.99 doesn’t cover that. But the new suggested price of $14.99 is better and, really, what matters is that publishers will get to set the price instead of Amazon. Amazon wants low e-book prices to sell the Kindle, and doesn’t seem to care about the long-term consequences for the publishing industry. To see specific stories about the negotiations between Amazon, Hatchette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, Galleycat is a great source.

I don’t have a Kindle or an iPad, and probably won’t get one until their prices drop a little (grad students have big chunks of money to burn, sadly) but I’m really excited to see how comic books use this new technology. Apparently there’s already an iPad application for comic books, and each issue will be $2. There aren’t many titles right now, but the future looks bright. I know a couple comic book collectors, though, and I’m not sure how they will react – there will no longer be comic books to thumb gently through before trading them with friends to exclaim over their rising price as a collectible. For more information about the technology available and the advantages of digital comics, see this article in Digital Book World.

Just like I’ve been saying here in this blog, people are confused about the iPad: they have no idea why anyone would spend that much money on a device that basically does the same things as a laptop. Right now, at least, I think only real techno geeks are going to be lining up for this one. Maybe when the price drops, the redundancy of function won’t matter as much.

And, since I’ve been talking about indie bookstores, I wanted to include this shout out to the McNally Jackson Cafe by Front Studio. They have remodeled, and it looks great. The wall paper looks like books, there are book hanging from the ceiling, and apparently the new cafe menu is full of food-related quotes. I don’t usually include stuff about places in New York, but this is exactly the sort of great innovation I wanted to encourage with my blog post about ideas/hooks for indie bookstores.

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