Saturday, 7 January 2012

Amazon.com for low tech idiots



Scott and I finally got paid this week so we celebrated Christmas yesterday doling out presents to the family and engaging in a long lunch at Kelsey's where Stefan, my favorite server works. Jay, the bartender, sent me an extra glass of Wolf Blass which, I believe, was one too many.

When I got home, I ended up drunk ordering on Amazon.com and mistakenly put two copies of Stephen King's newest book on my credit card instead of one. I can barely order anything online when I'm sober -- I accidentally ordered Weight Watchers online twice -- because I'm too impatient in waiting for the processing. I always think they missed my order the first time.

I got on the phone with a nice lady from Amazon who expertly fixed the problem. Truth be told, she did her job too well and deleted both books. So now I have no books and my 22 dollars times two is in limbo on the pay-as-you-go credit card I use for on-line purchases.

Today, I will be attempting another transaction with Amazon.com. Two weeks ago, I ordered up the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail and the New York Times for a 14 day trial on my Kindle. The 14 days are up tomorrow and, reluctantly, I will have to cancel.

I simply cannot justify spending $60 a month on virtual newspapers.

I must admit to being enthralled with e-readers. I have two. I have a Kobo, filled with 100 of the best books ever written, which is currently in use by my under-employed car-selling husband, and a Kindle which I will use as a literary trash collector. The trashier the books, the better.

The newspapers are fantastic on an e-reader. They are well organized and uncomplicated, the perfect read for a low techie like me. There are no irritating ads. Just the prose, ma'am, just the prose.

I've also found that I read more stories on the e-reader. Why? For some reason, there seems to be a black hole in my vision and I always miss stories that are in the middle of the front page of the print editions. Sometimes I find them when I come across the "turn" on another page and I have to go back to the front page. I cannot tell you why I do this -- it may well be a deficit in my brain. Perhaps in the place where I've lost brain cells from over-indulgence in red wine.

Anyhoo, I see every story on the e-reader.

Last Sunday, I spent nearly four hours reading the New York Times, an exercise that usually take me about two hours whilst flipping through my $8.50 newsprint purchase. Alas, this Sunday will be NYT free as I refuse to pay the price of the print edition, I will have cancelled my Amazon subscription today, and I will be once again shunning the web version.

Note to NYT editors: please! If I want to watch a video, I turn on the television. Newspapers are for reading, not gawking!

I'm loving the e-reader for its size alone. I often find it impossible to read in bed or on a chair filled with snuggling pugs. I can never seem to find a spot for the book. But the e-reader is so small, it's allowed me to reclaim my reading habit.

I'm still not sure about the online ordering, though. I've been found wanting in my ordering abilities, so I may have to reach out for a live operator to make sure I don't make the same mistakes.

Like the rest of the 80-year-olds.

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