"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison
"Don't forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell." - Charles de Lint

12 May, 2023

End of an (Amazon) Era

It was only recently when I developed a full appreciation for .epub files, which I've now refer to as the preferred format for my e-books as a consumer. It's an agnostic format, which means it can be read on any device, including Kindle if you were to email one to your Kindle email address. Amazon will automatically convert it to their super-special, super-unique file format for their e-readers. 

And it's also because of that I've pretty much stopped reading e-books on my Kindle device -- which has been rather buggy on and off recently and forced me to get help in a way that left me with a device that doesn't work the same way anymore. 

To that effect, I've been buying all of my e-books exclusively via Smashwords or Kobo (it's a fifty-fifty share at the moment) or direct from a small press. If I do get something from Amazon, it's because the book's not available elsewhere (because it's a Kindle Unlimited book), and nowadays, that number's shrunk by a good deal. It's unfortunate, but such is life (and a limited pocketbook). 

I'm now planning to strip my Kindle devices (an ancient one from the early days of e-readers and my now-buggy Kindle Paperwhite) and returning them to Amazon for their recycling program. I'm sure they'll benefit other folks as refurbished or used e-readers while I pretty much use apps on my phone for my reading. While there's a definite benefit to using a dedicated e-reader, there are also some to using simple apps  -- I'm a big fan of the eBoox app, by the way -- and in my case, I'm trying to whittle things down for myself for the purpose of efficiency. 

Amazon has their own free Kindle app, which I'm also using but much less now than before. It's still very handy, but at least I don't have to shell out money for a separate device anymore, and when before I used to carry my entire library with me wherever I went, nowadays I don't think twice about dropping books that I either DNF or didn't like in spite of finishing it. It's funny how age makes you view things from a wholly different perspective. 

When I first got an e-reader, I was so terrified of losing any of the digital books I bought, regardless of whether or not I liked them. I pretty much hoarded everything I got. Then the numbers went too high, and I had to organize them into collections. And when I got a Kindle Paperwhite, I desperately tried to transfer EVERYTHING until the weird glitches started happening, and I was obligated to do a full factory reset and then a re-upload. 

And that, ladies and gents, was when the previous painstaking efforts at organizing my library just got massacred, and nowadays, my Kindle library doesn't work like it used to (long, detailed description behind that, but I won't even bother with it). So, yes -- sadly I'm going to say goodbye to a fondly remembered era. Oh, I'm still buying and reading and loving every moment of it. It's just that the means by which I'm doing it has changed in the name of ease and efficiency. At my age, it was a decision that was pretty easy to arrive at.

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