It is well known in my family that I love surprises – probably a much despised fact, but nevertheless one that usually creates an exponential amount of excitement on my part. Opening something without knowing the contents is, in my mind, one of life’s greatest pleasures. Thus, in this manner, I welcomed Amazon’s Kindle into my life. Pre-warning, what now follows is a basically a homage, a teacher’s pet suck-up to the online retail giant. I heart Amazon.
I had never asked for a Kindle. While I love reading, I also love books – stacking them “artistically” around my room, gushing over the latest Penguin cover, and without question always succumbing to the two-for-one offer at WHSmith. However, holding a Kindle in real life was a bit of a revelation. It was light, unbelievably so; and looked so swank and sophisticated in my leather Kindle case (thank you brother) that by carrying out, one looks immediately intellectual and technology-forward – the best of both worlds, in what could otherwise could have been worse-of-the-worse mess. Moreover, the Kindle looks like it might aid my resolution to read more as all the classics are free, or as my sister so morbidly put it – “you don’t have to pay for any books whose authors have died”, placing a positive, consumerist spin on death itself.
However, what this post is really about is Amazon’s people-friendly service. The Kindle works because it is as near to being a book, without being made of paper. Thankfully it is noiseless, handbag-sized and easy to use. Even the prospect of taking it on holiday, book-free and with extra luggage space, makes its purchase seem worthwhile. While with Amazon itself, you just want to give the company a big hug – I believe the site’s recommendation engine is genius as it becomes my friend, present planner and trend-to-forward all in one. I buy because I note that several like-minded others have done the same, I look because the “for you” section is irresistible, and I trust the product reviews (at least most of them) because the whole brand smells beguilingly of transparency and openness. Somehow with Amazon I feel like they care, that this big friendly giant of a brand really thought hard about the Kindle’s design, and providing me with a customised and good-value shopping list. Obviously, the latter is achieved by technology (no doubt some horrendously complex online algorithm) but you know what they say about Christmas – it is the thought that matters, and I feel cared for.