So someone close to me recently bought a Kindle. Three, actually — one for themselves, one for their spouse, and one for someone I had gifted my old Nook to. Honestly, I don’t care if someone owns a Kindle. That’s their preference, and I actually have a few friends who own a Kindle. It only bothers me insofar as I can’t lend or borrow books with people who use that device.
But this purchase did bother me, and continues to bother me. Why? Well, some specific reasons:
  1. They made fun of me for getting an e-reader when I first bought my Nook. Not, mind you, for buying a Nook specifically — for getting an e-reader, which they said was useless and a waste of money.
  2. When they changed their minds about e-readers, they asked my advice and opinion. Specifically, over the course of several visits. I gave them all the reasons — ranging from the shady ethics of Amazon, the poor treatment of their authors and customers, and the superior OS of the Android-based readers — to get any e-reader except Kindle. 
  3. Beyond simply ignoring me, they also chose to buy a Kindle for someone I had gifted my first-gen Nook to. I had also planned to buy her a Nook Touchscreen at  Christmas if she liked it. When she returned the gift of my Nook within two weeks because she had been gifted a Kindle, it felt a bit like a kick in the teeth.
  4. Finally, and most bafflingly, these people have a B&N membership, which would have really extended the value of a Nook.  
The B&N membership, which costs only $25/year, means they could’ve gotten the Nook Color for $25 off the listed price (bringing it to $174; cheaper than the closest comparable Kindle product), or the Nook Touchscreen for $10 off, bringing it to $89 — only $10 more than the ad-supported versions of the Kindle they chose to get. Yes. They bought the versions of the Kindle that will have ads on them. They paid money for a product that will always have ads on it.

Additionally, with the B&N membership, they would have access to the usual member discounts on books and media, not to mention free public library access to as many books as they like. Comparatively, with Kindle, there is not yet full integration with free public libraries, and the Kindle “lending” system requires you to pay $79 for Amazon Prime to get one — one — lent book a month. Not even a free, keep it book — just one lent book. Hell, they could’ve bought the Nook, rooted it, put the free Kindle app on there, and had access to both B&N and Kindle books (a fact I informed them of).
In short, it appears that they specifically asked my advice, then went with the more expensive option of the Kindle solely because I recommended they go for the Nook or any other e-reader. Maybe I’m being too sensitive, but there’s back history there to support this theory. Plus, honestly, I didn’t understand why they were asking my advice, since they’ve made it pretty clear they don’t think very highly of me as a wife, mother, or person. They’ve never asked my advice or opinion on any before, ever.

So the one time they do ask my advice on something, they make a big thing about bringing it up every time they see me, asking the pros and cons of each device, discussing it in depth — and then going with the only e-reader I categorically recommended against? Seriously, I recommend the Nook, the Google Story, the Kobo — even the freaking Sony Reader line over and above the Kindle. Mainly because I feel Amazon is a horribly unethical company that only makes changes to benefit their customers when they’re a) called out on their dickery or b) when a competitor begins making money hand-over-fist because they offer something Amazon has refused to offer despite repeated customer requests (see every improvement to the Kindle since the Nook came out).

I’m really trying not to let it bother me, since that was no doubt their intention. And honestly, it’s their problem. They made the decision to buy what, in the long run, is the more expensive product. I mean, yeah, it sucks that I won’t be able to use LendMe to lend them books and borrow books — we share very similar genre interests — but it’s mostly just hurtful because it really appears they went to great lengths just to show how little they value my opinion and advice.

By the way, I didn’t name names or how I know them because they’ve been known to blog-stalk me on past blogs (that I’ve since abandoned), so I’m protecting their online anonymity in the unlikely event they’re following me here, too.  

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