Why I Am An Amazon Whore

Amazon-Lending-300x200So, I’m thinking that the movie Demolition Man got it all wrong – in the future, all restaurants will NOT be Taco Bell. All restaurants will be Amazon.com — and all bookstores and all grocery stores and all movie theaters and all department stores and everything else. Amazon isn’t in the restaurant business yet, but give them time. It will happen, and it will be my fault.

Well, mine and people like me. See, as a consumer and an introvert, Amazon is a dream come true. Because Amazon exists, I wouldn’t have to leave my house for months if I didn’t have to. Because Amazon exists, I could live in the most remote rural town (that has reliable mail service) and still have everything I want. Almost everything can be ordered online through Amazon – from toilet paper to groceries, from clothes to entertainment. And I don’t have to wait six to eight weeks to get it, either. Because I am an Amazon Prime member, I can get most everything I want in two days!

My local mall – which I can see from my back deck – has a Body Shop store. I love their tea tree oil products; but, do I run over to the mall when I’m low on body wash? Of course not! I order it from Amazon, thereby avoiding all the problems of parking and people that exist at the mall. Going to the mall is not a pleasurable experience for me, and Amazon lets me avoid it.

KindleAmazon sucked me in with their books. At first, I would look on Amazon whenever I couldn’t find a certain title at my local B&N. Then, I started pre-ordering books from Amazon, knowing the book would arrive on the same day I could get it at the store. Then they introduced Prime’s free two-day shipping, and picking up any book from Amazon cost the same as getting it locally if you’re willing to wait just a little while.

Then ebooks were born. Though I was reluctant to convert at first, I quickly switched to ebooks just to have more living space in my house! While my family still has more books than your average bear, we don’t have nearly as many as we used to. Whole rooms have been freed up because of the invention of ebooks! Amazon produced a great reading device, too – the Kindle. I love my Kindle ereader and wouldn’t give it up for anything. My big worry now is how I’m going to power my Kindle when I get lost on a desert island. I MUST have a solar powered battery for that eventuality – which I’m sure I can order on Amazon.

amazon-prime-tvThen came the Prime movies, and on-demand TV shows. Amazon publishes their own books and makes their own television shows, and they own Audible and Goodreads. Now they want to put drones in the air and deliver everything to me overnight? OKAY! The pervasiveness, and convenience, of Amazon is hard to ignore.

I know some would call supporting Amazon “evil.” I understand that local economies are dying and jobs are being taken elsewhere when our money is spent out of state or out of town. I hear how frustrated authors and publishers are with Amazon because they have monopolized the book industry. I know entrepreneurs with brick-and-mortar stores are barely scraping by because “buy local” is a nice slogan with no teeth. I know that being able to do everything “online” – from shopping to socializing – is certainly contributing to our society’s isolation from others in our own geography. I get that I’m contributing to all this badness and I wish it wasn’t the case.

But I am a weak-willed slave to my convenience. I fully admit it. When I have a choice of running around town for hours trying to find something I want, or finding it and ordering it online in minutes while still in my pajamas, it’s hard to take that high road. Many, many other people agree, or Amazon wouldn’t be such a success.

Is there a solution to this widespread problem that both brings the love back to our local communities and small business owners AND acknowledges the inherent laziness and selfishness of human beings? I don’t know; I think our world is still working on that problem. I can say that most of my Amazon purchases are discretionary – I don’t really buy groceries and toilet paper online; I patronize local business that provide services, and I do eat at restaurants other than Taco Bell – so a good portion of my spending stays local.

woman-scared-under-the-covers-300x200But in the long run, humans tend to do what is easy more often that what is right. We need to find ways to make doing the right thing as easy as possible, assuming we can agree on what the right thing is. Whatever it is, I think it’s going to involve a massive change in the way we look at things – a huge “paradigm shift,” if you can forgive my use of a catch-phrase – and it will have to come from someone smarter than me for sure.

Until then, you can find me in bed up to my eyebrows with Amazon.com.

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About Invested Ivana

I read fiction for entertainment and to escape my own world; so, I don’t want to read about “real” things. I read non-fiction to learn and be inspired. For the last several years, I’ve read mostly Urban Fantasy and other things supernatural. I also enjoy Historical Fiction. I love books that go deep into characters and worlds. I really want to know the characters, to be able to invest emotionally in them and their challenges. I like learning about cultures, so understanding the world is important to me as well.

Posted on March 27, 2015, in Book Chat. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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