Sunday, July 3, 2011

Somewhere Up the Amazon

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

First of all, I am a huge fan of the Library of America, an awesome organization that collects and publishes the works of America's finest writers - of all genres - in nice, hardbound volumes.  I have several of their collections and I read them with the same gusto that some people express by eating chocolates with both hands or participating in group sex.  I have read their volume of H.P. Lovecraft twice and will surely get to it a third time in the not too distant future.

Second, living in a remote corner of the Pacific has reduced me to getting my extraneous bits of culture from the Internet or delayed broadcasts of National Public Radio.  (Hopefully the bozos in Congress will leave NPR alone - it is a national public treasure!)

Third, I regard the late Kurt Vonnegut as one of the finest of American writers, and although I have not read his complete works, I have consumed the majority of them - but none recently.

Fourth, I buy most of my reading material from  They are as cheap as other booksellers and have that wonderful free shipping on orders of $25 or more.

So, bearing in mind all of that preamble, I was driving to work a little over a month ago listening to NPR when they began discussing a new Library of America collection - their first-ever assemblage of the major works of Kurt Vonnegut.   Once inside and seated at my computer I pulled up and learned that the Vonnegut collection was being released by LOA that very day - and that very day I placed my order.  My complete order included a couple of other books and a movie.  The movie arrived within the week, and the other books, which Amazon divided into two shipments, have yet to make it to PSC 80 - my local post office.

And I've asked, believe me I've asked!  Amazon says that they are on the way, having shipped within a couple of days of my actual order - but a young man at the post office gave me better information.  He said that I screwed up by requesting the free shipping.  Amazon, he said, often puts the free shipping parcels on a boat for cheaper delivery.

My order, the postal clerk informed me, is undoubtedly somewhere at sea.

Perhaps it is on a tugboat headed up the Amazon.  Or could it be chugging up the Congo in search of Colonel Kurtz?  Is the African Queen still running?

Or is Amazon just trying to force me into becoming a Kindle user?


Xobekim said...

Your parcels are probably aboard the Kon-Tiki. At least that's better than the Minnow!

bk in MO said...

I'm curious: how do you know so much about gobbling chocolates and participating in group sex that you use them both in the same sentence? LOL

Don said...

Take it from a convert -- you need to get a Kindle.
For most of my life, I kept a book on the table next to my bed.
Before retiring, I'd read for however long it took me to realize I was no longer reading.

The trouble was that once the book was read, there was a gap between that one and the next. I'd go to the bookstore and fail to see something that piqued my curiosity. Or I'd forget to go -- same result, nothing to read.
And then my siblings got me a Kindle as a birthday present.
It's got a built-in wireless, so that 10 seconds after selecting something to purchase, I'm reading it.
If you're not sure about a book, you can download a sample chapter. If you like it, you can make the purchase. If not, just delete.
Amazon is now well aware of my reading habits, and so there's never a shortage of emails reminding me of the latest book about the Roman Empire or early Medieval Europe.
And, once my taste for Stephen King became apparent, all his offerings magically appeared on a suggested reading list.
I've always been something of a Luddite, but the Kindle is a wonderful way to read what you want, when you want and for as long as you want.

Dig in, Rock, you'd love it!