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Dear Amazon --
I'm writing to alert you to an increasingly significant problem -- and one that you need to take immediate steps to alleviate. I am referring to your policy of providing free Kindle books. From a business perspective, I recognize the wisdom, or at least the profitability, of giving away kindle books -- it encourages folks to buy those newfangled kindle devices and then gets them hooked on kindle books -- and pretty soon, they're downloading all kinds of books regardless of price. And maybe for a majority of folks, normal folks, this is fine. But I fear that you have not taken into account a number of people who have impulse control problems or addictive personality characteristics. (I will not name names though you can certainly find a few of them in the Paperback Swap Historical Fiction Forum. Since these are online friends of mine, I'm particularly concerned for their health and safety.)
Would you provide free alcohol to alcoholics?? Of course not! Well, then, why would you provide free books to bookaholics?? That strikes me as extremely irresponsible and bordering on unethical. While I certainly believe that people must take responsibility for their own actions, in some cases, folks have a predisposition to addiction (genetic or otherwise) and cannot be held accountable. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when some cannot stop themselves from clicking that "download to kindle" button. Why must some ruin it for others? But, of course, in a society, those of us who are more fortunate must take care of those who are less so. They simply cannot help themselves -- so we must help them. The obvious answer is to simply stop offering free ebooks. But I grant that this may be throwing out the baby with the bath water or cutting off your nose to spite your face or some other cliche.
At the very least, I urge you to include warning labels with free ebooks. This should read something to the effect of: Persistent downloading of free books can result in adverse effects, such as one-handed eating [the other hand is needed to operate the kindle], lack of sleep [the "just-one more-chapter" syndrome], bruised body parts [caused by bumping into people and other obstacles while simultaneously walking and reading], excessive quoting in book reviews [due to the ease of the highlighting feature], etc.
What is likely needed, especially if you want to avoid liability issues, is the institution of controls. Yes, yes -- it's a free society and we don't want to intrude on individual rights, blah, blah, blah. But really, when some folks are downloading several free ebooks daily day after day, don't you have a corporate responsibility? Do we really want a society in which book addicts can easily download book after book -- and then do nothing except read -- or worse and more likely, feel completely overwhelmed and paralyzed by the amount of reading material on their devices? Given the technology available, it's not only feasible but essentially costless to place limits on the number of digital downloads per account.
But, by far, the most dangerous risk of these free downloads which you insist on perpetuating to an unknowing public, is the "exploding kindle." Oh, don't pretend that you are unaware of this issue. I have it on good authority that the extensive research demonstrating this potential problem has been buried under mounds of paperwork and that researchers have been silenced with substantial bribes. Have you learned nothing from Watergate, Enron, the JFK assassination, the Roswell UFO incident?? Cover-ups don't work! How many people must be seriously injured by exploding kindles before you take action? Would you really risk Amazon's reputation? It is not too late to do the right thing. By issuing warning labels and instituting controls on free kindle downloads, you can solve what may be minor problems presently but will only grow to become significant and potentially deadly.
Take action now!
A Concerned Citizen
P.S. If you refuse to take the necessary steps to address this issue, I will go to the press with evidence of your wrong-doings.
P.S.S. However, if you offer free ebooks of the enclosed list of my favorite authors for my kindle app, I promise to keep my mouth shut...and I always keep my promises because not to do so would compromise my ethical standard.
So that's where they got the name "Fire" for the new Kindle! Huh.
Deb, any chance of posting a link to a YouTube video of the exploding Kindle?
Oh, and don't spy on me anymore, okay? Thanks.
Isn't it interesting that for one who does not own a Kindle, she knows so much about how it all works????? LOL!
Oh, and Deb, I noticed on one of the Kindle discussion forums that soooo many people download freebies and they are called (affectionately) Freeloaders!!!
Last Edited on: 4/2/12 9:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Ask and you shall receive.
Unable to post a video of an exploding Kindle because Amazon has taken great pains to hide such evidence, but here's a video of an Exploding iPad.
This is what happens when you download too many books!! It is not pretty.
You may not even realize the entire extent of the problem. I have over 100+ print books in my home that are on my TBR and my PBS wish list is always at the max of 200. And I just bought a Kindle Fire and I am downloading free books every time I read a post by misfit. Why? Can I possibly read all the books I have at my disposal within, oh let's just say, the next year? No, it is not possible. You may need to also consider the exploding bookshelves with print books and Kindles and iPads sitting on the shelf together.
...and I am downloading free books every time I read a post by misfit.
Yep -- that's what I'm trying to tell you all -- Misfit IS dangerous! Christa has it right -- I'm just looking out for your well-being -- before you all turn into Freeloaders and your ereaders explode!!