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Thread: Amazon no more

  1. #31
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Thanks Sancho, there's a new perspective for me. Those old folks are exploited by seasonal employers but are very relieved to be exploited. I don't know. I keep remembering a sentence from the Guardian piece - about having the luck to fall on the right side of a very thin line. I've never been in desperate straights, I may have a strong "work ethic"- but I know its down to luck in the end.

    ps. I downloaded a book from Google Play last night - another multi-national corporation.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 08-31-2015 at 04:48 PM.
    ay up

  2. #32
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I switched from Microsoft Office products to Google Docs and Sheets earlier this year along with email, browser and cloud storage for photos. I haven't used Google Play to buy books yet, but it might be an alternative worth considering.

  3. #33
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    I had a very quick look at Hive last night - as recommended by my old friend TheFifthElement- they look promising.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 09-01-2015 at 01:37 AM.
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  4. #34
    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    I drink Coke these days but about 20 years back Pepsi was the taste buds delight. There are no easy answers to all this. Do I wish my book store could get the books I want (small press company books--mostly pulp fiction/comics related material)? You bet but since they can't I'll get it and pay appropriately to the company that can supply it. I should confess I was aware of Amazon BUT had NEVER bothered to look into them until my wife began using them in her business. All I knew was they were some ort of store. My wife (and son) thought I knew what they offered. A testimony to communication I suppose. SO right now I'm in the honeymoon period of this discovery and anxious to get several ites off my want list.

  5. #35
    Employee of the Month blank|verse's Avatar
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    prendrelemick -

    I'm with you in being against Amazon, as are my literary friends, for whom the view that Amazon is a malign and pernicious influence is as obvious as the sun. Not only are the latest allegations about staff treatment concerning, they have also been accused of avoiding paying their fair share of tax in the UK, of bullying small publishers (whose profits are marginal enough anyway), and of putting out of business countless small bookshops across the country.

    Yet I'll admit I do still buy from them, or through them, occasionally. But I've not bought a new book from them for a while and don't intend to change.

    Instead, I buy from Waterstone's, or WH Smiths, or Foyle's, or Blackwell's, or directly from the publishers. And sometimes, smaller bookshops selling second-hand books on Amazon can be contacted directly so you can cut out the middle-man. You might also like to see if your local library offers 'downloans', although of course, these are only temporary.

    What's disappointing to the point of depressing is that some people on this, a literary forum, are speaking as apologists for Amazon, and encouraging their monopolist tendencies Greed is good! Lunch is for wimps! as if there's no moral dimension to the discussion, and that Amazon has any benefit beyond being cheaper for them, the individualist consumer.

    I would hope that people want to support all publishers of their favourite authors and poets, many of whom produce less mainstream literature and take risks, so they can survive and continue to publish a wider plurality of literature in future. If it costs a bit more, then so be it; if you don't support them, they won't be around much longer.

  6. #36
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    I agree entirely. Second hand books can be bought from Alibris or in Sweden for faster delivery from Bokus and Adlibris.

  7. #37
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Totally agree with prendelmick.

    Secondhand books can be browzed and bought through the utterly delightful Abe books https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BuyersMenu

    I used to buy books through The Book Depository rather than Amazon, but I understand they have been taken over.

    I only bought one book from Amazon this year, apparently otherwise unobtainable. I must have clicked a button to say I wanted to join Amazon Prime, because in my next month's statement there was 79 charged to me for just that.

    Fortunately I was able to cancel the membership and get the promise of a refund.

    But I am further determined not to use them again except in utter extremis.

    Between Foyles, Blackwells and Waterstones I should have enough choice online.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  8. #38
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    I remember that Amazon Prime scam. They signed you up without telling you if you clicked on "Try Amazon Prime". They were told to stop it and had to repay a lot of money.

    Meanwhile I've discovered there are plenty of alternatives for downloading books, I am trying them one by one, I shall post my experiences on here. If I need a second hand hard copy of something I usually find it on ebay no problem.
    ay up

  9. #39
    Internal nebulae TheFifthElement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick View Post
    I had a very quick look at Hive last night - as recommended by my old friend TheFifthElement- they look promising.
    Excellent! I've used Hive for a while. Their selection is not as comprehensive as Amazon, but they're reasonably priced and support high street bookshops. Blackwells are pretty good too, and Waterstones much improved since Mr Daunt took charge.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    Totally agree with prendelmick.

    Secondhand books can be browzed and bought through the utterly delightful Abe books https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BuyersMenu
    Abe Books are also owned by Amazon.
    Want to know what I think about books? Check out https://biisbooks.wordpress.com/

  10. #40
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Holy crap! Those guys own everything.

    I don't know about you guys, but I still have trouble reading a book on my iPad. I can read magazine articles just fine on it, but when I sit down to read a book, I still want a book.

    I've downloaded a bunch of the classics from The Guggenheim Project, but I mostly use them for reference not sitting down and reading straight through.
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  11. #41
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blank|verse View Post
    I'm with you in being against Amazon, as are my literary friends, for whom the view that Amazon is a malign and pernicious influence is as obvious as the sun. Not only are the latest allegations about staff treatment concerning, they have also been accused of avoiding paying their fair share of tax in the UK, of bullying small publishers (whose profits are marginal enough anyway), and of putting out of business countless small bookshops across the country.
    I found this quote in John Naughton's article from The Guardian cited above:

    Amazon is fanatically committed to the philosophy that you the customer are always right.

    What's wrong with that? What is Naughton's alternative to the customer being always right?

  12. #42
    Employee of the Month blank|verse's Avatar
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    YesNo - see paragraph 4 of my previous post...

  13. #43
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blank|verse View Post
    What's disappointing to the point of depressing is that some people on this, a literary forum, are speaking as apologists for Amazon, and encouraging their monopolist tendencies Greed is good! Lunch is for wimps! as if there's no moral dimension to the discussion, and that Amazon has any benefit beyond being cheaper for them, the individualist consumer.
    Here's paragraph 4 from your previous post, blank|verse. How does this answer what is wrong with the following?

    Amazon is fanatically committed to the philosophy that you the customer are always right.

    Also, why the adjective "fanatically"?

  14. #44
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Mind if I jump in here folks?

    I think the whole discussion begs the question: where do the obligations of a multinational corporation lie?

    To the shareholders?
    To the employees?
    To the customers?
    To the greater good of society?

    All of the above? Some of the above? If so in what proportions? Because the needs and goals of the above mentioned groups are sometimes at odds with each other. So, look at Amazon's operating practices from the perspective of each group and decide for yourself what is morally okay.

    Is a corporation even obligated to operate in an ethical way?
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  15. #45
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
    Mind if I jump in here folks?

    I think the whole discussion begs the question: where do the obligations of a multinational corporation lie?

    To the shareholders?
    To the employees?
    To the customers?
    To the greater good of society?

    All of the above? Some of the above? If so in what proportions? Because the needs and goals of the above mentioned groups are sometimes at odds with each other. So, look at Amazon's operating practices from the perspective of each group and decide for yourself what is morally okay.

    Is a corporation even obligated to operate in an ethical way?

    The appropriate question is, are we obligated to behave ethically?
    You can't expect more of Amazon then you yourself are willing to give. I'm assuming you typed that post while wearing clothes, and you're currently using a computer, sitting on a chair at a desk, perhaps drinking tea... nearly all of which were produced overseas by laborers working long hours for little pay with little to no benefits. In short, most of those laborers live lives that we wouldn't consider for ourselves nor wish on our worst enemy.
    If indeed you wish a greater good for society, then the haves will need to make sacrifices for the have-nots... most of us live like royalty compared to the Chinese workers who made your computer, the shirt on your back, the chair you sit on and the tea you're drinking.

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