An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos – My 5 Wishes for Amazon and my Kindle Fire

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I am a book lover; I adore intriguing mysteries, juicy chick lit, fab fiction, and even biz boosting books.  When I was gifted with a Kindle Fire (Coincidence on the name? I think not!), I reached new heights of joy: endless books to discover, a never-ending stream of book lists, my ultimate book nirvana… Hmmmm, not exactly. Sometimes my Kindle just flames out and frustrates me! And, let me tell you why, Jeff.

My 5 Wishes for Amazon and my Kindle Fire  

  1. Give me a Read List – Don’t you ever look at a book, but are still unsure whether it’s a yay or a nay? You’re intrigued, but not ready to buy today? If so, it’s in your maybe pile. While on Amazon video, you can create a “watch list”, but with books, there’s nothing! The “wish list” only exists when you are on Amazon via the web, not through the Kindle store. That’s annoying!
  2. Make it Easy for Me to Discover New Books –There isn’t a good browse by list function. Where are the Edgar Award, Booker, or Pulitzer Prize winners? Why is it so hard to just browse new books? Where is the “just released” tab? I get so frustrated that I either head on over to bn.com or walk into a book store and create a wish list on my iPhone. Jeez!
  3. Let me Follow Book Reviewers – Every reader can write a review, but certain reviewers seem to really “get” me. How can I subscribe to those reviews? Or, how about create alliances with other content providers so that I can subscribe to People or Oprah reviews? Because of a lack of this feature plus a wish list, I have torn out book reviews jammed into my Kindle holder. So, if I am a digital reader, why am I hording paper?
  4. Revamp the Lending Library – It sounds OK in theory, but borrowing books from Amazon is laughable. Why? You can only borrow one book per month. In my world, that means I borrow a book on April 1 and I’m finished by April 3. I then have to wait until May 1 before I can borrow again. How about switching it to 12 books per year? If so, I could choose how I spend my book budget. I could, for instance, devour all 12 books on the beach in a week and then return to buying books upon my return.
  5. Reward Your Current CustomersAmazon Prime just bumped up to $99 per year from $79; And, it then introduces Fire TV. So, of course, I’m expecting that loyal members get a least a $20 discount to justify the membership price increase, right? A big no! No real incentives besides free shipping. So, what did I do?  I promptly ordered a Roku for $49. (And, yes, Jeff, I ordered it from your website). 

Jeff, I love to read, I adore books; please make me fall back in love with my Kindle.

To better reading!

Liz Goodgold

PS: all comments welcome below.

4 Comments
  1. If you’re just using the Prime Kindle lending library, you’re missing out a lot. Amazon has arrangements with public libraries across the country so you can ‘check out’ a Kindle version of a hard copy book. I’m constantly taking out Kindle books from my public library & the library allows me to put ‘holds’ on books that someone might have already checked out & then I get an email notice when the book is available.

    The Kindle store for books allows you to ‘try a sample’, which is usually the first 30-50 pages of a book. I use that a lot to determine if I want to buy a book (or check it out from the library). You can delete the sample from your Kindle after reading, or if you purchase the book I think the sample gets replaced with the entire book.

    The Kindle store for books also has ‘recommended for you’, ‘editors picks’, ‘best sellers’, ‘award winners’, ‘new & noteworthy’, so not sure why you need to go to B&N.

    While I’m not thrilled that the Prime membership went up to $99 (after several years of being $79), it’s still worthwhile for the Prime streaming, free shipping & Kindle library combined. Since a # of folk already had streaming capability either through Chromecast, Roku, or internet capable televisions or blu-ray dvd players, I understand why the price for the Fire TV wasn’t discounted, & the 2 items (Prime & TV) aren’t totally an apples to apples comparison. Of course a discount would have been nice, but if Roku is only $49 not sure it would make sense to get a Fire TV anyway.

    • Thanks, Sharon I do use the public library, but for San Diego, it is a looooong slooooow process. For example, I was #321 for a book I wanted to borrow!

      I do use the other services of prime, but the editor’s picks aren’t very good. Trust me, I’m not giving up my Kindle, I just want it better.

  2. Liz,

    You are spot on, as usual! Love this post. Thank you!

    Helen

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