Overcoming the Amazon.com Addiction Pt. 2

‘Tis New Year’s Eve.

No, I haven’t broken my 2014 resolution of severing my ties to Amazon.com before the new year has even begun. Nonetheless, things have become interesting in the weeks since my last post. No sooner had I cancelled my Chase Amazon credit card with thoughts of quitting Amazon cold, when a great friend of mine gave me a wonderful birthday present: a Kindle Paperwhite — Amazon’s newest reader.

At first the dilemma gripped me. How can I be honestly grateful for this gift when I’d sworn off shopping at Amazon?

That’s when my wife, who has a knack for thinking far more practically than me, suggested the middle path: use it to read library books.

Luckily, I live in Montgomery County, Maryland, which believes in libraries so truly that it’s building new ones in Gaithersburg (opens this weekend) and Silver Spring. In addition to making investments in libraries for the next two generations, the county’s library system makes it easy to borrow digital books by downloading them temporarily onto Kindle.

Using a intermediary software platform called Overdrive, which publishes its own how-to on downloading public library books onto Kindle, you basically click on the books you want, then check-out for free at Amazon.

Long story short, it looks like I’ll be doing some business on Amazon in 2014–just not the kind in which my bank account diminishes. Granted it may be tough to avert my eyes from all that customized product placement, so I’m sure updates to this post will follow.

The first book I intend to read on Kindle: The Circle by Dave Eggers.

Meanwhile, I have every intention of continuing to read paper books from the library. Just tonight, I finished reading The Unwinding by George Packer, which is due on Saturday and should be in someone else’s hands by early next week.

Long live libraries! In this age of digital pocket-drain, we need these public institutions more than ever.