Another news article about Amazon — this one boggled my mind.

Be aware that there is a word in this article that a great many people find offensive.

When I saw that Amazon was defending the use of the “C-word,” I thought they had to mean “cancer,” because they couldn’t possibly mean that “other” one. Turns out they did mean that other C-word. One wonders what goes through the minds of some marketers …

We could get into a long discussion of censorship, whether it’s right or wrong, and how much “official” (governmental) censorship is too much, but what completely baffles me is why Amazon would think this was a Good Idea.

It’s an odd coincidence that I should come across two more news pieces about Amazon right after writing about their acquisition of Goodreads.


Amazon’s fees hike for third-party traders provokes fury | Technology | The Guardian.

According to the article, some fees will increase as much as 70% for third-party retailers who sell through Amazon:

Amazon is facing a revolt from small traders as the internet retailer – which describes itself as “Earth’s most customer-centric” company – plans to impose a wave of fee rises on third parties who use its network to sell consumer electronics, automotive parts and other goods in the UK and across Europe.

Trader fees on millions of electronic accessories listed on Amazon – including popular items such as memory cards, headphones and printer cartridges – will jump from 7% to 12% for the busiest traders in the UK and four other major European markets from 4 April, just after the Easter weekend.

Hop over to the Guardian to read the rest of this warm fuzzy article.


Just heard the news that Amazon has acquired Goodreads.

I like Amazon and love my Kindle. I really enjoy participating on Goodreads and tracking my reads on the site. I had very mixed feelings about the news.

Here’s what I posted in a comment on the blog post:

I have a Kindle, and it’s what I prefer to read on, but there are other eReaders out there. I like diversity. I like it that people have a choice of eReader and eBook format. Having GoodReads skew towards Kindle is not something I welcome. [Note: the Goodreads blog post mentioned integration with Kindle.]

I also hope that if there is integration of reviews, it is optional. [Note: several commenters on Goodreads mentioned this as something they’d like to see.] I use Goodreads as a more “personal” site, and Amazon as the more public. I generally write very different sorts of reviews for each site. The reviews on GR are for myself, my family, and my friends, and then for other general readers. My reviews on Amazon are targeted toward people who are considering reading (and buying) the book, and I try to make them useful for someone to decide whether they want to spend the time/money/effort on the book — whether I have similar taste to them or opposite — and once I write them, I rarely look at them again.

I hope that GR does, indeed, remain independent.

P.S. Congrats to the Goodreads team for their success.


Favorite Quotation of the Day

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”
― C.S. Lewis

I was chatting with some folks over on GoodReads, and I was trying to think of this particular C.S. Lewis quotation that resonates with me; I found it and here it is!

Looking for recipes for St. Patrick’s Day?

Colcannon is one of my favorite dishes, and this traditional Irish dish is great to serve on St. Patrick’s Day — or any day! For a lighter version of colcannon — as well as instructions for traditional colcannon, if you prefer that — download Favorites from Amelia’s Kitchen, which remains free thrCover of "Favorites from Amelia's Kitchen"ough the 11th, the cookbook’s one year anniversary.

For some Irish-inspired treats for dessert, try “Irish rocks,” a delicious incarnation of traditional rock cookies (sometimes known as rock cakes or rock biscuits).

You’ll get a lot more than just recipes for colcannon and Irish rocks when you download this cookbook full of vegetarian comfort food — dishes and desserts that even non-vegetarians enjoy. It’s only free for a limited time!

Favorites from Amelia’s Kitchen: Vegetarian Comfort Food for Everyone is DRM-free, so you can print out the recipes, or convert them to ePub or other format to read them the way that is most convenient for you.