I have always been a hoarder. It’s the intersection of my basic insecurity and my fear that things will someday be much, much worse than they are right now. In thirty years I’ll be the strange aunt who keeps her money in a coffee can behind the piano. But until then I’m sort of a magpie for various things. Ask my husband sometime about the gajillion bottles of soda in the fridge (waiting for the Great Soda Shortage to come), the piles of uneaten sweets he calls Candy Mountain or the hundreds of dollars worth of yarn stuck in every nook and cranny of our house.
Right now, though, my big issue is with my Kindle. No surprise, since the thing is practically grafted to my thumb. My world has been slowly usurped by the Kindle Culture over the past two years and it’s just getting worse now that every person with $150 and no shopping sense decided to get one for their family members this Christmas*
*I know this is another topic and it’s tacky to do a post-within-a-post. But I swear this rash of Kindles in the hands of the non-reader brings home to me the fact that there are a whole lot of people who would rather give the It gift because it’s the It gift as opposed to giving it because the recepient actually wants or needs the thing. I have lost track of the vast number of people on various fora who are “not much into reading but got this stupid Kindle thing for Christmas and just need some cheap thing to read on there.” It makes my eyes melt into the back of my head, run down into the pit of my stomach and churn up into a hot puddle of sick.
So now that Kindles are so popular there’s this new folklore about writers becoming rich by selling their self-published stuff for 99 cents. (Like hack writing has just been invented…) The way to sell your hack novel for a buck is to first offer it free for a few days and then once enough people have made it top the “bestseller” list on the free side, start charging that buck and the lazy will see it atop the Paid Bestseller list and buy it for the sake of saying they’ve got content for their eReader. And here’s where I come in.
I have now downloaded nearly every single piece of free junk out there. If it is for my Kindle and it’s free the hoarder in me 1-Clicks away. Because there may be a day between now and my inevitable end that will not be complete unless I can read about the girl who decides to leave the Amish after becoming a vampire serial killer who writes dime novels for the burgeoning werewolf market. Or one of the two thousand takes on Pride and Prejudice. Just last month I downloaded:
- P&P retold on a boat. (Darcy’s Voyage)
- P&P with sex scenes added (P&P the Pillow Edition)
- P&P told from Lydia’s POV (Lydia’s Story)
They were all free. I don’t even like the ORIGINAL Pride and Prejudice. That’s how much of a sickness this is. The only free books I’ve been able to resist thus far are the straight-up Pornrotica. I have no interest in the Naughty Nooners series, but appreciate the publisher’s generousity nonetheless.
Today I realised that I was downloading The Beer Devotional. It’s free. I don’t like beer. I don’t drink beer. My only uses for beer are making chili and killing slugs in the garden. But still. It was a free book.
I really need an intervention.