The Supreme Insult to Me From Jeff Bezos
An old client and friend, Gordon Grossman, former circulation director of Reader’s Digest and a brilliant magazine consultant, has retired to a life we can only dream about. He spends much of the year traveling the world on luxury cruise ships. Last week I received the following letter from him:
Very good, balanced article on the Kindle. I’m an unabashed enthusiast, and would sooner go somewhere without my credit card than my Kindle. The reason I got it is because I’m very, very tired of lugging something like 60 pounds of books on the three- or four-month cruises we take every winter. It does solve that problem with style. On a daily basis, the wonder of the little devil is being able to order a book and watch it appear on my screen about a minute later. I’m up to something like 50 books and counting. It’s a great device. Love it, love it, love it.
Alas, Carlin Romano’s line about “book folk being weaker in gizmo-related prognostication” applies directly to me.
My Kindle arrived last week, and, in a word, Amazon’s fulfillment stinks.
In the Amazon.com carton was a fat, handsome, book-like cardboard package with two compartments secured by an elasticized fastener hooked around a metal stud. The design of this elegant, ivory-colored package is amusing, with a confetti-like explosion of little black letters that fall into place and spell the world “Kindle.” Cute. Stylish.
Open this book-like package and the Kindle itself is snugly ensconced on one side with the instruction booklet, power cord, USB cable and book cover on the other.
Below are illustrations of the packaging and the Kindle as it arrived—with a protective glassine sticker that invited me to “Start Kindling” with a simple diagram and instructions on how to power the li’l devil up.