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An Open Letter to Amazon, on Receipt of Your Most Recent Email of Recommendations

Dear Amazon:

We need to have a talk.

Listen, I know. I use your service a lot. I’m a very loyal customer. And I’m not writing to complain. Well, not really. Not much, anyway.

I’m the first to admit I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with you lately. Ever since you wooed me with Amazon Prime. Now I don’t have to wait until I want $25 worth of your products to order! Free two-day shipping! It’s kind of the best/worst thing ever. Best in that I get almost instant gratification; worst in that I might be spending a wee bit more money on your site than I should be.

But that’s not why I’m writing.

I wanted to address this email situation.

When I got my Kindle at the beginning of the year, I signed up for your daily Kindle deal email. I like this email because sometimes there are books on there that I really want for .99. NINETY-NINE CENTS! This is very exciting. Good books, too. Books that I want to own on my Kindle. I’ve gotten very picky about what I purchase in paper (not because I’m snobby, but because space in my tiny home is at a premium, and my books are reaching critical mass and leaning here and there all willy-nilly and sometimes I come home and the stacks have tipped over and I just know that Dumbcat narrowly escaped literature-related doom while I was gone and NO, I don’t have room in here for any more bookcases, believe me, if that was an option, I’d have done it by now. THERE IS NO ROOM, DAMMIT!) so owning them on my space-saving little Kindle is really just the best thing.

I'm a little obsessed with the Kindle. Just a wee bit.

I’m a little obsessed with the Kindle. Just a wee bit.

However, recently, you’ve been sending me a lot more email. And it’s…well, it’s not geared toward my interests. I have to wonder what’s going on.

Especially after the one today.

“Customers who purchased popular titles might be interested in our picks for the 20 Big Fall Books, part of our Big Fall Books Preview.”

Well, I guess you can ASSUME that MOST people would be interested in “big fall books.” I mean, they’re BIG for a reason. Right? And the authors on this list are fancy, I guess. Lee Child. Sue Grafton. John Grisham.

Thing is? I don’t read “popular titles.” Well, not often, anyway.

Looking over this email, there’s not a single book that’s a must-read for me. There’s Margaret Atwood’s new book, but I didn’t love the Oryx and Crake series, so I’m not desperate for it and probably won’t read it. Other than that? There’s a Malcolm Gladwell that doesn’t look terrible, and the rest?


And Amazon, what I’m perplexed by is that I don’t BUY popular titles. I thought at first it was because I pre-ordered the new King book, but I did that after I received this email. And I haven’t purchased any other popular titles from you. I’ve purchased some older books, some reference books, some poetry, and a lot of e-books, but none of them “popular.”

John Grisham? Come on, Amazon. I thought we had a thing. I thought we KNEW each other. I’ve never read a John Grisham in my life; I don’t like courtroom drama. Asking me to read a John Grisham is like asking me to read a (shudder) Dan Brown.

What do you MEAN, Amy? Don't you want my latest book? DON'T YOU? Everyone does!

What do you MEAN, Amy? Don’t you want my latest book? DON’T YOU? Everyone does!

I get it. Most people like these things. I’m not judging them. That’s their thing. If it makes ’em happy, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, well, more power to them, you know? Live and let live, Amazon. Live and let live. So you thought you’d send me this because MOST people would like this.

Oh, Amazon. Look over my purchase history. I’m not most people. No one wants to think they’re “most people,” you know? I THOUGHT YOU THOUGHT I WAS SPECIAL. My heart, she is broken.

Send me an email about the best small-press books of the fall. Send me an email about the most talked-about poetry collections. Send me an email about new graphic novels people are talking about, or young adult novels, or fantasy novels.

But inundating my inbox (not a euphemism, Amazon) with emails that do not pertain to me, and mostly just make me wrinkle my nose at how you not only don’t know me at all, but didn’t even take five minutes to look at my purchase history…

Yeah. That’s a huge marketing fail, Amazon. And you’re a big company. You’re savvy. You can do better than this.

If you want the pretty girl to like you, pay attention to what she likes and then bring that up in conversation, Amazon. Sheesh, it’s like you never did this before! I shouldn’t have to give you advice on how to woo a lay-dee.

You’re on double-secret probation with me. Watch your step, or I’m going to unsubscribe from your emails.  I don’t think you want that. You certainly do send enough of them. It would put SUCH a kink in your day.

Most sincerely yours,

Lucy’s Football.

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