What drives my decision? The biggest reason is not getting what I’m paying for. The main point of Amazon Prime is 2-day shipping, which increasingly I have not been getting on what I’ve been purchasing on Amazon. Why would I give money for something I’m not getting? If the items simply aren’t available for 2-day shipping, that could be understood. But then what justifies paying for 2-day shipping? What they have available to buy with 2-day shipping means nothing. It’s about what I buy. Increasingly, what I buy isn’t getting to me in 2 days. I really don’t mind waiting longer, but why pay for 2-day shipping when I don’t get it?
I have other reasons for canceling. The largest of those is a desire to spend more time reading. I’ve certainly appreciated seeing a wide variety of films and other video content available through Amazon Prime. But I recently reflected on an awful truth. I have always imagined myself a lover of literature, and over the years I’ve collected my own personal library. And yet the majority of the tomes in that library I’ve never read.
In fact, yesterday I decided to put some numbers to it. I counted the books on each of my shelves and how many I’ve read all the way through. I didn’t include reference books in my count, because who reads the dictionary or the thesaurus? And what I found surprised me. I knew it was bad, just not how bad. Of the 614 non-reference books in my personal library, I’ve read only 211 of them. That’s 34.4%. I’ve watched 100% of my DVD collection and listened to 100% of my CD collection. Yet only about a third of my library I’ve actually read, and I’m a reader and lover of literature? Who am I fooling? Apparently myself, and for quite some time. Getting rid of Amazon Prime means forcing myself to satisfy any desires for entertainment in my library rather than some streaming content. Of course, I can still stream content online through free services. But I’m so sick of ads I’m far more likely to rediscover the love of reading I’ve always had within me.
My other reasons for cancelling are variations of a single theme: Some of these corporations have grown so big and powerful they need to be broken up, and Amazon is probably #1 on that list. Just like the trusts of a little more than a century ago, these companies have shown much more interest in amassing wealth and power than in treating people right, especially the ones who work for them and have made the wealth and power they have possible. How can the little people defend themselves against abuses of that power? Renewing my Amazon Prime subscription means supporting those abuses. Thank you, but no. I’d rather support local businesses. This doesn’t mean I’ll never buy from Amazon again. There may be times when I can’t find what I want anywhere else. But I guarantee I’ll be looking everywhere else before I give them any more of my money.
I remember a friend of mine who first introduced me to Amazon Prime years ago. At the time, she said she couldn’t live without it. As I think about whether or not I’ll be able to live without it going forward, I dare say I’ll manage just fine. In fact, I don’t think I’ll miss that much at all. And if I do end up spending more time reading instead of watching endless video content, I’ll be all the better for it.
Here you can find news and announcements I want to share. In between I'll include reviews of the books I read. Find me on Goodreads.com for more book reviews.