Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fun Games Part 1

While bouncing around the blogosphere, I came across 50 Books, a books-n-more blog by one Doppelganger, that contained a couple of fun book-related ideas.

The first is to reconstruct your very first order, which you can do (could you always, or is this new?) by signing into your account and viewing your complete order history sorted by year via the dropdown menu. As it turns out, mine was on October 18, 1996, and it consisted of the following:

Adventures in Fast Forward: Life, Love, and Work for the Add Adult, Kathleen G. Nadeau

Transforming Body Image: Learning to Love the Body You Have, Marcia Germaine Hutchinson

Somebody to Love: A Guide to Loving the Body You Have, Leslea Newman

The Invisible Woman: Confronting Weight Prejudice in America, W. Charisse Goodman

Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts, Anne Llewellyn Barstow

Plus Style: The Plus-Size Guide to Looking Great, Suzan Nanfeldt

The Oracle Glass, Judith Merkle Riley

Life Is Not a Dress Size: Rita Farro's Guide to Attitude, Style, and a New You, Rita Farro

Ah, 1996. I was so refreshingly naive about the Internet. We had just gotten our very first PCs at work (before that we used high-end Sun engineering workstations loaded with Interleaf desktop publishing software. *sigh* I still miss Interleaf). Practically the first thing I did after signing onto the phenomenon of the World Wide Web was to search (Yahoo, of course) for Books, and voila! up popped Amazon.

I didn't know it was new. I didn't know it was hot. I didn't know I should be worried about sending my credit card number over possibly unsecured circuits to perfect strangers whose integrity I had no reason to trust. All I knew was that I wanted books, and books Amazon gave me.

In those early days, I loved the swag they sent me (some of which -- a refrigerator magnet and a travel mug -- I still have) that made me feel like such a valued customer. I listened to their recommendations, and I felt like we shared not just commercial transactions but a relationship. (I remember the shockwaves that went through the user community when it came out that they were promoting books based on publishers' payments, like a -- a bookstore.)

But in their efforts to become all things to all people, books became just another commodity. Why should I be inspired to buy my books from a company that treats them no differently from a suede jacket or a toaster-oven (the last two items I purchased from them)?. I now prefer to get my books from Barnes and Noble.

As for the books themselves, hmmm. I decided pretty soon after that that I didn't have ADD, so the Nadeau was a wash. I don't remember any of the fat-related books specifically, but they all helped me on this size acceptance journey I'm on, so they were valuable. The witchcraze book, for a novel I was working on, was a complete waste of time and money. Oracle Glass was OK, but it wasn't Riley's best work, which was and is In Pursuit of the Green Lion. (News flash! There's a new sequel to Green Lion called Water Devil. Must order immediately!)

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