Confession: I don't really like to shop online. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE to shop online. Let me start again: I love to shop online for products I've already seen in the store. So I know what I'm getting. Otherwise, I see a picture like this:
of a cool radio-controlled toy and I'm imagining a scene like this:
But what I get is this:
And okay, probably the fault is mine. They do have reviews, comparison sites, and product specifications online. But, I get all excited. I imagine the big reveal. I picture myself toting around the Shiny New Toy. And all sense gets sucked into the great vortex of shopping excitement. I hit the "buy" button and feel a rush.
Then the package arrives.
So the other day I bought some books on Amazon. Books are pretty safe to buy online. I mean, a book is a book right? But when they came, one of the picture books I'd ordered was in board book format. Now, this is actually a good thing. If you know my kids you know board books are the way to go around here. I sort of imagine the boys lugging a board book version of Moby Dick to some literature class someday.
But it wasn't what I expected. And though in this case it was a pleasant surprise, it reminded me how careful you have to be. Sort of like the internet is the tricky leprechaun of shopping. If you don't phrase your request just right he'll find a loophole and you'll end up with a timeshare in Montana. (note: I have nothing at all against Montana. I hear they have sky. Big sky).
Moral here? ebooks. Not only am I never confused about what I'm getting when I buy an ebook, but I get it instantly. No waiting! No UPS guy! No brown boxes I save for six months, throw away, then buy the exact same size at the store the next week because I need to mail something.
And that is my post about the changing publishing industry. Feel free to quote me.