September 25th, 2014

Rereading Trashy Novels and Kindle Unlimited

Some time ago, while in the throes of decluttering, I decided to get rid of a lot of paper books. I'm under 1000 paper books (of my own -- I don't count the kids' books or my husband's books) and have been for a while. I do not regret this decision. Part of what motivated me to get rid of them was the realization that when I did want to reread a novel, I would often re-buy it in ebook form, rather than go up to the third floor, pull it off the well-organized shelves, and bring it downstairs to read. I hate the pbook format that much, apparently (blame my aging eyes, or the weight of trade paperbacks, or my lazy ways).

Anyway. I thought about pre-emptively buying a bunch of those books before I got rid of them, but then I thought, I can just do that when I want them, or if I see a good sale.

Recently, I decided to reread the Kate Daniels series. I had already replaced the paper copies with ecopies on a previous reread. As I was thinking about the relationship that develops between Kate and Curran over the course of the series so far, and other relationships such as between Andrea and Raphael, Jim and Denali and so forth, it occurred to me that it would be fun to try rereading some Lori Foster again. I started with one I had, but the next two I did not have in eform. I went to buy one, and saw a Read For Free button indicating it was available through Kindle Unlimited.

In order to get the book, however, I first had to figure out how to return some of the books already checked out (I share my account with my sister), and get some returned so I could check out more (and also so we could better manage the 10 slots available). She's been figuring out all kinds of stuff on different devices: getting new headphones and setting up playlists to listen to music working out, stuff like that.

I was able to get the next two books in the series through Kindle Unlimited. They were every bit as problematic -- arguably more so -- as I remembered. They are not "bad fiction" in the sense of yeah, nobody would ever do that. To the contrary: it is entirely reasonable to expect that Cynthia Potter would hook up with somebody who had a lot of suppressed anger to work out. It's just worrisome that this is a romance. I mean, it _might_ turn out fine, but I'm still worried about them. There's also the usual issue I have with a lot of trashy romance: Manly Men and Petite Women, type of thing.

For all that people really want to "own" the books that they own, not just have a license, I could not be more pleased with this outcome. I really don't feel any need to "own" these books. But it's sure nice to be able to get them from a "library" without having to wait at all, when I want to read them. Anyone wondering whether or not Kindle Unlimited is worth it can add me to the fans. My sister was already making the subscription worth while; this is just the cherry on top.

A Few More Remarks About Wait! Where are you going? Account Management

I had this really great idea. I thought, hey, we're renting cars out of state. We should probably make sure we have our insurance information with us handy, you know, in case something awful happens. I figured I'd find the paper, take a picture, whatever.

Then I thought, oh, hey, maybe it's online. Sure enough, it is. That's cool. I even had the account credentials in LastPass, even tho my husband manages that particular account. So I logged in to see what was available, oh, geez. They have a new URL and they want a new password that meets certain criterion and new security questions oh, brother. Okay. So I did that, I even told R. what the changes were (yeah, guess I'm managing that account now), made sure LastPass picked them all up and then noted the Policy number in the notes field in LastPass.

One down.

I've been having so much fun on the conservation walks here in town that I signed up for another round this winter through Acton Recreation (the current batch is the same guy, but run through Community Ed). I tried the Comm Ed credentials at Acton Rec, but no go. It thought I had an account, but I didn't know a thing about it, so I password reset and then realized that they set the account up when I bought (using paper) a NARA card last summer. Oooh, that means I can correct all the mistranscriptions in our names! Keen. So I spent some time fixing names and birth dates and so forth, and then signed up for and paid for the class. I could also sign up for Tai Chi through this (at the traditional kung fu operation at Nagog), but I am not quite ready to do that yet.

Meanwhile, Spotify has finally, cheerfully complied with my request to have my email removed from their system. They have sent _another_ how did we do request. I'm debating whether I feel like responding. Someone tried to sign up at Kik with the same email, and Kik HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT PEOPLE DO IT LIKE KIK didn't just roundtrip the email to make sure the user has access to the email they supply. They give an option: click on this if you _did not_ sign up for us.

Yay, Kik! Everyone do like them. "Just ignore" is really not as good as this, as it doesn't disambiguate between lost-in-spam-folder vs. typed-the-wrong-email-and-haven't-noticed-yet. Plus! Not pissing off people who aren't customers (yet).

Finally, a while back I signed up with the package-recipient focused UPS and FedEx stuff. The apps are nice and being able to set vacation holds for packages is Teh Awesome. A good friend of my husband's was on the owie end of a scam in which someone else signs up for one of those services in your name and then redirects stuff to themselves -- apparently including I Lost All My Credit Cards Please Send New Ones. Eeeek. As R. noted, by having those accounts set up and under our control, we have protected another avenue of identity theft that we hadn't ever even thought of.

See? It really was only a few.