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Fighting Amazon Addiction

Can you rationalize excessive book orders from

June 12, 2000

Can you rationalize excessive book orders from

Initially she, too, was intrigued by the convenience of the service. Even though the two of them are well past the age of constantly having to shuttle kids around town in addition to pursuing their careers, it is simply hard for people to get to the bookstore often enough. To put a break on her husband’s enthusiasm, which soon seemed to border on a peculiar mixture between Amazon worship and blatant consumerism, Jenny asked Peter when he expected to read all those books.

“With your constant late deadlines, you’re hardly home enough to crack the covers of any of the books you’ve ordered.” But Peter had a ready answer for that charge. At 57 years of age, his magazine’s editors needed to make room for the up-and-coming writers. So they had made him an offer that was attractive enough to take early retirement at the end of the year. “I’ll read them all when I retire,” Peter said. “I’m just stocking up.”

Still, Jenny was concerned, all the more so since she is also in charge of the family’s finances. While they were doing O.K. financially, they weren’t part of the big wig classes. Putting money away for old age was still an important concern to her.