Right now I am reading about 4 books, one of which is an ebook I’m reading on the iphone—The Girl Who Played with Fire. I could actually be reading another one on the Kindle as well. But this is why I’m not.
The other day I saw someone reading Rework on the train. I saw a big pull quote on a page about letting your customer teach you or something to that effect, sort of a type quote that gets your mind going in different directions. I had to work to see the title but eventually I saw it. Later on I discovered that was by the 37signals guys, who among other things invented the Ruby on Rails framework, Basecamp, and some other widely used business software applications.
Hey—I thought, I am willing to read this book on the Kindle. Why? Partly because 37signals was sending me to Amazon through their link on their site to buy it, so I thought why not honour their choice. Plus, I have an underused Kindle sitting in my bag that needs some work never mind rework.
I decided to go shopping. (In the interest of making this story make sense I am not giving the sequence of events in perfect chronological order.) I clicked on the Amazon store in the Kindle, searched for Rework and found it. All good so far. Then I clicked on Sample -because well you know what if the thing looks like crap on the Kindle? What if those Seth Godin-y type quotes aren’t all that? What if the sample cannot be downloaded because Amazon—the Kindle—doesn’t have my ereader registered anymore! And that is what happened.
Frustrated User Experience
I’m not sure why but for some odd reason I was told I couldn’t get the book because the Kindle that I was using wasn’t registered. That was annoying, but I was willing to go to the settings and register as I was directed. However, when I got to the registration screen I had to input my “special” Kindle email—the one they give you when you register your Kindle! Ok that is silly—but I did know I did have one, but I couldn’t remember it. So back went the Kindle in it’s pretty in pink camouflage case while I thought I will do this when I get home.
I forgot to do it when I got home but a day later as I was getting ready to catch train 87 I thought—oh yeah, go to Amazon and find my email so I can download that book on the Kindle. And that is what I did. The email was not what I had remembered it being, not surprising but now I had it. Time to race to the train where I could shop in leisure while cruising through the pastoral paradise that is the Sarnia to Toronto corridor.
Not so quick eager and earnest ereader! Is your ereader charged? No? (because well it wasn’t). Do you have the power cord? (I had many power cords—one for my Mac, one for my iphone, even one for my digital camera) No? Damn you Amazon and Apple and all you other device manufacturers who can’t even give us one stupid connection to rule all devices!
So Rework you still sit on the virtual Amazon shelf instead of doing your job of enticing me to buy you through your sample, and instead of giving me learnings about how to be agile and recursive and whatever else those 37signal guys have to offer. Why, you might ask, don’t I buy it from Kobo? Well I only have the iphone for the Kobo and so—well maybe I will go and see if they have it.
(postscript: I’m back and they did and it is a funny thing that in the “More About” section there is a line that says ‘if you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf’ which is just kind of funny. Anyway, Amazon you lose, Kobo you win but is anyone really happy?)