On Being Offered Things I Already Have

I find it mildly annoying at times to receive an e-mail from Amazon.com, telling me about a fantastic offer they have on a product, when it’s a product I already own. It’s not a mystery why I receive these e-mails–they’re based on things I’ve bought from them in the past, and as at best five percent of my book purchases come through Amazon they’re wholly unaware of the other ninety-five percent.

Today’s e-mail was about Philip K. Dick books.

My Philip K. Dick library is fairly complete, lacking only the obscure mainstream fiction that wasn’t published in Dick’s own lifetime. While I’ve thought over the years of tracking down things like Gather Yourselves Together, I’m not feeling a particular lack in my library, or my life. The science fiction novels I have. The short story collections I have. The remainder aren’t as important to me.

Today’s e-mail offered me a new edition of A Scanner Darkly, to tie in with the upcoming film. The description of the item at Amazon makes it sound like a hardcover graphic novel, interspersing Dick’s text with stills from the film. I think I’ll pass.

I was also offered the books of the VALIS trilogy–VALIS, The Divine Invasion, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Already have them, thanks. In precisely the edition the e-mail pitches. And have, for ten years now.

I shouldn’t complain. As I said, Amazon has no idea what I’ve bought at brick-and-mortar stores my whole lifetime. They’re bound to offer something I already own. It just seems like a waste of computing power to figure out the things I might like based on other things I’ve bought.

Oh, well. 🙂

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

One thought on “On Being Offered Things I Already Have

  1. What amuses me is when Amazon suggest I buy books on knitting because I’ve bought a few knitting books for my mother over the years. . .

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