The Tattered Cover is one of the nation's great independent bookstores, ranking with New York's Strand, Portland's Powell's, and Salt Lake City's Weller Books; now in an open letter, the store has "broken up" with Amazon division Audible, the largest player in the audiobook market, citing the company's mandatory DRM, proprietary formats, algorithmic opacity, and diversion of local book sales into the pockets of distant investors in a massive, uncaring corporation.
The Tattered Cover cites the amazing Libro.fm as the DRM-free alternative that works with bookstores, rather than against them. I'm a very happy Libro.fm user!
Don’t get me wrong, you’re impressive. I can buy almost anything from you guys. At first you were really into books, but then you took on the world, and it seems like that has worked out well for you. But over the years I’ve found myself wanting something more personal, like a local bookstore, instead of, say, a global mall. I mean, you have algorithms, Audible. Algorithms. I realize that is all fancy and technical, but you give me book recommendations based on a mathematics equation. Libro.fm provides recommendations from real, independent booksellers. Human beings.
And I couldn’t shake the fact that by buying from you, I’d be lining the pockets of a handful of wealthy people and stockholders who have, at the bottom line, no interest in supporting the community I live in. Where are they? Do they even read audiobooks? With Libro.fm, I’m able to buy audiobooks through my local bookstore. I’m supporting the business owned by people I actually know and care about. I love my community, and I want to support it.
Audible, it’s not you, it’s me. Like I said, I couldn’t expect you to be anything other than who you are. But Libro.fm gets me, so I’m going to have to say goodbye.
Dear Audible [A Bookstore Supporter/Tattered Cover]
We’ve been writing about Lea Redmond since 2009 here on Boing Boing. She’s just one of those kind of people who consistently makes neat things — a real Happy Mutant! Well, her latest creative venture is Home Sweet Home, an activity deck for kids (and the young at heart). It offers inspiring prompts for whimsical, […]
Listed at $159,900 this 1,075 square-foot home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bland on the outside but features rooms with outer space, submarine, tropical island, and moonbase motifs. The owners put a lot of work into it!
The “transient bazaar” known as Lost Horizon Night Market is a covert operation. Worlds are imagined and then built inside the blank canvasses of empty box trucks. For the event, all the “proprietors,” and their appointed box trucks, convene in an unsanctioned, though discreet, location. This location is disclosed to would-be “shoppers” via text just […]
Popping a new battery in a smoke detector or adding salt to your water softener are easy fixes. But if you run into trouble or a necessary repair in a cramped, tight place, sometimes with no obvious fix or easy access, it can be a pretty frustrating exercise. Since flying blind is the absolute worst, […]
Firing up the engines each morning and attacking the day with gusto and purpose can feel like a mighty tall order sometimes. We’ve all been there. But on those sluggish, why-don’t-I-just-stay-here-in-bed-all-day kinda days, it might just take a rational, calming, reassuring nudge to make it happen. No matter what it takes to keep you motivated […]
You may not realize it, but one of the fastest-growing employee benefits over the past several years is one that’s keeping thousands of workers feeling happier and healthier. Back in 2013, only 13 percent of employers were willing to provide or subsidize standing desks for their workers, but by 2019, that number had exploded to […]