Round up #178: pre-mortem book thinning, minimum wage

Round up #178: pre-mortem book thinning, minimum wage

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Amazon raises the minimum wage for all U.S. employees to $15 an hour

I do get challenged by some intelligent, caring people about Amazon’s treatment of their employees. I’ve watched hours of video on the issue.

I was very pleased to see yesterday that Amazon is raising its minimum wage for all employees (including part-time, seasonal, and temporary) employees to $15 an hour.

press release

It’s a remarkable move…of course, met by quite a bit of “yeah, but” on the internet. 🙂 I’m a trainer by profession (well, I do performance improvement, too), and I can tell you…yeahbutting people is not a great way to encourage replication of effort. 😉

This may certainly have been prompted by the actions of a Senator (including introducing Stop BEZOS legislation) who did positively reinforce the move. I’m not naming the Senator, because I do try to avoid politics here. I flip articles into the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard which identify that person…and as I flip articles on new books, there are definitely ones which take particular political views (and it seems to me like the coverage of the books recently has been more of a piece than might have been the case three years ago). I will mention legislation and regulation here if it directly affects topics of interest to the readers of this blog (copyright, for example).

I congratulate Amazon on this move, done in time to give something like 250,000 people a raise before the holidays (and will affect another 100,000 seasonal employees).

By the way, UK Amazon workers are also getting a new minimum of £9.50:

The Guardian article by Richard Partington

Amazon is also asking for the Federal government to consider raising the minimum wage…which would lessen the relative cost for them, but would also reduce the competitive advantage for them.

I no longer have something like 10,000 paperbooks in my home

I’m preparing to die in January.

To be clear, I’m not expecting to die…I am having major surgery, but the fatality rate is under 1% (still, likely more than half a percent). I’m probably in relatively good condition for it, reducing my risk.

However, I am using this as a specific impetus to get things in order (something I should have done years ago). I’m checking my will and beneficiaries, that sort of thing.

I’m also considering what our now adult kid would deal with it if my Significant Other and I both passed on. One challenge would undoubtedly be the paperbooks. While our kid prefers p-books to e-books (but reads both), inheriting thousands of p-books would be a burden.

So, I’m getting rid of a lot of them…acting as if I have died, in some ways.

Again, I don’t have any anxiety about the surgery, and I’m looking forward to it! I’m hoping it improves a chronic condition I have considerably. I work in the medical industry: it’s always a bit odd when it feels like I know someone who treats me personally…I’ve trained my surgeon.

I have to be realistic, though: I don’t read my p-books almost ever. I’ve been collecting and saving things sometimes for the benefit of society. I always pictured most of my books being donated to non-profits after I died, so I’m doing that now.

I’m going to send lots of books (and magazines) to the

International Cryptozoology Museum

That’s run by Loren Coleman (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).

We’ve had some correspondence over the years, and finally met in person not too long ago.

I trust Loren: this is a person who has seems nice, intelligent, and genuinely caring about what many people consider ephemera.

That’s not a tough decision.

Much harder for me has been getting rid of my “stripped” books…in most cases, by recycling them (meaning they are being destroyed).

I’ve tried to give them away, even advertising that I had them. I can’t sell them, or donate them to a non-profit…that was a condition of my getting them when I worked in a bookstore.

Many of you know, but I should explain. When a bookstore gets books from a publisher to sell, they generally are guaranteed that they will sell them. If they don’t, they can return them for credit for future purchases.

It would cost too much money to mail back mass market paperbacks (especially back then, when they might have a list price under a dollar). So, stores were allowed to rip the covers off to show they didn’t sell them, and mail those back. My manager (I later became a manager), let us take them home…with that understanding, that they wouldn’t be sold or donated to a non-profit. If there was a non-profit that you wanted to get books, you could contact the publisher…and they would get the write-off.

Most stores did destroy the books at the time.

I couldn’t even rip the covers off…but I think I’ve evolved in realizing that the book is not the container. E-books have likely had something to do with that. I’m not destroying what the author wrote, just the container.

I did give away some of the strips…it felt great to make some recommendations to someone who asked me.

The one negative in donating the non-stripped books all this year is that it doesn’t spread the write-off over years, but it’s worth it.

I should also be clear: I’m not getting rid of all my p-books! I’m thinking I’ll still have something under 500, including my hardback Oz books. If our kid wants to sell those, it will be easy, and they’ll have some real value. I may keep my Doc Savage paperbacks (again, easy to sell and with value), and maybe some other ones with sentimental value.

How will this blog (and my other writing) be affected? There will be some significant recovery time from the surgery (it’s a hip replacement), but I’m hoping to be able to write pretty quickly…I’ll write ahead some as well. In fact, I’m picturing being able to write more, since I won’t be able to return to work right away. If I did die, our kid will have access, but I don’t know that the blog would continue in any form. Would I write a post to be published post-mortem? I’m thinking about it…

Jeff Bezos Day One Fund

Speaking of donations, Jeff Bezos (not Amazon) recently announced a $2 billion fund that will focus on “…funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.”

Business Insider article by Zoë Bernard

Again, there was a lot of yeahbutting, but my hats off to Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos…oh, wait, I’m looking to donate some of my hats, too. 😉

Some quick notes

  • While I’ve read it before, I’m going back through Dracula…and I’m really impressed! There is so much to it, so many perspectives, several “acts” in different settings…not all classic books hold up like this
  • I’ve gotten to be a lot more active on Twitter, and there is a really robust writer community there! Not everything resonates with me, but some people can write both novels and tweets 😉
  • Amazon just announced a 4K Fire TV Stick with an Alexa remote (at AmazonSmile*). It’s $49.99, preorderable for October 31st, and can voice control compatible equipment, similar to the Fire TV Cube. Interesting development…and you can buy the remote separately
  • The Amazon owned Audible has introduced significant original content…I may check that out
  • Amazon opened a “4-Star” brick-and-mortar…items are rated 4 stars are above (5 is the highest) on the site. It sounds funky and fun…Leticia Mirand’s Buzzfeed field report

Probably enough for now! If you have thoughts and/or questions, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them

2 Responses to “Round up #178: pre-mortem book thinning, minimum wage”

  1. Kathryn Diak Says:

    Always enjoy your blog! I had hip replacement surgery 4 years ago. I was 58. It CHANGED my life!!!! Wish I’d done it sooner. I did have grand plans that I’d be reading lots, usually, I read 2-3 books a week. However, the really fine pain meds precluded serious reading. It was December, I watched a lot of Hallmark 🙂

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kathryn!

      Thanks for the kind words! I’ve generally heard very good things about the surgery. This isn’t a good thing, but I don’t feel pain as much as most people. Usually, when they give me take-home pain meds, I don’t end up taking very many of them…sometimes none. I’ll cross virtual fingers on this, but I’m hoping to be pretty alert after the first day or two. I’m hoping to be able to get some more writing done, but we’ll see how it goes.

      Rather than Hallmark, I might be watching 1970s Celebrity Bowling shows on Prime…but I might have run through them all by then!

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