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Choosing Kindle Over Hulu+
September 1, 2011 - 10:30pm

My Kindle is cannibalizing my media consumption. Not so much the Kindle device, which I look forward to Amazon making big improvements upon. It is more the Kindle ecosystem, specifically the ability to instantly purchase any newly published book for the cost of a softcover. This week I purchased Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers the day it came out ($12.99). No waiting the interminable 2 days for Amazon to ship the book. Instant reading gratification.

This week I also decided not to subscribe to Hulu+. I had thought about doing so, given how crappy Netflix's streaming library is turning out to be. The cost of Hulu+ is only $7.99 a month, and if you have a *.edu e-mail address you can get a 1-month free trial.

My reason to forgo a Hulu+ subscriptions has nothing to do with the price of the service, or the quality of the streaming library. Rather, I've decided that I don't want easy access to video. Video is simply too tempting, too engaging, and too pleasurable. My mind loves nothing better than to camp out in front of video. Add streaming to the iPhone and iPad and I'm afraid Hulu+ would simply be too enticing. By taking away the choice of video, and always having at hand a fiction book that I want to read (an instant download away), I'm hoping to improve my information consumption diet to include more books.

This is a new experience for me. Actively denying myself choice in order to encourage a certain kind of media consumption. Video might be fun, but books end up being so much more nourishing.

It's not that I'm fully abstaining from video. Just this week I watched a few episodes of "Breaking Bad" (season 3) from Netflix (disc delivery) - an amazing show you should all rent. I'm down to the one-at-a-time Netlfix disc plan, combined with streaming (which the kids mostly use). This seems to be enough.

The Amazon / Kindle ecosystem makes book selection, delivery and reading wonderfully efficient, pleasant and affordable. An example of the potential of a platform to change behavior.

How have your information consumption patterns changed over the past couple of years?


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