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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Here's how I integrate my library into Amazon

Sometimes, people assume that with the volume of reading I get done (my annual lists are the tip of the icebergs: for instance, I never review books I don't finish, nor do I review magazines I read), I must spend a ton of money on books.

That's actually not true. Here's the primary tool I use, which is Library Extension. I set it up on Chrome, enter all my library cards and library accounts, and then whenever I visit an Amazon page for a book, the extension automatically checks whether the book is available at the library, both as an ebook and a paperbook, and how many copies of each are available (if any). This lets me decide on the spot whether the book's something I want to pay for so I can read it right away, or whether it's something I'm happy to have on my hold queue. (In cases where there are no ebooks, sometimes it tips me into buying the book)

This extension has saved a ton of money for me. And what's nice about it is that it fills my hold queue with a bunch of great books for free. The extension makes money for its author by injecting a referral link so that the author makes money from stuff you buy from Amazon. (Yes, he makes money even if you always change the URL to smile.amazon.com) But it's such a useful extension that he deserves however much money he makes that way.

And yes, Amazon's OK with this of course, since even more than before, I'm now trained to search on Amazon for books. I don't consider Google Play (no support for Kindle --- Google doesn't understand my love for epaper), I don't even bother visiting my library's web-site directly, since Amazon's reviews are so much better.

My biggest complaint about the extension is that it doesn't work on Android. (Not a surprise when you look at the UI)

If you have a library and a Kindle (or some other electronic reading device), this extension is a must have. Highly recommended.
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