Amazon is… a company that could bear to have a bit better of an ethical track record. At the time of publication, warehouse workers in Staten Island are fighting for better work treatment by voting in yet another historic union election. But hey, those folks in Seattle make a pretty good e-reader.
Since it’s Amazon, though, Kindles make it a little challenging to upload e-books that you didn’t purchase from them. Amazon e-books use the company’s proprietary AZW3 file type, whereas basically everyone else in the world uses EPUB. So, if you want to use a Kindle (they’re affordable and nice, okay) but don’t want to give Amazon any extra money after that purchase, you’d have to buy an e-book, convert it into an AZW3 file (thanks, Calibre), and then email it to a specific address associated with your Kindle device. Only after all that could you read your more-ethically-purchased book on your begrudingly-purchased-from-Amazon Kindle.
Finally, in “late 2022,” we won’t have to take quite as many steps to just read some gosh darn books, according to an update on Amazon’s Help & Customer Service page. With this impending change, we will bask in the luxury of simply emailing ourselves EPUB files, which Amazon will convert into a Kindle-compatible file. Technology is amazing.
Amazon also plans to discontinue the MOBI file type, a final relic from its 2005 acquisition of Mobipocket. Mobipocket’s technology helped Amazon launch the first Kindle two years later, which retailed for a horrifying $399. You could buy a Nintendo Wii for $250 in 2006, for comparison. It was a different time, I suppose.