Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Back in the day, when I was a just out of college and working as a cub reporter on a newspaper, I wrote a weekly column. It was kind of like this blog, mostly stream of consciousness and oversharing and wildly uneven in terms of quality.

The column was important to me because I loved to write, but it also gave a purpose to life's irritations. Lost a contact? Good for a column. Someone backed into my fender? I could make an amusing anecdote out of it.

I flashed back on those days this morning when I did something so utterly naive that right now I can't believe I'm allowed out and about without a keeper: I responded to an e-mail that sounded too good to be true.

I know! How many times and in how many ways have I told the Boys  "There's no such thing as free," and "A fool and his money are soon parted," and "You won't get something for nothing, especially on the internet"?

Many times, and in every way I could possibly think of.

But this morning when I got the e-mail from The Reading Site, my Spidey senses must have been on break. The pitch seemed legitimate enough--download books, including recent best-sellers, and pay only one subscription price. And today (woohoo!) through a special offer, the subscription price is half off! That sounded great to me, since I love my Barnes&Noble Nook but hate paying for e-books.

You cannot imagine my chagrin as I re-read that last paragraph and realize what a sucker I am. I had a couple of bucks of birthday money, so I signed up for The Reading Site and thereby got access to a whole lot of books in the public domain that are free to download in any number of places, plus links to e-books that can be purchased through major bookstores. Those, of course, are the recent best-sellers, for sale at the same price as at Barnes&Noble but without the advantage of the free cloud storage.

There are two faint silver linings to the giant cloud of despair The Reading Site has put over my day. I used PayPal so my credit card information isn't in danger, and I've now used The Reading Site's name as many times as I can in this post in hopes it will rise to the top of Google searches when people try (as I did) to investigate its legitimacy.

The Reading Site is a scam.

The Reading Site is a scam.

The Reading Site is a scam.

The Reading Site is a scam, and I'm an idiot.

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