Friday, January 13, 2006

Rent Me

Last spring, I won a year's worth of free Netflix, so have been enjoying free rentals for months. I don't take advantage of it as much as I might, mostly because I see so many films in the theater, and own a lot of the older favorites. But it is pretty cool.

But today I realized that as much as I like the Netflix recommendations system, I miss the physical act of browsing through a shelf of DVD boxes.

I cleaned out my DVD cabinet recently and had a small shopping bag of things to get rid of: videos that I'd already upgraded to DVD, a few DVDs I bought, watched, and decided I don't want to own (shelf space is tight), etc. I brought them to the cool independent local video store and exchanged them for store credit - $40 worth.

The guy behind the counter asked if I had an account, because he's new (at least newer than my Netflix account) and didn't recognize me, as the oldtimers might have. It's that kind of neighborhood place. I felt bad that I haven't been in there in a while - but why would I, with the free Netflix?

And then I started browsing and it was refreshing to simply pick up a box and decide, "I want this, and I want it now." And know that I could be home in six minutes watching it. It's a nice change from the way those little red envelopes arrive days after I make my decision. They sit next to the tv until I'm in the same mood that I was when I put them in my queue.


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