Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes) // serializing personal essays like it’s TV 🙄

Amazon Original Stories, you had me at The Wedding Setup and you’re losing me at your collections.

Claiming every personal essay in this collection as a “book” feels like cheating — just no, can we not? I still take issue with able-bodied people claiming audiobooks as “reading”, but refer to watching anything on a screen with closed captions as “reading” for jokes. I watch everything on a screen with closed captioning, and I still call it watching because it’s just how my Hard of Hearing self watches screen-based media.

I understand making reading more accessible to those who want a quick bathroom read or bedtime wind-down story. I do. I just am not entirely one of those people. I’d rather consume a wholehearted bedtime story in an anthological collection of one book, not split up. Amazon Original Stories do just that — take what could be a memoir novel or anthology novel and split it up, serializing a book like its TV.

Amazon Prime members get these books for free, so the monetary aspect is not factored into my decision. I’m not perturbed by having to pay $1.99 per installation — but I am perturbed by the rise of short stories published as books, because while they’re substantial for the author’s fans between full-sized novels and help new readers discover authors, short stories and novellas have been used as cop-outs by many authors who only use Amazon to sell their books. Now Amazon has a serialized story setup, Kindle Vella, where authors can release stories via short chapters and stretch on for ages, while earning money. I understand the appeal, but I’m the kind of person who’d rather buy the book whole. Spending $1.99 for a collection of six books is $11.94 — no big — but spending $14.99 for maybe a 50+ episodic story that stretches on simply in the name of serialization is nothing like I imagined the future of reading would be.

Nothing Like I Imagined (Except Sometimes) (#1-6)Nothing Like I Imagined (Except Sometimes) (#1-6) by Mindy Kaling
Narrated by Mindy Kaling
Published by Amazon Original Stories on 6 October, 2020
Genre: Comedy, Memoir, Non-fiction, Personal essays
# pages: 118
Source: Amazon
Rating: ★★★

What if only kind of knowing your family’s heritage is actually kind of lame?

Mindy Kaling never leaves her house, struggles with anxiety, and once dropped nearly $2000 on a celebrity's Christmas dinner in hopes of networking (without realizing it's just pocket change to the massively rich and famous).


  • Totally should’ve been one book.
  • Mindy Kaling has a lot of privilege, and I feel like that should have been mentioned in regard to her ability and luxury of hiring a baby nurse. She’s a celebrity/rich, so of course a hospital catered to her every whim when her baby was born instead of expecting her to take responsibility for her crying baby.
  • I know she’s not revealing anything about her children’s father, and I have two different feels about that:
    1. The obsession with knowing every detail of a woman’s pregnancy decisions is finally being addressed.
    2. If she used a sperm donor, why not just say that? She isn’t even sharing the details with her closest friends and family, and it reminds me of how I once felt about wanting to live a life where people didn’t know things because of potential shame.
  • Mindy Kaling’s whole brand has always been about love, hopeless romanticism and being the center of attention. It was interesting, and somewhat comforting, to learn she has anxiety — but she frequently referred to her daughter like she was an accessory, or an extension of herself. I understand raising a child as a single parent means you get to make all the decisions, but I wished she would be high-key real a lot of the time instead of trying to make more jokes and be “on”. In the autistic community is a common saying: Children grow up and one day read/see/hear the stuff their parents wrote about them.

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