Round up #95: B&N gives YA books with NOOKs, Donald Sobol dies
Author of Encyclopedia Brown dies
Reading is complicated.
Imagine that you had no idea how to read, and had to start from scratch.
Here’s a letter. This letter can represent various sounds.
The letter combines with other letters to make words.
No, this word doesn’t sound like the individual letters…but if it didn’t have all those letters in that order, it wouldn’t be that word.
Those words combine with other words. The word may not mean the same thing when it’s next to that word that it does when it is next to that other word.
Those groups of words eventually combine into sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and books.
That’s just the beginning.
The sentences, paragraphs, chapters and books have both logical meaning and emotional meaning.
With all that work, why even get started?
Reading is fun.
Reading makes you feel good.
Reading improves you.
Learning to read is like building a rocket ship, a time machine, and a mind-reading device all at once.
That doesn’t make it easy, though.
To become a lifelong reader, you need to read something that entertains you, that shows you positive things, and that is at a level where you can enjoy reading it.
Donald J. Sobel’s Encyclopedia Brown books are just that experience for many young readers.
They are short mysteries. As a kid, you can empathize with the “boy detective”, and admire how he is often smarter than the adults. The stories are similar to each other, making them familiar…but they stand alone. You don’t have to worry about which one to read first.
When I was a bookstore manager, you could see a kid joyfully picking up another Encyclopedia Brown book to buy, sometimes with carefully saved allowance money.
After nearly fifty years of making readers out of the world’s children, Donald J. Sobol has passed on at the age of 87.
If you want to read Encyclopedia Brown (or give one to a child to read), you can (but don’t have to) start with the first one on your Kindle:
or, if you want to make sure it’s new, you can pre-order the 28th book in the series (Sobol was still writing this year), due to be published on October 25th of this year:
For other Sobol books, see
By the way, if you go there on your computer, you may notice something I’ve recently been seeing at Amazon: “Shopping-Enabled Wikipedia”. You can click or tap that link and go to the Wikipedia article. The connection between Amazon and Wikipedia is an interesting one, with Wikipedia integration on Kindles and now on the Amazon website.
Get four teen e-books free when you buy a NOOK tablet in a Barnes & Noble
While this blog is called “I Love My Kindle”, that doesn’t mean I don’t like other EBRs (E-Book Readers).
Watching the strategies is fascinating.
I would say that Barnes & Noble leans more, in some ways, toward curating and guiding customers, while Amazon leans more towards unbiased quantity.
That may come from B&N’s experience as a brick-and-mortar. I think many people associate bookstores with knowledgeable experts who you advice about what to buy.
Ironically, I don’t think that’s what the Barnes & Noble chain (or Borders, for that matter) was doing really well.
I may be exaggerating this difference, though…Amazon does give you recommendations. However, I do think Amazon is more about giving you choices than giving you advice.
Barnes & Noble is now (through August 5, 2012) giving you four specific teen e-books when you buy a NOOK tablet in a Barnes & Noble store.
They book the books for you…they aren’t giving you a gift certificate and letting you choose.
Believe it or not, some people like that.
If you are looking to buy a tablet for someone, you might not know which books to pick. If that’s the case, you may be thankful for the expertise of Barnes & Noble in picking the books.
Many, many times, I’ve seen people ask if the Kindle comes with books. I’ve seen people like the idea that some EBRs have come with fifty or a hundred books.
That’s not how I feel about it for me personally. I would have preferred that my Kindle for Amazon didn’t automatically put some public domain classics on my SmartPhone (which it did). Books are a very personal thing to me…I want to pick the ones I have.
I have to admit, though, I wouldn’t have known to pick these ones, although they do seem like popular choices:
- Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz (text-to-speech access is blocked, so I’m not linking…that would also stop me from buying a tablet under this deal)
- Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
- The Enemy by Charlie Higson (TTS access blocked)
- Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
It’s an interesting set…I’m not sure that all four books would typically appeal to the same reader, although of course, many readers are eclectic, like me.
One other thing that really caught my eye about this…it’s only when you buy the NOOK tablets, not the NOOK Simple Touch (with or without Glowlight). That could have to do with the cost, and it could have to do with which line needs more of a boost.
They also are requiring that the purchase be made in a store, not on line. B&N appears to still be committed to getting customers into their stores…
Barnes & Noble introduces NOOK for Web
This is huge news, and I got the news release after I started writing this post.
Barnes & Noble is introducing
It’s similar to Amazon’s Cloud Reader for the web…but honestly, Barnes & Noble is doing a much better launch.
For one thing, their web reader works in
- Internet Explorer
Amazon still hasn’t released the Cloud Reader for IE.
For another, they are giving away six books through July 26th. You need to get to the end of the (free) sample to download it to your library.
The books are
- The Vow by Krickitt and Kim Carpenter
- Perfect Island Getaways from 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (Workman Shorts) by Patricia Schultz
- Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
- Map of Bones: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins
- The Boxcar Children Summer Special: Three Adventures of the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
- Brave Junior Novelization (from the movie) by Irene Trimble
You can read these right now online for free, without even signing into an account.
I tested this on my Kindle Fire. It worked fine…better, in fact, than on my netbook in Chrome. On the netbook, I found I had to go to fullscreen mode. With my Fire, no problem.
Yes, I could pinch and spread to increase the text size. There was information about the book (although they used a small italic “i” to indicate it, which made it look like it was to italicize something).
I haven’t had time to get an in-depth sense of the reading experience, but this is an important development, and I think it is going to appeal to a lot of people.
I had predicted a rise of “web books”, and this will definitely help me get a checkmark on that one.
I don’t see a reason not to get these free books…if you try this out, feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.