Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Round up #277: $3.75 book sale, 75% of parents are gifting e-books to their kids this holiday season

November 30, 2014

Round up #277: $3.75 book sale, 75% of parents are gifting e-books to their kids this holiday season

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Digital Book World: 45 Percent of All Parents Plan to Purchase a New Device for Their Child to Read Ebooks [this holiday season]

Thanks to EBOOK FRIENDLY for the heads up on this!

Digital Book World has released their latest survey, and purchasing both of devices on to which to read e-books and e-books themselves appears to be up this year, based on their survey.

DBW Survey Highlights

It’s not unreasonable to question how objective a site called “Digital Book World” would be on this, but it’s worth noting that they partnered with PlayCollective.

According to the summary, 45% of parents (not legal guardians?) of children aged 2 to 13 plan to buy an e-book reading device (an EBR…E-Book Reader or a tablet, but the latter with the intent of reading books) this holiday season.

That’s up from last year by 4%.

I’ll note two other things, and then encourage you to read that summary…I don’t want to take too much away from it.

First, the most popular device for this is a Kindle (they didn’t break down which kind) at 26%.

Second, a full 75% plan to buy e-books for their kids this year, up 2% from last year.

As they say, “our children are the future”. If kids grow up reading e-books, they’ll very likely want to read them as adults.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that p-books (paperbooks) simply disappear…I expect them to stay around, as vinyl records have.

40 free apps of the day today

Finishing up today is a special Black Friday promotion with 40 apps which normally cost something being available for free today:

40 Free Apps of the Day today (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

There are some good choices here, and as usual, I’ve gotten them all. :) I have them delivered only to the Cloud, unless it’s something I want to start using soon. I figure, why not? Our guest who is here, currently using our

Fire HD 6, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) (on sale right now for $79, normally $99)

has a lot of choices!

I figure, why not get them? If they are stored in the Cloud, they aren’t taking up any room on our devices unless we choose to use one.

A few highlights of the offerings:

  • Bike Race Pro (normally $0.99): 4.6 out of 5 stars, 2761 customer reviews
  • Mind Games Pro ($4.99): 4.4 stars, 1011 reviews
  • Angry Birds Seasons HD ($2.99): 4.3 stars, 304 reviews
  • Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition for Android ($24.00!) 4.4 stars, 29 reviews
  • Shredder Chess ($7.99): 4.7 stars, 14 reviews…supposedly, it plays chess somewhat like a human, making mistakes appropriate to the level you choose for it
  • Perfectly Clear ($2.99): 3.9 stars, 455 reivews…I’ve used this one to improve pictures I’ve previously taken. I find it works quite well

Price drops from price matching

This weekend (certainly through Cyber Monday), look for big price drops on some popular books…which won’t last.

I recommend (at any time, not this time of year) listing books at

eReaderIQ.com

They will give you a free e-mail notification when a book you specify drops an amount you specify.

I often tell people eReaderIQ is the most valuable resource for Kindleers on the web…this is just one of their free services.

Some drops I’ve noticed this weekend…note that they could change any time. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

  • Field of Prey by John Sanford: dropped to $3.75 from $8.99
  • The Collector by Nora Roberts: dropped to $3.75 from $10.49
  • Skin Game: a Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: $3.75 from $11.99

I could keep going!

Hmm…clearly, $3.75 is a price point right now! Here’s a search for books that cost $3.75 in the USA Kindle store right now, sorted by most reviewed:

$3.75 books in the USA Kindle store by most reviewed (at AmazonSmile*)

Yep, that did it!

Wow!

Don’t wait on these, and don’t forget that they can make great gifts! You can delay a gift book to be delivered at the date of your choosing, and the recipient does not need a Kindle to read them (there are a lot of free Kindle reading apps). If they already have the book, they can get a gift card for the value instead, so there is really no risk.

Some of the ones I see: The Invention of Wings; Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander); Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King; The Silk Worm (J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith…this is the new one)…you want new popular books on sale, time’s a’wastin’! ;)

The Echo is learning

Some people who have gotten the Amazon Echo (no invitation for me yet) seem to be judging it as though it was as good as it was ever going to get. I even saw somebody say that “like most technology”, it was going to be obsolete as soon as you got it.

The Echo (ILMK Echo posts category) is not a self-enclosed device. When you bought a videogame console years ago, and you bought games for it, well, that was about it…no updates, it was what it was. To get a better experience, you would eventually have to buy another machine.

Kindles, on the other hand, are update pretty often (until they are out of the “front list” of current ones being sold, at least). Those are operating system upgrades, and they may bring us new features and better performance.

The Echo, though, can grow in a way different from either of those.

Most of what happens on the Echo happens in the Cloud…not in your house.

Right now, the Echo “hive mind” is learning from what someone is doing with the device.

I’ve seen anecdotal reports already of something not working at first, then reporting it, and then having it work. One example was a band with a quirky spelling to the name (two words smashed together…and I think there was a number in there, too). Two people reported Echo not understanding it…then, it did!

Another example is that, according to the help pages, you ask it for a “Flash Briefing” to get the local weather and the news. Now, apparently, you can get the same thing just by saying, “Alexa, news”.

Oh, “Alexa”, by the way, is the name of a company Amazon bought about 15 years ago. You can currently change the “listening prompt” to “Amazon”, and they are working are more prompts. Eventually, you may be able to choose your own.

My point about this updating that’s happening is that it happens in the Cloud…not on your device.

If you have an Echo, please keep reporting how it works. I’ve been told you can say, “Alexa, that was wrong” to flag the question and response for review.

It also appears to be getting a lot of joke responses as people say things like, “Alexa, beam me up” or “Open the pod bay doors”. My intuition here is those are also being improved regularly.

Essentially, Alexa is what used to be called a “dumb terminal” for the most part. Its music playing hardware  is one thing, but the conversational skills are handled at Amazon…so those can be updated on the hardware you have.

Eventually, there will be newer models with more capabilities, including perhaps faster response times (although it seems pretty fast now), but I wouldn’t worry about yours becoming quickly out of date.

Both my Significant Other and my now adult kid are creeped about by the idea of the Echo, and my kid doesn’t even want to be in the same house as one. :) I said that was going to be inevitable, but hopefully, I get an invitation and get one after this visit is over, so we don’t have that issue. Otherwise, I suppose I can unplug it while my kid is in the house.

My Fire TV Stick is here!

While I was writing this, my

Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

arrived! I took a quick break to set it up…that was basically plugging it into the power and the HDMI outlet on our TV (we just bought a new TV today…we had one that was at least ten years old as our main TV. I would have waited until the holidays, but we saw an Element ((that’s a brand I like)) at a great price at Target: under $150 for 32″).

I just had to give it our network password, and it’s downloading the latest updates now!

I’ll write a review of it soon. With our kid here, my writing time has been a bit curtailed (family first), but hopefully, in the next few days.

I want to get this out now, so people don’t miss the $3.75 price on the books and the free apps!

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

The 10 most reviewed Young Adult Kindle titles on Amazon.com

November 23, 2014

The 10 most reviewed Young Adult titles on Amazon.com

The first of the two movies adapting the last of the Hunger Games novels by Suzanne Collins looks like it will have the biggest opening of the year so far:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 at IMDb

I thought I’d take a look at what are the most reviewed Young Adult titles in the Kindle store at Amazon.com.

I like using the “most reviewed” sort…it tends to give me books which have had a significant impact (although I think it is skewed towards more recent books…people don’t tend to write a review of a book they read decades ago, even if they loved it). “Bestselling” is much more volatile.

I’ll say first, you might be surprised at what is categorized as Young Adult. I believe Amazon doesn’t do that, that the publisher does (I know that’s true with independently published books using Amazons Kindle Direct Publishing). Publishers often do it for marketing reasons (I’ve seen the same book categorized as fiction and non-fiction), and with Young Adult being such a hot category right now, they may define something as that largely to help the sales.

Okay, let’s take a look:

#1: The Two Towers
by J.R.R. Tolkien
book 2 of the Lord of the Rings trilogy
4.6 out of 5 stars
6,431 customer reviews at the time of writing
Available through Kindle Unlimited (KU)

#2: The Two Return of the King
by J.R.R. Tolkien
book 3 of the Lord of the Rings trilogy
4.6 out of 5 stars
6,431 customer reviews at the time of writing
Available through Kindle Unlimited (KU)

Hm…the exact same number of reviews and rankings suggests that they are perhaps consolidating the reviews of LotR (Lord of the Rings).

#3 The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
4.5 stars
6,263 reviews
Not KU

#4 The Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
4.3 stars
5,887 reviews
KU

#5 The Host
by Stephenie Meyer
book 1 in The Host series
4.4 stars
5,570 reviews
not KU

#6 Animal Farm
by George Orwell
4.5 stars
5,282 reviews
KU

#7 The Divergent Series complete collection
by Veronica Roth
4.3 stars
5,142 reviews
not KU

#8 The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
book 1 in the Maze Runner series
4.3 stars
4,739 reviews
not KU

#9 If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
book 1 in the If I Stay series
4.2 stars
4,459 reviews
not KU

#10 Ready Player Run
by Ernest Cline
4.6 stars
4,084 reviews

Interesting!

I’ve read The Lord of Rings, the Life of Pi, and Animal Form…I’m impressed with a forty  percent  match up.

Also, many of them have had movies released fairly recently. I’m sure that has an impact on sales.

Again, I like the results I’m getting by adding this

&sort=review-count-rank

to the end of the URL (Uniform or Universal Resource Locator…website address) at the top of the screen. The books are generally ones I recognize. :)

If you want to see more Young Adult books here is the search I did:

Most reviewed Young Adult books in USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

There are 92,447 books in that category at the time of writing…I’m sure you can find something. ;) Oh, and 34,234 of them are available through Kindle Unlimited.

What do you think? Are there any books here you would not consider to be Young Adult? Should publishers get to pick categories for marketing reasons, or should there be some objective judgement? What’s your favorite Young Adult title I didn’t mention? What was your age range when you were reading Young Adult books (I still read them now)? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Young Adult books dominate 2014

September 22, 2014

Young Adult books dominate 2014

There used to be a lot of concern expressed that young people didn’t read as, say, Baby Boomers did.

Well, it certainly seems like that has turned around!

Amazon lists the

Bestselling USA Kindle store books of 2014 (so far) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The top tier of that list is dominated by Young Adult books.

Of course, a reasonable argument could be made that maybe it is boomers who are reading these books, and not really young people.

My guess is that it is both…but that young people really are reading more than they did ten years ago.

In part, I credit e-books with that.

One thing is the convenience, sure. Young people are probably more comfortable reading on phones (although the phone screens are getting bigger).

I think another thing may be the way that you don’t have to broadcast what you  are reading…or even that you are reading.

I don’t think I ever hid what I read…but I took some teasing for all the reading I did (it was certainly worth it). ;)

With a tablet or a phone, you could be doing something more “socially acceptable”, and no one would know.

I would hope that, perhaps, reading itself is becoming more socially  acceptable  in tweens and teens…and again, that would be my guess.

Anecdotally, I see young people referencing books.

It may not hurt that a lot of the Young Adult books are also being made into movies, but I don’t think that’s all of it.

Books may sometimes give the island of solitude to which “always connected” people may want to vacation…even if it’s a brief stopover. ;)

Here are the top 20:

Rank Title Author YA? Reviews Stars Movie/TV?
1 The Fault in Our Stars Green Y 31,153 4.7 Y
2 Divergent Roth Y 17,990 4.5 Y
3 The Goldfinch Tartt N 16,064 3.7 N
4 Insurgent Roth Y 11,285 4.5 N
5 Allegiant Roth Y 14,111 3.4 N
6 The Husband’s Secret Moriarty N 11,679 4.3 N
7 Gone Girl Flynn N 22,846 3.8 Y
8 If I Stay Forman Y 3,439 4.2 Y
9 Orphan Train Kline N 9,875 4.6 N
10 The Fixed Trilogy Paige N 4,157 4.6 N
11 The Divergent Series Roth Y 4,598 4.3 Y
12 Sycamore Row Grisham N 14,077 4.5 N
13 The Target Baldacci N 3,276 4.3 N
14 The Rosie Project Simsion N 5,426 4.5 N
15 Outlander Gabaldon N 6,633 4.5 Y
16 Top Secret Twenty-One Evanovich N 2,824 4.3 N
17 The Book Thief Zusak Y 14,016 4.6 Y
18 Unlucky 13 Patterson N 2,584 4.4 N
19 The Maze Runner Dashner Y 3,932 4.3 Y
20 The Invention of Wings Kidd N 6,332 4.6 N

Eight of the top twenty are Young Adult (as I interpret the publisher’s classifications which appear on the book’s Amaozn product page).

That’s not the majority…but Amazon lists 78,844 teen and Young Adult books out of 2,864,659 total at time of writing. That’s only about three percent of the total, so if there was an even distribution, we would expect Young Adult books to be maybe one of the top twenty.

When we look at the rankings, it’s even more obvious. Lower is better when it comes to rankings (being #1 is better than being #20), and the YA titles have an average of 8.4 while the non-YAs have an average of 12.

Let’s say we cut it down to just the top five. In that case, four out of five are YA.

I think that we’ll see a significant change in Kindle bestseller rankings next year, thanks to

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

My guess is that KU (Amazon’s subser…subscription service) is going to noticeably change the market share for Kindle store bestsellers. Maybe not the New York Times bestseller lists (where physical books will still have the biggest impact), but USA Kindle store? Yes, I think that’s likely.

What do you think? Are young people reading more? Could it be that the relative numbers have shifted because older people are perhaps reading less? If we took away the impact of movies on e-b0ok sales, would that cause a big shift? Do you cross the classification boundaries to read Young Adult books when you don’t fall into that demographic? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Amazon introduces KDP Kids and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

September 4, 2014

Amazon introduces KDP Kids and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator

I remember when people would argue that children’s (pre-teen) books were always going to be better on paper than in e-book form.

Certainly, tactile input processing is different in children than in adults.

When you look at the Kindle store book bestsellers (as I often do), you don’t see that many books for kids at the top (although it does happen).

Well, looks like Amazon would like to change that.

In this

press release

Amazon announces a new book publishing venture…KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for Kids:

https://kdp.amazon.com/kids

There have pretty much always been independently published kids books in the Kindle store (since it’s been open), but this is something different.

It gives you the tools to make digital pop ups…and apparently, quite easily, based on the blurbs they have.

Of course, the market for fancy illustrated books is really for the

Kindle Fire (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

rather than the non-Fire Kindles…when you are talking illustrations (and animations) there is no comparison.

However, this publishing will also let people put age and grade levels on their books, which will help even if it is more text-based.

I’m a bit curious about that: can anybody just pick whatever they want?

Age and grade levels can be very tricky.

When our now adult kid was, oh, six or so, they were reading at a much higher level. The school librarian gave our kid a Goosebumps book…nightmare city! The reading level was more appropriate, but the material wasn’t. That’s what I mean by it being tricky.

There are 163,828 children’s books in the USA Kindle store right now…I suspect we may see that grow pretty rapidly.

I have no question that this is a plus for the authors. I think it will also be a plus for the readers…and since this is part of KDP, it ought to bump up the options for kids using

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is Amazon’s $9.99 “all you can read” subser (subscription service).

If Amazon isn’t figuring out a simple way to gift memberships in KU for the holidays, they will really be missing a chance.

This may also sell more Kindle Fires, and possibly the

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and even the

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

There is a Kindle app for the former and not for the latter…but you could mirror a Kindle Fire to a Fire TV, and they may work out an app for books.

Would you read a book on a TV?

I could certainly see reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or a Dr. Seuss book to a room full of kids!

I don’t think the people at Amazon are anti-p-book (paperbook), but it’s better for their business model to promote e-books. P-book distribution is still largely under the control of tradpubs (traditional publishers) and brick and mortar stores, although e-tailing is probably moving up (and will move up more in a hurry if Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million collapse).

If your kid is reading color, slightly animated e-books on a Kindle Fire through Kindle Unlimited, it really commits you much more deeply to Amazon.

Then, maybe you become a Prime member (free month with that Kindle Fire…free year with that Fire phone). Once you’ve done that, you start buying the higher margin physical items from Amazon (or third parties fulfilled through Amazon) and the big A can start making a profit…without raising e-book prices all that much.

They haven’t been raising the e-book prices generally…except for the New York Times bestseller hardback equivalents, which have shot up an extraordinary amount this year, based on my Snapshots.

Let me ask this, though: do you still have p-books you got as a child? I do. I think a lot of people do…cherished (often “well-used”) parts of youth. That won’t quite be the same with digital kids’ books. ;)

What do you think? Have you always had an idea for a kids’ book…and now you think you might be able to do it? Is there anything that worries you about this? For example, could people with fringe or anti-social ideas use this to reach children? Publishers get to choose their own categories…would someone publish the Kama Sutra (maybe with teddy bears) through KDP Kids? If you could easily gift KU to a kid this holiday season, do you think you would do that? Do books like this pose any threat to the continuance of the non-Fire Kindles? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

Round up #264: monkeying around with the Fire Phone, the 11th book

August 17, 2014

Round up #264: monkeying around with the Fire Phone, the 11th book

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

The 11th book

People talk about the “tenth man” in baseball (that means the fans in the stands, who, in addition to the nine players on the field at a time are believed to influence the outcome of the game).

Well, I’ve run into an interesting situation with the “eleventh book”. ;)

I’ve mentioned before, and other readers have brought it up, that since I’ve joined Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s “all you can read” subser (subscription service), I haven’t been able to borrow a book through the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library). That’s part of my benefits as an eligible Prime member with a hardware Kindle.

I had been borrowing a book every month (that’s the maximum…one a calendar month), and I’ve come to think of it as one of the reasons we have Prime in my family…although certainly not the most important. The “no additional cost” two-day shipping is the main reason, and I use Prime video quite a bit. Prime music is fun, but I haven’t integrated it into my routines yet.

I checked with Amazon, and I published how they told me it should work here:

Kindle Unlimited: how does it affect authors, and what’s the deal with the KOLL?

It just wasn’t working that way for me: even when I was eligible to borrow a book from the KOLL, I wasn’t being given the option to do so on

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Well, one of my contacts at Amazon suggested I check with Kindle Support: so I used Mayday on my Kindle Fire, and that person knew the answer right away!

When a book is in both the KOLL and KU (there are more books in KU than the KOLL, but just about all the KOLL books are part of KU), and you are a KU member and eligible for the KOLL, it will default to KU…unless you already have the maximum ten books (at a time) out from KU.

Hey…I just tested this by borrowing ten books from KU…and my options didn’t change! I still can’t borrow a book from the KOLL.

I’ll follow up with Amazon: false alarm. :(

I can at least report that when you have ten books borrowed from KU and try to borrow one more, it will offer to return the one you borrowed the longest time ago…or let you pick another one.

Update: I just spent, oh, half an hour or so with Mayday on this. I was passed from my first rep to another one, who then consulted extensively with another person. The best they can tell me at this point is that they are aware of the issue, and they’ll follow up with me when it is solved.

Bookstore sales fall 7.9%

According to this

Publishers Weekly article

the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that bookstore sales are down 7.9% year over year for the first half of 2014.

That’s a huge amount for an industry without a lot of margin (I used to be a brick-and-mortar bookstore manager).

My guess is that there are some small stores doing quite well, and even growing, and that we are seeing this impact mostly from large or “undifferentiated” stores…ones without a specific “personality”.

I think it’s likely that more books are actually being read, thanks to e-books, but physical bookstores have to be destination stores to survive. You have to make people care about you enough that they will willingly pay more money than they would have paid online just to support you. That is entirely doable, but it does take focus and effort.

Entertaining a kid on BART

My Significant Other and I went to see a San Francisco Giants game today (a rare treat…my parents took us). On the way home on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit…that’s sort of our subway system around here), there was a fussy three-year old.

I always keep apps on my Kindle Fire specifically to entertain kids. :) After clearly gaining permission, I let the kid play with

Fingerpaint Magic (at Amazon Smile*)

That went well…we had a smiling and laughing kid in a short period of time. My SO also pointed out that this three-year old figured out how to start a new drawing, and select a background…much sooner than my SO would have. ;)

After a while, we switched to

Monkey Buddy (at AmazonSmile*)

a free app on my

Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s an interactive animal…you can think sort of like a Tamagotchi.

It reacts to what you do…stroke the ears, for example, and it gets happy.

It will also take a picture of you when you tap a camera…and then draw on the picture (putting glasses on you, for example), and then discards it (the picture is not saved).

Although a three-year old won’t discover this right away (and this was a bright kid), it will also react to your head movements. Nod your head “yes”, and it gets happy, recognizing it as approval. Shake your head “no”, and it gets sad. It also gets sad if it can’t see you.

I do want to mention something about using the Fire Phone. When I try to demonstrate the dynamic perspective (which I can “dy-per”, just for fun), I will tell someone to move their head to look at the phone to see the effect.

Most people stare steadily at the phone without moving their heads…even after I say it.

I have to point out that it is like you are trying to peek into the side of the phone.

Before the Fire Phone, I hadn’t noticed how rigidly people hold their heads when looking at a phone, but I guess that makes sense with most phones.

51% of kindergarteners through 5th graders prefer to read on a screen over paper

This

EBOOK FRIENDLY article by Ola Kowalczyk

has some interesting facts in an infographic from a survey by TeachHub.com.

The one I’ll point out is preferred reading medium.

37% prefer reading on a tablet (the infographic includes “Kindles” in that, and I would think not just the Kindle Fires), 35% prefer paper, and 14% prefer a computer. 12% preferred someone else reading to them (I’m going to guess they weren’t thinking text-to-speech, but a human being).

That’s extraordinary, and important.

Little kids’ books lagged behind adult and young adult titles in getting into the e-book market. Part of that was they waited for the technology: color, for one thing.

If screens are now the preferred method, bookstore sales may drop a lot more than 7.9% in a few years…

I think we’ll see an impact on the “books as gifts” market this holiday…Amazon should promote very strongly giving Kindle Unlimited (maybe for three months) as a gift this holiday! Not sure exactly the mechanism for that, but we serious readers know how intimidated other people can be in trying to pick out specific books for us. Netflix gifts have been a significant thing for a while: subscriptions to subsers (subscription services) for e-books could be really big.

What do you think? Why do so many kids like to read on computers (that surprised me)? Is it because those kids don’t have “tablets”, perhaps? Are there books that you prefer to read on a computer? Would you let your kid play with a stranger’s phone/tablet/Kindle? Do you keep things with you to entertain kids? Would you give KU as a gift? Are bookstores on the way out, or is it only certain bookstores? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Does high school unmake readers?

August 7, 2014

Does high school unmake readers?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a voracious, insatiable learner.

A really key part of that is reading. You learn, even when you are “reading for fun”. When talking to other people, I have to monitor my language and references, if I want to really communicate with them. Not everyone will understand relating taking a work assignment to the Charge of the Light Brigade, for example.

You would think, then, that I would have loved high school. After all, that’s supposed to be about learning, right?

Certainly, there were parts of it I did love. I had a couple of great teachers. In particular, I was lucky to be able to take a science fiction class with a wonderful teacher.

I remember, though, having an epiphany.

I had noticed (with dismay) that my reading speed had slowed. It hit me as to a possible reason.

In reading for school, they were taking the fun out of it. They were wanting me to constantly analyze what I was reading.

In addition, there was a lot of rote memorization, and not as much about connections. We learned history, to some extent, by learning dates and names, not motivations and relationships.

I believed then (and still do now) that that approach was making me a less effective reader.

Thanks to

EBOOK FRIENDLY

for the heads up on this

Common Sense Media reporton Children, Teens, and Reading

which, unfortunately, confirms that many fewer kids report reading for fun at age 17 than do at age 13.

The report covers a lot of topics, but here’s a statistic that may suggest that school degrades reading for fun: 53% of nine-year olds report reading for fun every day, while only 19% of seventeen-year olds do.

In testing my hypothesis, though, I have to point out that the drop is even greater going from nine to thirteen years old than it is for going from thirteen to seventeen.

So, it might not be just high school…but reading in school generally. :)

Of course, I could just be conflating two things…maybe it’s not the school, maybe it is other factors. Perhaps kids are more social by age seventeen, and may have less time for essentially solitary pursuits. Maybe a significant portion of seventeen-year olds work, or have after school activities.

While I don’t want to take too much away from the report and I do recommend that you read it (and/or look at the infographic, also at the site linked above), I want to mention one more thing.

In 1984, 9% of seventeen-year olds say that they “never” or “hardly ever” read. That number is up to 27% today.

I’m going to have to think about that, to come up with ways that it is a positive. I almost always can find more of a positive than a negative, and I can almost always find both.

Right offhand, though, I can’t think of much that I believe is more valuable than reading…

What do you think? Could the reporting be incorrect in some way…perhaps kids today are more likely to downplay their reading, an misrepresent it on a survey? Could kids be defining reading in a different way? Is it a case of opportunity? In that case, will e-books reverse the trend? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Round up #259: read to your kids, Prince of Tides

June 25, 2014

Round up #259: read to your kids, Prince of Tides

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

KDD: Prince of Tides

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is

The Prince of Tides (at AmazonSmile)
by Pat Conroy
4.5 stars out of 5, 501 customer reviews
$1.99 at time of writing

Very successful and made into a movie, this is a good one for your guest Kindle, or just for a read for you. :) It’s almost thirty years old at this point: I’m sure some people wonder why a “classic” like this isn’t available legally free on line. ;)

Supreme Court rules against Aereo

According to this

The Guardian article by Dominic Rushe

and other sources (I have the TV on in the other room while I write this, so I can listen to CNN), the Supreme Court has just ruled against “rebroadcaster” Aereo.

This is a copyright issue at heart, and I think a lot of people generally expect those to go in the direction of more access in the future…but this one didn’t.

For example, my guess is that it is legal to digitize a p-book (paperbook) you own to turn in into a digital file for your own use (sort of like using a DVR to record a broadcast program), but to my knowledge, that has not been established. I’ve been thinking that it will be solidly established at some point, and nobody is hunting anybody down at this point, but it hasn’t happened yet.

This is a bit different, though, because Aereo is a commercial enterprise.

Aereo uses antennae to pick up over the air signals, and then stream them to subscribers.

They argued that they were an antennae company, not a streaming company…at least, that’s my understanding. Picking up the signals by antenna is legal, of course: it’s the way they got to consumers that was in question.

This could impact literary content, at some point, as hardware becomes more capable of digitizing things. That ability will be one of things I test early on my Amazon Fire Phone (at AmazonSmile)…on something in the public domain.

13 single issues of magazines, $0.99 each

I do read magazines on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

both from the Kindle store, and from Zinio.

I often mention the roughly ten thousand paperbooks I have on shelves in  our home…but I also have quite a few old magazines.

Many years ago, there was a store going out of business (I think) in my town, and I bought a wooden magazine shelf…I think I paid $5 for it.

I’m sure we’ve paid more than that in gas hauling it around when we’ve moved over the years. ;)

It’s about a person tall and a couple of people wide, and has a lot of horizontal slots…you can put maybe ten issues of a magazine in one, and still see the top one to see what title it is.

My intuition, though, is that some people haven’t even tried magazines on their Kindle Fires.

One reason for that is that the experience on a non-Fire Kindle just didn’t approach that of paper.

For me, the Fire’s experience of reading a glossy magazine often exceeds paper.

Yes, one reason is the “digital extras” you may get. I’ve been an

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (at AmazonSmile)

for a very long time. I’m not usually big on watching the trailers they include, but I do listen to song samples sometimes. They also may include a video interview, and that can be quite an enhancement.

Pictures look great, and while not all magazines give you the text + pictures mode of

National Geographic (at AmazonSmile)

I’ve been able to zoom photos and have used that to show off the Fire’s screen. On the HDX, you can triple tap pretty much any screen (not videos) to magnify it, then use two fingers together to drag it around.

Why don’t more people read magazines on their Fires?

While you can get a 14-day free trial (or thirty day, in some cases), those renew automatically…and I think it concerns people. A year-long subscription is a lot more than most people pay for an e-book.

Amazon is having a

Ninety-nine cent single issue sale (at AmazonSmile)

for one week only.

I’ve bought a couple of single issues of magazines and newspapers from the Kindle store over the years. There was something specific in them that I wanted, but I didn’t really want a subscription.

Well, if you want to try out reading a magazine without worrying about a renewal, you may want to get one of these during the sale:

  • Eating Well
  • More
  • Do it Yourself
  • Family Circle
  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Every Day with Rachel Ray
  • Fitness
  • Traditional Home
  • allrecipes
  • FamilyFun
  • Midwest Living
  • Parents
  • Wood – by Better Homes & Gardens (um…it may be a good thing they included the subtitle…) ;)

Michael Hart, The Grandfather of E-Books

This is a nice

Bidness Etc. article by Zoe Jacobson

about Michael Hart, who created Project Gutenberg…which is the reason we have so many free classics legally available to us today.

The article also talks about e-books generally.

I recommend it, although you may need to sign-up to be able to read the whole thing.

AAP recommends reading to your child

I used to work for The American Academy of Pediatrics, so I should mention that first.

According to this

NPR piece with Audie Cornish…transcript and audio

the AAP is specifically recommending reading to children, even infants, every day.

Absolutely.

Not every adult serious reader was read to as a child, but many of us were…and I do think it matters.

They are talking about linguistic development for one thing. Let me give you some of my thoughts on that part of it.

When we read we use many words we might not otherwise use…it’s why so many of us appear to be British when we write, when we may never have been there. ;)

Also, when we read to a child, we are speaking steadily for a period of time. The focus is on words: the words on the page for us, but the words in our mouths for the child. How many people have a “conversation” with a pre-verbal child that lasts as long as

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (at AmazonSmile)

With older children, you are really modeling the act of reading, in addition to other positive elements. When you see the adults in your life reading as, say, a five-year old, you want to read, too. One great thing is that when kids are trying to establish themselves as separate from their intellectual guardians, I don’t think they tend to do that by becoming non-readers…they just read different things. Once you are a reader, you tend to stay a reader, I believe. Reading is like interacting with another person…just time delayed. ;) Not very many people stop talking to other people…

What do you think? Is digitizing a book for your own use legal? Do you read magazines on a tablet…or perhaps on an non-Fire Kindle? Do you haul old issues of magazines around with you from house to house…and if so, do you ever pull them out and read them again (I do)? Were you the first serious reader in your family? If so, what got you started? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

Get 300 Amazon Coins for browsing Summer Reading for Kids

May 20, 2014

Get 300 Amazon Coins for browsing Summer Reading for Kids

I think this one is clever, although I certainly expect to encounter some push back to it.

Amazon has a

Summer Reading (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

store.

It’s further divided into

  • Summer Reading for Kids (2,364) (at time of writing)
  • Summer Reading for Teens & Young Adults (1,114)
  • Summer Reading for Adults (1,878)

and has a lot more discovery options besides those age-based ones.

Well, if you click on a book featured in the Summer Reading for Kids section (you don’t have to buy it…just click on it), you’ll get $3 in AmazonCoins (you can only do this once per customer…in case you had dreams of a clicking frenzy). ;)

My guess is that there may be some criticism from people who think that apps are likely to distract children from reading, so they may see this as hypocritical (since the coins are used to buy apps or make in-app purchases).

However, that is a perhaps…shallow understanding of apps.

That’s like saying that “all books are good for you”. Oh, wait…I do think that one’s true. ;)

It would be like saying all comic books are for children. A medium, while it may influence the content, does not define it.

There are, for example, over 1,500

Children’s Book Apps (at AmazonSmile)

in the Amazon Appstore…some of those might actually encourage someone to do more reading.

Regardless, this is a low cost way to get $3 worth of coins. :)

New! Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Round up #234: kids read e-books, “bigger than Kindle”

January 16, 2014

Round up #234: kids read e-books, “bigger than Kindle”

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Census Bureau: bookstore sales drop 1.7%

The Census Bureau regularly releases sales figures, and the numbers are out for the first 11 months of 2013 versus the first 11 months of 2012.

http://www.census.gov/retail/index.html

The bookstore figure went down from $11,913,000,000 to $11,707,000,000 (I think I’m doing those zeroes right)…down about 1.7%.

For retail stores, where the margin may not be that big to begin with, that’s a big drop.

It’s also important to note that Barnes & Noble, for example, cited considerable growth in some non-book items in its holiday report. It’s likely that traditionally published paperbooks (p-books) being sold in bookstores saw a considerably bigger drop in 2013. I think we’ll see that accelerate in 2014…especially if we can get unit numbers. I expect the price of paperbooks to generally climb in 2014.

General retail, by the way, was rising during the same period…

Two thirds of children now read e-books

Here is one likely contributor to a reduction in bookstore sales.

According to this

Digital Book World post by Jeremy Greenfield

2/3rds of children who are readers read e-books. Now, that doesn’t mean that they read them exclusively, but it is up from 54% last year.

Looking at the figures broken out by age group, the younger the child, the more likely they are to read e-books at least once a day, with the two to five year old group at 50%.

Now, a two- year old isn’t going to be actually reading the book…at that age, they’d be more likely to be using board books in the physical world, and perhaps importantly, interactive books on tablets.

Still, the trend that the younger the child, the more e-books, bodes ill for bookstores in the future.

Children’s books are a very important part of the revenue stream for most brick-and-mortar bookstores (I speak as a former manager). They are often given as gifts, and people will pay more for them (although they may also cost more to produce for the publisher).

Class action suit against Barnes & Noble

Are you a Barnes & Noble stockholder? You may want to get involved in a class action suit against the bookseller:

press release

Here is a short excerpt of the release:

“The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Barnes & Noble issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance and future business prospects.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose: (1) Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book reader sales had dramatically declined; (2) the Company would shutter its Nook manufacturing operations altogether; (3) the carrying value of the Nook assets were impaired by millions of dollars; (4) the carrying value of the Nook inventory was overstated by $133 million; (5) the Company was expecting fiscal 2014 retail losses in the high single digits; (6) Barnes & Noble had over-accrued certain accounts receivables; (7) Barnes & Noble was unable to provide timely audited financial results for fiscal 2013; and (8) the Company might be forced to restate its previously reported financial results.”

As I’ve mentioned before, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has been looking into Barnes & Noble.

None of that is good for them…

In related news, I keep seeing people asking when they’ll get the money from the successfully settled class action suit against the publishers. I also hear people complaining that it’s been repeatedly been pushed back.

Here is Amazon’s

Judge Denise Cote approved the settlement on December 6th. There was a thirty-day period after that, and then there is some essentially administrative time for companies to get the payments together:

My guess? Early February, from Amazon…

Amazon working on something “bigger than Kindle”?

Well, here is an intriguing

Engadget post by Jon Fingas

It has what appears to be a fascinating invitation from Amazon’s “Kindle New Initiative” team to an event which was scheduled for December 30th.

In it, they say they are working on a new product that will be “…bigger than Kindle”.

Obviously, there isn’t a lot of information in the invitation, but it does say it is a product, not a service…and the host does have “Kindle” in the title.

What could it be?

It might not be that hard to have something that has bigger sales than the Kindle, but it would be harder to have something that was more disruptive to an industry or more noted by the media.

Sure, it could be a phone…but would that be bigger news? Maybe if it was 3-D (which has been rumored).

Could it be a TV gadget? Yes, that could fit the bill. The Google Chromecast has already outsold the Kindles…at Amazon. If they could do something that disrupted network TV delivery, that would be big enough to be considered bigger than the Kindle. A lot more people watch TV than read books.

The big money in an industry to change would be videogames, but I would guess that is less likely.

Connected home?

Kindle car?

I’ve joked about some of those.

I just tried to look a little bit more into “Kindle New Initiatives”. One thing: apparently, December 30th was a mistake…they meant January 30th. That, or they are working on time travel. ;)

I will tell you this: I didn’t get an invitation…yet. :) My adult kid does live in the Boston area, Amazon, if that makes it any easier. ;)

What do you think? What, if anything, could reverse the slide in bookstore revenue? Are interactive e-books the new board books? What could Amazon be working on? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle.

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Round up #226: E-book settlement, B&N investigation

December 11, 2013

Round up #226: E-book settlement, B&N investigation

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Kindle Fire update in “the coming weeks”

In this

press release

Amazon announces an update coming to the Kindle Fires “… just in time for the holidays”. Of course, they don’t say which holidays. ;)

The PR focuses on some important and interesting changes to Kindle FreeTime, which helps guardians set limits on the use of the tablet. One interesting one is the ability to require a certain amount of “educational” use before you can use it for “entertainment”.

As a trainer, I can tell you that you really can’t have much education without entertainment, but that’s another discussion. ;) I’ve asked people to remember back when they were in elementary school: very few of them recall sitting in the classroom…most of them first remember playing with their friends. Kudos to their teachers if their now adult students do think of that first!

While this is great in and of itself (and they promise more improvements after that for FreeTime), I’m also excited because it’s quite possible (knock virtual wood) that the upgrade will contain bug fixes. As I’ve mentioned (and others have also said they have this issue), my wi-fi won’t stay connected since the last upgrade (Amazon is aware of the problem). I have to toggle Airplane Mode on and off many times a day…virtual fingers crossed that this upgrade might address that as well.

ITYS*: raptors will attack PrimeAircraft

When I wrote about Amazon’s PrimeAir reveal (delivery by small “octocopters”), I said:

“Certainly, dogs would pose a risk, as might bird strikes (perhaps even intentional ones, in the case of a raptor), but I’m not convinced it would be inherently more risky.”

I was pleased to see that this

Slate article by Nicholas Lund

not only agrees with me on the bird risk, but has video to prove it!

Also on the “drone” front (I don’t consider artificially intelligent craft to be “drones”, but I know many people define them as simply craft without humans on board…whether they have remote pilots or not), I saw this news today, and later saw a comment from one of my readers about it:

CNN article by Ann Cabrera

A town called Deer Trail in Colorado is going to vote (it was postponed) on a law allowing residents to shoot down drones.

Quite simply, I’m horrified. :( Even though this is aimed (so to speak) at government drones, there is no question that it would result in commercial drones being shot down as well (and kids’ toys, for that matter). I’m thinking that there would be a lot of mistaken identity (possibly even resulting in bird deaths), even though the bounty (really!) is higher on a complete drone with government markings.

Sure, shoot down the drone delivering a shut-in’s medicine, or the book a poor child saved up for six months to buy. Sure, those are “slippery slope” examples…even just the destruction itself makes me unhappy. This is specifically designed to destroy other people’s property…I think that puts it in a different category than a lot of other questions people might see as related.

On a lighter note…

Amazon Rockets parody on YouTube

My favorite clock is a Kindle

This seems a bit bizarre, but they gave us a new (free) clock app with the last Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers upgrade. Yes, it appears to have caused the wi-fi glitch I mention above, but there were a lot of good things about it. This app is one of them.

I’ve mentioned before that I have some color vision deficiency, and my understanding is that connected to that, I have superior night vision. Any light in a room (or the room next door, or down the hall…) can bother me at night.

We also got a used bedroom set. It’s nice, but it was hard to conveniently plug in a clock, just because of the design.

Well, the clock app on the Fire solves both of those problems. It has a “Nightstand” mode, which has the time (and a postmodern clock design…that one takes some getting used to, but I don’t typically use analog clocks anyway) in red. With the brightness turned down all the way, it’s been the most pleasant clock. I was also a bit worried about running it not plugged in, but it consistently takes about 50% of the charge over night (it hasn’t taken more than fifty). Again, I have the brightness turned down all the way (a big battery charge life saver), and the wi-fi off.

If I wake up in the middle of the night (we have a new dog…yes, in bed with us, so it happens), I can see the time without it seeming too bright.

Oh, while I’m talking about apps for the Fire, let me also mention

This is a goofy free app, but might be great for a little holiday fun. You can use video backgrounds, characters, and objects they supply…or you can add your  own pictures. Then, you animate them in a very simple way and do a voiceover. I found it to be easy to use…for example, the character will automatically flip to face the other direction, depending on how you move. They have licensed images from Pacific Rim. You can share your videos publicly, but that’s up to you.

State e-book settlements approved…pay-outs coming in 2014

According to this

Publishers Weekly article by Andrew Albanese

my favorite Federal judge (what…you have one, right? ;) ), Denise Cote, has approved the pay-out plan for the settlements between the States Attorneys General and Macmillan and Penguin (which completes the group).

That was on December 6th, and then there is a thirty day period, and then a bit of time after that…I’d say those of us getting pay-outs will see them…oh, by early February. Amazon told us before that they will show up as credits, and I expect the Smilin’ A (I’ve recently started calling Amazon that…I like it. ;) Feel free to let me know if you like it or not) to be one of the fastest at doing this.

Well, at least B&N hasn’t been in legal troub—uh, oh

Barnes & Noble has been in a bad news factory lately, with a particularly poor quarterly financial report…and I’m afraid to see what this quarter is going to be for them.

They didn’t need anything else to spook investors, but they got it.

According to this

Wall Street Journal article by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

and other sources, Barnes & Noble is under investigation by the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) for questionable accounting practices.

A really healthy company could probably handle that better than one that is walking on such thin financial ice already…share prices are down.

Keep the text by blocking the tip

Just a little tip for you: when you want to listen to text-to-speech in the car, lock your device so it doesn’t auto-rotate. When a Fire autorotates, text-to-speech stops playing. I simply lock my rotation (swiping down from the top, or using the Settings gear, depending on your model) before starting TTS. That way, it doesn’t stop when I set it on the seat for the drive.

What do you think? Is shooting down a drone a legitimate thing to do? Is the the straw that breaks B&N’s back? Do you care about the refund you might get from the settlement? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

* I Told You So ;)

** I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) NOte: you can select WorldReader.org as the non-profit you support, if you want.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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