Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Kindle Fires are on sale today

April 15, 2014

Kindle Fires are on sale today

Note: see the update below: Prime members are getting an extra ten percent off the prices listed in the first part of this post!

This is a “limited time” offer, but not one of those that disappears in seconds. No way to know how long it will last, but I guess it will be good for today. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s my personally most-used device.

It’s $199 for the configuration I have: 16 GB, special offers, wi-fi only.

That’s $30 off the normal $299 price.

It appears to be $30 off any of the possible configurations.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ (at AmazonSmile)

is $40 off, again, that appears to be all the configurations (including 4G).

That brings the cheapest version down to $339.

In addition to the larger screen, you also get a rear-facing camera with that one, in addition to the front-facing camera (for videocalls, mostly) you get on the 7″.

Kindle Fire HD (2nd generation) 7″ (at AmazonSmile)

No cameras, no Mayday…but $20 off the 8GB makes it as low as $119. 16GB? $40 off.

For comparison’s sake, $119 makes it the same price as the

Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ 2nd generation, wi-fi only, with Special Offers (at AmazonSmile)

Update: thanks to reader Glenn Starrett for the heads-up on this one!

I missed this at first, and I think a lot of people did.

For the first time, Prime members are getting an additional discount on Kindles…and it can be combined with the above.

We don’t know if it will last very long, but the extra 10% is an interesting move (and a way to give us more as they raise the prices. Here are the details:

Prime Members Save 10% on Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile)

Bonus tip: I’ve written before about pricing strategies. Pricing something with a price ending in .99 makes it seem like you are getting a bargain, like you are saving money.

Pricing something ending in .00 makes it seem like it is a quality product.  When I managed a gamestore (I also managed a bookstore), we couldn’t have sold a $499 chess set…but we could sell a $500 one. Someone spending that much doesn’t want a “bargain”, they want “the best”.

Oddly, sort of the same thing goes with Kindle books. A stand-out book may be priced at an even $5, instead of $4.99:

$5 books in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile)

Some of the books there:

  • Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • Lean In by Sheryl Strandberg
  • I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

Those were all buzzy books. That doesn’t mean that books priced at $4.99 aren’t as good, and certainly not that they aren’t as popular. It’s just that if you sort things only by price, you may miss some really good backlist books at what are now bargain prices.

Enjoy!

* 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.

3 years of Special Offers

April 11, 2014

3 years of Special Offers

Three years ago, on April 11, 2011, Amazon introduced Kindles with Special Offers in this

press release

The basic idea is that the buyer of a new Kindle could agree to see ads, and in exchange for that, that initial purchase price was lowered.

That’s why they are also called “ad-supported” models.

It was up to the customer: get “paid” for watching ads by getting a discount, or pay the normal price and avoid seeing ads.

It’s a simple idea, but there was a lot of buzz around it at the time.

Many people decried it, equating it with ads in books.

First, there were ads in books before that…I have some mass market paperbacks that have a cardboard ad stuck in the middle of them.

Second, the ads don’t appear in the books themselves. They appear on the sleep screen, and (originally) at the bottom of the list of books on the homescreen.

This idea may have been complicated by Amazon having gotten a patent to put relevant ads in e-books. I wrote about that a bit here:

Advertising in E-books

That wasn’t this, though…and Amazon hasn’t followed through on ads in books themselves.

Another concern people expressed was that the ads might be “inappropriate”. Basing it on television, they though that kids might see ads for “mature products”, as one example.

While we did see ads for things like cars, we haven’t had alcohol or intimate  hygiene products.

Over time, my feeling is that the ads have actually gotten more tied into what the Kindleers want…more ads for books and Kindle accessories, for instance.

Now, that could be because it didn’t turn out that a Kindle was a great way to sell a car…so those companies stopped buying the ads.

I think it must work somewhat, though, since we still have Special Offers.

It’s also tended to be that SO models are more popular than their non-ad-supported, full price counterparts.

If you think that’s just because people want to save the money (and that they don’t really like the ads), I’ll tell you that I’ve seen plenty of statements to the contrary. Many people like seeing the ads: they know they sometimes get deals that way, and hey, if nothing else, it’s something new to see. :) A lot of people didn’t like the old “woodcut” type pictures we had, and one reason was that after a while, you’d “…been there, saw that”.

With the advent of the Limited Time Special Offers on the current Kindle Fires, folks (including me) have been saving a lot of money.

Looking at the list of “recent deals” on the above linked page, you could have saved $674.96 buying those six items…an average of over $100 per deal!

We bought a Kindle Paperwhite for $19, when it was normally $119 at the time.

These LTSOs are a big incentive to go with a Kindle Fire, that’s for sure!

If you want to stop getting Special Offers, you have that choice.

You would, naturally, have to pay the difference between the original discounted cost of the device and the full price…on the order of $20.

You do that by going to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle (at AmazonSmile)

and clicking or tapping

Manage Your Devices

You can then “unsubscribe” from Special Offers if you want.

Can you opt into getting Special Offers if your device came without them?

Sure…same thing as unsubscribing above, except that you choose to subscribe.

Oh, and they won’t retroactively give you the discount.

Still, I think many people do make that choice, just to have the option of getting a discount on something.

While we are talking about this, let me ask you hypothetically about ads in the books themselves (again, this is something different and not on the table right now):

If you want to tell me and my readers more about what you think about this, feel free to comment on this post.

 

* 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.

Kindle Outlet Store

April 7, 2014

Kindle Outlet Store

While Amazon has had refurbished Kindles for some time, they’ve recently added a link to a new page…the

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

at the top of the Kindle storefront.

The savings aren’t huge, but the warranty is good.

They go to the point of explaining how a Kindle becomes a certified refurbished Kindle, and I think it’s worth noting.

A Kindle gets returned to Amazon.

Now, Amazon has a very generous thirty-day:

Kindle Return Policy (at AmazonSmile)

They say (in part):

Returning Kindle Devices

You can return any Kindle device you purchased directly from Amazon.com for a full refund within 30 days of the day you received it as long as it’s in new condition and the return is in accordance with our return policy.

Note: If you want to return your Kindle device for a refund, and you purchased your Kindle from a third-party retail store, you must return your Kindle to the retailer where you made the purchase according to the retailer’s return policies.

 

Partial refunds / restocking fees

If You Return You’ll Receive
Kindle device within 30 days from receipt of shipment 100% of the item’s price
Kindle device past the return window, but within 60 days from receipt of shipment 80% of the item’s price
Kindle device over 60 days from receipt of shipment 0% of the item’s price

That’s if you follow their policies, of course.

On the Kindle forums, we sometimes recommend that somebody wondering about a particular Kindle model go ahead and get it and try it out. If, for example, it doesn’t work well with the user’s disability, they can return it.

In a case like that, the Kindle is very often going to be very much like new.

Amazon will get it, check it out, fix it if necessary, and certify that it is like new.

My feeling has always been that those reviews of the devices are probably more thorough than a new one gets. I think it’s more likely for you to get a lemon with a new Kindle than with a refurb.

After they’ve checked it out, they sell it again…with the exact same warranty as a new one.

You do get a discount on it compared to a new one…up to 25%.

Not all of the refurbs are even still available new from Amazon.

For example, a lot of people want an inexpensive, long battery charge lived device that does text-to-speech.

You can get a certified refurbed Kindle Touch for $79…only $10 more than the current “entry level” Kindle which does not have text-to-speech…or a touch screen, for that matter.

Some of you might be saying, “I can find one a lot cheaper than that on eBay”.

Yes, that’s possible (although I’ve seen Kindles hold their values remarkably well). I’ve seen them for down around $35.

However, those haven’t been inspected and refurbed.

You aren’t going to get the warranty with it if you are buying it from an individual who has already had it for more than a year.

There’s also the very real risk that it is stolen. The person selling it to you may not even know it is stolen…they might have bought it from a thief or from someone who bought it from a thief.

If that’s the case, you may be unable to register it…and you might end up out both the device and the money with which you paid for it.

I think refurbs are a good alternative if you are willing to get one which isn’t brand new…and it’s nice that Amazon has put them much more in the forefront of the site.

What do you think? Have you ever bought a refurb from Amazon? What did you think of that decision? Are you only comfortable with new electronics? Have you bought a used Kindle from an individual and had a good story…or maybe had some challenges with having made that purchase? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

* 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.

 

Closed Captions on the Kindle Fire HDX

March 11, 2014

Closed Captions on the Kindle Fire HDX

It’s been close to two years since I last wrote about Closed Captions on the Kindle Fire, and things have really gotten better! I thought it was worth revisiting it.

First, a little explanation.

“Closed Captions” show you, in text, what is being said during a video (they may do more than that, but that’s the main purpose). That can be very valuable for people with hearing challenges. It can also, honestly, just be convenient…there may be times when you are watching and can’t hear. For example, you might be vacuuming, and not want to put on headphones.

One other amusing use is for accents you find difficult. I can generally understand any English accent (the varieties of American accents, British accents, and so on), but my  Significant  Other finds that difficult. I was quite amused when BBC America was running the original British Life on Mars series, and ran it with subtitles (I’ll explain the difference shortly). They ran a notice something like, “While British accents can be amusing, they can be difficult to understand.” ;) I have to admit, that show was particularly hard: not only were they British accents, but it was British 1970s cop slang.  :)

Their subtitles interpreted what was being said: it didn’t just put it up word for word.

So, that brings us (as I promised) to the difference between subtitles and closed captioning (although people use them imprecisely).

A subtitle appears on the screen regardless of who is watching it…they are “open”. You might see a foreign movie with subtitles translating the dialog into your language, for instance.

“Closed Captions” are closed to most people: they don’t appear at all unless you choose to have them show.

In order to be able to see them, you need two things:

  1. The Closed Captions have to be in the file (or available to the system from another file)
  2. The software/app with which you are watching them has to be able to decode the Closed Captions and show them on the screen

The first Kindle Fire did not have the necessary software in its built-in video app, but the later ones (Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire 2nd generation) do.

As of January 1st, of this year, basically all videoplayers (tablets, Smartphones, computers) manufactured and sold in the USA have to have the capability.

Other video apps you use may also have it…Netflix on the HDX does, for example.

Now, which videos have it?

That’s where it gets tricky.

Oh, if you don’t want to predict ahead of time, it’s not that hard. You’ll see the CC symbol on the video’s Amazon product page (you’ll find it next to the title, next to the rating…at least, I see it there. Amazon’s webpages aren’t consistent for everybody).

As to which ones should have it…

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) can regulate videos shown on the internet (like Prime streaming), if they’ve also been shown on TV. They might be able to do it otherwise, but I know that works. :)

There as been an evolving timeline on it, but here’s where we are now:

As of September 30, 2013, any new programming (movies, TV) shown on TV with captions must also have the captions when shown online.

Videos which were on the internet before that didn’t necessarily have to have it (there were some rules).

As of March 30th of 2014, though, videos which were on the internet without captions and then are shown (re-run, rebroadcast) on TV with captions, will have 45 days to get the captions available online as well.

A year later, it goes to thirty days, and a year after that, it goes to 15.

Certainly, that suggests to me that closed captioning needs to be prepared differently for online use than for broadcast use, so they give them some time to do it…the merging of the technologies over the next two years probably explains the shortening of the deadline.

My Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile) in the native app has some cool options for Closed Captions (you see them if you tap the CC in your bottom right when the video starts playing…you have to turn them on before you see the choices:

  • If there is more than one language, you can pick it here. From what I’ve seen, only American English is currently available
  • Font size (you get five choices)
  • Format (there are four combinations of colors for font and background)

Interestingly, you can actually set your format preferences at

http://www.amazon.com/cc

From there, you can also edit three of the choices! You can choose from many colors and opacities to get what you like the best.

On that settings page, you can change other video settings, including parental controls.

Those settings won’t just affect your Kindle Fire. This

Frequently Asked Questions about Closed Captions on Amazon Instant Video (at AmazonSmile)

page lists lots of other kinds of devices.

The Kindle Fire HDX has gotten to be much more accessible. I use the screen magnifier quite a bit…triple tap almost anywhere, and it really enlarges…then use two fingers to move the image. It can read menus out loud for you, and let you do “explore by touch”.

Nice to have these options available!

Bonus deal: I don’t want to just talk about the Kindle Fire. ;) Here is a great deal for anybody (in the USA, I presume) reading Kindle books…whether on a Fire, a non-Fire Kindle, or an app:

Hawaii (at AmazonSmile)
by James Michener
4.5 stars out of 5, 237 customer reviews
$0.99 at time of writing

That’s right! Michener’s bestselling novel for only ninety-nine cents! I don’t know how long that price will last (check before you click or tap that Buy button), but that’s quite a deal. Again, might make a good gift..you can delay delivery. For example, you might know that someone is planning to go to Hawaii in the winter…

Enjoy!

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.

* 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.

Round up #243: 100 comics for $10, understanding the new Cloud Collections

March 9, 2014

Round up #243: 100 comics for $10, understanding the new Cloud Collections

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

KDD: “Books That Inspired Our Passion for Reading, $2.99 or Less [each]“

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deal‘s (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is any of twenty specific books for $2.99 or less each.

This is National Reading Month (um, gee, isn’t that every month? No? Okay, then.). ;) In honor of that, Amazon has discounted these books (for today)…and there are definitely some good ones on the list!

  • The Alchemist
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • American Gods
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Tales of the City
  • The Natural
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • The Complete Stories (Flannery O’Connor)
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Kane and Abel
  • The Good Earth
  • Old Yeller
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8
  • Cryptonomicon
  • Miss Marple, the Complete Short Stories
  • When Beauty Tamed the Beast
  • [Ray] Bradbury Stories
  • Native Son
  • Sophie’s World
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall

You know how you say you are going to wait until those really great, well-known books go on sale? That’s now. ;)

As a reminder, you can buy these as a gift and delay the delivery until the appropriate  occasion. For example, do you know a kid who would enjoy Sarah, Plain and Tall? You can order it now and pick a delivery date in December…

One of my regular readers, Lady Galaxy, suggested I might buy a couple to add to our Guest Bookshelf (see On our guest Kindle for a listing of the books we have on our Guest Kindle). A few people, I think wisely, suggested the list could use some more short story anthologies or collections.

Understanding the new Cloud Collections

Overwhelmingly, I’m seeing a positive reaction to the recent update to the Kindle Paperwhite 1st generation.

However, I’m still seeing a lot of confusion, even among very sophisticated users, about how Cloud Collections work now.

I have to say, this does show that Amazon could explain these things better. I like that they have the Kindle Forum Pros (I’m one of those…we volunteer our time to help people), but their Help Pages could be more scenario based, in my opinion. They don’t tend to say, “You want to do this…here’s how”). They will tell you steps to do, but not tell you why you would do them.

I’m going to share something I posted elsewhere…this is based on our KPW1 (Kindle Paperwhite 1st generation): I think it’s the same on the KPW2.

There are really three key things:

1. You can set a Collection so that it either appears in Collections view only, or in all views [note: you do this by selecting "Collections" in the menu to your right of where it says, ,"On Device"]

2. There is a menu for the filter (what will be displayed on your home screen). You can choose: All Items; Books; Periodicals; Docs; Collections; or Active Content [note: that's the same menu as above]

3. There is another menu, similar to what we had before for sorting (the order in which the items you have chosen to display in the second step will show). You can use: Recent; Title; Author; or Collection [that's the last menu on that row, to your right from the menu above]

Here’s my own example:

I created a Collection called “Guest Bookshelf” (this Kindle is one we use for guests). I can add books to it from the Paperwhite or from my Kindle Fire HDX (I find the latter easier).

That is the only Collection which is starred (“Show in All Views”) on this device.

I have it set to show “All Items” in the filter. It shows that Collection, plus active content, the Vocabulary Builder, a blog…just a few things that I have on it.

I have it sorted by “Collection”, meaning that the books in the Guest Bookshelf show inside that Collection (which appears at the top of the homepage) and not outside it.

That’s exactly what I want. :)

I think for most people, the set up is:

Switch the filter to Collections, and star the Collections you would like to show.

Switch the filter to All Items.

Switch the sort to Collection.

Now, I do understand that some people want more functionality. Right now, the count of items in a Collection doesn’t change if you are on the Cloud tab or the Device tab. In other words, if you have a Romance Cloud Collection, you can’t tell how many of those books are actually on this device without opening the Collection. Even then, it doesn’t show a count…they just look different (books not on the device are faded).

Let me know if you have more questions…

A tip on connecting with the Push2TV

I’ve written before about using my Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile) with the NETGEAR Push2TV (at AmazonSmile) to “mirror” everything on my tablet’s screen to my TV.

That works very well! I use it quite a bit.

I started running into an issue where it wasn’t always finding the Push2TV…in other words, it wouldn’t make the connection so that I could watch.

I figured out a minor thing, but it seems to make a big difference (that’s the way it often works, right? Big problems solved with a small change).

The trick seems to be to start the Fire looking first:

Swipe down from the top – Settings – Display & Sounds – Display Mirroring

then activate your Push2TV, rather than the other way around.

Sequencing is often the key with technology.

I assume what happens is that the Push2TV sends it’s “here I am” signal right away: if the Fire isn’t looking for it when it is broadcast, it misses it.

Comixology Submit started bundle: 100 books for $10!

Thanks to Publishers Weekly for the heads-up on this!

Celebrating SXSW (South by Southwest),

Comics (at AmazonSmile)

is offering a bundle of 100 of their Comixology Submit titles…for $10!

That offer is only good through Sunday (March 10). This is a savings of 97%, and will give you some good indie (independently published) comics. Think of it like Kindle Direct Publishing for comic books.

You can read this through the free app you can get for your Kindle Fire (see above), and read it other places (including Android devices, iPads and iPhones, and Windows 8).

Update: Orphan Black on Prime

I meant to mention this one (and gee, this has become a really multimedia post! I started with books, I’ve done comics, and now video). Amazon Prime has recently added

Orphan Black (at AmazonSmile)

It’s a science fiction series from last year where there was a lot of mainstream push that the lead actor should have been nominated for an Emmy…you don’t usually see that.

The performance by Tatiana Maslany is extraordinary. I want to leave you the discovery of what is happening, but I would guess you’ll be impressed. There are other good things to the series as well…might make a good binge watch (ten episodes). With Prime, you can watch them at no additional cost.

A content advisory: this ran on BBC America (and Space in Canada), and they don’t have the same restrictions that you might expect from a USA network show. There are sexual situations and nudity.

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.

* 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.

Major changes to MYK: bulk actions

January 16, 2014

Major changes to MYK: bulk actions

This is just breaking now, and I can’t really see it myself yet, but I wanted to give you a heads-up…it may be working for you.

There have been major changes to the

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

page.

I say “have been”, but it appears that they are in process. They may not appear in all browsers, and it sometimes takes a while for a change to be available to everyone (even if you are using identical browsers). That may be due to different users “hitting” different servers at Amazon.

Right now, I am seeing at least some of it in Silk on my Fire HDX…but not in Maxthon on the same device, or in Maxthon, Chrome, or Internet Explorer on my desktop.

What are the changes?

There is a lot of shifting about where things are, but let me hit some functional things that I can see (or about which I’ve heard).

Bulk actions

This appears to me to be what people have wanted for some time: the ability to take the same action on several different items at once.

I can select several items, and then I’ll have a choice to

  • Deliver to my…
  • Delete from library

That means that when you got a new Kindle, you could select a bunch of books, and have them delivered all at once.

Now, there are negatives to that, and that’s why we used to think it wasn’t available.

When a book arrives on a Kindle, the Kindle indexes it. Basically, it “reads it”, and builds up an index to make searching easier. That takes up some battery charge. Throw a thousand books on there at once, and you’d better be plugged in for a while.

It’s possible that they’ve figured out a different way to do indexing, and the index travels with the book…that would resolve that issue.

Telling which books are on which device

The devices and the content now appear in basically the same place. If you click or tap a device, you’ll see a checkmark if a book is downloaded to that device. I don’t see a way to send a message to the device to delete something, and I’m not initially seeing a way to sort by what is and isn’t on the device.

I do see this information for the device:

  • Edit the name
  • Edit the e-mail
  • Deregister
  • Type (that’s nice!)
  • Serial Number

“Your Cloud Library” is your archives

If you don’t want to be on a specific device, the first tab is for “Your Cloud Library”. You can filter by using a button that says “Books”. That has a new filter for “Dictionary & User Guides”. That’s actually been around for a short time for some people.

There is another button for sorting…it’s labeled “Date” by default.

There is another choice for “Your FreeTime Profiles”.

There is a magnifying glass for searching.

There is an icon on your far right that lets you switch between seeing the covers (which does look nice on my Fire, although I wouldn’t use it most of the time) or seeing a list).

There is also a Show choice to your right of the device list…you can choose there whether you want to see Devices, Apps, or both (All).

Generally, this looks like a big improvement…although, of course, people will want more. :)

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

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.

You can now apply a gift card directly to an e-book purchase

January 10, 2014

You can now apply a gift card directly to an e-book purchase

Thanks to regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy for the heads-up on this! It’s big news!

One question we answer a lot in the Kindle forums is how to apply a gift card to an e-book purchase. I even wrote a post about it less than a month ago:

Gift cards and your Kindle

Well, it appears to have changed!

On a Kindle store book’s Amazon product page, there is now a link that says

“Enter a promotion code or gift card”

This is in the USA Kindle store, by the way…it might not be in others.

I clicked on the link, and got to a place to apply a gift card code or promotional code, and from there to this help page:

That is going to be a lot less confusing for people. If they are given a given a gift card, they can apply it to a book purchase, rather than just applying it to the account.

Now, I assume that if you apply a $20 gift card to a $2.99 purchase, the rest of the amount goes into the general account draw, but I am going to check with Amazon on that.

The “promotional code” thing is also very interesting to me. We have had that before, where a Special Offer might have a promotional code, but we had to put it into a special page, and then we couldn’t really see it right when we were buying a book.

Now, Amazon could actually do something like “three for the price of two” on e-books more easily. You would buy two from the choices, and then get a code to enter for the third. Just a guess, though…

Thanks again, Lady!

* 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.

“There are books on my account I didn’t order!”

January 7, 2014

“There are books on my account I didn’t order!”

Yes, that’s true…there are books on your account you didn’t order…and it’s a good thing. ;)

I realized I haven’t written about this in the blog, although I’ve addressed it many times in the Kindle forums. I would guess we see somebody post about this there every day or two.

They are understandably concerned: they often are worried they’ve been hacked.

What happens is that they go to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

and see a bunch of books there that they are sure nobody on their account ordered.

How do they know nobody ordered them?

They are in foreign languages!

Well, here is what’s happening, and what you can do about it.

You see, Amazon advertises that you can use the Kindle in several languages…including using the dictionary look-up.

For that to work, you have to be able to have a dictionary in that language, right?

That’s what those foreign language books are that you didn’t order…dictionaries and possibly user guides for when you might switch the Kindle to a different language than English.

They don’t cost you anything, and they aren’t taking up memory on your device (unless you download one).

Amazon gives them to you…for free…to make the Kindle work as they promised you it would work. You can think of them as part of the Kindle’s operating system.

Now, I can understand the desire to clean up your archives/Cloud. People go in there and delete these…and then are irritated when they show up again. The system is basically “healing” itself. Let’s say you deliberately ran out of wiper fluid in your car. When you took the car to the dealer for service, they would fill up the washer fluid for you again, whether you told them to or not (well, that’s how it should work, anyway).

It really confuses people when they appear at the top of the list again. That happens if the software gets updated, and maybe if they update the dictionaries.

What can you do about them? I suppose “enjoy them and be thankful for them” isn’t a good enough answer? ;)

The best thing is simply to ignore them. As you buy other things, those new things will appear at the top of the list, and the dictionaries will be pushed down. It won’t be long (especially if you get a lot of content, including free content) before you won’t see them on that first page (barring an update).

Now, I’m sure there are people who say, “It’s my Kindle! I should be able to delete them if I want!”

Well, the thing here is that you aren’t deleting them from the Kindle. These are part of the account. At this point, you don’t get a choice to decline them, just like you can’t say you don’t want the letter “Q” to show up on the keyboard…it’s just part of the package.

One nice thing I just noticed, though: at least some of them are now labeled as “Free Dictionary”. I had recently suggested to Amazon that they label them in some obvious way, so people would know what they were and not keep deleting them in a futile effort. I’m not saying they did it because of that, but I’m happy it happened. ;)

Hope that helps…

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.

What can you do with Amazon Prime?

January 3, 2014

What can you do with Amazon Prime?

Did you recently become an Amazon Prime member?

You might have: people who buy a Kindle Fire (at AmazonSmile…support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)  get a free one-month trial. Also, you can now give the gift of Prime:

So, there are probably a lot of people who are just coming into their Prime…so to speak. ;)

The obvious question is: what can you do with Amazon Prime?

There are three main benefits, and I’ll go through them here.

Free two-day shipping on many items

Prime Shipping Information
at AmazonSmile

This was the original attraction of Prime, and it still is, for many people. You pay $79 a year, and then you can have many items shipped at no additional cost and get two-day shipping.

We hadn’t bought Prime when that’s all it was. I would do the calculation, and say, “We didn’t pay anything like $79 last year for shipping.” That was because we would tend to get things with Super Saver Shipping (at the time, you put together a $25 order of eligible items, and shipping was free…although it wasn’t fast), and we used Subscribe and Save for other items.

Super Saver Shipping
at AmazonSmile

Subscribe & Save
at AmazonSmile

We still subscribe to a lot of things, like dog food and vitamins. It just makes sense: you save 15%, you can choose a periodicity for orders, and you can skip an order whenever you want…and shipping is free.

That, though, turned out not to be the best way to compare the situation…the shipping costs we had paid was not the only factor we should have considered.

When we got our first Kindle Fire, we got a month of Prime free. Actually using it, we saw the other big advantages.

The key thing is that you might decide you need something…in a recent case, we need curtains for a room that was going to be used as a guest room. You can have it with two-day shipping, if you can find one that is eligible for Prime. Compare that to going to a store. If you decide on a Monday, you probably aren’t going to go to the store until the weekend. You’ll have to drive there, wait in line…it’s quite a production! You don’t typically even know if they’ll have what you want.

We’ve found we use Prime…a lot. If we were to compare the cost of the shipping that was included with our $79 Prime to what it would cost without Prime, we’d be saving a ton of money. Of course, we wouldn’t have shipped that stuff in two days without Prime…but time is valuable, and those savings count.

You can even get faster shipping for more money. A 1-day shipping upgrade is as low as $2.99. It used to be $3.99 for everything, now it depends on the size and weight of the item.

You can share Prime shipping benefits with other people living at your same address. So, if you have, let’s say, an adult kid living with you with their own Amazon account, they can share your shipping benefit at no additional cost. You can have four additional people (not on your account…everybody on your account gets it automatically) under your shipping benefits.

One caveat: the shipping speed is just that…it’s not the delivery date. We are still often surprised at how quickly we get things, but sometimes, we order something with Prime and it is a week before we get it. Why? It didn’t start shipping for several days. The actual shipping still took two (business) days, but it didn’t start immediately, because it was out of stock, or otherwise unavailable for some reason.

I think the shipping benefits alone are worth it for many people, when you compare the costs (not just the shipping fee…gas, time).

Prime Instant Video

Prime Instant Video
at AmazonSmile

This is the ability to watch movies and TV shows at no additional cost. It’s easy on a Kindle Fire, but you don’t need one, if you have other ways to watch Amazon Instant Video (a Roku, for example).

I would say that people wanting to know how this compares to Netflix is one of the most common questions I see from people considering Prime.

Let’s start out with cost: they are comparable, although Prime is somewhat cheaper (I’m ignoring other Prime benefits in this comparison). $79/12 = $6.58 a month. If we look at streaming only, Netflix is $7.99 a month…and you can get an annual membership for $95.88.

What about content?

Remember, we are limiting this to streaming…if you include DVDs, Netflix would presumably blow Prime away. However, we aren’t. :)

I have to say “presumably”, because Netflix doesn’t make it easy to figure out how many total videos they have available. I may just be missing it, but I don’t see a way to browse the entire collection. I’ve seen unverified numbers of all kinds on the internet: from 3,000 movies and 20,000 TV episodes to “over 75,000″.

Looking at Amazon, there are 14,675 movies and 2,075 TV seasons (season 1 on Downton Abbey, for example, would count as one of those 2,075) at time of writing. It’s possible that not each of those 2,075 is a season…a TV movie might count as one. The number of episodes in a season has varied considerably…if we figure ten as an average, that might be about 20,000.

Each of them has original content as well, although that’s new to Amazon.

My feeling is that Netflix tends to have more of the recent stuff, although I haven’t analyzed that. Looking at the most popular movies on Prime, I see The Hunger Games, Skyfall, The Avengers…obviously, all big hits. Remember that these are available at no additional cost over your Prime membership.

Could you drop your cable company just for Prime? The main thing you would miss is current TV…but if you can wait a year to see something, that’s not bad. :)

I would also say that Netflix has a more sophisticated interface, although if you first find the video on your computer, Amazon does okay there. They’ve even added the

Amazon Instant Video Finder
at AmazonSmile

Netflix, though, makes it very easy to find what you’ve watched recently…Amazon could certainly improve that.

In Amazon’s favor is X-Ray for Movies. That’s a feature that lets you get information about a movie you are currently watching. For example, you can freeze the movie and get background about the actors in the scene…even find out what other movies an actor is in to watch later. That’s powered by IMDb.com, which I think is the best movie resource on the web…and is owned by Amazon.

Amazon recently added closed captioning, so that is less of an edge for Netflix than it used to be.

Another huge advantage with the current generation of Kindle Fires is that you can download Prime videos (many of them) to watch when you are offline (on a plane, for example). Netflix is designed to be strictly streaming…no downloading.

Download Prime Instant Video Titles
at AmazonSmile

Amazon also has nice

Amazon Instant Video parental controls
at AmazonSmile

This might be new! You can set one of four levels for content…and choose to which devices that limit applies. The content is not just movie ratings, but includes TV ratings. So, you could have a kid’s Fire set to allow G, TV-G, and TV-Y, and have an adult’s where anything goes.

You can’t share your Prime video benefits with someone not on your account, like you can with your shipping benefits. There are also some significant restrictions (this is quoted from Amazon):

  • You can stream up to two titles at the same time using the same Amazon.com account. You can stream the same title to no more than one device at a time.
  • Many Prime Instant Video titles are also available for download on Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation and Kindle Fire HDX devices. The detail page for each Prime Instant Video title indicates whether the title is available for download. You can download available titles to only two separate devices at one time. If you have already downloaded a title to two devices, you need to delete it from one of them before downloading it to another device. You can have a maximum of 25 total Prime Instant Video titles downloaded at a time across all devices associated with your Amazon.com account. While not all Prime Instant Video titles are available for download, the same videos may be available for rental or purchase from Amazon Instant Video, and rented or purchased titles can be downloaded to compatible devices.

Amazon Instant Video Usage Rules
at AmazonSmile

Is Prime worth it just for video? What I would say is take a look at what you watch, and see how well it matches up with what you like.

Kindle Book Benefits

There are two benefits for Prime members on e-books, and they are really quite different.

Kindle First
at AmazonSmile

With this one, you select one of a select group of not-yet published books. So far (this is new), there have been four each month, and they have all come from Amazon’s traditional publishing imprints. You select the book, you own it**. It follows the same rules as any other e-book on your account: all compatible devices on your account can use it. You can lend them to someone not on your account, according to the normal Kindle lending rules. That means you can lend it once…ever…for fourteen days. While the other person has it, you won’t have access to it. Kindle First books may not all be lendable, but books published by Amazon generally have been.

The other benefit is the

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)
at AmazonSmile

For this one, you need to not only be an eligible Prime member, you also have to own a hardware Kindle (just a Kindle app isn’t enough…if you have both hardware Kindles and apps on your account, you can only send it to the hardware Kindles).

You can borrow up to one book a calendar month. You don’t own the book: you’ll need to return it before you can borrow the next one (and you’ll have to wait until the next month to do that anyway).

The books are from a specific set, but there were close to half a million titles in there when I checked January 1st…about one out of five of all the USA Kindle store books.

These are mostly independently published, but you do have the traditionally published Amazon books (which include James Bond and the 87th Precinct books). Scholastic, which is a major publisher, also puts books into the KOLL (The Hunger Games, for example), and the Harry Potter books are there, too. I have found something to read every month.

There you go! Those are the benefits to Prime. If you have any other questions, or want to let me or my readers know what you like about Prime, feel free to comment on this post.

Update: I was sort of making this up while I was on a walk with  my family (yeah, I do that…I make up little songs a lot). They had suggested I put it in the blog, and I meant to include it with this post. :)

Addicted to Prime (sung to the tune of Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer)

You hit 1-click,
You’re in the zone.
Some THING comes to your home.
You’re not sure…
You can’t recall
What it could be
No, not at all.

You see the box:
It’s got a smile.
You tear the tape…
It takes a while.
You still can’t see!
So many puffs!
You pull them out…what is this stuff???

Whoa-whoa…you like to think you’ve got it licked this time, whoa yeah!
It’s closer to the truth that you will spend every dime
You know you’re gonna have to face it
You’re addicted to Prime

You watch a film
It’s so obscure.
You face the facts: you need a cure.
You stream and stream
And never stop.
Another show: your mind will pop!
Your mind will pop!
Your eyes are glazed.
Your family is all amazed.
They thought you liked
To read a book
But having Prime is all it took

Whoa-whoa…you like to think you’ve got it licked this time, whoa yeah!
It’s closer to the truth that you will spend every dime
You know you’re gonna have to face it
You’re addicted to Prime

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime

The month is new…
You want a book:
You’re afraid
To take a look.
They’re too weird
Can’t decide!
But they’re free
Can’t let it slide!

Whoa-whoa…you like to think you’ve got it licked this time, whoa yeah!
It’s closer to the truth that you will spend every dime
You know you’re gonna have to face it
You’re addicted to Prime

Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime
Might as well face it, you’re addicted to Prime

* 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! :) 

** What you are actually buying is a license to read the book. For more information, see my post,  How an e-book is like a treadmill at the gym

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 #231: 1st of the month tips, Mohsin Hamid on e vs p

January 2, 2014

Round up #231: 1st of the month tips, Mohsin Hamid on e vs p

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

What a difference a month makes

Welcome, new owners! There’s a lot to owning a Kindle (or using a Kindle app). Oh, it’s not the hardware, so much, at least in the case of a non-Fire Kindle. That’s generally pretty intuitive, at least for just opening a book and reading it.

There are also the Kindle services, and what Amazon does on the site. The latter is what I want to address now.

I look forward to every day, pretty much: I’m at heart an optimist. ;) However, Kindleers always pay particular attention to the first day of the month.

There are a few things that it makes sense to check:

  • Kindle Monthly Deals, $3.99 or less (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping)*: Amazon does do a Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile), and that can be great…but you do have to be on your toes for it. They do a new set of books for $3.99 or less each month as well…this month, at the time of writing (it can change), there are 114 titles. I often do a post on the highlights, but I do always look through them all. Since you can delay when a gift is delivered, this is also a good place to pick up a bargain for a future gift giving occasion. Note: this feature, and the others, may not apply in your country. Always check the price before you click that “Buy” button
  • Kindle First (at AmazonSmile): those Kindle monthly deals are available to anyone who has a Kindle or a Kindle app, and you can gift them to people who don’t have one (they’ll be prompted to get a free app). This next one has another requirement: you have to be an eligible Prime member (which is typically done by paying $79 a year). With this one, you’ll be able to pick a book out of a small group (so far, it’s been four each month), which will be published soon by Amazon’s traditional publishing group (that’s what it has been so far). You will own the book**: you aren’t just borrowing it. When you click through to the book, you’ll be given the choice to get it for free and get it now, or to pre-order it and pay for it. Why give both choices? You can only get one free book through Kindle First a month, but you might want to pre-order the others
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) (at AmazonSmile): for this one, there are two requirements. You have to be an eligible Prime member, and you have to have a hardware Kindle (not just a free app). People sometimes ask about that: Amazon has to pay the publishers for each “borrow”, and I’m sure they’ve done the math on how much people spend who have a hardware Kindle versus what they spend when they have an app and not the hardware. The fact that they have to pay is also presumably why you can “only” borrow up to one a calendar month. That calendar limitation is another reason why Kindleers look forward to the first of the month. It’s not necessarily that the selection changes: it changes every day. Let’s say you borrowed a book on December 5th, and finished it by December 10th. You’d still have to wait until January 1st to borrow your next book. People also sometimes wonder why Amazon doesn’t make it easier to get to KOLL eligible books through your computer (it’s easy on the Kindle itself). Well, you have to borrow from the Kindle. I’ve seen many times where someone asks why they charged for a KOLL book. It’s usually because they were shopping from their computers, and click the “Buy” button rather than the “Borrow” button

What e-books did I get for the holidays?

Just thought you might be curious… :)

Two of my family members used my

to get me e-books…and it was great! Big thanks to them!

Sure, they could have gotten me gift cards, and there is nothing wrong with that, but they told me it was fun to look through the list and pick out some special things…it’s sort of like having a Bufo store. ;) I have a list which I share with them (that’s one of the privacy options), and it has over 150 things on it (not all e-books). These are things I do want, but I probably wouldn’t buy for myself for some reason.

You get to describe why they appeal to you, which is a way to share with your circle more about yourself.

Here’s what I got:

My Significant Other got me this one. :) Doc is one of my fictional heroes, as regular readers probably know. I do use Doc’s oath as a guide: to make myself better so that other’s can profit by it, to do right by others…I think I’ve published the oath in the blog before (my understanding is that the oath is in the public domain, although the books aren’t). If not, here it is:

===

“Let me strive, every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit from it.

Let me think of the right, and lend my assistance to those who need it with no regard for anything but justice.

Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.

Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.

Let me do right to all, and wrong no one.”

===

I made one alteration to the last line, making it gender neutral.

This book is an extraordinary “biography” of Doc Savage, by the well-known science fiction writer, Philip José Farmer. Farmer also wrote Tarzan Alive!, a similar biography of Lord Greystoke…and, in fact, according to Farmer, Doc and Tarzan (and many others) are related to each other!

The book was originally released in 1973, and you might think I would already have it…and I do. :) I have it in p-book. However, e-books are so much easier for me nowadays that having it in e-book form is terrific. I don’t often re-read books, but this is one I might…I might even listen to it in the car using text-to-speech.

Yes, Doc again, and yes, from my Significant Other again. :) This is something different: it’s a recent official addition to the Doc Savage stories, written by Will Murray. I’ve read one of the new ones before, but this one really intrigued me: Doc meets King Kong! It makes sense: they both had their pop culture starts in 1933, and they were both in New York.

I’ve started reading it (this is my third new book I’ve read in the past week or so…I’ve had some time off), and so far, it is quite well written. I would say it is considerably superior to the other contemporary Doc Savage I read, The Desert Demons.

My SO and I are on the same account, so these just showed up on my Kindle Fire…a great way to get them! I also got a note telling me to look there, wrapped in a gift. Actually, technically, my SO helped a supernatural entity get them for me, but that’s kind of a long story. ;) When our kid was little, we explained that Santa bought some things in the stores (rather than building everything at the North Pole), so the store owners would make some money. I was in retail at the time, and that was part of it, but it also might help explain the odd sticker on a gift.

The other three came from a sibling and family. They chose to have the gift codes printed out (which you can do when you choose buy an e-book as a gift), and then wrapped those for our family’s big “gift exchange” party.

This is non-fiction by Danielle Ofri, and it sounds fascinating. In my “day job”, I train doctors and other medical people. I’ve always noted that different specialties tend to have different…emotional profiles, I guess. It makes sense: imagine if you were in a job where all day long, people were likely to be dying, and you were dealing with the families. On the other hand, you might be in a job where there was very little risk to the people you helped, and they always loved the results. It would be pretty likely that you would have a different outlook in those two cases, right?

I’m not a big fan of emotions, personally, but I recognize they are there and that they affect decisions. :) Oh, they certainly have their value, but if you were to make me pick blindly between an emotionless machine making a decision in a crisis (like driving a car when a three-year old darts out into the street) or an emotional human, I’m likely to want to go with the machine.

I’ll be interested to see what the book says, and what solid research and insights it might have.

I know a lot about Batman, but I wouldn’t count The Dark Knight among my fictional heroes. I wouldn’t want to be like Bruce Wayne, in the way that I would like to be more like Doc Savage, Spock, or Kwai Chang Caine. Those three all think of themselves as personally flawed, which is not really something I see from Batman, so I find that less relatable.

I do find the various incarnations of Batman fascinating, though, and that’s what this book is about. The radio show was simply bizarre, and you can have Christian Bale’s frightening near-psychopath and the goofy Batman: The Brave & the Bold cartoon running successfully…at the same time.

My expectations aren’t super high about the quality of the work, but I look forward to it.

You might have expected me to have purchased Andrew Richard Albanese’s book already…but honestly, a Kindle Single for $1.99 always seems pricey to me. Since this is a topic I’ve covered closely, I’ll enjoy reading this take on it.

Care to share what you got (or gave)? :)

“They guard our aloneness.”

That is a beautiful line describing reading p-books over e-books in this

New York Times article by Mohsin Hamid

The point is a good one, for those who prefer to be absorbed into a book, to the exclusion of the world around you. Yes, you can put the new generation Kindle Fires into “Quiet Mode”, so you aren’t disturbed by notifications. However, a p-book only has a connection to you while you are reading it…it can’t connect anywhere else (although you can read it out loud, of course).

I can see the attraction of this sort of enforced primitiveness…like sitting on a mountaintop naked. ;) Generally, though, I prefer the option of the advantages of modern technology…like increasable text sizes…and clothes. ;)

How did that guest Kindle work out?

Not too long ago, I wrote

A Kindle for the guest room

in which I talked about having a Kindle specifically as a guest Kindle.

Well, we’ve had our adult kid and a roommate staying here for a week or so. They just went back to the Boston area…the weather here was exceptionally mild, and they did beat the big storm back. :)

The roommate got the guest Kindle (I knew my kid would bring one). It worked beautifully! While we were quite busy (you might have noticed a somewhat reduced output from me…that’s changed, as you can tell…this is a long post!), our guest read parts of two books. One of them was a book we had discussed at lunch: The Transparent Society. How cool is that? The topic came up about privacy (we had a weird experience, where a drone came up outside the window where we were eating lunch on a previous day, and the camera clearly looked at us), I referenced a book…and our guest could read it without hunting for it or any real inconvenience.

I only knew what books our guest  had read, by the way, by asking. It would probably not have been obvious otherwise. Now that they’ve gone back home, I have simply reset the device (you have to remove the “parental controls” first): Home – Menu – Settings – Menu. I then connected it to our wi-fi again, registered it again, set up the parental controls, and then it’s ready for the next person. Oh, and I’ll charge it…it’s about half way gone, I’d say. Once I went through the set-up, it resumed it’s old name.

Cool! Definitely a good choice to have done…what a nice way to provide books for a guest!

What do you think? What was the best “bookish” thing about your holidays? Is reading a paperbook an anachronistic return to an earlier era, or just as current as an e-book? Did you ever read a book when you were visiting someone else that really impressed you? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

* 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! :) 

** What you are actually buying is a license to read the book. For more information, see my post,  How an e-book is like a treadmill at the gym

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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