What would get you to stop reading? Yeah, me neither

September 25, 2016

What would get you to stop reading? Yeah, me neither

Some people seem to be suggesting that Americans are reading fewer books.

I don’t buy it.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t intuitively feel that someone who reads books regularly is going to stop and replace it with other media.

Now, certainly, some life situations can change the amount of leisure reading you do. Changing a job can affect it, for one thing.

I do think that there are indicators that people are buying fewer books from publishers measured by the Association of American Publisher (AAP), but that’s not at all the same thing.

For the AAP measured (AAPm) publishers, there does appear to have been a downturn, according to this

Publishers Weekly article by Jim Milliot

and other sources, the AAP’s latest StatShot reports shows that sales of adult trade books (the kind of books you would have bought in a bookstore…not textbooks and such) are down 10.9% at AAPm in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 2015.

That is a significant drop…but my guess is that a lot of that is sales (or at least obtaining) migrating somewhere else. That could be books from indies (independent publishers) as well as downloading freebies.

I could easily a ten percent shift in the past year…even though it doesn’t have to be the full 10.9%. Some of the drop could be from the coloring book fad peaking.

The biggest change I see is a drop of 40.5% in children’s/young adult’s e-books.

I think young adult e-books can be particularly affected by

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

I would guess that borrows from Amazon’s subser (subscription service) probably aren’t counted in the AAP figures.

I also think e-books are growing the number of books read…just not from the AAPm.

That has to do with convenience mostly, but I can say that I go through books a lot faster using text-to-speech (software which reads books aloud to you). Some tradpubs block the TTS access, which could slow down their sales some

The big tradpubs have also raised prices (they control consumer prices now, although Amazon can discount in some cases.

What do you think? Are people reading more or few books…and why? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

October 2016 Kindle book releases

September 24, 2016

October 2016 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances.

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the 7,876 titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in October 2016:

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

Of those, by the way, 1,259 (179 fewer than last month are) in

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

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked**.

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were the

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks for this month.

Amazon no longer does the “New and Popular” search as a default, but does “Featured”. Presumably, a human being picks those titles in some way…and the list is clearly not the same.  Different from last month, but the way it had been going before that, they aren’t dominant.

The other thing is that some of those Kindle Unlimited titles are way up on the list. I’m concerned (and I’ve alerted Amazon about it) that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

In October, there tends to be a lot of brand name author big titles. Books can take a while to build up steam, and publishers want to have the gift books solidly in the market by Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Gift books benefit from word of mouth and from reviews…meaning people have already finished it. That doesn’t mean there won’t be good indie (independently published) books, too, but you may see more expensive, tradpubbed (traditionally published) books in this listing than I often do.

Okay, books!

  • Take Me Home (A Callaway Novella) by Barbara Freethy
  • The Whistler by John Grisham
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Obsidian Chamber (Agent Pendergast series) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Beard Science (Winston Brothers Book 3) by Penny Reid
  • Escape Clause (A Virgil Flowers Novel) by John Sandford
  • Order to Kill by Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills
  • Sex, Lies & Serious Money (A Stone Barrington Novel) by Stuart Woods
  • Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Stories for Children by David and Shawn Kobb (KU)
  • Hero by R.A. Salvatore
  • The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr
  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  • Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
  • Winter Storms (Winter Street) by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Earth-Shattering Events: Earthquakes, Nations, and Civilization by Andrew Robinson
  • The Greatest Album Covers of All Time by Barry Miles
  • His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae (Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016) by Graeme MaCrae Burnet
  • Otherlife Awakenings: The Selfless Hero Trilogy by William D. Arand and Tamara Blain (KU)
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
  • Blood on the Tracks (Sydney Rose Parnell Series Book 1) by Barbara Nickless
  • The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz Smith
  • Pharaoh by Wilbur Smith
  • Darkest Journey (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham
  • Birds, Beasts and Relatives (The Corfu Trilogy Book 2) by Gerald Durrell (one of my favorite authors)

Feel free to suggest other books being released in September in the USA Kindle store. If you are the author, or are otherwise connected with the production or publishing of the book, I’d appreciate you saying so. That won’t stop me from publishing the comment, but it should be in your own words and not an ad.

 

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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! :)

** A Kindle/Fire with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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 #147: focus on audio

September 21, 2016

Round up #147: focus on audio

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

Interesting results in my recent polls

I recently polled my readers about books and formats

In which format do you read the most books?

and was intrigued and educated by some of the results.

Let me first state, as I assume is apparent, that this is not at all a scientific survey. I do love the scientific method, and I like to look at methodology, but this is simply self-reporting of a small and undeniably unusual group of respondents…my readers.😉

First, when I look at this question: “In which formats have you read a book in the past 12 months?” e-books are fewer than half of the responses. Pretty evenly split, actually, were paperbooks and audiobooks. I would say I have underestimated the amount of audiobooks for my readers. Regular readers know I’m not a big consumer of audiobooks myself, although I can see the attraction. In terms of the industry, electronic versions of audiobooks have been one of the bright spots for some time.

Second, my readers report reading a lot more e-books than p-books (paperbooks). That’s part of what started that post. Pew had suggested that p-books were twice as popular as e-books…not with my readers. About 30% of the respondents said they read about 1 e-book a week (25-52), the most popular answer. The second most popular response (28%) was that they had read more than 52 e-books in the past 12 months. For p-books, the most popular response was about one per season (1 to 4 in the past 12 months) at 40%. The second one was “none” at 38%.

In terms of paperbook formats, more people were reading mass market paperbacks (the smaller ones) than I might have guessed…that’s a segment that’s been rapidly declining in market share, pretty much supplanted by e-books. My guess here is that many of those read are ones that my readers already owned, rather than new ones that they purchased recently.

I left off a couple of options in the poll (that happens), and they both related to early generation technology. One was listening to audiobooks on EBRs (E-Book Readers). Amazon had eliminated audio from EBRs some time back…but people certainly were listening on older gen Kindle EBRs. Another one was listening to audiobooks on CDs. I probably should also have included the original popular version, “books on tape”…audiocassettes.

Speaking of how my readers play their audiobooks, that was a lively topic in the comments on the blog recently. I naively was thinking that not having the recent

New Prime benefit: Audible Channels for Prime

available for Amazon’s own Fire Tablets at this point (I expect it to come later) might have been because Amazon figured that not that many people listen to audiobooks on tablets who don’t have a SmartPhone option.

That was silly of me: after all, I generally listen to text-to-speech (TTS), which is my preference, on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX 7 in the car. For one thing, I’d say the tablet generally has better battery charge life doing the same sorts of functions as the phone does. I haven’t really tested that recently, though.

For my readers, it went like this:

What do you use to play your audiobooks?

  • A SmartPhone 28.3% (45 votes)
  • A tablet 23.9% (38 votes)
  • I don’t listen to audiobooks 16.98% (27 votes)
  • An Echo device 16.35% (26 votes)
  • An MP3 player 10.06% (16 votes)
  • A laptop 3.14% (5 votes)
  • A desktop 1.26% (2 votes)
  • A smart watch 0% (0 votes)
  • A TV streamer (Chromecast, Fire TV) 0% (0 votes)
  • Total Votes: 159

A SmatPhone was highest, which is what I would have guessed. Next a tablet…and then I’m glad I included Echo devices! I’ve done that…listened to some of Dracula read by Tim Curry and Alan Cumming (and others) (at AmazonSmile*). I thought there might be some SmartWatch users…I’ve suggested Amazon could create a wearable for audiobooks, TTS, and so on. I also thought some might have used a TV streamer…Fire TV is so popular! However, how you would do it isn’t that obvious…they don’t have a category for it on the Fire TV homescreen, for example. One way to do it would be to listen to audiobooks on YouTube…they do have an app for YouTube, and there are a lot of audiobook videos there. You can also use the Alexa functionality to listen to your Audible books…I’ve tried that with Dracula, too. Audiobooks on TV seems like a great way to go to me…particularly the family listening to something together, or just while you were doing chores. An Echo device can do that, sure, but I assume more people have TVs at this point than Echo devices.😉

Anyway, interesting information…thanks for answering!

EBOOK FRIENDLY: 8 Google search tips for book lovers

This

EBOOK FRIENDLY post by Piotr Kowalczyk

is yet another great and useful post from this superior site!

You’ll see how to find books to read online, rich information about authors, comparison shop prices for e-books, and so on.

Well done!

OPEN CULTURE: Hear 75 Free, Classic Audio Books on Spotify: Austen, Joyce, Bukowski, Kafka, Vonnegut, Poe, Kerouac & More

I was writing about audiobooks above, and, well, who knew? Okay, I don’t want to be naïve again…maybe everybody but me.😉 This

Open Culture post (by Dan Colman?)

list many well-known books read by famous narrators…available for free at Spotify (you need a free account).

These aren’t all public domain (not under copyright protection) books, although many are. Some are read by the author (Langston Hughes, T.S. Elliot, to name two), some by actors (including Alec Guinness, Christopher Lee, and John Gielgud). I would guess there are hundreds of hours of entertainment here.

What happens when an e-book store closes?

I’ve said many times that I am more confident that my e-books will be read by my descendants after I’m gone than that my p-books will be. I’m speaking specifically of my Kindle books…I’m hard-pressed to see a situation in which that valuable an asset would not continue in some way. Either it would become legal for us to break the DRM (Digital Rights Management) because a “decoder” is not commercially available (you would have to download the books first…but I wouldn’t expect Amazon to shutter with no notice), or someone else would “buy the accounts”.

According to this

mobileread post by “chrisridd”

the latter is happening with Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand.

According to the memo posted and reported to have come from the company, there are refunds for some types of content (movies, TV, digital magazines), and you can download your MP3s before the shutdown, but e-books are being transferred to Kobo.

An irritation revisitation

I’m talking a lot about audio in this round-up, so I do want to mention one more thing.

My Significant Other needed a new read, and a reader, Carolyn perreau, had recently recommended Dorothy Abbott’s mysteries. Fortunately, what seemed to be the most popular books were part of

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

Since we’ve been happy members of Amazon’s subser (subscription service) since the launch, we were able to read that at no additional cost.

I sent the first one in a series to my SO’s device, and to mine:

Only The Innocent (at AmazonSmile*)

I was looking forward to listening to in using TTS on my way to and from work the next day…I was going to have a commute which was likely to be a couple of hours.

I was disappointed, because although TTS was enabled, the e-book only wanted to play the audiobook. That was even though I had removed the audiobook which automatically downloaded with the e-book, restarted the device, restarted the Kindle reader, removed the e-book, download it again, etc., etc.🙂

I’ve called Amazon about this a couple of times in the past with different books. I totally understand that most people see the audiobook as a bonus, a big plus. I don’t like to listen to an audiobook unless I’ve already read the book (as I put it, I don’t like the author/actor to interpret the characters for me).

If I could have had TTS on the book, I’d probably be most of the way through it by now (a few days later), if not actually finished.

As it is, I haven’t really started it.

I have books which don’t work well with TTS, so I sight read them…I’ve been reading

Keep Watching the Skies by Bill Warren (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which I’m really enjoying. It’s about 1950s science fiction movies (in the USA). I’ve seen almost all of the movies (I’m about 2/3rds of the way through…I would guess I haven’t seen fewer than ten of them so far…a couple of real rarities, a couple of “adult movies”)) nudies, as they might have been called then)), which simply wouldn’t have been available to me when I was watching most of these), but am getting quite a bit of insight into them.

There are pictures I want to see, so I don’t want to do TTS with that book.

My SO and I enjoy reading the same book at the same time, so we can discuss it afterwards (no spoilers). I’ll say that we read socially, although I won’t deny a touch of competitiveness in it.🙂 I’ve kidded my SO about that saying, “I can be less competitive than you can!”

As it is, I’m sure my SO will finish the book first…and be on to the next one (if this one is enjoyed) before I do.

By the way, in case your thought is this might be a publisher thing…it’s published by Amazon’s own traditional publishing mystery imprint.🙂

Carla Hayden: LoC

I didn’t want to end with a negative, so here’s a nice profile piece on the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden:

The New Yorker post by Daniel. A. Gross

I think Hayden may move the digitization efforts forward in a more focused way, which I would like to see.🙂

What do you think? What would you like the Library of Congress to do in the future? Do you listen to a lot of audiobooks? Do you worry about what will happen to your e-book collection in the future? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

 

Today’s KDD: “$1.99 & up, books made into movies and TV shows”

September 18, 2016

Today’s KDD: “$1.99 & up, books made into movies and TV shows”

Today’s

Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is on books which were made into movies or TV shows.

I read a lot of books, but I also watch a lot of movies and TV shows (sometimes I do both simultaneously).

I’d rather read a book before I see the movie, because my favorite thing in entertainment is to be surprised. They are very different experiences, but the broad strokes of the book’s plot may appear in the movie, potentially ruining that surprise. I don’t find that a book ruins a movie for me…movies tend to be less about the plot for me, and more about the characters and visual look.

Part of that, I think, as I’ve mentioned before, is that I don’t tend to visualize or hear voices when I read books. That means that somebody can’t “look wrong” for me when I see the movie, as long as their appearance matches the discrete facts mentioned in the book…for example, someone might be described as a redhead. I would notice if they had brown hair instead…but I would probably be okay with it.🙂 I’m not that visually oriented altogether.

I suppose I’m like how a lot of software would approach it in that way. I don’t project from someone being a redhead what their ears or torso look like.🙂

On the other hand, if someone behaves in a way I feel is out of character, that can really jar me. I think I’m probably as empathetic as most readers…I just don’t do it visually (or, I guess, auditorially).

I do think that movies and TV shows lead people to read books. I would never suggest that the right thing to do is to read the book first every time…it’s going to vary.

I like having books like this in our library, especially for guests. Somebody who has seen a movie or TV show might read the book when on a vacation…and that might inspire more future reading, from other books in the series, genre, or by that author.

Before we get into today’s books, I’ll link you to an article I coincidentally flipped into the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard this morning:

BOOKRIOT: “CWildONFESSIONS OF A RECOVERING BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATION SNOB by Carolina Ciucci”

This line makes me…um, unsympathetic to Ciucci:

“Even when I do watch the film, I’m typically that annoying person making snarky comments under her breath until everyone in the theatre wants to feed me the d*mn book and choke me.”

While that wouldn’t make me want to choke somebody, I’m not happy with anybody who makes comments I can hear in a movie theatre…about anything, really, but especially about the movie itself.

That’s an interesting point: I like to see movies in a movie theatre with an enthusiastic crowd, yelling and gasping together…but I don’t want them talking. Hm…

Check the price before you click or tap the Buy button…for one thing, prices may not apply in your country.

Books in today’s sale include:

  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (releasing September 23rd this year with Glenn Close and Gemma Arterton)
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Oscar nominated movie in 2014 starring Reese Witherspoon)
  • The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (2015 movie with Scott Eastwood)
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (2011 movie with Robert Pattinson…and Reese Witherspoon again)
  • Orange & Black by Piper Kerman (hit Netflix series 2013-)
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (note that this one, while it was optioned, has not been made into a movie yet. From what I’m seeing, it’s not actually in active development)
  • Call the Widwife by Jennifer Worth (TV series with Vanessa Redgrave 2012-)
  • Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell (2013 movie with Mark Wahlberg)
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (Amazon series 2015-)
  • The Cold Dish (Longmire) by Craig Johnson (Robert Taylor/Katee Sackhoff/Lou Diamond TV series)
  • The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (2011 Matthew McConaughey movie)
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding (2001 movie with Renee Zellweger/Colin Firth/Hugh Grant…there have been sequels)
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1972 movie with Marlon Brando)
  • The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (AMC TV series)
  • 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber (Cedar Cove TV series 2013-2015)
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz (2015 movie with Natalie Portman)

I would guess there are literally thousands of books in the Kindle store which have been made into movies or TV shows…and I could list many more. The ones above are on sale today, though. Quite a few are also available at no additional cost to

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

members.

Here are some others:

  • Harry Potter (KU)
  • The Hunger Games (KU)
  • Lord of the Rings (KU)
  • I Am Legend
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • The Wizard of Oz (free to own, and many other editions)
  • Me Before You
  • Wuthering Heights (free to own, and many other editions)
  • Pride and Prejudice (free to own, and many other editions)
  • Sherlock Holmes (much of it is free to own, and many other editions)

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

In which format do you read the most books?

September 17, 2016

In which format do you read the most books?

Recently, I wrote about an annual Pew study on reading habits:

Did Pew just find that nearly twice as many paperbooks are read as e-books?

My concern, as well as that of some of my commenters, is that the interpretation that p-books (paperbooks) were about twice as popular as e-books wasn’t really borne out by the data.

The key thing was that each reader was treated as a data point…which is a disconnect with the number of books read in each medium (since many readers read more than one book a year).

So, I thought I’d ask you.

Now, I know my readers aren’t typical…thank goodness.😉 I would expect the readers of a blog called “I Love My Kindle” to skew more towards e-books, of course.

However, I would also expect them to buy and read a disproportionately high number of books as well, compared to the average person.

That’s the point…if what we are looking at is number of books, “serious readers” read a lot more…but there are also a lot fewer of them than “casual readers”.

I think the results here will be interesting, even if they aren’t typical of the country (or the world) as a whole.

Let’s get started:

Obviously, I haven’t asked every possible question.🙂 Feel free to make additional points by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

 

I had my first experience with an Amazon locker and it was…

September 16, 2016

I had my first experience with an Amazon locker and it was…

…super frustrating!🙂

The smiley face is there because it ended up okay and I got my packages, and I usually can’t stay frustrated for more than a few minutes.

So, here’s what happened…oh, and I’d better explain what an Amazon Locker is. I wrote about it in more detail here:

Amazon Lockers come to a Safeway near us

You order something from Amazon, and have it sent to an Amazon Locker. Our closest one is in a 24 hour Safeway. Then, you pick it up there.

Why do that?

There are several reasons, but a big one for us is that we’ve actually had Amazon packages stolen that were mailed to our house. We solved that by having packages delivered to my Significant Other’s office…but that’s not a perfect solution. It has to go through central receiving, so we often get it until the day after it was actually delivered. Obviously, if I get home first, I don’t have it. Also, my SO always knows when I’ve ordered something, which isn’t as much fun for gifts.

Setting up the locker thing was easy.

Ordering it was easy (you basically add your locker to your address book).

Finding out that the package was delivered was easy…I got an e-mail and a notification from the Amazon shopping app. The e-mail even has a barcode I’ll be able to scan, in addition to a code I could enter manually.

I’m in a hurry to get home, and the Safeway is pretty much on the way home. I walk with a cane, and I have a nice big bag that slings over my shoulder, so I brought that into the store. Interestingly to me, Safeway doesn’t mind if I put things into the bag while I shop…Whole Foods doesn’t allow it.

I get to the locker and as goofy as it is, I’m really happy to use it. I mean, I seriously was showing people at work a picture I took of the lockers as I tell them about my exciting adventure ahead.

What could go wrong, right?

The touchscreen doesn’t work.

Well, that’s not entirely true. It recognizes my touch to start the process, but after that, it’s hopeless. If I try really hard it may enter one character out of the multi-character code. Sometimes it puts up the wrong code. I can’t even cancel the process.

I figure I might be able to use the scan code instead, so I go to my Amazon shopping app..it’s not in there, as far as I can tell.

I’ve been there for at least a few minutes, and people are staring and smiling.🙂

I call the number on the machine for help (since the help on the touchscreen won’t respond).

The rep agrees pretty quickly it doesn’t work. I ask where the scan code is…it’s in the e-mail, and nowhere else, apparently.

Fortunately, I have that on my phone…a lot of people would probably have deleted that.

It takes a little maneuvering, but I get the scanner to read.

So, I’m good. It was nice to only have to scan one code to get my two different items from two individual orders. The door popped open automatically on the proper locker…that was also cool.🙂

The rep wanted me to stay on the line to help the tech fix it, but it was going to be a couple of minutes…and my chronic condition means that standing for a long time is hard. I’d already been standing there long enough that it was difficult.

I explained that to the rep.

Would I use the locker again?

Absolutely!

There are tons of these lockers across the country…the touchscreen thing had to be a fluke. I noticed that the panel that hold the touchscreen seemed like it was ajar…might have been an issue there. Now that I know how to use the scanner, it would be fine without that anyway (as long as it recognizes the touch enough to start and finish the process).

I’ll let you know how it goes next time…

Bonus news: I just wrote about the

All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and the two versions (black and white) are the number 1 and 2 bestselling electronics at Amazon.com! Looks like a hit…I use the 1st generation every day, and I’m quite satisfied with it.

Bonus book item: I like to try to give you a book/book reader story every time, although I don’t always manage it. The Echo Dot can read you books, so that could certainly count, and you could have an EBR (E-Book Reader) or tablet delivered to a locker, but I still wanted to do a little more.🙂

search for “omnibus” in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

An “omnibus” should be several books which were published separately, and are related in some way, in a single volume. It’s sort of like a short story anthology…except with whole books instead of short stories.😉 Some of these are highly rated with thousands of customer reviews…and 872 of them (at the time of writing) are available in

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

at no additional cost.

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

New Echo Dot introduced

September 15, 2016

New Echo Dot introduced

I’m not always right (I thought publishers would embrace Amazon adding text-to-speech to the Kindle 2, since it means people get through books more quickly and will buy more…quite wrong there), but I have gotten a few good predictions in over the years.

This one was just from two days ago

Did Pew just find that nearly twice as many paperbooks are read as e-books?

but I wasn’t seeing much speculation along this line before I said it.

I said:

“Bonus thought: is a refresh coming to the Echo line? Amazon has announced a September 14th event of some kind for the UK, and some people think that might be the Echo coming to the UK. The Echo Dot (I use one every day) is no longer available, with no indication of when it might be coming back in stock.”

Well, today they introduced a new version of the Dot:

All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

available for pre-order for October 20th. It also comes in black. The white is new, and can be a good option for some rooms, like many kitchens.

The Dot is the version of Amazon’s Echo without a big speaker. It doesn’t have a tinny speaker, which is fine for voice, but it will sound scratchy on music. Still, I use a Dot every day…we have one in the bedroom, and for one thing, it turns our lights on and off. It also gives me weather reports, tells me what’s on my calendar, and so on.

They’ve reduced the price to $49.99. You can also buy six for the price of five or 12 for the price of 10 (which is the same either way). That way, you could have one in each room…or give them as gifts.

If you want good sound, you can connect it to a Bluetooth or wired speaker. I use mine with

iClever BoostSound Portable IP65 Waterproof Outdoor/Shower Bluetooth Speaker with 12hr Playtime (iClever BoostSound Portable IP65 Waterproof Outdoor/Shower Bluetooth Speaker with 12hr Playtime)

which was a gift from our now adult kid.

I have it in the bathroom, and I like the interface a lot. Pairing it was easy and now, I just turned it on and in a second or two, the sound from my Dot is coming through it…even if I do that in the middle of a song. The sound is fine…and again, nice that it is waterproof.

The price for the speaker right now is $23.99, which is nice!

Besides coming in white, it’s a bit shorter, but I suspect there are more hardware changes, even without that many more software features.

Also, it comes with a new “ESP” (Echo Spatial Perception) feature…which will also come to the earlier Echoes in the near future.

It will enable an Echo to know if you are talking to it, or to another Echo.

That’s been a…challenge for us. The Echoes hear really well. When I say something to the one in the bedroom, the one in the family room usually hears me, too. That’s down a pretty long hallway and around a corner. Sometimes one of them hears me correctly and the one doesn’t, but they usually answer in harmony.

This is supposed to help with that issue, and to improve over time.

There are, by the way, more than 3,000 skills (like apps) available now! That’s up from about 1,000…just since June.

One more bit of Alexa news. The Echo is coming to the UK and Germany.

Bonus story: I read a Rizzoli and Isles novel by Tess Gerritsen:

Die Again (at AmazonSmile*)

I read a lot of things, but I don’t tend to read a lot of…well, let’s call them mainstream bestsellers. I’m not opposed to them…I’m not one of those people who thinks that if something is popular it isn’t good.🙂

These are very popular mysteries, starring a police detective and a medical examiner.

They are a disparate pair, and that’s clearly part of the attraction…and what lead to a TV series based on them.

I did enjoy the book, and found it well written. Interestingly, though, the main characters were not the ones that made the book work the most for me. In fact, my Significant Other read the book also…and felt the same way. We both had some trouble telling them apart…even though they are supposed to very physically and temperamentally different. I would guess that if I gave most people a selection of quotations from the two characters, they would have difficulty assigning them correctly.

There were other characters and situations that were richly done.

I wonder if that’s normal in the series…that Rizzoli and Isles are more framing characters than the focus of the plot.

Speaking of the plot…I didn’t find the mystery all that difficult. I suspect I was aided in that by having some somewhat esoteric knowledge, but it’s an unusual mystery where I haven’t considered the proper solution…even if it’s only one of several things I’ve considered. In this case, I anticipated a couple of main elements.

Regardless, it was still worth reading for me. I liked a series of scenes set in Africa very much.

Back to more obscurities…😉

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

New Prime benefit: Audible Channels for Prime

September 14, 2016

New Prime benefit: Audible Channels for Prime

While I typically listen to text-to-speech for hours every week, regular readers know I’m not a big fan of audiobooks…unless I’ve already read the book. I don’t like the narrator (be it actor or author) interpreting the characters for me.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like audio entertainment…I do. I really like Old Time Radio…I tend to bring a couple of shows with me (on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX) when I travel by plane.

Well, in this

press release

Amazon announces a new benefit for Prime members: Audible Channels for Prime. This is quite a range of audio entertainment. Amazon says:

“…Audible Channels features a consistently refreshed, thoughtfully organized selection of original programs, distinctive comedy, lectures, and audio editions of standout articles and news from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Foreign Affairs, Charlie Rose, McSweeney’s, The Onion, and other leading periodicals. Audible Channels also showcases 20 hand-selected Audible Playlists, from essential stories of the day, meditation and commute-sized comedy to compilations on science, history, technology and more.”

This is really quite impressive! There are no additional cost Prime available audiobooks, but streaming only (not for download).

Here are some of the Prime Exclusive audiobooks right now (again, for streaming only):

  • Jaws by Peter Benchley (narrated by Erik Steele)
  • The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings (narrated by Jonathan Davis)
  • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (narrated by Simon Vance)
  • Ringworld by Larry Niven (narrated by Tom Parker)
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (cast includes Alan Cummings and Tim Curry)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (narrated by Rosamund Pike)
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (narrated by Cassandra Campbell)

The categories of Prime Exclusive audiobooks include:

  • Better than the Movie
  • You & Improved
  • For All Generations
  • Celebrity Voices Classic Stories
  • Truly Criminal
  • Get Hooked Series Starters
  • Dramatic History
  • Worlds Away Sci-Fi Classics
  • Editors’ Choice

The “Channels” have lots of choices, too!

  • Audible Originals
  • Shows & Series
  • Popular Publications
  • Trending
  • Business
  • Comedy
  • Culture & Human Interest
  • Learning
  • Fiction
  • News & Politics
  • Science & Tech
  • Wellness & Meditation

You can download a lot of those items.

Here are a few of those…I went to the fiction channel:

  • Masters of Fiction: Yachts and Things by Truman Capote (narrated by Victor Bevine), 12 minutes
  • Masters of Fiction: The Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde (narrated by David Ian Davies), 11 minutes
  • Alternate Reality: The Sunken Land by Fritz Leiber (narrated by Jonathan Davis), 48 minutes

You do all this in an app…for more information, see

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

Seriously, this seems like a major additional benefit to Prime! If you aren’t a member yet, check it out here:

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

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Did Pew just find that nearly twice as many paperbooks are read as e-books?

September 12, 2016

Did Pew just find that nearly twice as many paperbooks are read as e-books?

I keep seeing various things which seem to suggest that e-book growth has stagnated…that it had a meteoric rise from when the Kindle was introduced to something like 25% of the market, and then has hit a plateau.

That narrative certainly wouldn’t fit what I thought would happen.

Quite simply, I think e-books are generally better for most people, in terms of simple recreational reading of novels or popular non-fiction.

There are all sorts of advantages: the increasable font size, how portable e-books are, the ability to look up words, the way it can remember where you were without a bookmark, and so on

Sure, there are some disadvantages as well, but I honestly think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

At the very least, p-books aren’t twice as good as e-books for the most popular kinds of reading.

Pew regularly surveys Americans on their reading habits, and looking at it comparatively from year to year, it isn’t obvious that there is the same kind of explosive growth.

Taking a look at this year’s

Book Reading 2016 report

as summarized by Andrew Perrin, there is a lot of interesting information (based on their survey).

I don’t want to take too much away from it. I’ll mention that I was surprised that the younger the age segment, the higher percentage of them say they have read an e-book. My impression, in the beginning, was that e-books appealed more to older readers. The benefits one gets from e-books apply more to typical seniors than to Millenials.

I suspect that this change, if it is one, may have to do with a trend to read e-books on SmartPhones and other non-reading dedicated devices, as opposed to EBRs (E-Book Readers). My guess would be that SmartPhone use is more prevalent among younger people…I don’t tend to read e-books on my phone, because the screen is simply too small (among other reasons).

What I’ve seen as the main headline from this report, when it has appeared in the blogosphere, is soe variant of this which appears in the actual report summary:

“…print books remain much more popular than books in digital formats”

I think people writing those headlines may have missed something.

While it may be true that 54% of respondents reporting having read a “print book” in the past 12 months, only 28% having read an e-book, that doesn’t mean that about twice as many p-books were read as e-books.

My intuition is that serious readers are more likely to read e-books than casual readers…they also benefit from the advantages (especially the storage and portability) more.

Let’s say that a serious reader reads fifty books a year and a casual reader reads ten books a year. The latter number is actually high, but let’s go with it.

Next, let’s say that 75% of e-books are read by serious readers.

That would mean that serious readers read 37.5 e-books a year and 12.5 p-books.

The casual read would read 2.5 e-books and 7.5 p-books.

That would make 40 e-books versus 20 p-books.

That seems more accurate to me. I also think e-book growth will continue, especially since younger people seem to be reading them the most.

I do recommend you read the report (it’s not very long). I’d love to discuss some of the other points, if you want to ask me about them. You can do that, and tell me and my readers what you think about what I’ve said, by commenting on this post.

Bonus thought: is a refresh coming to the Echo line? Amazon has announced a September 14th event of some kind for the UK, and some people think that might be the Echo coming to the UK. The Echo Dot (I use one every day) is no longer available, with no indication of when it might be coming back in stock.

You can still get the

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

or the

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

We might hear more on the 14th than some are currently guessing…Amazon is good at that.

By the way, this is an interesting third party device! It’s a

Portable Battery Base for Echo (Use Echo anywhere) (at AmazonSmile*)

For $49.99 at time of writing, you can run your Echo off this base for something like 5 hours…without plugging it into power! The Tap is still more portable, but for many people, this would serve that purpose. It also enables you to talk to it from across the room, which you can’t do with the Tap.

The reviews are very good, with 4.6 stars average out of 5 with 145 customer reviews.

This might be a fun gift for somebody who has already been “Alexified”.😉

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Round up #146: get a free Echo or Fire Tablet with a subscription, big Fall books

September 10, 2016

Round up #146: get a free Echo or Fire Tablet with a subscription, big Fall books

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

Meanwhile, at Barnes & Noble

B&N announced their financials for the 1st quarter. Overall, it was bad…and the NOOK was worse.

According to CNN Money

graph

the stock has been down for three straight days (although today was bad for the stock market overall).

The media response wasn’t better than the investors’ response. For example, there is this one:

Barnes & Noble reeling as Amazon eats its lunch by Paul R. La Monica in CNN

When people commented on the NOOK, it was pretty much that it was time to give up on it.

GOODEREADER had a more sophisticated take on it:

Barnes and Noble Nook Leadership is in Turmoil by Michael Kozlowski

According to this press release

sales declined 6.6%…and “NOOK sales, which include digital content, devices and accessories, declined 24.5%”.

As a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager, I was…intrigued by some comments on the call…you can read

Seeking Alpha’s transcript

although you may need to do a free registration to read the whole thing.

Leonard Riggio, who really built what we now know as Barnes & Noble was on the call as CEO, although that’s apparently a stopgap position.

It’s not often that you hear “terrible” and “…worse I have ever experienced in 50 years I have been in this industry” on a financial call!

I am unconvinced that, as Riggio suggests, there has been a downturn in sales because of the Presidential election which will reverse itself in time for this year’s holiday season.

Riggio says: “…we look forward to a great holiday series, which will begin this year in the post-election period when I expect what I call this retail malaise to be over.”

I would expect the election to be driving up sales, not down. I doubt very many people are going to say, “I would buy a book, but I’ll watch the debate instead”. Some people will read books about the candidates and the election who don’t read books at other times.

And reversing in time for the holiday sales? The election is November 8th. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is November 25th. Regardless of result, I don’t expect the country to be in a jubilant, confident mood that quickly after this divided an election.

I have respect for Riggio…but I think this will be a tough holiday season for books at Barnes & Noble.

We bought a computer…actually, we bought two

While our now adult kid has been happy with a Lenovo, and a lot of people are, I haven’t loved ours. I type pretty quickly (I’ve been tested in the 90s WPM…Words Per Minute, although I’m not that fast now), and I’ve just never liked the keyboard. I don’t think it was picking up my keystrokes quickly enough.

My Significant Other also really needed a new computer…the plan was that I’d replace the Lenovo, and my SO would use it (it’s been decent except for the keyboard).

We really prefer buying things from Amazon, but I needed hands on to make this decision. I’d tried a few at Costco, but the key arrangement was bizarre. In particular, some of them put the backspace pretty much out of reach without leaving the home row…that doesn’t work for me.

So, it was off to Best Buy.

They were very helpful, and not too pushy.

I ended up with an ASUS for myself, which I’m using right now…and it’s a world of difference. I paid more for it than I had originally thought (about $900).

My SO also loved a Vulcan…and that was under $200!

It’s already helping put more words into this post…just what you wanted, right?😉

“Alexa, show me Star Trek”

Yesterday, I celebrated the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, not only with a post on The Measured Circle blog:

Star Trek: its 50 year mission…to boldly keep on going

but by watching the first aired episode, The Man Trap (although it was in the remastered version).

Alexa voice search has been on the

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

or

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

for a while, but a new update rolling out now is bringing it to over 75 apps, including Netflix and Hulu.

You also will be able to control the playback using your voice.

Unfortunately, the

Voice Remote for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick (at AmazonSmile*)

has probably been the least reliable piece of technology I’ve ever owned. Every one of them I’ve had has broken fairly quickly, without abuse. It’s not just the batteries, by the way. That’s been the only disappointing part of the Fire TV experience for me.

Fortunately, you can do Alexa voice control on the Fire TV by using the free Fire TV app on your SmartPhone.

Note that this doesn’t mean that you can directly control your Fire TV with your Echo…I keep hoping for that. I do have my Echo set up to work with my

Logitech Harmony Home Control – 8 Devices (White) (at AmazonSmile*))

through IFTTT, but that’s a considerable investment and isn’t easy to do technically.

Scarlett Johansson and Tim Curry will read to you

Speaking of the Echo (and we use all three of that family…an Echo, a Tap, and a Dot), Amazon is letting you listen to Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland read by Scarlett Johansson and Journey to the Center of the Earth read by Tim Curry for free through your Echo during September.

Just say, “Alexa, read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from Audible” or “Alexa, read Journey to the Center of the Earth from Audible”.

Nice benefit!

Get a free Echo with a Princeton Review subscription

If you subscribe to Princeton Review Study Course for the SAT, Princeton Review Study Course for ACT, or Princeton Review Homework Help, you get a free Echo!

Education & Learning (at AmazonSmile*)

Now, that’s not cheap…the Homework Help is $399 for a year, but if you are subscribing any way…

Another “device with subscription” offer?

Subscribe to

Texture for 6 months (at AmazonSmile*)

for $89.95 and get a free Fire tablet.

With Texture you have unimited access to over 175 magazines, including many well-known ones…and that includes back issues and downloads.

The app only has a 3.6 star rating in customer reviews out of a possible five. Looking at the reviews, it seems to me that if it works for you, it’s well worth it. Some people don’t like the formatting, and some people had trouble getting it to work at all.

You can cancel within seven days (you won’t get the tablet, of course), so it might be worth testing. The terms are reasonable: your subscription will work on both Android and Apple, and can be shared between five devices.

Amazon’s Fall Reading list

We all know there are only four really good seasons for reading books…winter, spring, summer, and fall.😉

Fall is often for more serious books for many people…summer is more for popcorn books. That’s not how I read myself, but that’s the way a lot of people do it.

Amazon’s editors have made recommendations:

Fall reading: the most buzzworthy books of the season

This is where you can do your holiday shopping!

However, while there are 719 hardbacks listed, there are only 42 Kindle editions listed. Still definitely worth a look.

That was a lot of ground in these short pieces. Have opinions on any of them? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Update: this post was improved because of a comment from regular reader and commenter Harold Delk…thanks, Harold!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.


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