Kindle Unlimited access to top magazines (and a new Fire TV Stick generation)

September 30, 2016

Kindle Unlimited access to top magazines (and a new Fire TV Stick generation)

This is a great feature for

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

members! We’ve been happy members ourselves since Amazon introduced their subser (subscription service). For $9.99 a month (or we actually have bought it when it’s been on sale on Prime Day, so it’s cheaper than that), we have access to close to one and a half million titles. I’ve read some great books through KU!

We do read magazines, and I read a few on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX (Entertainment Weekly and Fortean Times, the latter of which I read on the Zinio app, to name two).

We have tried subscribing through the Kindle store to other magazines, but they are somewhat expensive.

Well, you can also get magazines through your KU membership:

Kindle Unlimited magazines (at AmazonSmile*)

There are genuinely top titles in here…I’ll list what’s there this month shortly.

There are still reasons to pay for a subscription: for one thing, access to back issues. I also think it will be one issue a month (rather than four, if it’s a weekly), but I’m not sure about that yet.

Okay, here’s that list:

  • Sports Illustrated
  • People
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • HGTV
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Dr. Oz: The Good Life
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Shape
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Outdoor Life
  • Vogue
  • GQ
  • Bon Appetit
  • Conde’ Nast Traveler
  • National Geographic Traveler
  • Sound & Vision
  • Transworld SNOWboarding
  • Shutterbug
  • Baseball America
  • Runner’s World
  • Town & Country
  • Esquire
  • Four Wheeler
  • Transworld SKATEboarding
  • Snowboarder
  • Stereophile
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Baggers
  • Men’s Health
  • Coastal Living
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • Sunset
  • Rachael Ray Every Day
  • Motorcyclist
  • Golf Digest
  • W
  • Consumer Reports
  • Automobile
  • Motor Trend
  • Powder
  • Surfing
  • Working Mother

Again, these are some of the really top-selling magazines! People is #1 in the Kindle store, Entertainment Weekly is #3.

These appear to work just like books in KU: you can have up to ten at a time (I think that’s ten as a combination of books and magazines, not ten of each). Now, these magazines don’t work on every device…I checked Sunset, and it works on our tablets and my Galaxy S7, but wouldn’t work on our Oasis or Paperwhite.

I’ll check to see if the specific issues change.

Some of you may also be thinking that you could just get a magazine with a 30 day free trial (it’s not always 30 days, I believe)…but you can’t do the same magazine repeatedly with a sample. My guess is that we’ll have the same titles.

How much money could you save with this?

Just to get the current issue of People would cost you $5.99.

So, in KU you can sight read books, listen to text-to-speech (unless blocked by the publisher), get audiobooks, and read magazines…works for me.😉

Bonus story:

In this

press release

Amazon announced the new version of the

All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player (at AmazonSmile*)

It now comes with the voice remote (which includes Alexa…greatly improved recently) for $39.99. This will be one of their top sellers at the holiday season…but they have a special offer if you activate it by October 31st:

Activate your All-New Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote by October 31st and receive 1 month of Sling TV, 2 Months of Hulu (Limited Commercials), and a $10 Amazon Video Credit.

We pay for Hulu without commercials each month (which we love). Hulu has current TV (not all of it, but a lot of hot seasons), movies (usually a handful of recent well-known ones), and older TV (I’m currently rewatching My Favorite Martian, for example).

The new Alexa control includes controlling playback, searching by title or genre, and more. You don’t need the new one for that, though…my 2nd gen does it now…actually, my Fire TV does it now, haven’t tried it on the Fire TV Stick, but I think it works.

I’m debating whether or not I’m going to bring the Fire TV stick with us when we go on a quiet vacation at the beach with our dogs soon. I’m thinking not…but I can see situations where I would.

Amazon’s really refining their hardware…and still expanding our content options: nice!

Oh, and they picked up the new live action Tick as an Amazon TV series…my favorite Tick version is the animated series, but still…😉

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.

Bestseller analysis: Amazon doesn’t need tradpubs…much

September 29, 2016

Bestseller analysis: Amazon doesn’t need tradpubs…much

The

bestselling Kindle books in the USA Kindle store at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*

have really evolved!

Let’s take a quick look at the top 20:

  1. Published by Amazon
  2. Published by Amazon
  3. Published by Amazon
  4. Published by Amazon
  5. Published by Penguin Random House
  6. Published by Amazon
  7. Published by Amazon
  8. Published by Penguin Random House
  9. Published by Amazon
  10. Published by Amazon (KU)
  11. Indie (KU) (BCherry)
  12. Published by Amazon (KU)
  13. Indie (KU)
  14. Indie (KU) (Alibi)
  15. Published by Penguin Random House
  16. Indie  (Pulpwood)
  17. Indie (Waterhouse)
  18. Published by Simon & Schuster (first book on the list with text-to-speech blocked)
  19. Published by Amazon
  20. Published by Henry Holt

Just think about that! Amazon’s own books dominate the top twenty. PRH, the biggest trade publisher, manages to get three books on the list. Outside of that, the only other Big 5 book is from Simon & Schuster (and that’s the only one to block text-to-speech).

The ones that say “Indie” in my list? Those are probably all published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Clearly, Amazon is achieving independence from the tradpubs (traditional publishers)…

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.

Utopia is banned in Texas prisons? It’s Banned Books Week

September 27, 2016

Utopia is banned in Texas prisons? It’s Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week again:

Official Site

“Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read.”

Since 1982, the group (which includes the American Library Association) has listed the most “challenged” books.

I write about this every year, and my feelings on it are simple and I think pretty clear. Reading books is a good thing. Reading diverse books is a good thing. Limiting the books people read, as a rule of thumb, is a bad thing.

I can understand banning the distribution or sale of books which infringe copyright: that’s not the same thing as banning the book, it’s enforcing the law on a particular version or circulation of a book.

This year, I thought I’d highlight a particular issue: books banned in prisons.

Let’s start with this article from The Guardian (a British newspaper):

The Guardian article by Stuart Miller

It talks specifically about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice banning a wide variety of books for prisoners.

It kicks off talking about Wolf Boys, a non-fiction book which doesn’t encourage drug use…but does have a short section on an obvious way to smuggle drugs, which is apparently why it was banned.

I would have linked to it…but the publisher has blocked text-to-speech** access, which is another whole issue and not, let me stress, equivalent.

This is the government preventing prisoners from getting books…legal censorship for a particular population.

Now, unquestionably, prisoners have fewer rights than the non-prison population. As a simple example, they can’t freely assemble within the prison…they can be told specifically they can’t gather together.

I tried to find an official list of all the books that are banned…and was stymied in several attempts. I found broken 404 links, and comments (including from news organizations) about not being able to get such a list.

That seems a bit odd. Doesn’t seem like the family of a prisoner, who might buy a paper copy of a book and send it to a prisoner, should know if it will be confiscated and the rules offended? They might not want to break the rules: but how can they do that if they don’t know what they are? Sure, I can see a spot decision made on a book which has not been previously evaluated, but you might as well tell people the books about which you’ve already decided.

I’ve seen some books listed, but can’t confirm them…hence the “?” in my headline.

I saw a report that they ban

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

This is a 16th Century book by Thomas More about a fictional society…the word has come into common use as a “perfect society”, but I’m sure that’s not how people tend to seriously interpret it (for one thing, slavery is part of the society…although the slaves do have gold chains).

On the other hand, I’ve seen a report that Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler is permitted.

I would give prisoners free access to any legally produced books.

I can immediately see some objections raised.

Sexually explicit material?

Sure, that’s fine with me, when legally produced.

Books on making bombs? If they are legal, I’m not banning them. What, you think when criminals have served their terms they can’t get those books on the outside? They won’t have the materials they need in the prison…you aren’t preventing them from learning how to make bombs, you are just delaying it.

Racist/homophobic/sexist books and so on?

Yes, I would allow that. I wouldn’t have the government determining what fits certain rules and what doesn’t. Fifty years ago, many topics which we consider to be acceptable, even empowering today, would have been banned as potentially dangerous…that they would make people not “right thinking”.

I suspect that unfettered access to public libraries for prisoners would have a net positive effect on reducing future criminal acts.

I don’t have the evidence for that…just my feeling. I would guess that the TDCJ doesn’t have science that shows that reading a book that advocates hatred against a protected group being read by prisoners actually increases activity against that group.

I don’t know much about them, but I did run across this organization:

Books to Prisoners

You can choose to support them through

http://smile.amazon.com

if you like…maybe just for this week. There are other organizations you can support that way that may tie into this issue, of course.

All of this reminds me of the campaign against comic books in the 1950s, covered more than ably in

The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by David Hadju, which I recommend.

That’s not to equate prisoners with children, but in both cases, the concept is that reading may corrupt the morals of a population (although, clearly, there are other justifications given for banning books for prisoners, including, as noted above, practical knowledge).

What do you think? Should prisoners have free access to books? If not, which types of books should be banned? Why should they be banned? Is it because of the impact of the book on the prisoner, or as a form of punishment? 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.

** 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.

Today’s KDD: “$2.99 each: Dark reads for stormy nights”

September 25, 2016

Today’s KDD: “$2.99 each: Dark reads for stormy nights”

Today’s

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

says it is “dark reads for stormy nights”. I am not sure if they are alluding to Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s famous line, “It was a dark and stormy night”, also used by Snoopy, and which are the introductory words on the website for the bad fiction contest, the The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest…but these are good words!😉

I’m also not quite sure what defines them as “dark”; they seem pretty diverse to me. I wouldn’t say I’m a particular fan of “dark” writing, although I certainly don’t need everything to be Pollyanna (at AmazonSmile*). I like Michael Moorcock’s  Elric series, and Charles G. Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao, both of which are arguably dark.

These prices may not apply in your country, and as always, check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”.

Remember that you can buy a Kindle book as a gift and delay the delivery for the appropriate gift-giving occasion (although that may be region-restricted). Not too soon to be thinking about the holidays, and I love giving e-books as small gifts.

Today’s sale includes:

  • Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
  • The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  • Once Second After (A John Matherson Novel) by William R. Fortschen
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
  • The Two-Family House by Lunda Cohen Loigman
  • How Not to Die by Michael Gregor, MD
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
  • The Children by Ann Leary
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Where We Belong by Emily Griffin
  • This Is Not My Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden
  • Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs
  • The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year by Andy Cohen
  • The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

These are generally highly rated, and some have a lot of reviews. One Second After has 6,362 customer reviews (which is very high) with an average of 4.4 stars out of 5.

Enjoy!

By the way, we aren’t looking at stormy nights where I live, across the Bay and then some from San Francisco. It’s been pretty hot here…it’s projected to get to 33c today (about 91.5f). It can and does get hotter than that here…but we are almost to October.🙂

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.

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.


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