Round up #182: Outlander TV series, Advanced Search for Kindle store

Round up #182: Outlander TV series, Advanced Search for Kindle store

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

Amazon adds Advanced Search to USA Kindle store

Well, this is nice to see, and I’m not quite sure when it happened!

In the past, I’ve gone to the Books (not Kindle Books) part of Amazon, and then used the Advanced Search there (limiting it to Kindle format) to find things like books being released in the future.

They’ve now added that feature (I’m not sure when) to the side navigation links in the Kindle store:

Kindle eBooks: Advanced Search

Here’s what it looks like:


They have four categories of ages for kids, and quite a few subjects.


Kobo Mini under $40 for the USA

That’s right…you can get a major company’s reflective screen (non-backlit) EBR (E-Book Reader) for $39.99 through July 18th.

Now, it’s important to note that this a 5-inch screen (not a 6-inch, like most non-backlit EBRs), but it is a touchscreen. Amazon’s cheapest touchscreen is the Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers for $119.

You can’t read your Kindle store books on it, but it does do Adobe DRM (Digital Rights Management). It might be good for emergencies…you know, like that little donut spare tire in your car. 😉

It also might be good for classrooms or offices, if you are just doing public domain titles, or proprietary company documents.

I don’t think this will force Amazon to match the price with the Mindle, but I’m sure they are not unaware of it, and will be looking to see how it does as they st the pricing for any new hardware they might introduce this year.

Um…like forgetting how to punctuate a contraction? 😉

On the other hand, I have to admit I was amused by this with Kobo. I really try to match my adult kid’s approach to grammar. My kid is a linguist, and tries to get me to not be so strict about English, since it is evolving.

However, the irony of the headline on this Kobo blog post caught my eye:

Schools out for summer, but books are always in! (sic)

Now, I know that part of why people talk about wanting to keep kids reading in the summer is that it tends to reduce the “brain drain” that supposedly occurs during the academic break.

What’s funny to me is that the first part of the headline should be “School’s out for summer”, right? It’s a contraction of “school is”…

Amazon’s “Summer Sun, Reading Fun”

Amazon has a bestseller list of books for

Summer Sun, Reading Fun

Since this is a top 100 list, it should change from time to time…but there were some interesting suggestions in there.

Not all games are apps

While apps for the Kindle Fire certainly get a lot of attention, the “active content” for the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles…anything but a Kindle Fire at this point) are still growing.

I thought this was an interesting category:

Interactive Fiction for RSKs

Oh, they don’t call it “RSKs”, by the way…that’s one of my terms, and a lot of people don’t like that I refer to them as “reflective screen” devices. 🙂 Technically, that is what they are (you read by light reflecting off the screen, the same way you read paperbooks), but people think a reflection means a glare, so they do (I think understandably) think there might be some confusion about whether a hard-to-read-in-the-sun tablet is a reflective device or not. It’s not reflections that make those backlit devices hard to read, it’s because they are competing with the sunlight…but I understand.

These are books for the Kindle Paperwhite, Mindle, DX, that kind of thing…where you make choices which affect how the story continues.

While the Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf books (which some of you may remember from paper) are classified here, the Choose Your Own Adventure books are not. I think that might be up to the publisher, as most  categorization is.

These can certainly be fun, and I think they can appeal especially to tweens, who do find the ability to control things (besides just their families) 😉 something that they don’t always have, but are looking forward to being able to do in the future.

Outlander to be a series on Starz

I know a lot of people are fans of Diana Gabaldon’s

The Outlander Series

I’m linking the seven-book bundle, which doesn’t block text-to-speech access, and which looks like it saves you 20% overall.

I’ve always liked time travel books, but I haven’t read this romance series.

Obviously, broadcasters are looking for the next Game of Thrones, and they might think this is it.

According to this

USA Today article by Bill Keveney

Starz has ordered 16 episodes, to be broadcast in 2014.

John Grisham to Broadway

Speaking of adaptations, John Grisham’s A Time to Kill (I’m not linking to it because it blocks text-to-speech access*) is heading for Broadway.

According to this

Entertainment Weekly article by Jason Clark

the play (not a musical, I think…disappointed?) 😉 will be written by Rupert Holmes, who did The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Re-purposed books…as art

Okay, this is probably about as close as you’ve seen from to a rant. 😉

From time to time, we are either in places where artists are selling their works, or I see them online. People will take books (and vinyl records), and gut them, or restructure them some way to turn them into art. They may use actual book covers to create other book covers, or tear up pages to get words all in a mish mash.

Yes, it looks arty, but a little part of me dies every time I see one. 😉 Intellectually, I know that the books are the words, not the physical objects, but still…somebody could have read that book, and can’t now.

This is one of those cases where I’m guessing that some of you have the same reaction…but I know that people technically have the right to do that sort of thing with copies of paperbooks.

What do you think? Is making art of books okay? Are you a big Outlander fan? How do you feel when you see something where it looks to you like the grammar is “wrong”…and do you do anything about it? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

* A Kindle 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. In this particular post, I decided to list the title, since the news story is more about the play than about buying the book, but I did not link to it

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


10 Responses to “Round up #182: Outlander TV series, Advanced Search for Kindle store”

  1. Tuxgirl Says:

    I have no problem with book art. I honestly have no issue with it, and have considered making some now that I have some paper books that I don’t expect to ever read again.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tuxgirl!

      I know it’s an emotional response. 🙂 I never think of my books just on the basis of whether I am going to read them again. I have some books which are considered to be ephemera, and I feel like I am the keeper of the past and provider to the future with those. Even if I’m not going to read it again, some day, somebody might. 🙂 I would feel differently about it, I think, if I knew that the book was public domain and already digitized and available widely.

      Still, I suppose it (irrationally) feels to me like…furniture made out of parts of human corpses. I know logically that the human isn’t in that skull, just as the book written by the author isn’t just in that one copy. However, it would still seem creepy to me. 🙂

  2. Angelo B. Says:

    Hi Bufo,
    Probably not, but could the Kobo headline writer been referring to schools (plural) being out? Regardless, I do enjoy it when you note errors in usage because I too am annoyed by “professional” writers who make such mistakes.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Angelo!

      In that case, wouldn’t it be “Schools are out for summer”? Most people wouldn’t say, “The horses out of the barn.” It would be, “The horses are out of the barn.” In this case, I think the simplest answer is a punctuation…irregularity. 😉 I know I make mistakes when I blog (even though I wouldn’t make the same mistake speaking, or if I was taking the time to write a book). It was just the specific irony of the grammar being different from what I think is correct in a post referencing the place where grammar is taught. 🙂

  3. poisonalice Says:

    That was a mean trick you did there, including that link to the Kobo. And THEN I just HAD to go snooping around the website, though admittedly I started doing it to see what their free eBooks are all about and if they’d work on a Kindle, somehow I ended up on the site’s eReader shop and BAM! A KOBO version of the Paperwhite’s staring me in the face. So now I’m all levels of conflicted.I love my Paperwhite I just got for my birthday a couple weeks ago, but maybe also trying a Kobo reader might be worth doing. Although it’s not like I’ll get money and save enough for the mini one between now and the sale’s last day. I have nearly 1000 in my Kindle archive alone, not including the loads of other eBooks I obtained in various places around the web outside Amazon. But damnit! Now I’ve gone to thinking!

    As for your feelings regarding actual physical books, my feelings on the idea can go both ways. Yeah, seeing a book basically mutilated to create usually crappy preschool level looking monstrosity by someone that *thinks* they’re an artist but really just a liberal arts student that believes they have the talent of Michaelango but in reality their “art” looks worse than anything my nephew ever made in first grade…it really hurts the heart to see a good book completely ruined, especially when a good ratio of such “art” I’ve seen around is nothing more than trash from the garbage glued together unknowingly, you think (or more like know) that the book a person uses might be horribly written, but it would’ve been more useful remaining a book on a shelf left untouched for decades than the hideous thing “created” with it.
    But on the other hand, there’s been some pretty nifty ideas I’ve had for artwork over the years that would incorporate book parts, but I just never found a book old enough and naturally destroyed enough to use for artwork, where I could not feel any guilt for using a book for other than reading. I’m sure with time I’ll find a book just destroyed enough to use hehe. Just to mention, my views on local “artists” isn’t out of jealousy or anything. I just happened to have lived my whole life in asmall town with 2 colleges crammed into it, a private college and a state college that seem popular to go to among the people of Staten and Long Islands, so I’ve seenmore than my fair share of angsty college kids who pretend they’re artists because who knows and their art isn’t bad, it’s purposefully ironic. I swear I’m not exaggerating either haha

    You just had to go mentioning art..

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, poisonalice!

      There needs to be a lot of motivation to actually switch from one type of EBR (E-Book Reader) to another, partially because of those books you’ve already purchased, as you mention. There are some real advantages with Amazon, but I do like to inform people about what is out there.

      For myself, I don’t judge the quality of the art that uses book pieces. I feel like art is very individual, and there are entire genres of books I’ve read and enjoyed and found valuable that have been denigrated by others. I’m reminded of “Sturgeon’s Law”, which I’ll simply paraphrase here. The science fiction writer responded to a statement that “90% of science fiction is cr*p,” with a response that, “90% of everything is cr*p.” That’s likely not how the actual exchange went (there may have been other words involved), but it’s an interesting observation.

      I don’t think that art which I considered brilliant would have any less of an impact on my unease in this case.

      • liz Says:

        Probably 99% of the time, I have a strong negative reaction to “book art”, a visceral reaction as though I am viewing art made of animal corpses. Very rarely do I think initially “well, that’s kind of nice”, but then I am immediately saddened about the loss of the book that was made into the art … in the same way I would regret the loss of life of the animal that had been killed in order to make art – regardless of how beautiful the end result was, I would still feel sad about the loss of life.

        I’m not a vegetarian, but if I ever eliminate meat, it will because I feel very strongly about the waste of life when food is poorly prepared. Strange that I have similar feelings about inanimate things like words printed on paper and bound together, but books have always been highly esteemed in my family, so it might be something that was instilled in me from an early age.

        So, that’s my two cents. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who is nauseated by book art! 🙂

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, liz!

        I’m glad somebody else had similar feelings. 🙂

        I think books can seem almost alive because they are such an important part of another person. For me, it’s also because they can be so transformative…and I don’t mean into mirror frames. 😉 I don’t like to think that somebody was deprived of the chance to read that book…especially if it would have been sold for a dime at a garage sale.

  4. Zebras Says:

    Big Big Outlander fan here. I found the first one when it was out in paperback, chose it off the shelf because I was in the mood for a big book, and after reading two paragraphs, I knew it was going to be great. I have created many Outlander addicts by gifting the books. If George R.R. Martin’s fans are rabid about changes to the story on TV, Outlander fans will probably be twice as rabid. I don’t seem to have a problem enjoying movies or TV shows that diverge from their original sources. One exception was Defiance (the movie), as the original true story was more riveting than the Hollywoodized changes they made to it for the movie.

    As for books made into artwork. I’m with the faction that is fine with it. The actual printed copies are not so precious anymore now that we have e-readers. I even gave my precious p-book copies of the Outlander books away recently, not something I thought I would ever do.

  5. Carolyn Perreau Says:

    hi. I think the only compensation we can get from book art is to tell ourselves the book came from a place like goodwill. and that it could have been destroyed there atsome point in time anyway. At least they “died” for a purpose.
    As for the Gaboldon. series, I am not normally not a romance reader but this series is one of a kind. It is an historical series about Scotland, very well reseearched and really fun to read. I enjoyed every book in the series and beside Stephen King is one of the few series I HAD to have as soon as it was published. It should make for a wonderful tv series. carolynp

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