Round up #225: Mitty, Matheson, and KFHD

Round up #225: Mitty, Matheson, and KFHD

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

I wonder if people save so much money this time of year that it’s a net negative for stores? Nah…  ;)

Ben Stiller reads The Secret Life of Walter Mitty…free

Let’s start out with a freebie:

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is an audiobook from Audible (owned by Amazon) with Ben Stiller reading the short story by James Thurber.

As regular readers know, I’m not a big fan of audiobooks (I don’t like actors, or even the author, interpreting the characters for me)…unless I’ve already read the book, in which case it is more like a movie adaptation for me. That’s the case here.

Stiller stars in (and directs) the new movie version, which has been getting an interesting and encouraging critical response.

I’m a Danny Kaye fan, and I’m sure it will be quite different from that 1947 movie (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). I can be okay with alternate visions, though.

The original short story was published in the magical pop culture year of 1939 in The New Yorker. 

It was later collected in My World and Welcome to It, which is not available as a Kindle book. If you do want to sight read it as an e-book for your Kindle, it is included in James Thurber: Writings & Drawings (The Library of America) (at AmazonSmile).

I’m guessing most people know the basic concept, but I’m quite careful about spoilers. I will say this: I think that cultural attitudes have changed considerably since 1939 as it regards adults and imagination, and it might be quite a different situation today.

AmazonLocal deal: $30 off 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD

You can get $30 off last year’s model, the  Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB (at AmazonSmile), with this

AmazonLocal deal

That’s just for the 16GB, wi-fi only…but it works with or without Special Offers. That can bring the price down to just under $200 ($199).

That model does have the HDMI out jack, which many people prefer over the wireless Miracast methodology of the newer model.

However, it is quite a bit heavier, and doesn’t have the latest operating system…for one thing, that means no Mayday free onscreen technical help.

I’d still say this is a good deal, although somebody who isn’t a techie really couldn’t benefit from Mayday.

Like all AmazonLocal deals, you would need to set up a free AmazonLocal account if you don’t have one. You claim the voucher, and then use it for your purchase. The coupon is only available for a few more days, and you have to use it by December 10th.

Kindle Daily Deal: read the movie

On the Kindle Daily Deals page today are nine different books which were made into movies, any of which you can get for $1.99.

There are some really good titles here. One of them is I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson. There’s a reason it has been officially adapted multiple times…and inspired many other works.

The 1954 novel brought the idea of supernatural tropes into the modern world, with a contemporary explanation, a bleak feel…and a multi-faceted perspective.

Certainly, we can trace a lot of modern zombie entertainment to George Romero’s

which is available through Prime streaming at no additional cost…this is a remastered version.

I think, though, that it’s reasonable to extend that line through NotLD back to I Am Legend.

Other books in the deal include:

  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Vow ($0.99 in this deal)
  • A Passage to India

By the way, I’m guessing that Amazon will do a huge Kindle book deal right at December 25th, but we’ll see.

Amazon introduces StoryFront (for short stories)

Amazon has become a

press release

cornucopia recently…they seem to be always announcing something.😉

The one referenced above announces a new program from Amazon

Honestly, this is one of those things which may succeed…even though it seems somewhat…unnecessary…at first look.

Amazon says:

“StoryFront is dedicated to high-quality short fiction for readers looking to discover new voices, experiment with genres, or find a great quick read.”

The part that seems strange is that the Kindle store is already full of short stories.

The prices here aren’t a distinguishing factor, and that would seem to be a detriment on the surface. These looked to me like they were priced at ninety-nine cents and $1.99…the same price as many novels and anthologies/short story collections in the Kindle store.

What people will pay for here is the curation: the assurance that these are of superior quality. There is also the convenience of having them in one place.

Is that enough?

Well, I have a relative who says that they were offered the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of two things, and turned them down, not seeing the value to consumers.

One was TV Guide: after all, the listings were already in the paper.

The second was bottled water: who would pay for water when you could get it from the tap?

Obviously, both of those did quite well. People were paying for something that was substantively the same as something they could get for free.

With TV Guide, of course, there was additional content…but they didn’t advertise it, at least initially, as being articles about television: they advertised it as TV listings.

People bought them, in part, because they agreed with the concepts of the products. People thought, “I love TV: this publisher loves TV. I love the simple purity of a glass of water: this manufacturer loves that purity.”

They were willing to support people with a shared vision to theirs. It helps validate their view of the world.

If people feel like StoryFront means that Amazon loves short stories, they may support it for that reason.

That’s one of those secrets to success. Brick-and-mortar bookstores (I’m a former manager) can’t succeed by treating books like simply discountable commodities. They need to show how much they value them…and valuing them could mean that you actually charge more for them to show how much you think they are worth.

That’s not going to work with a casual reader who doesn’t love books…but as auctions of items that go for very high prices to collectors show, people sometimes think that paying a lot for something shows it…respect.


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

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

9 Responses to “Round up #225: Mitty, Matheson, and KFHD”

  1. Tuli Reno Says:

    I just downloaded the Walter Mitty Audible Book. As I did it I was thinking to myself that I was going to have to hook up my Kindle and figure out again how to transfer the book. That’s what I had to do when I wanted to transfer one to my K3.

    Well, much to my delight and surprise, it showed up on my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ etc, and all I had to do was touch it to download. I will have to hook up the K3 since it didn’t show up there, but oh well.

    I am an old lady BTW. I love technology and just don’t understand why more people my age aren’t as thrilled about what it can do as I am.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tuli!

      Audible has gotten even more integrated on the HDX…and I’ve even seen people confused by that.

      On the earlier Fires, it was a separate app: it showed up in your app library.

      On the HDX, audiobooks are just another content library…like going to Music or the Newsstand.

      I saw someone basically asking how to “exit the app”, but you don’t do it that way. It shows up above your notifications when you swipe down if you start listening to something. As far as I can tell, it stays there until…well, I’m guessing it will go away when the book finished, but I’m not seeing any way to exit the book early unless I remove it from the device. I presume that restarting the device would also do it.

      As to age…you might be surprised at the distribution. When Kindles first became popular, there were some informal age surveys. Those indicated that “older people” were the primary early adopters of the devices.

      That was not a surprise to me. Many of the advantages (increasable text size, lightweight) are particularly valuable to some older people.

      When I train people, it’s easy to get older folks to use technology…it can be harder to get Millenials to do it, unless it works perfectly.

      Remember that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would both be eligible for AARP…the Baby Boomer generation largely invented consumer electronic tech.🙂

  2. Tuli Reno Says:

    Please excuse the second comment, but I just went to the Audible site and discovered I could send it to my K3 by way of Wi-Fi, no hook-ups required. Yay!

  3. EJC Says:


    You can add your K3 to your audible account, giving you the ability to have audible files sent to it. I did this when I first got my K3.


    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, EJC!

      Nice of you to help! You wrote your comment before I got Tuli’s second comment posted.

  4. Robin Clubb Says:

    I am not a fan of the short story format. maybe now they willbe separated when i am shopping

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Robin!

      I don’t think you’ll see a separation like that. I think these will be a “special collection”, but that people will continue to have the option to buy them in the regular store.

      I suppose they might put in either a filter or a “sort by length” option at some point…

  5. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I love Walter MItty! It used to be included in the10th grade reading anthology when I taught HS. I have no idea if it’s still there or not. I was lucky enough to see a live performance of William Windom’s one man show, “Thurber.” [May they both rest in peace.] I was also a big fan of “My World, And Welcome to It.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I think it’s a great story, but I’m a bit surprised that would be assigned for the 10th grade, given the…I guess “theme” is better than “content”.

      I really liked William Windom: I’m jealous!🙂

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