Round up #302: BAM goes private, Dr. Lao

Round up #302: BAM goes private, Dr. Lao

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

You can now send books to multiple devices at the same time

We are now starting to get more robust content management at

Manage Your Content and Devices (aka Manage Your Kindle) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I just noticed a big step forward!

When you go to a book and choose the action of “Deliver”, you get checkboxes for all of the compatible devices registered to your account. So, you can check several devices and deliver the same book all at once**!

That’s a nice change.

There is no limit to the number of devices you can have registered to an account (although you can’t do it for commercial purposes).

That’s great for a family. Suppose you get

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

when it is published tomorrow.

It’s certainly possible that several people on your account may want to start reading it right away (it’s going to be hard to avoid spoilers), and this makes it easier.

I should point out that while you could have a thousand devices registered to the account, usually only six of those devices can have the same book at the same time…if the number of “simultaneous devices licenses” is different from that (some books have fewer licenses, some are unlimited), it will say so on the book’s Amazon product page. This one doesn’t say anything so it’s six.

Nice to see things are still improving!

The Anderson family is buying back Books-A-Million

The second biggest USA bookstore chain is Books-A-Million…they are staying open late for Go Set a Watchman (see above), which is what you want a physical bookstore to do (I’m a former bricks-and-mortar bookstore manager).

It’s been public, but the original family is buying it back. article by Kelly Poe

That’s not a bad thing, or an indication of trouble. My intuition is that customers won’t see much of a difference, at least for a while…we’ll see, though.

How big a deal is it to buy the second largest bookstore chain?

$21 million.

Amazon probably sneezes $21 million. 😉

Still, I think there is a place for physical bookstores, and I think many people think of BAM as having more…personality than Barnes & Noble. I’m more confident in genre specific, experience heavy stores making it, but if I had to choose between BAM and B&N keeping a bookstore chain going for the next five years, I think I’d go with BAM. I think B&N has a much bigger name and will continue to exist in some form (certainly online)…and let’s just say they may be happy that “books” isn’t part of their name…

Amazon’s Q2 2015 financials will be announced on July 23rd

It feels to me like Amazon is in a bit of a transition.

Yes, it’s a huge company, and those are hard to turn in a new direction…but Amazon’s direction has been intended to evolve for a long time. It’s not a case of them suddenly deciding to do something else, I think…but of reaching a point they intended.

I’ll be listening in particular to hear if they say anything about

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

and the

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

The former (Amazon’s subser, subscription “all you can read” service) has been around long enough to start giving us some real data.

The latter hasn’t…but interest may be becoming clear.

A recommendation: The Circus of Dr. Lao

I was looking at my main Wish List, and I do have a few books on there that I’ve read before…and which I still own in p-book (paperbooks).

Why would I want a book I already own?

In some cases, it’s because I want it for reference…looking things up in an e-book is a whole lot easier than looking it up in a p-book.

I generally don’t re-read books, although I’ve been doing that with the original (Wizard of) Oz books.

One of the main reasons I want to have them…is so other people can read them. 🙂 We have a “guest Kindle”, and I would love to have Dr. Lao be one of the books available to people while they are here.

A while back, Amazon tried a thing where you could create lists of Amazon products and write comments about them, similar to what they do with movies and TV shows (and actors and such) at

Well, I’d done a few lists…and when that feature apparently failed, they converted those lists to Wish Lists.

One of my lists was “(re)make this”, which was a list of things I thought should be made or remade into movies or TV shows.

This is what I said about Dr. Lao:

“This is a wonderfully sardonic book which has been cited by writers (including Ray Bradbury) as an inspiration for them. A circus comes to a small town in Arizona, and people don’t see what they want to see, but what they need to see. The glossary in the back is a marvel. It was adapted in an Oscar-nominate​d 1964 version (it also won a special Oscar for William Tuttle for make-up), and I do like that version…but it had a certain George Pal (the director) glossiness. Returning to the source material and amping up the unpleasantness could make for a new cult favorite movie.”

No question that this is relatively expensive (over $10), and it’s not in KU. However, you might want to add it to your Wish List, so someone else buys it for you…or track it at


where they will let you know (for free) if it drops in price an amount you choose.

It will also be interesting to see what they do on

Prime Day (at AmazonSmile*)

on Wednesday.

I could even imagine them doing a 10% off on any e-book…although the Agency Model might mess with that…they’d have to be careful about how they do it.

What do you think? Will BAM stick around? Are you ever reluctant to recommend a book because of what it costs? Do you buy books just to loan them to other people? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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*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! :) 

** I just wanted to say that, while I wouldn’t have used it, I figured some people thought of “one fell swoop” in this context. Well, originally, and still the way I use it, a “fell” swoop was a bad thing. It’s when a bird of prey swoops down and gets more than one prey animal at a time, like two mice. In the old days, “fell” was a synonym for evil, and that’s what it means here (from Macbeth by the way).

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.


4 Responses to “Round up #302: BAM goes private, Dr. Lao”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    There are exactly the same # of BAM bookstores in my area as BN’s (2). BAM store organization has always seemed not as well thought out as BN.

    I always found the shopping experience in BN to be superior to BAM, but then again these days neither can surpass Amazon IMO. I hardly ever venture into B&M bookstores anymore. :grin

    I’m glad to see them doing some stuff to Manage Your Content (MYC), but for me I’d like to see what’s on my devices, in my cloud collections with the ability to bulk move content among devices.

    I know whispercast might have some capabilities there, but all I can glean out of WC docs is how to bulk deliver stuff, not bulk remove content from devices.

    There have now been several pre-release reviews of “Go Set A Watchman” (I’ve read one in the WSJ & one in the NYT). I’m afraid that GSAW may be walking into the buzzsaw that our conversations on race relations have become — perhaps not — maybe it’ll show us just how far we’ve come in the last 60 years or so (even though more to go).

    Today, the WSJ (owned by News Corp which owns HarperCollins, publisher of GSAW) had a fascinating article by the attorney who was involved in the finding of GSAW, and the original manuscript for TKAM — as well as some as yet unidentified writings.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Well, they are only in thirty states, I think…and none in my state of California. Pretty much, they aren’t in the West. I’m sure I’ve been in a BAM once, but not quite sure where.

      I’m actually pretty surprised that they are hinting there might be more books from Harper Lee before they know. It’s likely there are a lot of drafts of TKaM and maybe some of GSaW (although not as many of the latter…it certainly seems, from what I’ve heard, to have been less polished).

      We’ll see…the fear would be that it changes the currently super positive perception of TKaM. I think that’s unlikely.

  2. jjhitt Says:

    “I generally don’t re-read books…”

    That might be a good idea for a blog posting: asking readers what books they have read more than once.

    My own list would be:
    Poe (Everything but the Pym Narative)
    H P Lovecraft (complete fiction)
    Frank Herbert’s Dune
    Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, Player Piano, others…

    To be re-read soon:
    Stranger In A Strange Land
    In Cold Blood

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, jjhitt!

      It’s a good suggestion, although I’ll take a somewhat different spin on it. My just asking a question doesn’t make much of a post. 🙂 Textual responses, such as you have, can’t be done well in the poll options I have. I’m planning to do it tonight, if I can. I’ll give you credit for the inspiration, of course.

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