Archive for September, 2015

Round up #309: cool reading, peripheral problems

September 29, 2015

Round up #309: cool reading, peripheral problems

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

An author on the cover of People

I do think that in the past, oh, ten years or so, authors have become a bit more cool.

Generally, when people think pop culture, it’s movies, TV, and music. Videogames, while sometimes the biggest revenue generators, are too introspective for a ton of coverage…and they don’t feature human beings about which magazines can gossip. 😉

That last point might, I suppose, help to explain why books are less likely to be featured in pop culture coverage.

Oh, all the popcul mags do it some. The book coverage may be my favorite part of Entertainment Weekly, and regular readers know I use the term “People Magazine books” for the very popular mainstream titles.

That’s why I was honestly a bit surprised to see

Jackie Collins

get the full cover of the October 5th issue of

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

Certainly, Collins was a (very) popular author, and does have a Hollywood tie-in (with sibling Joan and some minor acting experience)…that might have had some influence.

However, there was a special circumstance: they had an exclusive interview from just a few days pre-mortem.

Still, they obviously thought readers would be familiar with Collins.

People Magazine readers would also know Stephen King, John Green, J.K. Rowling, and perhaps another ten or so authors (excluding authors who are well-known from other fields, including movies, TV, music, and politics).

Now, that’s not to say that they wouldn’t have known some authors in the past: Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway…but I do think there has been a shift. I’d like to say that the impact of the Kindle on the e-book market since its release in 2007 may have impacted the “cool ratio” of reading…but that’s just speculation. 😉

The problem with peripherals

I think it’s understandable that companies producing gadgets focus on the gadgets themselves. I recently wrote about

Amazon hardware announcements! $50 tablet, 10″ tablet, Fire TV 2

There wasn’t a lot of talk about the peripherals: power supplies, remotes (although I was pleased to see that the game controller for the Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition ((at AmazonSmile*)) has a headphone jack ((Dolby enabled)), one of my favorite features of some models of Roku).

I do think that matters…it’s been perhaps my biggest frustration with some gadgets which I otherwise like very much.

I really like the inexpensive

ARCTIC P324 BT (Black) – Bluetooth (V4.0) Headset with Neckband – Headphones with integrated Microphone – Perfect for Sport (at AmazonSmile*)

that I use with our Fire TV, and at work with my Kindle Fire HDX, my laptop, and my phone at times.

That’s the alternative to the headphones that plug into the remote that I mentioned above.

The sound is good, the microphone works…the only negative to the device itself, really, is that the battery seems to discharge pretty quickly even when I’m not using it. If I don’t use it for a couple of days, I still need to plug it in to charge before I use it again.

I can live with that, though.

The weird thing is that it came with a simple carrying case. The headphones fold, and fit into something…oh, about the dimensions of an old audiocassette, except as thick as about four of them.

Shortly after I had the headphones, the zipper broke on the carrying case.

I can still use the case…it goes in my laptop case with me to work, so that pretty much keeps it closed.

It is, though, disappointing: I paid for the case (not much, certainly), and it doesn’t do what it was supposed to do.

How about Amazon hardware?

Amazon did a great job with the headphones for the Fire Phone…I use mine a lot (the Fire Phone is still my daily use SmartPhone). Since that device is now not in their current line-up, though, it’s hard to count tht as a win. 😉 There may be people at Amazon who said, “You know, if we hadn’t spent that much development money making good headphones, the Fire Phone would have been a hit.” 😉

I’ve never really been impressed with the chargers for the Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) and Fire tablets. The EBR chargers notoriously end up having the coating peel away from the raw wires…I’ve had that happen many times, and I need to replace them.

I don’t find that they fit very well, and they don’t charge very quickly.

That’s why I use the third party

Pwr+ Extra Long 6.5 Ft AC Adapter 2.1A Rapid Charger for Fast Charging Hd, Hdx 6″ 7″ 8.9″ 9.7″ Tablet and Phone, Tab Power Supply Cord (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s $14.90 right now…a reasonable price, as far as I’m concerned. Amazon’s PowerFast charger is $19.99…and seems much slower.

The Pwr+ works great…until it doesn’t work at all. 😉

I went back and looked: they seem to last me a few months, and then they just die. That’s not Amazon’s fault, of course.

Then, there are the remotes for the Fire TV.

I just had (another) one die.

That’s happened at least twice now. The first time, it was at under warranty.

This last one was a voice remote which I got when the Fire TV was first released…in April of 2014.

Amazon wouldn’t replace it, which is fine…they did give me a $5 credit towards some other things.

I could replace it for $30…but I have the 2nd generation

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*) $99.99

on order now, and that will have a voice remote.

Is it a big deal that the remote stops working?

Yes! 🙂

You can’t tell the box what to do without communicating with it, of course…its just a paperweight without some sort of control.

Fortunately, I have the free

Amazon Fire TV Remote App (at AmazonSmile*)

on both my Fire Phone and my Kindle Fire HDX tablet.

It works pretty well…even does voice search. That should be how people can pay $40 for the

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) $49.99 with voice remote, $39.99 with standard remote

new generation, and get the Alexa Voice Service (like we have on the Amazon Echo ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)).

Still, I’m often charging my phone or tablet when I would be watching that Fire TV Stick, so it’s a bit inconvenient. Naturally, when we have true wireless device charging (which I believe is coming) so we don’t need to plug in the devices at all, that would solve that problem, but that’s in the future).

Tom Clancy quotation via Kindle Nation Daily

I liked this one:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1082917348392890

🙂

What do you think? How important are peripherals to your feeling about a device? Is reading cooler because of e-books? 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!

* 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. 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.

Advertisements

You can read offline with the Kindle Cloud Reader

September 28, 2015

You can read offline with the Kindle Cloud Reader

Not too long ago, I did a post on the

Amazon’s Cloud Reader

That’s Amazon’s free way to read your Kindle books in many browsers…no software to install, no cost.

Sure, it’s generally better to read a book on an EBR (E-Book Reader) like the Kindle Paperwhite or a tablet, like Amazon’s Fire line.

However, you may want to read something on a laptop or desktop.

It could be that it has detailed images…charts, maps, anatomical illustrations, and it will just look better on your larger screen.

It could be that you are at work, and not allowed to install one of Amazon’s free reader apps.

It works pretty well.

What you may not realize is that you can download the books…you could read your Kindle book while commuting on a train without connecting to wi-fi.

How you do it varies by browser. Chrome and Safari have easy ways to do it, with clearly labeled functionality.

This Amazon Help page

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

also has instructions for Firefox and Internet Explorer.

The Cloud Reader is becoming increasingly important. Amazon has “sunsetted” (retired) an older Kindle for Mac version, for example. One of my regular readers and commenters,, Lady Galaxy, asked me about that, and I checked with Amazon.

Their response was essentially that people with…older, non-supported devices/software could still use the Cloud Reader in their browsers to read the books they’d bought.

There are people who read e-books on laptops, so being able to download can have a real benefit.

Hope this helps…

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

* 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. 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: up to 80% off banned books

September 26, 2015

Today’s KDD: up to 80% off banned books

September 27th through October 3rd marks this year’s Banned Books Week. You can find out more about the event at the

Official Site

Although it’s called “Banned”  Books (mostly due to the power of alliteration, I think), it’s really more about books that are challenged by people. Banning suggests that the government prevents the book from being sold or read. Challenging is more a case of people in the public, often parents/legal guardians, wanting a book removed from a school, a school library, or a public library.

2014’s most challenged book, according to the site?

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by Sherman Alexie.

What contributes to a book being one of the most challenged books?

There are various kinds of content, but that alone won’t get enough responses. There are plenty of books with content that offends a lot of people that almost no one even knows exists.

So, one thing we can assume about challenged books? They are impactful. People have heard of it, people have bought it, people have read it.

Now, it’s possible a book is preemptively protested, before it is even released…but I don’t think that’s going to get these sorts of challenges much…that’s going to be blogosphere material.

That’s one reason to read “banned books”: they are probably emotionally moving and/or intellectually challenging.

Another reason people read them is, well, to make the point. They want to counterpoint people who won’t read them and who want to prevent people from reading them, by doing just that…reading them.

Amazon has done this before in conjunction with Banned Books Week, and it’s a great opportunity. One of today’s

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

is up to 80% off banned and challenged books.

Today’s deals include:

  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
  • Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  • The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
  • Paula by Isabel Allende
  • The F- It List by Julie Halpern
  • In The First Circle by Alexandrr Solzhenitsyn
  • I Am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates
  • God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell
  • Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern
  • Gentleman’s Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson
  • When Dad Killed Mom by Julius Lester
  • Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks
  • Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott
  • Chican by Richard Vasquez
  • Great Short Works of Mark Twain
  • My Book of Life by Angel by Matine Leavitt

Looked to me like the prices ranged from $0.99 to $2.99…nice! Remember to check the price before you click that Buy button: this deal may not apply in your country (and I have readers around the world…that’s always humbling to say).

You can also buy these as gifts, and delay the delivery date until the appropriate occasion.

Enjoy!

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

* 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. 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.

5 fun t-shirts for booklovers

September 26, 2015

5 fun t-shirts for booklovers

Note that these may come in many styles, sizes, and colors. Some of these sayings will also be available on other things, like mugs and tote bags. It’s worth looking around at Amazon. 🙂

Do you have a different booklovers’ t-shirt you really like? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

* 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. 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.

October 2015 Kindle book releases

September 24, 2015

October 2015 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 7,179 (at time of writing…263 more than last month.) October releases in the USA Kindle store:

October 2015 USA Kindle Store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, 1,153 (86 more than last month) are in

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

about 1% (about 1% more than last month).

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. This time, the top four are not the Kindle First picks…when last month they were.

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.

Okay…books!

  • Departure by A.G. Riddle
  • Man’s Search For Meaning, Gift Edition by Viktor E. Frankl and Harold S. Kushner
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Saga Deluxe Edition by Frank Miller
  • Esperanza Renace by Pam Munoz Ryan and Nuria Molinero
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell
  • Salt (The Last Flotilla Book 1) by Colin F. Barnes (KU)
  • The Promise of Provence (Love in Provence Book 1) by Patricia Sands (KU)
  • The Complete Walt Disney World 2016: The Definitive Disney Handbook by Julie Neal and Mike Neal (KU)
  • I Stink! by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan
  • Motor City Shakedown (A Bright & Fletcher Mystery) by Jonathan Watkins
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez
  • How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide by Colin Adams and Abigail Thompson
  • Kissing Mr. Right by Michelle Major
  • Resilience from the Heart: The Power to Thrive in Life’s Extremes by Gregg Braden
  • A Gift from Bob: How a Street Cat Helped One Man Learn the Meaning of Christmas by James Bowen
  • Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze by Peter Harmsen
  • Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
  • Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life by Thom Shea
  • Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian by A. Douglas Stone
  • How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor
  • Quarry by Max Allan Collins
  • Detective by Arthur Hailey
  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (Penguin Christmas Classics) by L. Frank Baum (public domain, so available in other editions for free)
  • Quartet in Autumn: Picador Classic by Barbara Pym and Alexander McCall Smith
  • Wizard’s Hall by Jane Yolen
  • The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret
  • After Alice by Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked)
  • Lassie Come-Home 75th Anniversary Edition by Eric Knight and Marguerite Kirmse
  • Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley
  • Stress: Living and Working in a Changing World by George Manning and Kent Curtis
  • Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Betsy Maestro and Loretta Krupinski
  • Flamingo Diner by Sherryl Woods
  • Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen
  • Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics (Princeton Science Library) by A. Zee and Roger Penrose
  • Bridge Builders: How Superb Communicators Get What They Want in Business and in Life by Maria Keckler
  • A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel (Inspector Lynley Book 19) by Elizabeth George

Hm…that turned out to be a seemingly geek heavy selection. 🙂 That’s not intentional on my part…maybe they are becoming more popular? It is more likely I spot those, though. I also noticed more “gift editions”. It’s the season for that, of course…

Enjoy!

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

* 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. 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.

Prime on sale Friday for $67…and why it’s a smart part of Amazon’s strategy

September 23, 2015

Prime on sale Friday for $67…and why it’s a smart part of Amazon’s strategy

I’ve said it before: Amazon’s most important product is happy customers.

When Amazon has happy customers, they not only have more people buying from them, but they have something that other companies want (and for which they are willing to pay).

I think we saw a very clear (and in my view, smart) strategy from Amazon with the announcement of Amazon’s new tablet lineup (Amazon hardware announcements! $50 tablet, 10″ tablet, Fire TV 2).

Some people have criticized the tablets because they didn’t get more technologically cutting edge…they didn’t increase the number of pixels per inch, for example.

They got cheaper.

I think we are going to see Amazon have a huge success with the $49.99

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which is even cheaper in a six-pack (six for the price of five).

No, that model doesn’t have the best specs in the market…but they’ll do the job for most people in most circumstances.

I like to say that Amazon wants to be the infrastructure of the internet.

It wants to be how you get to everything.

The

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

is a brilliant part of that. I used it while I was writing this post. 🙂 I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t forgotten anything that might affect what time I had to leave for work (which might affect how long I have on this post). While still writing, I said, “Alexa, what’s on my calendar?”. The Alexa Voice Service on our Echo read off the next four events from my Google calendar, assuring me that I knew the right schedule.

Yep…I got to my Google calendar through our Amazon device.

People see Google and Amazon as bitter rivals (especially with Amazon’s Appstore versus Google Play..Amazon tablets are generally excluded from the latter), but Amazon wants you to use Google…if you use Amazon to get there.

The Echo isn’t for everybody, though: it’s $179, and not everybody gets the value of it (although I would guess that many people who have it love it).

A $50 tablet, though? Very wide appeal.

Think of tablets as being like cars. Initially, owning a car (a “horseless carriage”) was a real luxury, and not that practical.

Eventually, it became almost a necessity (although that’s less true for Millenials than it was for, say, Baby Boomers). There developed a wide variety of models, and some relatively inexpensive models that simply got the job done were hits (think, perhaps, of the Volkswagen Beetle). You can spend $100,000 and more for a luxury car and get a luxury experience, or you can spend a lot less for it, and still get where you are going.

Amazon isn’t making the best cars in the world: it’s making the best roads.

Sure, you can drive on that road to Amazon’s store…but Amazon can also charge other stores for you driving on their roads, and not charge you for it. Alternatively, they can give you access to those other stores, even at a reduced price, so you keep using Amazon’s road.

Amazon Underground (at AmazonSmile*)

is a great recent example of this. You can get over 1,000 apps for free, many of them very popular, for which you would pay other places.

Read this

Seeking Alpha post by Alcaraz Research

for what I think is a cogent argument for why those $50 tablets and Amazon Underground combine to make something which other competitors simply can’t match at this point.

Oh, and Alexa is about to become a lot more ubiquitous! The new generation of the Fire TV family will include Alexa:

That means that for $50 (or $40, if you use a free app on your SmartPhone), you can have Alexa…and lots of content for your TV.

I think Amazon has learned the lesson of the Amazon Fire Phone (I have one). In that case, they tried to make a luxury car at a luxury price…and it was an admittedly failed attempt.

Amazon’s most important road?

For $99 a year (about $8.25 a month), members get

  • Amazon Video (streaming movies, TV shows ((some of which can also be downloaded))…including exclusive content)
  • Amazon Music
  • No additional cost 2-day shipping
  • The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (borrow a book a month to read)
  • Kindle First which lets you own one book from a select few for free each month, and before they are actually released
  • Prime Photos (free storage of photos)
  • and more

Prime members are reportedly more satisfied and spend more.

The no additional cost 2-day shipping (and there are other options…from 1-day down to an hour in some cities) on many items? That’s key for Amazon’s consumer business. There’s typically more profit in physical items (what I call “diapers and windshield wipers”) than in digital items. More importantly, perhaps, is that many of the items aren’t sold directly by Amazon. Those third-party sellers pay Amazon…Amazon makes the road, the store pays for you to drive on it.

It’s an excellent deal at $8.25 a month…in some ways, perhaps replacing about $10 a month each you might pay each to a streaming video service and a music service…plus that shipping, and a book a month to own.

It’s an even better deal for $5.58 a month. 😉

That’s the option for new subscribers, this Friday only.

To be clear, it’s $67 for year…I just broke it down to the monthly amount.

Why $67?

We just had the 67th Emmys, and Amazon’s original series Transparent won five  (including Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series).

Again, this will be this Friday only…and Amazon doesn’t often offer discounts on Prime.

My guess is that you won’t be able to

Give the Gift of Prime (at AmazonSmile*)

at the discounted price on Friday…but I still think that will be a popular gift this year.

I could certainly see Amazon offering a bundle of the gift of Prime and a Fire TV this holiday season…with Alexa as part of the mix, it would get people good and solidly hooked into Amazon. $179.99, maybe, for the bundle? That would work…and get a lot more cars out on Amazon’s road. 😉

What do you think? Am I right that Amazon should concentrate on getting people to use them as the gateway to…well, everything? 😉 Can luxury hardware be part of Amazon’s mix? How can other companies compete with Amazon? How would you improve Prime? What about offering magazine access as part of it? 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!

* 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.

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.

Content, tone, or intent: what makes a genre?

September 22, 2015

Content, tone, or intent: what makes a genre?

When I recently wrote

Stephen King given National Medal of Arts

the comments developed into an interesting discussion about genres with regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy, and a comment I especially appreciated from Amy, who studies genre theory.

I know how I define at least one area of genres, and I thought about it a lot in the past.

However, in a situation like this, I always like to look at the references.

The dictionaries online actually have quite a fuzzy definition. They all agree that it has to do with similarity…but I saw a single source (Google, which does its own thing at the top or side of search results) that said it could be “…form, style, or subject matter”. If that’s an “or” (not an “and”), I would think almost any two books would be in the same genre. 😉

In the headline here, I listed “content, tone, or intent”.

The last one might seem weird, but it’s how a lot of people define horror. It’s a work which is intended to scare people.

That’s also how people define pornography, sometimes…that it is “intended to arouse”.

Now, I find intent to be an odd thing to judge. Legal cases often don’t even include motive as a requirement, since it’s very hard to prove what was inside someone’s head.

That’s why I’ve found it odd that people consider science fiction, fantasy, and horror to be a grouping.

Supernatural horror, sure…but psychological horror? Does Silence of the Lambs have a significant similarity to Sleeping Beauty? Well, the original versions of fairy tales, maybe…Cinderella, perhaps. 😉

There are certainly people who vehemently separate science fiction and fantasy. I can understand that…there are people who are  great proponents of science and reject fantasy. Some of them are…I’m going to use the word “offended” by unicorns and dragons, and they don’t want that mixed up with tachyons and tesseracts.

For me, I prefer definitions that have to do with content…it feels more objective somehow. I also like the idea that someone could be technically part of a genre, while being recognized as a mainstream, respected writer. That may tend to make people rethink how they define the genre…they might respect something they didn’t respect before, and I like everybody to respect every group of people.

I refer to fantasy as a work presented as fiction which contains elements which are presented to the audience that would be impossible in consensus reality.

That works for me, but even that one takes some doing sometimes.

It’s the consensus reality part, for one thing.

Let’s take reincarnation.

My understanding is that the majority of people in the world believe in reincarnation. A novel written for an audience which believes in reincarnation and contains reincarnation would not fall into my definition of fantasy. However,

The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Max Ehrlich’s novel from 1973 which became a Michael Sarrazin movie (and which may be a movie soon from David Fincher)? Absolutely.

I felt like I needed to add the part about it being presented as fiction. When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I had at least one customer who would regularly move the Bible into the science fiction/fantasy section. I understand that was probably that person’s opinion, but the book isn’t presented as a fiction, so I wouldn’t put it there.

I consider science fiction as a subset of fantasy, as I’ve defined fantasy.

I sometimes say that “Science Fiction and Fantasy are subsets of fantasy”. In other words, fantasy is just a word, but Science Fiction and Fantasy are names.

When I separate those two narrower categories, science fiction is possible within accepted science (but could not have happened in our current consensus reality), and fantasy is impossible.

Well, science shouldn’t have things defined as impossible, but that’s another whole discussion. 😉

That gets strange, though…some things are presented as being science, but could just as easily be fantasy. Telepathy, faster than light travel (in physical spaceships, without wormholes and such)? Fantasy.

Star Wars was clearly fantasy to a lot of science fiction fans…although a “scientific” explanation was given for the most fantastic elements.

Here’s another tricky group: alternative history. Should that be included in fantasy? If you write a book where you speculate what would have happened if the Nazis had won World War II (you could have a whole bookstore section just for books with that premise), or that Tesla had beaten Edison, would that be fantasy? Would it be Science Fiction? It’s not impossible in the same way that alchemical transmutation might be, but it couldn’t have happened in our consensus reality. I do want to include those, personally.

I also include works where we readers think something is supernatural, and then it turns out it was a hoax or a mistake . I argue with myself about that one…

I would honestly think that what would matter to most people was tone. It’s not so much what the person intended, or the “factual” elements, but how it makes you feel. Could you have a romance that was just mean, even if its primary focus was love relationships? Would it still be a romance?

I’m not as worried about tone when I define things…although I’m much more of a lumper than a splitter. I probably should explain that. 🙂

It’s used in a lot of fields. Let’s take zoology. Lumpers tend to have fewer total species, and splitters tend to have more.

I want as many books as possible to fall under fantasy. Why? I think it’s because fantasy gets ridiculed, and there is strength in numbers. 🙂

There are lots of sub-genres, of course. People will include “space opera” and “military science fiction” as both being science fiction…they are a bit more descriptive, and help you predict whether or not you would like it.

Perhaps the real purpose of a genre…to do just that.

What do you think? How do you define genres? Do you even care, or is it that a book is a book is a book? Have you ever gotten mad to see a book “miscategorized? What are your favorite genres? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

UNRELATED BREAKING NEWS: thanks to a reader who sent me a heads up in a private e-mail. Oyster is reportedly shutting down its book subser (subscription service) after two years. I think subsers (“all you can read” for a set monthly or annual price) are a big part of the future of publishing…but I think Amazon bigfooted the market with

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

of which I am a happy member.

According to this

Forbes post by Ryan Mac

and other sources, Google has hired some members of the team.

Does that mean Google is going to do a subser? Maybe.

The

Oyster website

still touts how great the subser is, but the blog (available on that same site) says the following:

“With that, we will be taking steps to sunset the existing Oyster service over the next several months. If you are an Oyster reader you will receive an email personally regarding your account in the next few weeks. We look forward to sharing more details soon, but rest aassured, your account will continue to operate normally in the meantime. If you’d like to request a refund, please contact us at refunds@oysterbooks.com.”
http://blog.oysterbooks.com/

Looking at this, I think they really are planning todo some other things, and that this current structure just wasn’t working for them after KU established itself.

Will Scribd (the other big book subser) continue? Does this strengthen or hurt KU (I think the former)? Interesting…

Thanks to that reader!

 

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

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. 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.

Authors Guild: full-time authors income down 30% since 2006

September 21, 2015

Authors Guild: full-time authors income down 30% since 2006

I recently wrote about

On Labor Day: how writers make money

I didn’t talk about how much money authors make.

I think most of you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it isn’t much.

Oh, sure, there are a tiny percentage who make a lot, but consider this.

According to a survey by the Authors Guild, full-time authors reported making $17,500 annually.

Payscale.com says that a McDonalds “fast food worker” (http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=McDonald%27s_Corporation/Salary) makes between $14,802 – $19,086. Averaging out those two numbers, we get $16,944…about a McDonald’s medium coffee a day’s difference.

Remember, that’s a full-time author…part-time authors reported a writing income of $4,500.

At  least with all of the new books being published through digital means, and all the new datastreams, those salaries may finally become comfortable in the next few years, right?

Again, according to the

Authors Guild report: The Wages of Writing

full-time authors income has declined 30% since 2006 (when they last did the survey).

Part-time authors’ salaries declined even more sharply.

I’ll let you read the report for the rest of it…I don’t want to take too much away from it.

However, we can talk about what this means…the Guild speculates a bit about causative factors: I particularly suggest you read the introductory two paragraphs.

First, it’s possible that there are authors not included in this survey who have seen incomes increase.  The first-year dues to be a member are $125, and you have to meet a standard that has to do with publication and/or income. Certainly, my personal income has a writer has increased a lot over that period.

That doesn’t mean I think that even a sizable chunk of independently published e-authors are making a living wage…that’s going to be an itty bitty percentage.

Second, while this is pretty much the Kindle era (the Kindle was introduced at the end of 2007), this survey isn’t just about e-book income. For indie, newbie authors, I am quite sure that a much higher percentage of their writing income is from e-books than is the case for established, brand name authors.

I want to point out something else…the e-book market, and publishing in general, is not mature…it’s still in flux.

There have been several revolutions in publishing…it’s never entirely predictable, but it was relatively stable for some time.

Some of the big turning points:

  • about 1455: the Gutenberg Bible is published, and books start moving out of being entirely for the elite
  • 1920s: the Book-of-the-Month Club makes affordable versions of curated book titles available
  • 1930s: the rise of paperbacks (1939 in the USA with Pocket Books’ first paperback title, Lost Horizon (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
  • 1970s: chain bookstores become a force
  • 1994: Amazon goes online,  establishing the internet as a major place to buy books
  • 2007: Amazon introduces the Kindle, revolutionizing the then micro-market e-book trade

E-book growth may have, to some extent, become more steady, but paystreams are still changing rapidly. In particular, the subsers (subscriptions services), like Amazon’s

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

(and Oyster and Scribd) are too new to really judge the impact on authors’ incomes.

For physical books, print-on-demand may matter…including, perhaps, printing at home.

As a reader, do you want authors to make money?

I hope so! 😉

That’s not just for my personal benefit. 🙂 I make my living as a trainer (I have a different title and I do some different things, like workflow optimization), although the money I make as a writer is certainly welcomed by me and my family! You make that part possible…I’d have a lot harder time justifying the time, focus,  and energy I put into this without it.

Authors need to experience life, of course, but I want authors to be able to concentrate on writing. That’s true for fiction, and it’s especially true for non-fiction.

My Significant Other would like me to retire at some point (we could spend more time together…I want that, too, although I love my job), and I can see that…if I was writing a lot more. 🙂

If authors do have declining income, that may not mean you have fewer books to read…but they may be different. There might be fewer “quality” books, and more…books which might be considered not fully formed.

What do you think? Are authors making less money? If they are, do you care? Do you think authors will find some way(s) to make up the losses (if they exist)? If so, how? 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!

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. 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.

Jackie Collins has reportedly died

September 20, 2015

Jackie Collins has reportedly died

Jackie Collins (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) was an incredibly successful novelist.

Reportedly selling over half a billion books throughout six decades, Collins’s works were consistently popular.

When I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore, we could always count on a Jackie Collins novel selling well.

Before the first hit novel

The World Is Full of Married Men (at AmazonSmile*)

was published in 1968, Jackie Collins had acted in several movies and TV shows (including Patrick McGoohan’s Danger Man series, with the famous theme song “Secret Agent  Man” and the unofficial forerunner of The Prisoner series). Collins’ older sister, Joan Collins, had had more success as an actor by then…but Jackie was to bring a scandalous (and believed by many to be a true insider’s) view of Hollywood to bookstore shelves and bestseller lists with the Hollywood series (starting with Hollywood Wives in 1983).

Probably Collins’ best known series, though, was about the Santangelos (especially Lucky). Starting with Chance in 1981, and running through this year with

The Santangelos (at AmazonSmile*)

At the time of writing, it has 248 customer reviews with a 4.5 star rating out of 5.

I think Collins would be comfortable being described as being a commercial writer. Not pretentious, not writing for literary prizes, Jackie Collins repeatedly pleased a large audience.

The impact wasn’t lost on the publishing industry and other writers. Racy novels about the rich and famous…while Jackie Collins wasn’t the first, this was an author who virtually created a genre.

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

* 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. 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.

The Fire TV Buyer’s Guide: September 2015

September 19, 2015

The Fire TV Buyer’s Guide: September 2015 edition

On September 17th, Amazon announced a new hardware line-up (I do think there may be more yet to come this year).

The question for most people right away is, “Should I buy one?”

In this post, I’m going to give you some guidance on that for the Fire TV family. I’ll follow up with a post on the new Fire tablets. Now, realize that I haven’t had hands on with these yet (they haven’t been released at the time of writing). However, I’ll be able to make a pretty good assessment about how it will compare to what you might already have, or to a smaller extent, what you may be considering.

If you have additional questions, I’d love to hear them!

The Fire TV Family

This is the second generation of Amazon’s TV content device.

There are essentially two items here. One is a small device, about the size of two fingers side by side, which plugs into the HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) port on most modern TVs.

Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote (at AmazonSmile*) $49.99 with voice remote, $39.99 with standard remote

The second one is larger, more like the size of your hand with your fingers laid flat (these are very approximate). You can get the same device with and without gaming accessories.

“Why do I want one of these things?” (for people who haven’t had a TV content device)

We have one TV where a Fire TV Stick is the only source of what we see on it. It’s how we get TV shows and movies. Another TV runs off both a Fire TV and cable (running through an old Tivo).

Basically, it takes what you have available to you and displays it on the TV…it’s not purchasing videos or subscribing to a service.

It’s going to work best if you already subscribe to something. We are

members ($99 a year…about $8.25 a month), so we have Prime Video available to us (Prime has other benefits…see my post from What can you do with Amazon Prime? for some basics).

We use this…you can go through whole TV series (including older HBO shows), watch movies, and see original content. You can download some of the videos, although that doesn’t really matter here…that’s for phones and tablets.

We also have Hulu Plus…there’s a lot on Hulu, but it’s big attraction for us is current shows. We have the current season of Master Chef on as I write this. 😉 I’ve also watched older shows, like The Time Tunnel.  You can pay $7.99 a month, or do what we do: $11.99 a month for no ads. For me, that’s glorious: current TV shows without having to think about skipping through commercials! I never watch TV without doing something else at the same time (exercising, writing, reading), so being able to let it just stream is so much nicer.

Finally, we have Netflix. We pay $8.99 a month…you can pay $7.99 without HD, $11.99 for Ultra HD (and the ability to watch on four screens at once…it’s one for the cheapest plan, two for the middle one). The movie selection here is strong, but original content is also a big attraction…I’ve watched the Daredevil series, for example.

So, we pay about $30 a month for those three services, and I really feel like we have a lot of options.

That’s not all the Fire TVs do, though.

They also have apps and games…a lot of them. Amazon Underground makes many popular games free.

I use some apps pretty heavily: YouTube, Watch Up, Sky News, NBC News…those are common.

You can play games on any of the devices…the remote can be use as a basic game controller. Fancier games need the game controller, which is sold separately (or you can get it in the new gaming bundle). Are these like Playstation/Nintendo/Xbox games? No, they are more like the games for your phone, for the most part.

For the casual gamer, this is great! So many free games, and the fun of watching them on TV.

You also get music…both Prime music, and music you’ve uploaded to Amazon.

Another feature we use? Seeing our pictures. I have a Fire Phone (now apparently discontinued), and when I take pictures with my phone, we can see them right away on the TV through the Fire TV.

Will this let you be a “cable cutter” and drop cable? It certainly could…the biggest concern you might have is your local TV channels.

One option on that is using an antenna. No, not old-fashioned “rabbit ears”. 😉

Amazon suggests this one:

HDTV Antenna (at AmazonSmile*) $23.99 for a 35 mile range

Summing up: this is a way to get entertainment on your TV.

Amazon has just added what I think will be a big attraction: Alexa.

Alexa is the voice service that comes on the

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

You talk to it…it listens and talks back. 🙂

I use my Echo every day. I ask it for the weather, I set timers, I have a lot of fun with its pop culture knowledge.

For more on the Echo, see the

category in my The Measured Circle blog.

Now, for those of you with the Echo, you might be wondering…should I have bought a $40 device (the Fire TV Stick) rather than a $179 device (or $99 if you bought it early)?

They are quite different.

The “parse-onality”, as I like to call it, will likely be the same. It will understand you and talk to you the same way. We don’t know yet if the Fire TV version will do home automation (I can just ask my Echo to turn on and off some lights in my home and it happens), do the timers (I’ve heard it won’t). or if it will have the third party “Skills”, which are like apps you would get for a SmartPhone.  The last on is the future of the Echo, in my opinion, just as third-party apps are a major attraction of SmartPhones.

I don’t see why it wouldn’t do the Skills, though.

What makes the Echo worth it over the Fire TV?

It’s always-on, incredible microphone array, and the Bluetooth speaker.

To talk to your Fire TV, you’ll need to pick up your voice-activated remote.

With the Echo, I can speak in a normal voice from across the room.

If you are buying a Fire TV Stick, paying $10 extra for the voice remote will likely be worth it…although, you can use voice interaction with the Fire TV family with a free app on your SmartPhone. I do that, too. 🙂

My guess is that many people will buy the Fire TV Stick partly to get Alexa…and then will become deeply part of the Amazon universe to take advantage of Prime Video and other Amazon elements on the Fire TV.

Alexa is the software…the Echo is the hardware.

By the way, the Alexa Voice Service is also going to start appearing on other devices soon…Amazon has said pretty much anything with a microphone and a speaker. That’s likely to include other brand SmartPhones and tablets, as well as cars (and perhaps, things like toasters and refrigerators, eventually).

Why pay the $50 more for the Fire TV versus the Fire TV Stick?

More power!

Quad-core versus dual-core processor, more memory, a USB port, an SD card slot, better wi-fi…

The Fire TV Stick is great…the Fire TV is greater. 😉

Oh, I’ve left off a major feature for both…you can mirror devices to them! I can show anything on my SmartPhone or tablet on my TV,  through my Fire TV device. Anything…apps, a PowerPoint presentation (with an app that shows it, of course), e-mail, websites…all wirelessly.

“Do I need to upgrade?” (for people who already have the Fire TV)

Amazon has said that Alexa is coming to generation 1 devices (those you already have) this fall.

What you will get is better quality video: 4K Ultra HD, more powerful streaming, better processing.

I wouldn’t say you need to leap up and buy the new one…but if you want to get another one, this is well worth it. We only have two TVs, but I bought one…I’m planning to replace the Fire TV Stick. If the quality is better, that one will become our main TV…we do sometimes get a tiny bit of buffering, and I’d like to see that go away.

One final point:

Alexa (at this point) is not going to control your Fire TV device, but that may come in the future anyway. However, you are going to be doing the existing Voice Search and Alexa in the same place, holding the same device (a remote or your phone), so it won’t feel much different to you.

I do want to be able to say, “Alexa, showed me the latest episode of Gotham” and have it jumped right to it, but that’s not coming with what they have told us so far.

However…

People do things like “Alexa, open Netflix” by controlling a

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

with the Echo.

That isn’t a cheap solution (that device is over $100), and it’s not super simple. Since the apps on the Fire TV move around, it’s confusing the for device…you have to use search. I know someone who has basically a Jetsons home (this person has some physical challenges that make that a more optimal situation) who gave me this link:

https://forums.logitech.com/t5/Harmony-Hub-Based-Remotes/Hamony-Smart-Control-and-Fire-TV-Any-direct-Netflix-workaround/td-p/1381318

However, the voice search can at least find the programs for you (not in all apps), and then you would use your remote or phone to open it.

I suspect we may get the ability to start the programs by voice by the end of the year, but we’ll see.

What about the competitors?

Google has a Fire TV Stick-like device, the Chromecast, which has been very popular. It’s not as full featured as the Fire TV Stick in terms of types of content. It’s a bit cheaper, at $34.99.

Apple just announced a new version of the Apple TV, which will be controllable by voice. It’s a lot more money ($149 to $199), and the tech writers seem to be giving this round to Amazon…here are just two:

Update: Amy Devitt, one of my regular readers, made the correct observation that I left Roku out of the competitors for streaming TV content boxes. I’ve written about my own use of the Roku, more than once, but this was my first comparison of the Fire TV and the Roku:

Amazon Fire TV: first impressions

They have a stick and a box…you can see options here:

Roku search in the USA Amazon electronics section (at AmazonSmile*)

They range from about $47 for the stick up $89.99 for the latest box…well, that’s the price at Amazon: it lists for the same as the Fire TV.

That 4230R Roku 3 does have a great content line-up (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime…and Vudu, which neither Fire TV or Apple TV have, I believe). They claim 150+ news channels, compared to FTV’s 30+.

It also has one of my favorite features: earphones can plug into the remote.I used that a lot when I used the Roku.

You can see Roku’s comparison table (Roku, Fire TV, Apple ((looks like the current generation, not the one that was just announced), Chromecast) here:

Roku comparison table

Oh, looking at it, it looks like the comparison is also the current gen FTV, not the Amazon Fire TV 2 (they say it doesn’t have a memory expansion slot).

Obvious question: why did I stop using the Roku in favor of the Fire TV?

Two main reasons.

Performance is one. The Fire TV loaded things much more quickly…several seconds faster for YouTube, for instance.

The other one is…well, I write about this stuff. 🙂 I wanted to know the Fire TV for that reason.

Oh, and there’s another important reason…it’s connection to photos and videos I take on my Fire Phone is really nice, for example.

Alexa on the FTV will be a new reason. 🙂

The Bottom Line

If you don’t have a streaming device these are great! The Fire TV ito s more powerful and twice as expensive as the Fire TV Stick. If you already have a Fire TV, you don’t need to upgrade to get Alexa…but if you haven’t been satisfied with the performance, or you’ve wanted more memory, or you plan to expand your ownership to more devices, getting one of the new ones makes sense. Amazon has a thirty-day return policy (you’d pay return shipping if it is working as advertised), so you won’t be stuck.

A lot of people will get these as gifts this year…and many will get them for themselves.

What questions do you have? What do you think? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

* 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. 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.


%d bloggers like this: