Archive for March, 2017

Today’s KDD: “$3.99 or less on standout Kindle deals”

March 26, 2017

Today’s KDD: “$3.99 or less on standout Kindle deals”

Today’s

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

is any of twenty-one titles for $3.99 or less each.

They call it “standout” titles, and I’m not quite seeing an objective, parameter-based thread. They are generally high-rated, and some of them have a lot of customer reviews (even over 1,000).

Definitely worth considering the list! Do check the price before you click, tap, or eye gaze (the last in virtual/augmented reality); the price may not apply in your country.

Remember also that you can buy the book at the discounted price and either delay the delivery to the appropriate gift-giving occasion, or print out to give (even wrap) whenever you want.

Titles include:

  • Foreign Agent (Scot Harvath) by Brad Thor
  • Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
  • Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  • Manitou Canyon (Cork O’Connor) by William Kent Kreuger
  • My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Under the Light (Field Party) by Abbi Glines
  • The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki
  • Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova (made into a movie)
  • Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
  • The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki
  • Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley) by Alice Clayton
  • Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
  • The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
  • A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
  • Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon
  • The Five Greatest Warriors by Matthew Reilly
  • Carry Me Home by Diane McWhorter
  • On Her Own Ground by A’Leila Bundles

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Medium adds a subser option for $5 a month

March 24, 2017

Medium adds a subser option for $5 a month

I do think subsers (subscription services) are a big part of e-publishing in the future.

We have been happy members of

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

since it debuted.

However, just as there are only a handful of popular subsers for video, it’s not going to be easy for companies to make it.

A new entrant into the market is not a new publisher, but a new option.

Medium

which publishes lots of articles and is well-known, has just introduced their $5 a month subser:

https://medium.com/membership

It doesn’t end the existing model, but it’s more of a premium tier. You get exclusive stories, early access to the latest changes to the interface, and (this one is nice) an offline reading list…you can read articles when you aren’t online.

I’d be happy to be wrong on this, but it just doesn’t seem attractive enough to me.

Kindle Singles sort of serve the same purpose. If you want whole magazine, you can get

Texture

for $14.99 a month…and you can read some magazines for free with Kindle Unlimited.

I occasionally hear from some writers that they’ve just published in Medium…but I’ve never really looked at it. If you’ve used Medium, convince me: why would someone pay $5 for an additional helping of Medium?

Mini round-up

  • If you have an iPhone, the Amazon shopping app is upgrading this week, giving you full Alexa access by typing the microphone. I’ve tested it: it turned my lights on and off, answered questions, reported my calendar items, played Prime Music, and I know it can read books out loud. It’s going to come to the shopping app for Android, too
  • I know at least one of my readers uses Vudu, a video company. They’ve added a new feature which will make it much easier (The Verge post by Chris Welch ). You scan the UPC code on a DVD (it will be on the case) you own, pay $2 (for standard definition, $5 for an upgrade to high def…these are the basics, there are more varieties), and (if it’s one of about 8,000 titles), you get a digital version you can watch
  • Do you want a reader for free public domain books? I’ve been playing a bit with AIReader. It has lots of features: text-to-speech (with a lot of variability for speed), tons of appearance adjustments, dictionary, translation, and more. It links to ManyBooks.net, so there are quite a few books, and it could read other books you’ve downloaded. Like many independent apps, though, figuring out how to use it is a bear! I’m quite technical, and I feel like I’m doing a lot of trial and error to even get to menus. There was Help when it first opened (not sure how to get back to it)…riddled with typos. It’s unfortunate to me that so often, something which may be good software (or certainly adequate) doesn’t have the basic customer interface capabilities. That’s not to say that this isn’t worth it, or that you might not really enjoy it…that’s the issue for me. It’s part of why getting something from an established, big company, even it it doesn’t have everything you want, can be worth it…if it’s easy to use. There is a lot of friction in this app that makes it more for a dedicated user than a casual one. If you try it yourself, I’d be interested in your opinion

What do you think? Do you like Medium? Would you pay for a premium tier? Do you think publishing subsers will be a significant thing? Which is weirder: a platypus or a pangolin? 😉 Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

My Kindle Fire HDX has been a great device for over four years…and that’s a problem :)

March 22, 2017

My Kindle Fire HDX has been a great device for over four years…and that’s a problem 🙂

I think must people expect a gadget to last a year or two nowadays.

That’s very different from the way it used to be, when you might be able to count on inheriting your grandparent’s vacuum cleaner (and washer, and refrigerator, and…).

I use my Kindle Fire HDX every day, often for hours a day (since it reads to me in the car). Knock virtual wood, but it’s been one of the most reliable pieces of technology I’ve had. It does what it does quite well.

I have the

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

but it’s really just a back up and guest device. I like the interface, but it’s a bit muddy by comparison.

So, I’m satisfied with it: why is that a problem?

Apps are evolving past it.

I have a morning routine, and that’s included the CNN app (as one of different news sources I check, in part for my Flipboard magazines).

I wrote to them recently, because the Tech section clearly hadn’t been updating…even when there were tech stories in other sections.

Then, maybe a week ago, it couldn’t display an ad on the Featured section…and wouldn’t show me any stories in that category.

About a week, it informed me that my version of the app was no longer supported, and to download the newer version.

That didn’t work, either.

So, I can’t really blame them.

As hardware becomes more capable, software evolves to match it. As the apps begin to push the edge of the capabilities of the hardware, the machine again gets better to match (and surpass) it.

Then the software evolves again, making for a virtuous cycle.

It’s a bit like…imagine that you’ve been going to your favorite movie theatre for years, and it’s the mid-1920s.

You love that place. The ushers know you by name. The organist plays like Lon Chaney in Paris. They program it really well.

You go every weekend, and it’s well worth your two bits.

1927 comes along, and Al Jolson ad libs a line…the talkies are born.

In the next town over, a theatre is wired for sound.

Even if your theatre wanted to wire for sound, they just aren’t set up for it.

You stay loyal, and enjoy every minute of it.

This goes on for another five years…in 1931, you are tempted by Frankenstein and Dracula (you’ve read the books, and saw Lugosi on stage), but your theatre is so…comfortable.

Eventually, though, all the movies you want to see have sound, and spoken dialogue.

You can’t blame the studios if they aren’t making silent movies any more. You can’t blame your theatre…it’s just as good as it ever was. You can’t blame the new theatre: your theatre was cutting edge once, too

That’s the problem with long-lasting gadgets…eventually, the content will outgrow it.

I expect to keep using HDXter for some time…but I’ll have to start thinking about a new one, too.

What do you think? Do you have any hardware that outlasted its compatible content? How long should a tablet last? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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 85% off New York Times best-selling books on Kindle”

March 19, 2017

Today’s KDD: “Up to 85% off New York Times best-selling books on Kindle”

Today’s

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

is another winner!

If you are what I call a “piece buyer”, where you will pay for an individual book one at a time (as opposed to using a “subser”…subscription service, like Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)), you can find some great deals in this one-day sale. I would guess that even people who just look occasionally at the New York Times bestseller list will recognize several author names…and some of these are fairly recent books.

Remember also that you can buy these at the discounted price and either delay the delivery until the appropriate gift-giving occasion, or print it out to (wrap and?) give whenever you want.

Check the price before you click, tap, or eye gaze (the last in virtual/augmented reality) that Buy button. Prices may not apply in your country, for one thing.

Titles include:

  • Never Never by James Patterson
  • The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama
  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nona George
  • The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower
  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
  • After You by Jojo Moyes
  • Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich (not the most recent Stephanie Plum novel, but close)
  • Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis
  • Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • In the Woods (Durbin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
  • Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles #6) by Jeffrey Archer
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  • Shaken by Tim Tebow
  • Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
  • Think Better, Live Better by Joel Osteen
  • The Spy by Paulo Coelho
  • What We Find by Robyn Carr
  • Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • White Rage by Carol Anderson, PhD
  • The Bainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
  • Inner Engineering by Sadhguru
  • Love Does by Bob Goff
  • Bill O’Reilly Legends and Lies: The Real West by David Fisher
  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson (I sometimes refer to mainstream books as “People Magazine books”…and I literally read about this book in People)
  • The Nazi Officer’s Wife by Edith H. Beer
  • Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild
  • Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler
  • West with the Night by Beryl Markham
  • The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas
  • In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett
  • Blackout by Sarah Hepola
  • Under Siege by Stephen Coonts
  • Daughters of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor
  • They Call Me Supermensch by Shep Gordon
  • Let Me Tell You About Jasper by Dana Perino
  • Scorched Earth by Michael Savage
  • All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  • Bare Bones by Bobby Bones
  • Radical Remission by Kelly A. Turner PhD
  • Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1) by Janet Evanovich
  • Eat and Run by Scott Jurek
  • When Nobody Was Watching y Carli Lloyd
  • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
  • Alive by Piers Paul Read (big hit book about a rugby team surviving a plane crash in the Andes…like some other books on this list, it was a #1 NYT bestseller)
  • The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman
  • Off the Sidelines by Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Dereliction of Duty by H.R. McMaster
  • All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior
  • I Want My Epidural Back by Karen Alpert
  • Waiting to Be Heard by Amanda Knox
  • My New Orleans, Gone Away by Peter M. Wolf
  • Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin (an important horror novel which became a popular movie)
  • Assegai by Wilbur Smith (Courtney Family Adventures #13)
  • Fated (The Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noel

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Books and the budget blueprint

March 19, 2017

Books and the budget blueprint

This is a post about books.

I’m not using it to tell you whether or not to support the current Presidential administration…that’s your choice. You may read what I post here, and use that to help you decide whether you agree or disagree with the budget proposal presented by the administration, what is called a “budget blueprint”. One reason why I am writing this, even though I try to stay away from politics in this blog for the most part, is that this isn’t a final budget at this point. There’s going to be a lot of debate over it, and it may or may not change significantly. You could still influence it, by contacting your congresspeople. You might tell them you want changes, or you don’t want changes, or specific changes you want…or you might not do anything at all. 🙂 Up to you…

Now, it would be reasonable to point out that I haven’t ever written about a Presidential budget blueprint before, in the close to eight years I’ve been writing this blog. Obviously, the previous ones were all under the same President, and this one is under a different President. However, I’m very confident that no other budget has had this direct an impact on federal funding of the creation of books (through direct support of authors) and libraries. There are a lot of programs which may affect literacy and therefore future book markets, but I’m going to stick with authors and libraries.

It’s also the first time that I’ve seen this many authors publicly taking a stand for or against a budget blueprint. We also talk about authors in this blog, and there are likely to be some names involved that you know.

First, here’s a link to the document, so you can read it yourself if you like:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf

Here is a short excerpt from this government document:

“The Budget also proposes to eliminate funding for other independent agencies, including: the African Development Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Chemical Safety Board; the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the Inter-American Foundation; the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; the Legal Services Corporation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; the Northern Border Regional Commission; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; the United States Institute of Peace; the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “

I”m going to highlight three of these:

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • The National Endowment for the Arts
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities

This budget blueprint proposes eliminating all funding for those three agencies. While it is hypothetically possible that funding could come in from other sources (I would guess that private donation would be legal), it’s likely that their activities would be, at the least, less than they had been previously and might stop completely.

We’ll take a look at each of these.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services

Official Website

Self-description from website:

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries (link is external) and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, our grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.”

Activities list on the website:

https://www.imls.gov/news-events/project-profiles

One project which ties into books/publishing/authors (note: my selection of a project is subjective; my goal is to find one that relates closely to the topics of this blog):

Open eBooks

Summary from the website: “The Open eBooks Initiative: Giving the Power of Reading to Those who Need it Most
May 31 2016 Eastern
Launched earlier this year, the Open eBooks initiative has garnered support and praise for its goal of helping children discover a love for reading through more open access to eBooks.”

The National Endowment for the Arts

Official Website

Self-description from the website:
“The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.”

Activities List on the Website:

Artistic Fields: Literature

This is a list of NEA Creative Writing Fellowship Winners who later won the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and/or the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction:

https://www.arts.gov/fact-sheet/creative-writing-fellowship-winners-and-national-awards

The National Endowment for the Humanities

Official Website

Self-description from the website:
“Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.”

Activities List on the Website:

Divisions and Offices

One project which ties into books/publishing/authors:

Common Heritage

Summary from the website:

“America’s cultural heritage is preserved not only in libraries, museums, archives, and other community organizations, but also in all of our homes, family histories, and life stories. The Common Heritage program aims to capture this vitally important part of our country’s heritage and preserve it for future generations. Common Heritage will support both the digitization of cultural heritage materials and the organization of public programming at community events that explore these materials as a window on a community’s history and culture.”

Full disclosure: I have used the Chronicling America digitized archive of newspapers, funded by the NEH, for my Flipboard magazine, The Weird Old Days.

For authors and organizations expressing an opinion, see this

PEN.org page

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

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.

Promoting reading…by spoiling books?

March 18, 2017

Promoting reading…by spoiling books?

Part of my routine in the morning is to go through

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

and “flip” articles into my free Flipboard magazines, including the

ILMK magazine at Flipboard

I have flipped literally over 40,000 stories into the ILMK magazine (41,486 at time of writing).

Sometimes, I flip something into it…and then delete it. That can happen if I flip one into ILMK that I intended for one of my other Flipboard magazines…their position in the interface can change, and so sometimes positional habits get the best of me. That happened this morning (I fixed it quickly).

The other thing is that I tend to flip them before I read them…I can usually see the headline and the first paragraph or two, which is enough to get the sense of it. I read most of the articles…and sometimes, when I do, I may see some reason I want to delete it. I really debate it if the post contains an “obscene word”…something that seems like it’s making a good, reasoned argument, may include the “f word”, for example. That gives me pause, since I don’t warn people ahead of time. I debate some posts over whether or not they are too “racy”…I will report on porn if the issue seems to me to be about censorship, for instance, but if it has a picture that could get you in trouble at most offices, I’ll skip it. I like to try to be inclusive, but I follow the principle of “when in doubt, leave it out”. I figure it’s better to omit something which may have some interest than to include something which offends (although everything may offend somebody).

There is an area of omission where I don’t have much debate: spoilers.

Let me clear what I mean by that. A “spoiler” reveals a plot element to someone who hasn’t already read a book (or watched a movie or TV show, and so on) without warning.

It’s quite different from analysis, which I love. I’ve looked intently at works, talking about every tiny point…but with a warning first.

My favorite thing in media is to be surprised, and as I’ve said before here, that’s not that easy. It’s not that I’m always right about what is going to happen, but I’ve typically considered it as a possibility (I’ve just thought about a lot of possibilities).

I also say there isn’t a statute of limitations on spoilers…I’m not perfect on this, but I try not to give away the Wizard of Oz or Shakespeare, for that matter. An eight-year old encountering the Wizard of Oz for the first time today has just as much right to enjoy it as an eight-year old who read it in 1900, in my opinion.

Why do people spoil books?

I have some speculation…

Some people appear to actually do it maliciously. I’ve seen it happen where that appears to be the case, and more than once. “Rosebud is <snip>, people!” That might come out of nowhere, in a forum. It’s a form of intellectual or emotional bullying…using superior power (knowledge of what happens…and knowledge is power) to force that superiority on somewhat less powerful.

In some cases, there is an assumption: “Everybody knows that.” Shared knowledge is a great bonding agent. It cements a group…we are part of the same group because we know and understand the same things the same way. Geeks like me do that all the time: we’ll reference some relatively obscure character or story. However, that’s different from spoiling…saying, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” and looking for recognition is very different from revealing the big shocker from that same universe. Saying, “If I only had a brain…” is different from revealing the twist there.

In today’s society, it’s always possible that your public words will reach an audience who doesn’t know what you and your friends know…it might be a child, or someone from outside your culture, or a reading newbie in the case of books.

All of this is also different from accidental disclosure. If you are eating lunch after seeing a movie and discussing with your friend who saw it with you, you aren’t consciously trying to spoil it for the people in the next booth. If we do that, I tend to talk in low voices, and I usually hold the details for the car or for home…but that sort of thing isn’t what I was seeing this morning that made me delete this

Adweek post by Angela Natividad

from the ILMK Flipboard magazine.

It’s called

“This Bookstore’s Clickbait Headlines on Facebook Are Actually the Plots of Classic Novels
Finally, a noble use of an iffy strategy”

I saw that, and the first headline wasn’t a spoiler. So, I flipped it.

Then, when I read it, there were a couple that were really classic spoilers.

I stopped my exercise (I can flip articles while I do some of my exercise routine), and got on the computer so I could efficiently delete it.

Now, the idea of this is pretty clever. It makes sense that Adweek is writing about “clickbait”. Clickbait is a term referring to an internet headline intended to make you want to click a link to get to something else. “You’ll never believe what this celebrity did in public!” “The five secrets you need to get rich…and one thing you must never do!” “Jane Austen’s mystery death – was she poisoned by arsenic?” (that last one is a real one this week, from the Telegraph). Some websites are paid per page view…so they just need to get you there (it’s also why they may make you click through a whole bunch of pictures to get to some sort of punchline, like a quiz score or an offer…they could put all those questions on the same page, of course).

It’s also entirely possible that the people who see those clickbait (which they call “litbait”) headlines really are part of the “literati”…after all, it is a bookstore doing it, and perhaps only well-read people frequent their Facebook page.

It wasn’t specifically the practice of the independent Dallas bookstore

The Wild Detectives

that concerned me about the post, or I wouldn’t have flipped it in the first place. 🙂 It was that the Adweek post itself contained the spoilers.

I actually really like the idea that people go from a single enticing headline to getting the entire public domain book for free! It’s clever and fun to modernize the concepts of the books to make them more relatable (without changing the original book). Looking at the website a bit, it seems like a great bookstore (and I speak as a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager), with extensive engagement by bookloving employees.

I’m happy to publicize The Wild Detectives in this post…without taking away the wonder that is Romeo & Juliet or The Picture of Dorian Gray from somebody.

What do you think? When is it okay to reveal a twist in a book in public? My adult kid doesn’t care about spoilers…do you? Do you warn people before you discuss a plot? Does a bookstore having a clever website with original writing encourage you to actually shop there? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

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 only: 10x the normal donation from AmazonSmile!

March 16, 2017

Today only: 10x the normal donation from AmazonSmile!

Shopping day!

The reason for this is great: Amazon is #1 in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, but the reward is even better!

I frequently bring up

http://smile.amazon.com

on this blog…I mention it at the end of almost every post.

What happens is that you shop at that site, just like you normally would at Amazon. You select a non-profit (and there are a ton of them…including ones that promote literacy, but a very wide variety), and ordinarily, half a percent of your eligible purchases (lots of items are eligible) are donated by Amazon to that non-profit. For $100, that’s fifty cents. A small amount, but it can make a big difference for some groups.

Today (March 16th) only, Amazon will donate 5%…$5 on $100 of purchases!

We have a dog toy in our cart, but we’ll definitely buy it and some other things to benefit our current non-profit, Sitters without Borders. That one was recommended by our now adult kid who lives in the Boston area…it provides babysitting for low income parents there so they can more easily attend college. We’ve supported other causes through AmazonSmile in the past…Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum, Palo Alto University…sometimes, it’s even thematic (I may want a purchase of a particular item to benefit a particular type of non-profit.

Remember that there is no cost to you to shop at AmazonSmile…and Amazon makes the donation, so you aren’t even giving your information to anyone different. That does mean that Amazon takes the tax write-off, not you, but to me, that’s a small thing. I can still donate directly, if I want…this doesn’t change that relationship.

It’s up to you, but if you haven’t tried AmazonSmile, today is the day to…shop ’til you help! 🙂

Thanks, Amazon!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Chrome extension tells you if that Kindle book is in your public library

March 15, 2017

Chrome extension tells you if that Kindle book is in your public library

Content is king.

People like to say that, and the point of it is, that it doesn’t matter so much what a delivery system is, if you don’t want what it delivers.

You could have the most magnificent home library in the world, with a spiral staircase and sliding ladders, but if the books you have it in are boring to you, you won’t be happy. The floor to ceiling library in our home literally has bookcases in it we bought from Ikea for $5 apiece. They have a section where you can buy beat up, scratched, pre-assembled pieces…and I figured there would be so many books on them (we have something like 10,000 paperbooks in our home) you’d never see the scratches. 🙂

When the

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

was first released, there weren’t a lot of “skills” (the Alexa equivalent of “apps” for a SmartPhone). Now, the

Alexa Skills store on Amazon.com (at AmazonSmile*)

has over 10,000, including some really useful and fun things (banking, trivia, entertainment, big brand names, and cool independents).

I’ve predicted that Amazon will get big into Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged Reality this year. I’ve been using the

Samsung Gear VR headset (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for just a few months. I’m now convinced that VAMM is ready for PrimeTime. Augmented Reality has had a “killer app” with Pokemon Go, but that was phone-based. Some would argue that we don’t have a killer app to get people to wear head-mounted VAMM yet…but I find watching commercial video to be a big attraction. Both Hulu and Netflix have apps, and they’ve both improved a lot. That’s the killer app for me…much better than watching on my TV at home. Now, Amazon, about Prime Video… 🙂

In terms of internet browsers, my preferred browser is Maxthon…but I am in Google Chrome right now. Why? Extensions. Chrome has some great extensions, which again are like Alexa skills or iPhone apps: little programs which often serve a single purpose. OneTab and Merge All Windows have made Chrome much more attractive for me, but there are some book ones as well.

I told you in January about

A great Google Chrome extension for eReaderIQ

but I want to thank

EBOOK FRIENDLY

for a heads up on a brilliant one called, simply, Library Extension.

I installed it this morning and it works beautifully!

You tell it what your public library is (you can have more than one), and the interface to do that was very simple. It already has the USA selected for me (that might just be the default, or it may have taken something from my browser for location). Then, I just had to tell it my state and county, and it was ready to go!

Then, when I went to a book at Amazon…I tested it with

The Hunger Games (at AmazonSmile)

first.

It took a couple of seconds to tell me that 35 of 56 “copies” were available at my library (those look like p-books), 5 of 8 audiobooks were available, and 0 of 2 e-books. I could then click, tap (or, I presume, eye gaze in virtual reality but I didn’t try that) a borrow button, and I was taken to Overdrive.

There’s no charge for any of this, and this is likely to save some of you a lot of money! I don’t tend to borrow books from our public library, in part because, well, we can afford books, and I don’t want to keep someone of limited means from being able to borrow one because I borrowed it. I love public libraries, and am absolutely fine with anybody borrowing from them…it’s just not something I do much.

Obviously, you won’t have Chrome on your EBR (E-Book Reader), and you might have it on your Fire…but you can borrow the book on your computer and then have it delivered to your EBR.

EBOOK FRIENDLY is really international, and they say, “Currently, the extension supports over 3,200 libraries in seven countries: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, and the Cayman Islands.”

It’s also worth noting that it works at a number of sites, not just Amazon (including the Amazon-owned Goodreads, but also Barnes & Noble, Google Books, and others).

I’ll be curious about your experiences with it…you can let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. Hopefully, it opens up a lot more possibilities for you!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

“What to do with the kids during a snowstorm?” Hmm…

March 14, 2017

“What to do with the kids during a snowstorm?” Hmm…

It’s not often that my reaction to something online is, “Oh, come on!” 🙂

Well, that’s how I felt about this

CNN post by Kelly Wallace

Our now adult kid lives in the Boston area, and they are expecting a snowstorm. That’s not usually news 😉 but this one is, and it’s meaning that some school districts are closing for a “snow day”.

I get that a change in routine can be challenging, especially if you have kids who are quite young…I’ll go with under five.

It also may mean that an adult is staying home in an unusual situation, and that can be hard, too.

However, the answer seems easy to me for older kids, or would have been easy for me and my siblings.

It’s a four letter word.

It rhymes with “need”.

Reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaddddddddd!

😉

Certainly, that’s what I would have done as a kid if “trapped” in the house.

I would have looked forward to a day like that, for just that reason. It’s also what my parents would have expected me to do.

The “what to do with…” can indicate what the disposition should be (“What should we do with all these bubble gum wrappers?”), or indicate something you will both do together (“What should we do with Kris and Pat tonight?”). Both meanings work with reading. You can let your kids read on their own, or you could read to (and with) them. That works even if they are too young to read (but old enough to enjoy it…which can be quite young).

A situation like this particularly lends itself to “binge reading”…starting through a series. There are several great series that you can get legally for free (Oz, of course, for me immediately comes to mind…I’d start with the second book, The Marvelous Land of Oz), because they are not under copyright protection (they are in the “public domain”…the public owns them).

My record in a day as an adult was three and a half novels. 🙂 It was the Expendables series by Richard Avery. They are “popcorn books”, definitely quick reads. Unfortunately, not available (at least legally in the USA from Amazon) for the Kindle.

I was once (literally) on the island of Bora Bora, and read through all of the books I brought (one of the great things about having the Kindle…I can bring a lot more books than I could bring in my separate book suitcase). The only books I could buy were

The Executioner series (Mack Bolan) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I read something like ten of those.

Similarly, my life was changed for the better when I was in Alaska, and serendipitously picked up some of the Bantam Doc Savage reprints.

I want to say that I think it’s important that you don’t worry about being able to get through the whole series in the one day! It can be a great way to inspire your child to continue to read after the snow day, if you don’t.

Of course, reading just one book can be good, too. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame might be a good choice. It’s a much slower pace than many works, although there is adventure in it. Don’t be put off by it being British…I’ve always loved learning words from outside my personal experience, and it’s easy enough to understand, in my opinion. Of course, on a Kindle, you also have tools (including the dictionary) which can help. If your internet doesn’t go out, the Wikipedia look up could also help.

Anyway, one thing that surprised me about the article was that nobody in it mentioned reading as an option…despite the fact that two of the experts quoted are listed as being authors! 🙂

Snow days weren’t really part of my childhood experience, but how about you? What memories do you have reading when snowed in? What books or series would you recommend either for children to read on their own or for adults to read with them for the next couple of days? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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 “Kindle books for spring”

March 12, 2017

Today’s KDD: up to 80% off “Kindle books for spring”

Today’s

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

says it is “Up to 80% off Kindle books for spring”.

I don’t really get what makes them books of the season…in fact, I don’t really see a thematic connection, but I just may be missing something. If you see a connection, or have a feeling what defines a “spring book”, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. Regardless, these are good sales on 41 (!) books.

Do check the price before you click/tap/eye gaze (the last in Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality) that Buy button: the prices may not apply in your country, and could change before you read this.

Titles include:

  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (a true children’s classic for $1.99)
  • The Magnolia Story (with Bonus Content) by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines
  • Chaos by Patricia Cornwell
  • Settle for More by Megyn Kelly
  • The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  • The Flame Bearer (Saxon Tales #10) by Bernard Cornwell
  • Everything for Her by Alexa Riley
  • All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton
  • Jump by Steve Harvey
  • The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle
  • Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
  • Boundaries by Henry Cloud
  • The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
  • Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
  • The Fireman by Joe Hill
  • The Broken Way (with Bonus Content) by Ann Voskamp
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley | $2.99
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  • Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  • Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
  • The English Spies (Gabriel Allon #15) by Daniel Silva
  • Notorious RGB: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
  • Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
  • The Wicked Day by Beatriz Williams
  • Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Twilight at Blueberry Barrens (Sunset Cove) by Colleen Coble
  • Under Pressure (Body Armor) by Lori Foster
  • This Live I Live by Rory Feek
  • For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
  • Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
  • Warrior of the Light: A Manuel by Paulo Coelho
  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • My Weird School 4-Book Collection y Dan Gutman
  • Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
  • The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

Enjoy!

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.


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