Archive for the ‘Polls’ Category

What’s in a name? An EBR by any other name would read as sweet

August 28, 2015

What’s in a name? An EBR by any other name would read as sweet

Amazon is good at a lot of things.

Naming items isn’t one of them. ;)

Okay, those are both my opinion…but they are opinions that have been expressed by many people.

Even the name “Kindle”, with its association with fire, seemed an odd choice if you were arguing that you are a champion of books…and especially if you were doing something that some people were going to fear would hurt paper books. Of course, it wasn’t as bad as Barnes & Nobles’ choice of “Nook” for their e-book reader…as I reported that Kindle forum member J. Taylor pointed out way back in 2009:

Flash! Barnes & Noble’s “nook” named after…

That’s a matter of taste, which is important in terms of marketing.

More concerning is when naming has a direct practical impact on customers.

That’s been the case with the least expensive model of the Kindle.

There have been seven generations of Kindles to date…different capabilities, different morphologies…and Amazon almost always refers to that low end model as simply the “Kindle”.

Clearly, that causes a problem for people buying covers, for one thing.

A cover that would fit the Kindle 1 (the 2007 model…we actually got a free cover with that device) won’t fit the current gen(eration).

If, perhaps, Amazon at least put the generation number clearly on the device somehow, that would help.

It’s also a real challenge for people providing support to other Kindle users, like the Kindle Forum Pros (I’m one of those). As the menus change, the step by step help that many people want (and by which they are greatly benefited) becomes difficult if you don’t know which model they have (and they often don’t know, either).

So, and I would say inevitably, the community has adopted its own nicknames for different gens of the lowest priced Kindles.

Since nicknames are unofficial, they have various degrees of adoption…and they strike people different ways.

When the fourth generation of the Kindle was introduced in late 2011, I nicknamed that one the “Mindle” (for “minimum Kindle”…other people said later it was for “Mini Kindle”, which is fine with me). Amazon had referred to the first gen as just a “Kindle” (logical) and the second gen as a “Kindle 2” (that name was actually used in press releases). The third generation went back to just being the “Kindle”, but the community called it the “Kindle 3”. Amazon later renamed that one the “Kindle Keyboard”.

The fourth gen was announced at the same time as the Kindle Touch, and that was when that “Kindle Keyboard” rebranding happened.

There were now three versions of the “Kindle” currently on sale at Amazon.

I nicknamed the lowest cost one the “Mindle” partially to give a short way to differentiate it from the other Kindles.

I’ll admit it: I like making up neologisms. :)

Some of them get used by other people, although that’s not necessarily the point. I do it partially because it is fun for me, and partially specifically for my readers.

Some of them do catch on to some extent. I’ve seen other people use EBR (E-Book Reader) and “tradpub” (traditional publisher). Sometimes, there is a parallel evolution (that’s not that uncommon when doing something creative): I’m certainly not the only person to make up “phablet” to combine “phone” and “tablet” for the larger-screened phones).

I polled my readers, about three years ago, in

Poll Party #1

about their use of terms I’d coined. EBR was by far the most popular.

However…

I’m sure some people detest some of the terms I’ve proposed.

One of my regular readers and commenters, Susan Cassidy, who I respect, recently asked me to stop using the term “Mindle”. Susan reported a psychogenic reaction to it, calling it “…disgustingly cutesy”.

Susan also thought it hadn’t “caught on”. I did check, and it has been used hundreds of times in the Amazon Kindle forum…and very few of those will have been by me. It’s also likely that other people independently came up with the term.

While I will ultimately determine my future use of it, I like to get a sense of what my readers think as well. If many people feel the way Susan does, that would certainly influence my decision.

So, I decided to ask you. :)

A somewhat different question is what you would like me to call the current generation least expensive Kindle, this one:

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

Thanks for giving my your opinion…and that “thanks” goes especially to you, Susan!

If you have another suggestion for a name, or if you think the whole question is silly ;) 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.

Re-read or not re-read…that is the question

July 17, 2015

Re-read or not re-read…that is the question

I’ve mentioned in this blog several times that I’m not a big re-reader of books.

However, I do know that many other people are.

My Significant Other knew somebody who only ever read the same two books: Helter Skelter and Gone with the Wind. They would finish one of them, start the other one, finish that and go back to the first, and so on.

That doesn’t appeal to me personally. I want books to change me. I want to read lots of books…different kinds of books by different people with different viewpoints.

For me, that’s the magic of books.

I will say that I am re-reading a book currently…fourteen books, actually.

I have an omnibus of  the original (Wizard of Oz) books, and I’ve taken to re-reading them before I go to sleep.

It takes me a long time to go to sleep at night…there’s a real process. Reading before I finally fall asleep is part of it.

I often don’t read much at that  time…quite often, not even a whole chapter.

That doesn’t mean I don’t retain it, though.

I’m re-reading them partially because I am writing some things about Oz, and I want to get the details right.

I’m also getting new insights.

Until we had cellphones,  I wouldn’t have realized that there was one in the Oz books!

The Wizard of Oz invented the cellphone

Additionally, I’m at a different  place in my life than the first time I read them…or had them read to me (I was a kid).

So, I’m now open to the idea of re-reading…even though I feel a bit guilty doing it, which I know is silly.

I can see how I’d be more likely to re-read things now, even if I didn’t have a specific purpose. It used to be that I would remember just about everything in a book I read, even years later.

That’s no longer true.

I’ll pretty much remember the general plot, but characters’ names, for example? That doesn’t happen automatically any more.

Thinking about it, it’s also interesting: I have no reluctance at all to re-watch a TV show or a movie. I’ve seen the same episodes of the original Star Trek series many times…even though I could just about write the script from memory.

I’m confident in saying that there are some movies I’ve seen more than a hundred times, and would happily watch again.

Why the difference?

I think part of it is the investment of time. Watching a movie is  a couple of hours…reading a book can be much more than that.

I also don’t expect the visual media to change me the way a book does. The level of engagement is far different…most movies work on my surface emotions…books get deep inside my mind.

Let me ask you a couple of questions. Figure we are talking about novels or short story collection/anthologies…not non-fiction, which is a different kettle of words. ;)

This whole post was inspired by a comment one of my regular readers and commenters, jjhitt, made. jjhitt thought it would be interesting for me to ask you, my readers, which books you re-read…and I am interested in that. I’m also interested in why you re-read…or why you don’t. If the poll isn’t enough for you, 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! :) 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.

How do you feel about pay per page read?

July 5, 2015

How do you feel about pay per page read?

I recently wrote about Amazon’s new “pay per page read” royalty plan for borrows in

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

and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL):

Pay by the page read: Amazon revolutionizes royalties

While certainly, there has been some pushback on it…in particular, from authors (and in some cases, their agents), who feel like it might radically reduce their royalties.

It will…for some people.

It will also likely increase royalties for other people.

Before the new plan (which went into effect July 1st), all borrows in Kindle Unlimited (from publishers using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing) shared a pool of money, based on the number of borrows.

Whether a title was three hundred pages, or three pages, everybody got the same amount.

The only requirement was that a borrower read 10%  of the titles.

Let’s say the books had the classic 250 words per page.

That three page book had 750 words…so 75 words would be enough for payment (you’ve read twice that many in the post already).

The three hundred page book had 75,000 words…so, 7,500 words (thirty pages) before someone got paid.

It’s different, but making the longer book more valuable seems reasonable to me.

Note also that it’s not just that the book is longer…it’s that the reader actually read more of it, presumably getting more value out of it.

I’ve been trying to come up with analogies for this, to help me understand it. I wanted to know why someone would be passionately opposed to it.

Suppose you wanted one bottled water. Further suppose that you could only buy a six pack.

Does it seem reasonable that the person who drank one bottle and threw away the rest paid the same amount as the person who drank and got value out of the six bottles?

How about at a restaurant?

Would you shop at a restaurant where you always had to pay for a salad, soup, appetizer, main course, and dessert, even if you only wanted the salad?

People do order “prix fixe”, where they pay one price for several courses.

On the other side, I can see the argument that if you order a medium pizza and only eat two slices, the restaurant still had to make the whole pizza…it’s not their fault if you don’t eat the whole thing.

That doesn’t feel quite the same, though…the restaurant used up resources on the pizza. The writer did use resources (time, creative energy), but it’s not limited in the same way.

I want to hear from you, my readers, as to what you think about it. You can certainly make comments on this post, and I’m going to do a poll. Tell me why you don’t like it, or why you do.

If you are both an author and a reader, please approach the poll as a reader…you can express your writer’s perspective in the comments. :)

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.

Bestselling Kindle authors and social media

April 11, 2015

Bestselling Kindle authors and social media

I recently mentioned that I have a sibling who has a first novel,

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

coming out on June 1st.

We’ve had some discussions along the way, and it’s been interesting to see the process.

One question has been about the amount of involvement in social media, and what kinds.

I can’t claim to be an expert on that, by any means. Yes, this blog is successful (it’s usually one of the top ten blogs of any kind in the USA Kindle store). Sure, I feel like I have a good relationship with my readers. I can also say that my Flipboard magaines, including

 ILMK magazine at Flipboard

are doing well, although I don’t know how they compare to others.

But the more well-known social media outlets? Not so much. ;)

I have 309 followers on

Twitter

I suspect there may be somebody’s left gym sock with more followers than that. ;)

I do have a Facebook account, but it’s totally stealth…as private as I could make it. I only joined Facebook so I could look at things that family members post.

To be clear, I don’t have anything against Facebook…I just don’t have the social energy to spend on it.

I would feel a responsibility to respond to people there, just as I respond to almost every comment made on this blog. What with my family, an often more than full time job, writing (I told myself I’d average at least 1,000 words a day in this blog, and I do that…plus I have another blog where I write more rarely, and I work on books although I haven’t released one in a while), and the Amazon forums (which helps with this blog…and I just like helping people), I simply feel like I couldn’t add another commitment and keep up the standards I want to meet.

Oh, and I do write reviews on

Goodreads

I have a whopping 28 friends there…and seven followers. :)

However, any new (or established, for that matter) author is going to get a lot of advice to be active on social media.

My sibling was understandably excited to tell me about the new eponymous website

http://www.kriscalvin.com/

which is a way to connect with readers.

I don’t have an eponymous website. The closest thing I have to that is

Bufo Calvin’s Amazon Author Central Page

So, the announcement of the website got me curious. What is the social media presence like of the bestselling authors in the USA Kindle store? Are they on Twitter? Instagram? Do they have a blog? A website?

I decided to take a look.

Amazon does rank authors, but that tends to favor authors with a lot of books, and I wanted to see the potential impact on new authors, who might have only one.

I went to the

Bestselling paid books in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

and just started checking (in order, from #1 to #5).

Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
publisher: Penguin Random House (PRH)
Amazon Author Central (AAC) page: yes
Goodreads Author page: yes 1325 followers
Twitter: yes @PaulaHWrites 3809 followers
Facebook: yes PaulaHawkinsWriter 955 likes
Website: yes PaulaHawkinsBooks

Comment: there is another Paula Hawkins, a politician, which is probably why the website isn’t just PaulaHawkins.com.

Sejal Badani (Trail of Broken Wings)
publisher: Amazon’s Lake Union
Amazon Author Central (AAC) page: yes
Goodreads Author page: yes 2 followers
Twitter: not found
Facebook: not found
Website: not found

Comment: this book is a Kindle First pick (eligible Prime members typically get one Kindle First book a month free…sometimes it has been two, and other people can get it at a reduced rate). Clearly, that’s been a way to sales success in the Kindle store. The book actually isn’t released yet, so it’s possible some of the other elements will be in place by May 1st.

Orest Stelmach (The Altar Girl)
Amazon Author Central (AAC) page: yes
Goodreads Author page: yes 1369 followers
Twitter: yes @oreststelmach 7847 followers
Facebook: not found
Website: yes oreststelmach

Comment: this is also a Kindle First pick.

Melissa F. Olson (Boundary Crossed)
Amazon Author Central (AAC) page: yes
Goodreads Author page: yes 242 followers
Twitter: yes @melissafolson 2656 followers
Facebook: yes MelissaFOlson 491 likes
Website: yes melissafolson

J.S. Scott (No Ordinary Billionaire)
Amazon Author Central (AAC) page: yes
Goodreads Author page: yes 1552 followers
Twitter: yes @AuthorJSScott 8353 followers
Facebook: yes AuthorJSScott 61894 likes
Website: yes authorjsscott

Comment: that’s a lot of Facebook likes!

Looking at these top five, it’s clear that you don’t need social media to be a bestseller on Amazon…if you are a Kindle First pick. ;)

Excluding that factor, might sense here is that Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon) matters. I don’t have an author page there, and perhaps I should (I’m just on it as a reader).

I’m impressed with how J.S. Scott has done it, in part by creating the reasonable online “handle” of JSSCott. That’s consistently applied, which I think is a good thing…Facebook, the Website, and Twitter all use it.

Everybody in the top five has Amazon Author Central pages…I do think that gives you a legitimacy.

Interestingly, I’m not seeing that having a blog (separate from Twitter or your website) is a big thing. I do think that’s a danger for some writers…that they can put a lot of time and energy into the blog, and not produce books.

Certainly, I thought my focus would be on books, and it’s much more on this blog. I don’t think that’s a problem for me, though. I’m not trying to make a living just doing this, and the blog is fun, is a good creative outlet, and lets me connect with people, which I like.

However, I am starting to try to take a day a month off work as a writing day.

I’d like to be getting more books done.

I remember years ago when my Significant Other asked me what my retirement plan was and I said, “I plan to die at work.” ;) I do like my job that much…as a trainer, I wake up on a weekday and say, “Oh boy, I get to go to work today!” As I’m fond of saying, though, I have a genetic abnormality: I’m an optimist. ;)

My Significant Other would like to retire some day, and I’ve started to get myself into that mindset. One thing that would be attractive to me about that would be writing more.

I would budget part of my time and energy into the social media part (assuming it exists in some semblance of what we have today…not planning to retire soon). I’d also just flat out write more.

I guess the advice I would give writers is to figure that you have a finite amount of time, energy, and creativity. You have to budget it: if a particular bit of social media is an investment where you’ll profit (that might be in more time, more energy, more creativity…or yes, money), then go for it. If not, you don’t need to be there…Amazon could always pick you. ;)

Let’s also do a quick poll:

What do you think? If you are an author, do you feel pressure to be on social media? As a reader, have you ever discovered an author on social media, and then become a reader of their works? Does having, say, a Goodreads Author page give someone more credibility for you? Do you feel like you have become more emotionally invested in an author because of reading their tweets? 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.

Poll Party #6

March 19, 2015

Poll Party #6

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I threw the last “Poll Party”!

My regular readers know that I really like to hear your opinion. I often ask for it at the end of posts (and I try to give you conversation starters), and I love reading (and responding to) the comments.

I know not everybody wants to, or has the time and energy to, write something like that.

That’s one reason I love the polls we do here. It gives people another way to be heard. Even though we certainly aren’t a scientific sample of the mainstream, I find it interesting to see what we are saying. I suspect we might even be predictive as a group, as far as e-books are concerned, but I don’t really know that.

I like to find a theme for these (although I may throw in some “odd ducks” that don’t really fit).

This time, I wanted to explore the two sides of the Kindle for my readers. No, no, not the screen and the back. ;)

The Kindle is tech and the Kindle is about reading and books.

Those two work for me. I’m really a booklover, and I’ve worked with tech for a long time…although I’m not as much of a hardware person as a lot of people might think.

Yes, I was a Microsoft Certified Professional…I even still have the card I got. That makes me a card-carrying geek…and guarantees me a seat by the kitchen in restaurants. ;)

However, my part of that was more software (including programming) than getting out a…what are those called? Oh, yeah, screwdrivers. Actually, and this is true, I literally have a screwdriver scar from trying to use one of those things, slipping, and digging out enough of a chunk of my hand so that it literally “left a mark” (as in “that’s gonna…”).

I mean, it shouldn’t be that hard! I had a blue and gold macaw for quite a while.

When I first got the macaw, I was reading a book (naturally) on training them. It said that if you pressed a dowel gently against their chests, they had to step up on it, and you could start training them to get used to being carried around, and eventually, used to being on you.

Well, my macaw (“Perry”) was in a large cage at that point…maybe four feet high, with a small door. I reached in, pressed the dowel…and Perry proceeded to run up my arm on to my head! Yes, passing through the little door.

You can’t grab a macaw and force them to do something. First, they can easily break a finger of yours if they want…they can crack Brazil nuts, after all.

Second, they are birds…inherently fragile.

There was simply no way to make Perry go back through the door…the large bird would have to duck, and if it wasn’t voluntary, it wasn’t going to happen.

I got a relative to use the dowel to scoop Perry off my head and on to the top of the cage.

Then, I figured I could take the top off the cage. I unscrewed a couple of screws…and that wore me out. :)

So, I stepped out for a minute.

When I came back, Perry had unscrewed another screw…and was working on an additional one when I saw it!

Yep…holding the screwdriver with one foot, and turning it by mouth.

I know: I’m not as mechanically oriented as a bird…

We say, “How many software people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, we don’t do that…it’s a hardware problem.” :)

A lot of what happens with a Kindle or a Fire tablet (or the Fire TV, or the Fire Phone, or the Amazon Echo) is about software. Not very many people are taking theirs apart (although some do).

For me, that tech element is part of the fun…as, clearly, is the element of books.

I’m curious about you…

On this first one, note that you can make more than one choice…so picking the first two is fine, if that fits you.

I’d pick both of them.

Now, let me ask you a book quantity question:

My answer on that one? More than 10,000. We have one room dedicated as a floor to ceiling library, and the books are on shelves horizontally, vertically, two deep…there are a lot. :)

A quantity question on the techie side…think about your typical day. How many tech gadgets do you use? I would include:

  • A SmartPhone
  • A Kindle
  • A tablet
  • The Amazon Echo
  • A Fire TV (or other TV device)
  • A wearable (including a fitness tracker)
  • A gaming console
  • A desktop computer
  • A laptop computer

and so on…you get the idea. If you use two different ones of the same category, count it as two.

For instance, for me…let’s see.

I use my Fire tablet, my Paperwhite, my personal Fire Phone, an iPhone for work, a Fire TV, a Fire TV stick (two different rooms), a Tivo, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, and a two-in-one (a convertible computer that can become a tablet or works like a laptop)…I think I’d say that’s it on a pretty much daily basis. I know you may have to make some guesses as to what counts: that’s up to you. I’m interested in your own impressions of what you do as well as objective reality.

Here’s something which some people might think would help define someone who is “serious” about books.

For me, it’s more than 100 years old. I have some of the original Oz books, for one thing, and I have one volume of the Britannica which is a 19th century edition.

Now, let’s get a sense of your computer history. With this one, I’d like it to be something that was on the computer in its time…not that you used it in a computer museum, or something like that. It should be something that you used practically.

Interesting…I’ve used all of these except one. I never had or regularly worked with a computer which used tape reels…punch cards, the floppies, an optical drive…sure. Some of you might assume everybody has worked with a computer which had an optical drive…it will be intriguing to see what the poll says.

This next one is actually making me nervous just writing it…

I used to joke about being “web blind”, and saying my hands would start shaking. ;) I mentioned that today, but noted that we are almost never web blind (without internet connection) for long at all these days.

I’d hate that I’m going to say this, but I think I’d have to go without the reading. Aarrgghh!

Why do I say that?

With the internet, my writing would proliferate like beetle species during the Triassic period!

On the other hand, I could write and just not publish it for a day. That way, I could read books and write…using a computer, but not connected!

Yep, I change my mind…I’m going without the internet, and submerging into a day of reading and writing…but I do want them both.

Okay, one just for fun:

I think it’s better that I don’t reveal my answers on this one. I will say that I can legitimately say four of these…and often more than once.

Looking forward to what you have to say! If you can’t find answers that fit, feel free to comment on this post…I never seem to be able to design polls where the questions satisfy everybody, and the reasons people give me for that help me make better polls in the future.

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.

Why have you replaced a Kindle?

December 18, 2014

Why have you replaced a Kindle?

I don’t tend to replace my Kindles/Fires…I just add to the group.

In part, that’s because I want to have older ones around for reference, for when people ask me questions.

That plan got a bit derailed when our house was burglarized, and I lost eight of them.

However, a reader, SKC, and I were discussing battery life. Not battery charge life (how long between charges), but that the battery will eventually become unable to be charged. Since a Kindle/Fire** does not have a user replaceable battery (as many modern electronics don’t), it becomes necessary to replace the device (if you still want to have that many devices).

My thought was that I haven’t heard that often about someone replacing a device because the battery died.

It’s more often been because it was lost/stolen, the screen failed, or they wanted something newer.

That’s just my guess, though…I thought it would make sense to do a poll.

Certainly, my readers aren’t typical of the general population, but it would still be informative.

First, let’s define replacing the device as getting another device (or, I suppose, an app) to take the place of one you will no longer have. You aren’t adding to your total number of devices: you are keeping the count the same.

Second, before I do the poll, let me point out that you still have your content (with a couple of exceptions, which I’ll explain).

It’s easiest to think of it as the e-books belonging to the account, not to the device.

When you register a new device to the same account, it has access to the books previously purchased on that account.

What are the exceptions?

There has been some debate about this, but my understanding is that if a book has been removed from the Kindle store by Amazon for legal reasons (such as it being a case of infringement), Amazon can not let people download it from the archives.

They don’t go after copies you’ve already downloaded to your device: having an infringing copy is not illegal (that’s been established by the Supreme Court…it’s not the same as stolen goods), it’s the distribution that’s the problem.

If a book is simply voluntarily removed from the Kindle store and you already bought it, Amazon will still have that one for you to download to new devices. I have one like that.

That’s one case where you wouldn’t have the book to download to a newly registered device if the old device failed.

Second, there is a question of compatibility. The vast majority of e-books from the Kindle store are compatible with all of the Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers). However, some may have audio or video which would not be compatible, and then there are “print replica” books which wouldn’t work on the first generation Kindle (the one from 2007), for example.

Another category, not books, is “active content”. Those are games you play on a non-Fire Kindle, and you can imagine that one that works with a touchscreen might not be compatible with an older Kindle without a touchscreen…that sort of thing. Also, currently, active content is not available for the

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

which, as I understand it, is a conscious choice for Amazon.

Okay, so let’s get to the poll. You can pick more than one choice on this:

If they answer you want isn’t there, please let me and my readers  know by commenting on this post.

While we’re here, let me also ask: why have you kept your Kindle/Fire when a new device was released?

Again, feel free to add additional reasons or to just tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join over a thousand 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! :) 

**Update: regular reader and commenter jjhitt correctly pointed out that the 2007 Kindle had a battery designed to be replaced by the user, and people have replaced the batteries on other models…I should have said, “…modern Kindles/Fires…” or perhaps “…current…”

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 new Kindle models poll: will you…?

September 18, 2014

The new Kindle models poll: will you…?

I wrote pretty extensively about Amazon’s announcement of new hardware (and a new version of the Fire operating system). I try not to write about the same thing two days in a row very often, but I didn’t want to just update that post (a lot of people miss it when I do that). Also, since this is both Fires and non-Fires, it will cover most of my readership (some people read on free Kindle reader apps, and some don’t have anything yet…but this will affect pretty much everybody). It’s also stylistically different from yesterday’s post.

Just a few notes from overnight:

  • Thanks to regular reader and commenter Edward Boyhan for pointing out that the new tablets are no longer “Kindle Fires”, they are just “Fires”. That’s been something I’ve wanted since before the first of them was released. I think it’s confusing to have the non-backlit Kindle readers co-branded with backlit tablets, since they are so different. I’ve seen much confusion about that in the Kindle forums (“I upgraded to a Kindle Fire from a Kindle Touch…why can’t I read outside as well?”). I’m fine with the Fire tablets, Fire Phone, and Fire TVs being a “brand”…they have quite a bit in common, much more than a Fire tablet and a Kindle Paperwhite
  • The Paperwhite’s storage was increased earlier this year…I don’t think I made that clear
  • How soon is “soon” in “coming soon” (for some of the new features)? I would think we’ll get a major update before the end of November, and another one in the first quarter of next year (with some incremental updates in between). I’m just guessing, though
  • There will be an outport on the Fire tablets for use with a TV (which the first gen Kindle Fire had), but it won’t be HDMI…it’ll be USB. Amazon says, “The latest generation Fire tablets now include a SlimPort enabled micro USB port that lets you view images and HD video from your tablet on any compatible TV or monitor”
  • It’s not clear that the “Family Library” (the ability to read books from more than one account on the same device without doing the register/deregister dance) will apply to all books, and it may not. It might be more like Kindle Unlimited, where only some books are involved
  • What really needs an update in Fire OS is the digital assistant, in my opinion…I want my Fire Phone in particular to be able to do more things through voice “command” (although that sounds so imperial…can’t it just be “voice communication”?) ;) Don’t know if we’ll get that, but I’m guessing we will. Anybody Amazon can buy to make that happen? I’d like it on the Fire tablets, too

Now, as to the main point of this post.

I’m generally seeing a positive reaction to this announcement…good initial reports in the tech media (although not much in mainstream…compare it to the Apple announcement, which was all over the mainstream). I think this will lift the Fire Phone boat as well, resulting in more sales for that device. I’m curious about how you feel about the new devices:

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

new entry level: “Mindle Touch” as a suggested nickname, any configuration (at AmazonSmile*)

Fire HD 6, any configuration (at AmazonSmile*)

Fire HD 7, any configuration (at AmazonSmile*)

Fire HD 6 Kids Edition, any configuration(at AmazonSmile*)

Fire HDX 8.9, any configuration(at AmazonSmile*)

Feel free to add comments and questions by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds 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.

Kindle Unlimited: how does it affect authors, and what’s the deal with the KOLL?

July 23, 2014

Kindle Unlimited: how does it affect authors, and what’s the deal with the KOLL?

You know that look Indiana Jones has in that one scene, where the  adventuring archaeologist  thinks everything cool, and suddenly, it all goes reverse  Sisyphus? ;)

That’s the look a lot of the book industry still has after Amazon introduced its subser (that’s what I call a subscription service) for e-books and audiobooks for adults.

I’ve already written about it more than once, but there’s a lot more to say since I wrote

It’s official! Kindle Unlimited is here with 639,621 titles

way back on…Friday. ;)

I said at that point I was going to address how this was affecting authors, and that’s going to be one of the two parts of this post.

A lot of people want to know if this is good or bad for authors, and like almost everything, in my opinion, it’s both.

My guess is that some authors are going to see tremendous increases in revenue by being part of Kindle Unlimited (KU). Others, rightfully, are concerned about the restrictions involved.

Let’s first lay things out a bit.

Authors get paid for the sale of the books they’ve written. In the traditionally publishing world, they licensed the rights to sell the book to a publisher (the deal was usually made by an agent acting on the author’s behalf), which sold the books to stores, which then sold them to customers.

A tradpub (traditional publisher) might give the author an advance against the royalties. Let’s say that you could be reasonably sure that Stephen King was going to sell a million copies of the next novel, and that you knew as the publisher you could get $10 per copy (I’m basically working with this as a hardback for this example). $2.50 of that is going to go to King.

However, the author needs a year to write the book, and needs to spend that year largely unconcerned about earning a living besides that.

You are looking at getting in $7.5 million…you’ll have expenses out of that, of course, including the actual manufacture of the book and marketing, but you’ll advance King $1 million.

The first million dollars which would have gone to King from the royalties once the book starts actually selling, you keep to pay off the advance.

So, that’s one model.

In the independent (“indie”) e-book model, the author may publish the book themselves, going perhaps through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The author, following certain guidelines, can get 70% of the list price they set for the book. Sell it for $2.99, keep about $2.09. Of course, the author has also taken on all the expenses: they might have paid for an editor, done marketing, and so on.

If the indie set the price outside of the $2.99 to $9.99 range, they can only get 35% for it…that’s going to become important as this explanation continues.

When Amazon introduced the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) in 2011, they created a new income stream for authors.

Eligible Amazon Prime members with a hardware Kindle can borrow up to a book a month from a certain set of books.

The indie publishers (and those might be just individual authors) divide a variable pool of money, getting a cut of it for each borrow that happens.

Let’s say the pool is $1.5 million for January. If there were 750,000 borrows that month, everybody in the pool gets $2 for each borrow. If your book was borrowed ten times, you get $20. That $2 figure is close to what it has been actually running.

That’s a big plus if someone borrows a $0.99 book: $2 instead of $0.35. It’s about a wash with a $2.99 book that meets the other requirements to get 70%.

There are also traditionally published books in the KOLL, although not from the biggest publishers. They get paid differently: they probably mostly get paid like it was a sale, and so the author would get their normal royalty…presumably. Publishers don’t release those kind of contract details, normally.

Now, along comes KU, and the economics change.

The one big technical change is that the indies publishers don’t get a royalty unless someone “reads” ten percent of the book (not based on when they simply download it). I put “reads” in quotation marks, because of course, the system doesn’t know if you actually read it or just flipped through it…or even, I think, jumped ahead to 10%.

That’s not that big a deal, though. I doubt very many people downloaded a KOLL book and didn’t read at least 10% of it.

What makes the difference is the “Unlimited” part.

KU isn’t really unlimited, of course, but it would be unreasonable to think that “unlimited” was a literal term, in my opinion. For example, you can’t go back in time and read the book. ;) You can’t read a book on the surface of the sun. “Kindle Unlimited” is a name, not an actual definition.

In practice, though, it is pretty much all you can read. You can have ten books out at a time. I think that’s to limit the number of people using it, not to limit an individual. I could borrow ten books on August 1st. If I read all ten by August 10th, I could just borrow ten more…it’s not ten per month, it’s ten at a time.

I do find that it feels freeing. I had to make careful choices with the KOLL…I don’t with KU.

That’s going to be a big boon for books which most people would not have bought.

In this

TechCrunch article by John Biggs

In the article, Biggs says:

“My son, for his part, has already downloaded a few dozen Minecraft ebooks…”

A few dozen!

The article also suggests those books may not be that good, but the point is,  that would not have happened without KU.

It wouldn’t have happened with the KOLL: after the first book, you’d have to wait until the next calendar month to get the next one.

Even if we figure they were all ninety-nine cents, we can be sure they wouldn’t have spent more than $30 on them.

Those publishers will all get royalties…and possibly, much bigger royalties than they would have gotten for sales which probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Authors whose books were part of the KDP Select program (that’s what gets indie books into the KOLL) were automatically made part of KU:

“All books currently enrolled in KDP Select with U.S. rights will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited. KDP Select books will also continue to be enrolled in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Japan where authors will continue to earn a share of the KDP Select global fund when their book is borrowed. KOLL borrows will continue to be counted when a book is initially downloaded.”

–Amazon e-mail

So, why wouldn’t every indie author jump into KU?

There’s one big sticking point.

KU requires exclusivity for Amazon for indies…that’s part of the KDP Select rules.

Put your book in KU (through KDP Select) and you can’t sell it through SmashWords or Barnes & Noble.

I actually think it’s possible that requirement will go away at some point, or at least, have two tiers of royalty for exclusive and non-exclusive.

Obviously, the exclusivity rules don’t apply to tradpubbed books…Harry Potter e-books aren’t exclusive to Amazon, and are part of KU.

So, KU is most beneficial to books which weren’t selling well, and to very low-priced books. It’s not as beneficial to books which do sell well and are higher priced.

How will this affect Big 5 publishers and their brand name authors?

Unless it starts significantly cutting into “piece” sales (buying a book at a time), it doesn’t affect them much. They may think that putting books into KU will cannibalize their piece sales…at least for the frontlist (the new and bestselling books).

If it does start to cut into piece sales…the game changes.

I can imagine that by the end of 2015, 10% of e-book downloads happen through KU.

That’s not ten percent of the income…a lot of those would be books with micro sales.

It could be, then, that a brand name author starts putting short stories and other “peripheral” material to big series into KU.

Not necessarily through their tradpub.

They may correctly feel that so much discovery is happening through KU that they can’t ignore it.

This might also spur a growth of Kindle Worlds (Amazon’s program which licenses books, comic books, TV shows, movies, and so on so that anyone can write in them, following certain guidelines, and the rightsholder, author, and Amazon all get a cut).

A tradpub could license a series to KW, which would then result in non-canonical works in KU…which in turn serves to promote the non-KU books.

The more successful KU is, the more successful it will become.

Now, people are undoubtedly thinking of ways to game the system. I asked Amazon what happens if somebody borrows a book, reads ten percent of it (triggering a payment), returns it, and then borrows it again and again reads ten percent.

One of my regular readers and commenters, Tom Semple, asked what would prevent someone from just asking a bunch of people to borrow it, jump to the ten percent mark, and then return it.

The answer is that Amazon has made it clear that if they decide you are doing things like that, you are out. Naturally, they can always stop carrying someone’s book, they don’t really need a reason. I don’t want to get into any non-public details about this…suffice it so say, they aren’t going to get “tricked” much and suffer the consequences. I think it’s far more likely we will hear about them thinking someone has done something wrong who hasn’t. They are pretty good about taking “appeals” in those cases…but we see it happen on the forum that someone’s posts are deleted, and they never figure out why, for a much smaller example of what might be Amazon being overly cautious.

Now, as to what is happening with the KOLL:

As you can see from the quote from the Amazon e-mail, the KOLL continues to exist: no change at this point.

That said, I’ve seen many threads in the Amazon forums where people think it has been discontinued.

That’s because the interface for getting to it has changed, and that has been affected by KU.

Basically what has happened, according to Amazon (and I asked them a detailed question) is that, if you are a KOLL member who is not eligible for a loan right now (because you’ve already borrowed a book this calendar month), you’ll see the KU “Read for Free” button instead of the KOLL “Borrow for Free”.

According to them, it works like this:

  • A Prime member and eligible for a KOLL loan will see “Borrow for Free” button on Prime eligible titles
  • A Prime member who has hit the KOLL limit will see “Read for Free” with KU eligible titles
  • Someone who is neither a Prime nor a KU member will see “Read for Free” with KU on KU titles which are also Prime titles, and will see “Borrow for Free” with Prime on Prime titles which are non-KU titles
  • Quoting Amazon: “For the E-readers and Kindle Fires, you’ll see the above, except for Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite users will see the “Read for Free” button regardless of their current KOLL status.”

Hypothetically, then, the confusing thing has been that a “borrow” button wasn’t available in the browser, but only when a KOLL loan wasn’t availbale..and Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite users didn’t see a KOLL button regardless.

That doesn’t answer everything: how does a Paperwhite owner make a KOLL borrow? Apparently, from what I’ve heard anecdotally, clicking that “Read for Free” on your Paperwhite will make it the KOLL loan if you haven’t done one yet that month.

I hope that makes it clearer.

What do you think? Is KU a good deal for authors, a bad deal for authors, both or neither? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

New! Join hundreds 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.

 

Hachazon War: the Battle of Petition Hill

July 4, 2014

Hachazon War: the Battle of Petition Hill

Amazon and the publisher Hachette have had a very public dispute over terms, which I refer to as the “Hachazon War”.

Rather than calming down, I’d say that the coverage, at least, has been escalating.

In a recent

Wall Street Journal article by Jeffrey Trachtenberg (who I think is the best mainstream reporter covering these issues)

Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s top Kindle content person, said that this is in the best long-term interest of Amazon customers, even if it hurts Amazon’s reputation in the short run.

That reputation is important.

Amazon’s ability to launch something like their new

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

(which I have ordered) depends, in my opinion, in large part on the average consumer (not the super techie) being comfortable with Amazon…feeling safe with them.

They may not be reading the details of this dispute, but like an argument overheard through the thin walls of an apartment complex, they can get the gist of it. ;)

Not surprisingly, one battlefield in this conflict is the internet.

Douglas Preston (at AmazonSmile)

a very successful author, has started an open letter to readers, explaining one view of the situation, and asking those readers to e-mail Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Jeff Bezos, at

jeff@amazon.com

to express their opinions.

It’s an interesting letter, pointing out how authors supported Amazon, and helped it become what it is today.

The part that many casual observers will hear is the list of authors who have signed the letter (and that is growing).

Even someone who just reads a few books in a year has heard of Stephen King. If all they hear is that Stephen King signed a letter “against Amazon”, it will influence many of them to have a lower opinion of Amazon…it’s sort of like name recognition getting incumbent politicians elected.

It’s an astonishing list of names, including at least one who has been published by Amazon’s own traditional publishing imprints. Here are just a few of the long list:

  • David Baldacci
  • Greg Bear
  • Philip Caputo
  • Robert A. Caro
  • Susan Cheever
  • Clive Cussler
  • John Grisham
  • Barbara Kingsolver
  • Donna Tartt
  • Jane Yolen

That letter has gotten a lot of coverage.

On the other side is this online petition

To Thank Our Readers (on Change.org)

It’s description is much longer than the Preston letter, and it is largely independent writers supporting Amazon (with a particular focus on this dispute).

The petition suggests that this is a fight between the tradpubs (traditional publishers) who have, in the past, controlled publishing, and Amazon, which disrupted that model and enables indie (independent) authors to make a living when they wouldn’nt have been able to do so through tradpubs.

As disclosure, I am an author who benefited through the use of Amazon’s indie publishing platform (now called Kindle Direct Publishing). None of my titles would have been published by one of the Big Five (used to be Big Six) publishers.

However, I don’t think that makes me prejudiced in favor of Amazon. In fact, my sense was that many of my readers were surprised when I first wrote about the Hachazon War, and I indicated that I didn’t like some of the things Amazon was doing.

I would guess that both sides are contributing to the conflict. Conflicts are surprisingly weak organisms: if you don’t constantly feed them, they tend to die pretty quickly. ;)

We now have heard a bit more about what the disagreement.

Grandinetti flat our said it was about e-book pricing (even though p-books…paperbooks…are casualties).

I’ve heard that Amazon may want a bigger cut: 50% rather than 30%, but I don’t know that that is true.

If it was, what would it mean for readers?

Let’s say that a publisher prices an e-book at $10, and Amazon pays them 70% for it. The publisher gets $7, and Amazon gets $3. That’s not all profit, of course…there are costs of sale and of production. Amazon is also likely to discount it, but let’s leave that for now.

Now, let’s say that the split changes to Amazon paying them 50% instead of 70%.

Let’s further say that the publisher’s model is based on getting $7 for that book.

For the publisher to get $7, they have to raise the digital list price to $14.

That is the price you might pay at other retailers.

What does Amazon have to charge the customer to get the same $3 they were getting?

The same $10 they were charging before!

A bigger cut for Amazon means that they can discount more…and at a rate that other retailers might have a hard time matching. As I’ve written before, Amazon doesn’t need to make money on e-book sales (although they’d like to do that)…if the e-book sales inspire other more profitable sales, Amazon does fine.

The way I’ve laid it out above, the readers would pay the same for the book at Amazon, but likely more for it at other places.

This dispute may also encourage more authors to publish independently…like

Hugh Howey (at AmazonSmile)

and other authors who are mentioned on the Change.org petition.

Indie publishing right now is likely to include Amazon, which also benefits the e-tailer.

It’s possible that indies may eventually be able to dispense with retailers at all (selling directly to readers), but we aren’t there yet for most people.

I generally see both sides to an issue, and that is the case here…but I’ll stay with my not liking some of Amazon’s tactics.

What about you? What’s your opinion?

Have more to say to me and my readers about this? Feel free to do so by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds 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.

How old were you when you read…

May 20, 2014

How old were you when you read…

Edmund Wilson (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is credited with having said, “No two persons ever read the same book.”

This was apparently attributed to Wilson in the 1970s, but there is another quotation from Wilson from 1938 (in the Triple Thinkers) which intrigues me more right now:

In a sense, one can never read the book that the author originally wrote, and one can never read the same book twice.”

It’s that second part.

Does it matter when in your life you read a book?

Did you read a book when  you were a child, and then re-read it as an adult and have an entirely different take on it?

How about when you were in college versus later in your life when you were more settled?

I’m not a big re-reader of books (although I am reading the L. Frank Baum books again right now), but I wonder about how my age (and/or life experience) has affected the way I see certain books.

When I list my fictional heroes, I realize they are all people I first encountered when I was a child (including being a teenager): Doc Savage; Kwai Chang Caine; Mr. Spock. When I think of authors like Gerald Durrell and John A. Keel, the same is true.

When I read a book now, I may be very impressed and marvel at the author, but I don’t think the books have the same capability to be ingrained in me for life.

Perhaps, more accurately, I should say that I may not have the same capability to take them into my being.

My guess is that tends to be true…that literary characters and authors you find when you are young are the ones that become part of you. You are in a super-learning part of your life…of course, the vast majority of words you learn you learn before you are settled.

That doesn’t mean that you don’t learn some new words later, or enjoy some new characters…but is it…more of an acquaintance of equals than you aspiring to be like someone you see as greater than yourself?

Since I’m using the term “settled” (not to suggest inert…just stable and reasonably satisfied), I wonder if people who are in more insecure situations later in life are more able to have that integrative reading experience?

Take a moment to think about the books that have transported you, transformed you, and enthralled you. The ones where you still randomly imagine yourself to be that character. Maybe you are on vacation or just walking down the street, and you see something…a wall, a bit of litter, a person half seen in the shadows, and for a moment, you see them through fictional eyes.

Who are the ones you quote in conversations with loved ones…because what they say is better than anything you could say at that point?

When did you first read them?

I’ll say, I’m not really comfortable with those age breaks…I know some societies make a big difference between twelve and thirteen, but I’m not sure that matters that much to what you read. High school (which I didn’t break out) could make a bigger difference (at least in the USA), because you might be exposed to considerably different books (both in the classroom and from your friends).

I have to say, I don’t think I’m feeling that different about the Oz books now than I did when I was a kid…although I’m definitely getting more detail and insight, the basic feel of Oz and the way I feel about the characters is similar.

I’m sure in the case of some books, I would be more put off by chronocultural prejudice

The Chronological Cultural Context Conundrum

but I think I would still see the character as the same. I think I would tend to judge the world more than the author.

I love reading, and I love my current discoveries…but I would say I do miss that tendency to memorize an entire book, and to project myself into the characters’ worlds…and to have them project into mine.

That may happen again in the future, but for now, I have to recognize that the relationship has changed.

What do you think? Are there books that you re-read over and over again  (I know of someone who reportedly just alternated Gone with the Wind…and Helter Skelter)? Is it because they are different each time, the same…or both? If certain ages are more impactful, would it be possible to engineer someone’s life (a la Lord Tyger ((at AmazonSmile))by Philip Jose Farmer, which I recommend and think would make a good movie) by introducing certain books into their life at certain ages? Are there books you wish you hadn’t read until you were older…or that you had read when you were younger? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

New! Join hundreds 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.


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