Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

A great Google Chrome extension for eReaderIQ

January 16, 2017

A great Google Chrome extension for eReaderIQ

I have often referred to

eReaderIQ

as the best resource for Kindleers on the web.

I’m not associated with the site, although we have had e-mail correspondence (just as a user making suggestions).

They have a number of free services:

  • You can track a Kindle store book to see when it drops in price an amount you specify
  • You can track an author
  • You can be notified when a book first becomes available for the Kindle
  • You can search the Kindle store in a much more sophisticated way that Amazon gives you

Well, I was excited to see that there is a new “extension” for the Google Chrome web browser!

This is a free little program that you add to Chrome, and when you are on a Kindle store book page, it brings some of the functionality of eReaderIQ into your Kindle store experience.

My favorite thing is that I can see the price tracking.

It’s possible they’ll give me permission to post a screenshot here (or send me one…I haven’t contacted them yet), but I’d suggest you try it yourself (it’s free).

What this means is that I can see if a book has ever been on sale before, and when. That can help you guess if it might go on sale again…no guarantee, but if it goes on sale periodically, that can be an indicator (as can be if it never goes on sale).

You can also choose to track it right there…very convenient. 🙂

The easiest way to get it is to be in Chrome, and go to

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ereaderiq-integrator/epjfabiijflnfmjjhanhddglfhokheae

Alternatively, go to the Chrome Web Store and search for eReaderIQ (it’s called eReaderIQ Integrator).

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

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

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 The Measured Circle 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 do I do with this thing?” Learning to love a new tech

December 28, 2016

“What do I do with this thing?” Learning to love a new tech

I grew up loving a really old school technology…paper books. 😉

It’s not easy to switch to a new tech. It would be if they just, you know, worked, but that’s never been the case.

Even when I got the first generation of the Kindle, it took me a whole book before I got used to it and fell in love. 🙂

I was skeptical about the concept of e-books…like many people at the time, I confused the container (the p-book) with the book itself (the words, and how they are presented). That doesn’t mean that p-books don’t have intrinsic value, but that is separate from the book.

Recently, you may have gotten a new technology. The big one for this year for many people will be Alexa devices, especially the Echo family:

This is really a new class of tech, and it’s just beginning, so it’s unclear to people. That was very clear to me when I was with family, and a quite technically literate relative who had been living with Alexa for some time was excited about Google Home because you could just ask it questions, “…like a Google search”. I explained that you could do the same sort of thing (it’s not really a web search, but it function in the way that was being postulated) with Alexa. This relative had had no idea.

Alexa in that house is mostly for home automation…turning lights on and off and such, and I’m guessing for music.

That tends to be true for most people with technology: you find out what something does in a satisfactory way for you, and then you just have it do that…you don’t explore other options if it’s a practical use device.

I think of myself primarily as a trainer at work, but I also do “performance improvement”.

I’m amused by some of the approaches in that field.

One is to find the peak performers, and then propagate to other people the peak performer’s techniques…as if there was one best answer, and that person had discovered it.

When it comes to practical use technology (not being employed in a technology-focused field), that’s not how it works at all. I try to explain to them that if you come back to those peak performers in three months, they’ll be doing it differently. They like novelty: they are always looking for new ways to do things, even when what they already know is satisfactory.

I work in the medical field. Most clinicians don’t want to think about the technology they use…they want it to be like the soundtrack in a movie. Most of the time, you don’t even realize it’s there…although you might have some moments when it seems great!

Those folks? They don’t want novelty in their tech…but once they get used to a new technology, they love it.

Part of using a new technology, then, is keeping your expectations low…let it succeed in increments. I also work on “wellness” at work, and I often tell people: “Keep you goals small and your dreams big.” 🙂 Don’t expect to master everything about a technology at once. With an e-book reader, I had to just read a book…not expect to do everything with it at once.

Also, don’t expect a new tech to completely replicate an old tech. There will be things it can’t do. After all, if it replicated it exactly, it would be the same…and you wouldn’t need it. 😉 There are advantages and disadvantages to pretty much everything

An EBR (E-Book Reader) doesn’t do everything a p-book does…and vice versa.

However, you do need to be able to get it to the point where you are interacting with it…and that’s where some tips can help. I’m going to link to some posts about that for Alexa and for EBRs, but I want to give you another case in point.

I just got my first Virtual Reality (VR) headset for the holidays, the

Samsung Gear VR (at AmazonSmile*)

Now, I’m quite techie…I explain technology for a living. Still, it took me more than a day to really get it to where I was amazed by it. Oh, I had other people trying it, from about age 13 to 90, and they all enjoyed it.

I needed, once I got a chance, to download some games and apps, and to get the hang of using it. I’ll probably write a “first impressions” post this week (in my The Measured Circle blog).

I would definitely have read some “Gear VR 101” materials before I even put it on my head (I did read warnings), but I was just too (wonderfully) busy with family. I checked

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

for a book, but nothing caught my right away.

So, I’m going to link you to a few posts which may be helpful for you.

Here’s something I wrote about Alexa:

“Hello, Echo!” Getting to know Amazon’s Alexa

This is the most popular blog on ILMK (this blog) right now…and it does tend to stay pretty popular:

Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know

Here’s a link to the whole “New Owners” category:

New Owners

I’ve also had a couple of readers point me to this

The Washington Post article by Hayley Tsukuyama

It’s called “Did you just open a brand new home hub? Read this first.”

This will all get easier in the future. Amazon is already making part of set-up easier…it can store Wi-Fi passwords for you, so you won’t have to put those in for some new devices.

My phone uses stored information to help me join new websites…filling in my address for me, for example.

Undoubtedly, your phone will begin doing your set-up for you…perhaps with the help with of your Alexa-type device.

Do you have any great stories about getting used to tech? Do you have any tips for people who have gotten their first Kindles, or other tech? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

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

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 The Measured Circle 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.

Reading in the car

December 24, 2016

Reading in the car

This is a day when a lot of us readers may be traveling by car…and perhaps taking longer trips than we usually do. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I can have some pretty long drives during my normal work activities (certainly, an hour isn’t unusual). However, today and tomorrow we are getting together with friends and family and will be driving to atypical destinations.

It may also be that you aren’t the one actually driving when you usually are, and instead you are a passenger (or vice versa).

While, naturally, you may have conversations and sing songs (in our case, we’ve done “West on the freeway, and over the bridge, to Grandmother’s house we go!”), you certainly may be reading, too.

There are two real ways you could be doing that. One is sight-reading, which is what most people think of as reading. The other one would be listening, either to audiobooks (pre-recorded by the author or an actor reading the book) or text-to-speech (software which reads the book in a streaming manner…not pre-recorded). Most people prefer audiobooks, which are true performances, like seeing a movie. I’ve certainly enjoyed some, but my preference is text-to-speech…unless I’ve already read the book. I don’t like the narrator interpreting the characters for me, so TTS feels more to me like sight-reading.

Let’s talk about sight-reading first.

Some people do have trouble reading in a moving car, and there was a time when people thought that was particularly an issue with some Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) models. There was a thought that it had to with the area around the screen…it can be harder to read when you are aware of the world outside the words passing by.

I’ve heard less about that in recent years, and the appearance of the devices has changed, so perhaps that is less of a thing. I’d be interested to hear if you used to have that problem with EBRs and no longer do.

A sight-reading thing where an EBR can be much less disruptive than a p-book (paperbook) is with the lighting. My most comfortable reading experience has been with the

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile*) (currently on sale for $99.99)

and

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

I assume the experience is similar on the Oasis, although I haven’t bought one because it hasn’t been available without getting an animal-leather cover.

Why does it matter?

The technology that these three use shines the light at the screen, not at your eyes from behind the words (which is what a tablet or phone does…that’s why those are called “backlit”). You are reading it by the light reflecting off the screen…the same way you read a p-book.

That tends to create less ambient light in the car…which is better for the driver (I assume you aren’t sight-reading when you are the driver…although I have seen people doing that on the freeway). More light in the car makes it harder to see outside of the car when it is dark. That’s both from light “glaring” on the window, and because your eyes will adjust to the brighter light by letting in less light, which makes it harder for you to see in the dark outside the car.

So, an EBR is probably safer in the car than a p-book and having the dome light on. 🙂

Now, in terms of listening (audiobooks and TTS are effectively the same in terms of technique)…you need a device which can do it, a book where the publisher hasn’t blocked the access (in the case of TTS), and you’ll probably want to tie it into the car’s audio system.

I usually listen on a now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX, but any of the Fire tablet models do TTS and audiobooks, including the least expensive one

Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (currently on sale for $39.99)

While none of the current Kindle EBRs have speakers or a headphone jack (which is how you use the Aux cable), the newest ones have Bluetooth (a short range wireless connection), so that’s an option with current cars.

You can tell if a book has TTS available to you are not on the book’s Amazon product page…it will tell you whether or not the TTS is “enabled”, which is misleading. Publishers don’t need to do anything to make TTS work…it just works, unless they do something to make it not work. That means I can (and do) listen to work documents and personal documents sometimes. There are also technologies which are designed for people with print challenges where the blocking doesn’t matter, but that’s not the majority of the population at this point.

How you connect it will depend on your car. Generally, modern cars will have Bluetooth which is fine.

You might also be using a cable to an AUX jack, and with some older cars…it gets more complicated. 😉

Obviously, multiple people listening to different books out loud in the same car could be confusing, so headphones may also be an option.

You might also be reading magazines on tablets…and you might borrow those just for that reason from

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

or

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

Regardless, have fun at your destination…and with reading, getting there can be half the fun (as an old ad for the Cunard cruise lines used to say)!

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.

New! Collection management comes to MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices)

October 13, 2016

New! Collection management comes to MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices)

Thanks to a reader who let me know in a private e-mail (if you want credit in the blog, just let me know) about a new development!

It’s something people have wanted for years…or at least, it’s a step in that direction.

There was a banner at

MYCD (Manage Your Content and Devices), formerly MYK (Manage Your Kindle)> (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

saying,

“Cloud Collection Management is launched. Cloud Collections can be created, edited, and shared from the Manage Your Content and Devices page.”

I’ve had a chance to check it out, and it’s going to be useful, but it may not be everything people expect (but what is?). 😉

A little overview on Collections first…

“Collections” are sort of like folders on a computer or a phone. They are organizational tools. You can “put” books (and some other items) “into” these Collections.

The Collection is not the books, though. You can delete the Collection without losing the books.

Originally (once we eventually got them), the Collection just lived on one device. You created it on your Kindle (nowadays, that might also be a Fire device), and it was just there…it didn’t exist on another device on your account. You could import them, but that was a bit tricky.

Then, Amazon introduced “Cloud Collections” in 2013…I wrote about them in some depth here:

Understanding Cloud Collections

Those were visible from any compatible devices on your account…and I use them a lot. I have a Collection which is the “Guest Bookshelf”, and I’ve used that on multiple devices. I have one for apps which is “Bufo Morning”…that goes from one Fire to another.

What we haven’t been able to do, though, is actually create, rename, or delete Collections from the cloud (Amazon’s central account management system).

Well, you can now!

When you are on MYCD, you can switch where it says “Show” in your top left corner to be Collections.

From there, you’ll see your Collections, including how many items (it says “Books”, but some of mine don’t contain books) are in them. Depending on how they are sorted, you’ll get a modified date or created date. You can sort by those (either newest to oldest or oldest to newest) or alphabetical (A-Z or Z-A).

In an Actions column, you can delete or rename the Collection.

You can also use checkboxes to select Collections, and then bulk delete (you’ll see the button after you select at least one).

Those are nice…it will allow us to easily delete unused Collections. Many people experimented quite a bit at the beginning, so this is a good opportunity to clean up.

There are two big things it can not do that people want.

It won’t tell you which books (and other items) are downloaded to which devices.

You can’t move books into and out of Collections.

So, you can’t work on the items in the Collections here, but you can work on the Collections themselves.

Update: thanks to regular readers and commenters Edward Boyhan and Ann Von Hagel for pointing out that you can, in fact, move books in and out of Collections at MYCD now!

I was looking at the Collections selection, thinking that I would be able to choose a Collection and move things in and out of it. That’s an option on your device. It works, though, the other way.

You set the “View” selection to Books. Then, if a given book in at least one Collection, you’ll see that indicated with the number of Collections of which it is a part. There is a dropdown, and you can select a Collection. If you select the Collection in that dropdown, you then get to see all of the books in the Collection. That’s great! I hadn’t realized you’d be able to see them there. From there, just as you can in the Books view, you can click the Actions ellipsis (…) and choose to add or remove from Collections.

One interesting thing there: when I added one to a Collection on MYCD, I could then remove it from there. When I got to the Collection with the method I described in the previous paragraph, where I selected the Collection from the dropdown in the Books view, it was showing me it was in a Collection…but didn’t give me the option to remove the book from a Collection. I may have to experiment with that more…it might be that MYCD doesn’t give you the remove option unless it was added there.

When you choose to add a book to a Collection at MYCD, you get the option to create a new Collection in situ…that’s also a nice feature!

I just did that…very simple, pretty much just typing in a new name. It was smart enough to add the book to the new Collection, without having to take an extra step. I added a few books to that Collection, then checked on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX…and the Collection was immediately there (I was connected to Wi-Fi, but did not have to tell it to sync).

That means that (unless I’m missing it), the only big thing I’m not seeing is on which devices the books/Collections reside currently.

Thanks, Ann and Edward!

This is a beginning…I’m sure there will be more coming in the future. They do have a content management system for enterprises (companies and schools and such) called Whispercast, but this is unrelated to that.

The other thing they’ve added to MYCD that I noted was that they’ve added Prime Reading

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: Prime Reading edition

to the choice of items to review.

As long as we have Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), I don’t think we’ll ever see anything in that section in my family…just in KU. People who don’t have KU will see their Prime Reading borrows there.

What do you think? If you have any questions or th0ughts, 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!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: Prime Reading edition

October 11, 2016

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: Prime Reading edition

Q. I’ve been hearing a lot about Prime Reading (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*): what is it?

A. It’s a new benefit for people who have Amazon Prime (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). It lets Prime members read books from a special selection of books at no additional cost.

Q. No additional cost to what?

A. To their Prime memberships. Prime members typically pay $99 a year for a number of benefits, including free two-day shipping on many items, a vast music library, and videos.

Q. How do I know if I’m a Prime member?

A. You can check by going to “Your Account” at the top of any Amazon page and choosing “Your Prime Membership”.

Q. So, if I’m a Prime member, I can now read books free?

A. Some books, yes. When it was introduced there were 1,014 titles in Prime Reading (at AmazonSmile*) and that’s still the case now.

Q. What kind of books are they? Will I have heard of them?

A. Some of them for sure, if you already are a reader…and some you’ve probably heard of even if you don’t follow books that much. That includes the first Harry Potter book, for example, and The Man in the High Castle.

Q. Like the TV show?

A. Right, yes…the TV show is based on that book. There are also a lot of books you probably haven’t heard of before. There are also some graphic novels and comic strip collections.

Q. And it doesn’t cost me anything to read them?

A. Not if you are a Prime member.

Q. Do I get to keep them? Can I give them as gifts?

A. No, this is just the ability to read them. Think of it like Netflix for books. People have been using that term for a while for different things, but this is really quite a bit like that. You have a certain selection of media, you can enjoy them, but you don’t own them and you can’t give them away.

Q. Okay, I get that.

A. Another thing that is like Netflix is that this is a rotating selection. There will be different books, probably every month, which is the way Netflix does it. I expect we’ll see stories about which books are coming into Prime Reading and going out of it, just like we do with Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video.

Q. I don’t read a book very quickly. What happens if I’m not done with it and they take it out of Prime Reading?

A. You can still finish it. You can hang on to a book as long as you are a Prime member. If you stop being a Prime member, you lose access.

Q. How many books can I have? Can my family members read them?

A. There is no limit to the number of books you can borrow, although you can only have ten at a time. If you return one of those ten, though, you can get another one. As to family members, yes, if they can read books on your account they can read these.

Q. That means that if my three kids are reading Harry Potter, I have seven more books for the adults in my family?

A. Actually, if three people are reading the same book, that only counts as one book. Your three kids could read Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, and you’d still have nine more books to go.

Q. Wait, so my Significant Other and I can read the same book at the same time and it only counts as one book?

A. That’s right. You can talk about it with each other…even race to finish it, if you want. The number of people who can read the same book at the same time is set by the publisher; unless it says otherwise on the book’s Amazon product page, which you can see before you download it, that number of “simultaneous device licenses” is six.

Q. That sounds pretty good. I have somebody on my account who never reads books, though…any benefit for them?

A. Yes! Prime Reading includes magazines, and really well-known magazines: People, GQ, Vogue,  Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated…

Q. We read those!

A. A lot of people do…they are some of the most popular magazines.

Q. I’ve got a kid who is a geek and a bookworm. Are there weird magazines in there too?

A. Not really. This selection, both books and magazines, is mostly more mainstream choices. Think of it as like what you would see in an airport bookstore.

Q. I get it. Oh, are videogames part of this?

A. No, but Amazon did introduce Twitch Prime, which does have videogames. To use Prime Reading, you have to be a Prime member…that means you do have access to music, TV shows, movies, and games, just not part of this program.

Q. How about Audible? I listen to books on my commute.

A. Not exactly, but if an e-book has an audiobook and is set up for Whispersync for Voice, you can listen to that audiobook as part of this. Right now, there are about 350…just about a third.

Q. How much does that cost? Some of those audiobooks are expensive!

A. It’s part of the deal…it doesn’t cost anything more.

Q. That’s going to save me a lot of money!

A. Prime’s an investment, but yes, it can save you a lot of money.

Q. I’ve heard about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library? Is this the same thing?

A. No, that program required you to own a hardware Kindle, and you could only borrow one book a month. It did require a Prime membership.

Q. Hardware Kindle?

A. A Kindle e-book reader or a Fire. You can use Prime Reading with a free Kindle reading app…and those are available for lots of devices, including iPhones  and iPads.

Q. Why would anybody use that Lending Library thing, then?

A. There are a lot more books there, about a million and half versus a thousand. That’s where there are more books your geek kid may like. Outside of that, I don’t see a real advantage to it. I’m thinking that the Lending Library may be going away.

Q. What about those million books, then? Would nobody be able to borrow them?

A. They are available through Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). That’s a separate program. People pay, usually $9.99 a month for access to those books. Outside of that, it works just like Prime Reading…the ten book at a time limit, for example.

Q. I don’t think I’d need that if I have these thousand books as part of Prime.

A. Maybe not. That will be the case for a lot of people. For people who want a lot more choices, though, KU will be worth the price.

Q. If they have Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading, can they have twenty books out at once?

A. No. I confirmed that specifically with Amazon. Getting a book through Prime Reading or Kindle Unlimited counts towards your limit of ten. In fact, I don’t think there’s a way to say whether the borrow if from KU or Prime Reading.

Q. Well, they are paying more for Kindle Unlimited,  so it seems like they should get more.

A. They do…they have more choices, just not more borrows. Think of Prime Reading as free access to a small part of Kindle Unlimited.

Q. Okay. Doesn’t seem worth it to me to pay that extra ten bucks a month.

A. It might not be for you, but some other people will think it’s a good deal.

Q. I can see that. One more question: why doesn’t Amazon just do this with all the books?

A. They have to pay the publishers, and they have to have permission.

Q. Oh, I have a cousin who wrote a book…can they do this to get more money?

A. It’s a very small group of books, and it sounds like it has been invitation only.**

Q. Alright, I’ll ask my cousin. Why would Amazon do this at all, then, if it costs them money and they don’t get anything more for it?

A. To make people more likely to stay with Prime. Prime members spend a lot with Amazon and they often spend it on higher profit items. There isn’t a lot of profit with e-books, not like with some physical items.

Q. That makes sense.

A. Do you have any other questions?

Q. Not right now. I guess I’ll check it out.

===

Readers, if you have other questions or comments, 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!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

**There has been some very interesting public discussion about indies (independent publishers) and Prime reading. There have been rumors of “signing bonuses” (like an advance in traditional publishing) and then similar payments to KU. Here’s a forum thread on it: https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thread.jspa?messageID=1069009&#1069009

Wiki me this, Amazon

August 12, 2016

Wiki me this, Amazon

Amazon devices are deeply integrated with Wikipedia.

It’s an interesting strategy. Amazon has, in the past, been criticized for being a “walled garden”, but I’ve never really felt that they were overly restrictive with their devices accessing other producers’ content.

For example, we’ve always been able to get the Netflix app on Fire tablets, despite Netflix and Amazon’s Prime video being direct competitors.

While users haven’t been able to use the Google Play store, and the NOOK e-books app hasn’t been in the Amazon Appstore compatible for Amazon tablets, we’ve also had a specific software menu choice to allow installation of apps from sources outside of Amazon…not something you commonly see on tablets. I’ve never known for sure if it’s Amazon that excludes Google Play, or Google Play which excludes Amazon tablets from being compatible directly with Google Play.

Wikipedia, though, has been a resource for us on Fire devices and on Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) for years.

In fact, there’s clearly been a special relationship. When you couldn’t browse to just any old website you wanted, you could still get Wikipedia entries from look up within an e-book on a Kindle Touch (for example).

I took a look, and I didn’t see anything that says there is an actual deal between the two…does Amazon have a contract with Wikipedia, or do they just smooth the path to them?

It makes some sense that Amazon likes Wikipedia, a user-edited encyclopedia. Amazon has been very much about the crowd…I would guess that Amazon user reviews have a bigger impact on perhaps the majority of e-book titles’ sales than mainstream, traditional media reviews.

If you highlight two words together on a

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

(or other current EBRs  or a Fire device), it will do a Wikipedia lookup.

I think less well known is that you can use Wikipedia with the Echo family of devices. For an

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

or

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

or

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

(I use all three regularly), you can say, “Alexa**, Wikipedia Doc Savage” and Alexa will read you the start of the entry. If that’s not enough, Alexa can read more.

I  think this is a good thing.

Yes, Wikipedia can be manipulated for a short time by people with nefarious intent…or given false information unintentionally. However, I find these problems tend to get straightened out quite quickly.

For me, as an optimist and generally someone with a good opinion of humanity 🙂 , it is evidence of the majority wanting to do good rather than bad. Imperfect evidence (not everyone edits Wikipedia, of course), but an indicator. When one person does something “bad”, other people on Wikipedia want to fix it and make it right.

I’m not saying that Wikipedia is an equally good source to cite for a paper as, say, an encyclopedia with editors and fact checkers. I do consult it quite often myself. I’ll often try to confirm the information, although that can be difficult…there’s a pretty good chance that a secondary web source has gotten the information from Wikipedia. 😉

So, I would say, don’t be afraid to use Wikipedia on your Alexa devices on Fires/Kindles…lots of interesting, crowdsourced information is available to you.

What do you think? How reliable  do you consider Wikipedia to be? Do you use it on Alexa devices/Echoes/Fires? 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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

** With the Tap, you don’t say, “Alexa”…you “tap” a button to ask a question

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.

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: March 22 2016 update deadline edition

March 22, 2016

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: March 22 2016 update deadline edition

Q. Amazon really wants me to update my Kindle! I’ve gotten e-mails, a postcard through the mail, even a phone call. I’ve had my Kindle for more than five years, and there have been a bunch of updates, but they’ve never done this before. What’s up?

A. This is a different kind of an update. Updates in the past have generally either been “bug fixes”, where you don’t really see a change but things work better, or they bring new features, like Cloud Collections or the Family Library. In some cases, features have gone away on the Kindle with an update, but what’s happening here is that something external is changing and your Kindle needs to be up to date to work with it. If your Kindle isn’t up to date, it’s not going to be able to connect wirelessly with Amazon. That means you won’t be able to shop from your Kindle itself, or download books from it that you’ve already bought on your account. Amazon doesn’t want to deal with upset customers who wake up in the morning, try to get something perhaps for a morning commute or worse, for a vacation, and not be able to connect without knowing why. That’s bad for the relationship between Amazon and the customer, and it’s expensive to have them call Customer Service to get it fixed.

Q. Why is Amazon changing that connection thing? Is it just to make me buy a new Kindle? I’ve heard it’s so that I have to see ads and recommendations on my homescreen…I like things the way they are.

A. Amazon isn’t the one changing it. They just need to make sure their devices can use an internet protocol which is changing. While they would probably be happy if you bought a new Kindle and if you saw their recommendations, this change doesn’t mean you have to do it either. The vast majority of devices are probably already updated. When your device connects to Amazon’s servers, it generally automatically updates. Even if you have an older device, it’s likely to have updated to a compatible version some time ago. If it hasn’t, turn on the wireless and it should update, although that doesn’t necessarily happen right away (it can sometimes be days, but that’s usually when they are rolling out a new release, not the case this time). You can also download the update to your computer and transfer it to your device using a USB cable. You can see all the information about it here: Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) including a link to get the software to update it. In terms of the ads and recommendations, it’s important to note that there isn’t simply an update that makes your Kindle compatible: you are updating the newest version of the operating system, and on some devices, that does come with a new homescreen view. The view has covers and “reading lists”. However, although it’s a bit buried, you can go back to the style that just has the book listings without the covers: Home – Menu – Settings – Device Options – Personalize Your Kindle – Advanced Options – Home Screen View – (turn off) Home Screen View: Display recommended content from store and enable learning lists.

Q. So, does the new update give me those Special Offers I hear about?

A. No, there’s no connection with that. If you aren’t subscribed to Special Offers, you still won’t be. If you are subscribed you still will be.

Q. What happens if I don’t update? Is my Kindle a brick?

A. No. You can still use it. You just won’t be able to connect to Amazon wirelessly with it. It’s possible to download books, either new purchases or from your Archive/Cloud, to your computer and transfer via USB cable. However, your Kindle will presumably not be able to get future updates.

Q. Does the update cost anything?

A. No. Like all Kindle updates so far, it’s free.

Q. I bought the Kindle and I bought the books. How can Amazon take them away from me? Don’t I own them?

A. Yes, you own the device and you bought licenses for the books. This doesn’t impact the books: you could read them on other devices on your account which have been updated, or in free Kindle reading apps. Your device will continue to do what it has done before…it’s just that a step between that device and Amazon servers will no longer work.

Q. You are saying this isn’t Amazon doing this: does that mean I’ll have to update non-Amazon devices I own?

A. If they aren’t compatible with the new protocol (which I believe goes into effect January 1st, 2017…Amazon is just getting a bit ahead on this to give people a chance to update before it’s suddenly necessary), then either you’ll have to update them or they won’t connect. Hopefully, other companies will have updates available, but it’s possible you have devices where that won’t be the case (some companies have gotten out of the EBR…E-Book Reader business). Early Kindles have lasted an unusually long time for some people, compared to some types of devices. There have been Kindles in use for more than eight years. That probably means that more people may be using, soon to be unable to connect Kindles, than, say, tablets.

Q. I guess this might be a good time to update to a new model of Kindle. Can I get a trade-in?

A. There is a trade-in program at (but it’s not exactly by) Amazon. Amazon Trade-In Program (at AmazonSmile*).

Q. Okay, I’ll guess I’ll do the update. How do I know if my device needs it?

A. Go to this page: Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*). It lists models, and what the necessary version of the software is so you can see if you already have it. If you don’t, you can go from that page to where to get it. You could also just turn your wireless on and leave your device on for a day or so to see if it updates. You can plug it in when you aren’t reading it so it has enough power.

Q. What if I need more help?

A. Feel free to ask me (and my readers) by commenting on this post. You can also contact Amazon through http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport (at AmazonSmile*). I usually have them call me (that normally happens in seconds, and I’m speaking to someone with in a minute, and I have generally found them friendly and helpful.

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.

Upcoming deadlines

March 15, 2016

Upcoming  deadlines

“Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes…”
–Changes by David Bowie

There are a few dates happening soon that mark changes around Kindles and e-books, so I thought I would round them up here and what (if anything) you need to do about it.

Tuesday, March 15th: B&N shuts down the NOOK bookstore

Barnes & Noble is shutting down the UK (I have readers around the world) NOOK bookstore.

After that, you won’t be able to buy NOOK books in the UK through their store, or through the Android app, or through your devices.

You’ll have until the end of May 2016  to migrate the books you’ve already bought.

For more information:

Meanwhile, at Barnes & Noble: NOOK books out of UK, financials are “in the groove” (of vinyl records)

Wednesday, March 16th: Shelfari transitions to Goodreads

If you’ve been a Shelfari user, Amazon has decided to merge it with Goodreads (Amazon owns both).

If you do have a Shelfari account, and you want to keep the data, you need to sign in and then chose to transition to Goodreads and/or download your information in a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file, which can be imported into Excel and other spreadsheets.

For more information, see

Amazon shutters Shelfari

Tuesday, March 22nd: update needed to older Kindles to access Amazon wirelessly

Amazon has announced a

Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This only affects some older Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers…not the Fire tablets) which have not been updated.

If you don’t update your device, you won’t be able to get to Amazon wirelessly on that Kindle: no shopping in the store; no downloading from your Cloud/archives; I assume no blog/magazine/newspaper delivery.

One of my regular readers and commenters, Edward Boyhan, suggested that this is in preparation for the obsoleting of the SHA1 (Secure Hash Algorithm) algorithm in 2017…that’s the techie stuff, but that makes sense to me, also based on what Amazon has said.

An important note: when you do the update which my best guess is technically necessary, you’ll get all the rest of the update, too. 🙂 That includes a new homescreen, which has a lot of recommendations on it…not everybody likes that.

Fortunately, although it’s pretty buried, you can go back to the old look:

Home – Menu – Settings – Device Options – Personalize Your Kindle – Advanced Options – Home Screen View – (turn off) Home Screen View: Display recommended content from store and enable learning lists

I’m waiting for confirmation from Amazon, but I would expect that you could still buy books for the device or download from the Cloud/archives…by downloading to your computer, and then transferring using a USB cable.

For more information, including a link to which devices are affected, see

Update your Kindle or lose access on it to your Cloud, the store, and other Kindle services

Have any questions? Any other deadlines (Kindle/e-book/Amazon related…I know there are others) 😉 for my readers and me? Feel free to let us know 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.

5 useful Amazon Kindle Help Pages

March 8, 2016

5 useful Amazon Kindle Help Pages

Amazon has been working on their Help Pages, and I do think they’ve made some improvements. The pages now tend to have clearer step by steps, videos, and the rules which might impact what you are trying to do. If you don’t find the answer you need, feel free to ask or you can go to

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

There are several ways to contact them, but I usually have them call me. My phone will ring in seconds and I’m typically speaking to someone in under a minute.

Okay, here are some useful pages:

Borrow Books from a Public Library (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Manage Newsstand Subscription Settings (at AmazonSmile*)

Quick Fix: Slow or Frozen Screen (at AmazonSmile*)

Return Kindle E-books (at AmazonSmile*)

Amazon FreeTime Web Browser FAQs (at AmazonSmile*)

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.

Kindle EBR update 5.7.2 menu map

February 14, 2016

Kindle EBR update 5.7.2 menu map

Despite a near disastrous update to our sixth generation Kindle Paperwhite, I was able to get the new software version working. This is a significant update, affecting the current EBRs (E-Book Readers):

While there are different versions of the update (for example, different ones for the eligible versions of the Paperwhite), I think the end result is essentially the same. It makes sense to me that, where possible, Amazon gets that standardized. It can’t be exactly the same…the Paperwhites and Voyage need a screen light adjustment, the unlit “Kindle” least expensive model doesn’t. My guess is that this menu map will be helpful for anybody who can get the update.

In my Menu Maps, I go through the interface to find out where things are (there are sometimes new things, and sometimes things move), and give you some context. I’ve found some very interesting things in the past, and I’m curious as to what I’ll see here…so let’s get started!

Oh, one more thing: I did do a factory reset as part of my update, so my previous choices are likely not affecting this much.

Getting through the “sleep screen” seemed the same to me. I saw a Special Offer, I could have tapped on it, I swiped to unlock, and I could have a passcode required.

Once inside, that’s where the changes are first quite visually apparent.

There are “tiles” or sections of information.

At the top, there is

  • The device’s name
  • The wireless strength indicator
  • The battery level indicator
  • A clock

Below that is a toolbar:

  • Home
  • Back
  • Brightness
  • Goodreads
  • Store
  • Search (a magnifying glass)
  • Three dots, which are a menu indicator. Within that menu…

Menu

  • My Library
  • My Reading Lists
  • Kindle Store
  • Goodreads
  • Kindle FreeTime
  • Vocabulary Builder
  • Experimental Browser
  • Setting
  • View Special Offers
  • Create New Collection

There was also a tile with “MY LIBRARY>”, and it showed me three recent titles.

There was a tile for “MY READING LISTS>”. That showed me three titles from a Wish List, and noted that there were 99+ more.

A third title showed me  “BOOKS FROM GOODREADS FRIENDS>”, but I know that rotates.

Believe that was an ad (I have one of the more popular ad-supported versions).

Now, working through, starting with the toolbar:

  • The Home button just takes me home…it doesn’t, but the way, rotate the one which was currently “YOUR GOOD READS FRIENDS”
  • The left-facing back arrow doesn’t do anything until you’ve gone somewhere
  • The brightness setting (it looks like a sun…or, unfortunately, a bit like the settings gear we see in many programs) let me choose up to 24 levels of brightness. Basic rule of thumb: the brighter it is where you are reading, the brighter you want your Kindle. Your Kindle is fighting with the sun…in bright light, having your Kindle brighter will make it easier to read. In a dark room, you need less light on your Kindle to read. Tapping that also opened a choice to turn on or off Airplane Mode, to “Sync My Kindle”, and “All Settings”…which unfortunately, did use a very similar, if not identical, “sun” or “gear” symbol. I’ll come back to All Settings later when I cover Settings
  • Goodreads brought up the Goodreads app…which started with showing my personal recommendations. Tapping “Next” let me connect Goodreads to Facebook…I skipped that. Next, I was shown Readers to Follow. Next, I finally got to my information: Updates | Shelves | Recommendations | Friends
  • Store started out by updating my Kindle store experience. I then saw “Recommended for You”, and had a choice of Books | Kindle Select 25 | Today’s Deals | Kindle Unlimited | Editors’ Picks | Best of the Months. Scrolling down, I saw Best Sellers | Recommended For You in Kindle Unlimited  | For You in Science Fiction & Fantasy | For You in (a few genres probably based on my reading habits) | New for You. Scrolling further, I had More to Explore: Recommendations | Monthly Deals | Kindle First | New & Noteworthy | We Suggest | Kindle Singles | Magazines | Newspapers. Hitting the menu while in the store gave me an interesting different set of choices (the menu is “context sensitive”…it changes based  on where you are). They were: Storefront; Books; Kindle Unlimited; Newspapers; Kindle Singles; Magazines; Kindle Owners’ Lending Library; View Wish List; Store Settings; Gift Card Balance. Under Store Settings, I could change my 1-Click Payment Method and Country Settings
  • When I went to Search, I put in “Alice”, and it defaulted to “Search Everywhere”. That found me books in my Cloud (and it would have been on the device) with Alice in the title or in the author’s name, and suggested that it could search for “alice in wonderland” in the store. When I tapped the “Search Everywhere” at the bottom, I got much more nicely arranged search results. It broke it out into My Items (6), Kindle Store (9,221), Goodreads (22,878), Text in Books (0) (there may be a setting to change for that), and Dictionary and Wikipedia

Tapping the menu from the homescreen…

My Library

This one showed me ALL | DOWNLOADED (so I could choose), ALL ITEMS (3,229) with a dropdown (I’ll cover that display option shortly), and a sort choice which defaulted to RECENT.

Below that, by default, I saw the covers of recent books….and I was on page 1 of 539.

Tapping where it says ALL ITEMS, I get  the choices of

  • Grid View or List View | All Items, Books, Periodicals, Docs, Active Content, Collections. Huh…tapping on Active Content actually did show me choices. The Paperwhites haven’t worked with the Active Content. However, tapping on one just gave me an error message showing me that “This item is not compatible with this device”. In the past, I think incompatible items haven’t shown on the device. Does this suggest greater control of Cloud content from the devices?
  • Tapping on Collections (my normal view) showed me my Cloud collections when I was on ALL, and correctly told me I didn’t have any Collections on this device when tapped on DOWNLOADED. Tapping a Cloud Collection’s menu symbol, I as able to Add/Remove Items, Rename, and Delete…without having to download the Collection to this device. That actually concerns me…I’d rather that be only done by people who get to the account settings (they need the username/e-mail and password). Tapping one of the Collections, I could toggle between what was in the Cloud and what was downloaded…that’s something people wanted to be clear, and is quite helpful. As I would anticipate, if I download the Collection, that does not download the books in the Collection

My Reading Lists

Tapping the “>” for My Reading Lists showed me

  • SAMPLES (not just on this device)
  • GOODREADS WANT TO READ
  • AMAZON WISH LIST

and “Find books you want to read with Goodreads”

I’m going to jump down in the Menu to

Settings

  • Airplane Mode on or off (that will disable or enable wireless connectivity…having it off saves you battery charge)
  • Wi-Fi Networks: tapping it will give you choices of available networks. Tapping Other will let you get to Advanced, where you can manually enter parameters
  • Registration and Household: adjust Household and Family Library, or Deregister Device (this would be a register choice if the device wasn’t already registered)
  • Device Options: Device Passcode; Parental Controls (Kindle FreeTime | Restrictions to the Experimental Web Browser, Kindle Store, Cloud, and Goodreads)
  • Personalize Your Kindle: Device Name and Personal Info (I put my e-mail address there, in case the device is lost); Device Time; Advanced Options (Home Screen View…this is where you can turn off recommendations; Next in Series; Whispersync for Books; Special Offers…two choices here. One is o turn on or off Special Offer Filtering, which will allow you to hide offers which “may not be suitable for all audiences”, and the other one is to choose whether or not Special Offer Recommendations include personalized offers based on items browsed or purchased); Send-to-Kindle Email)
  • Language and Dictionaries (Language; Keyboard; Dictionaries

When I’m in Settings, and tap the menu, I get

  • Kindle Store
  • Update Your Kindle
  • Restart (you can do this any time)
  • Reset Device (this wipes your device, except for system updates…use with caution)
  • Device Info
  • Legal

Let’s take a look inside a book…

Tapping towards the top center of the book brings up a special toolbar. That includes

  • GO TO (Beginning; Page or Location; Cover; and the Table of Contents. There was a separate tab for Notes…that defaulted to Popular, but I could choose “Yours” or “Public” as well)
  • X-RAY (NOTABLE CLIPS, PEOPLE, TERMS, IMAGES)
  • Aa (Display Settings…FONT, PAGE, READING PROGRESS. There are nine fonts, which defaulted to Bookerly. An Open Dyslexic was also available. There were eight font sizes. Three page option sections had o do with SPACING, MARGINS, and ORIENTATION (no justification choice). READING PROGRESS gave a choice of Location in book, Page in book (if available), Time left in chapter, Time left in book, and None…you can also change that tapping on the display at the bottom of the screen
  • Share (Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter)
  • Notes and bookmarks

The menu in the book gave me

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • Vocabulary Builder
  • Settings
  • Notes
  • About This Book
  • About the Authors
  • Sync to Furthest Page Read
  • Word Wises

At the bottom of the screen had the page flip feature, which lets you flip ahead or back without losing your place. I also liked that it showed me the title of the story in this case (chapter title, I would guess), author, location, time left in chapter, and percentage).

Long-pressing a word in the book (holding my finger on it for about a second) brought up

  • Wikipedia (I was wirelessly connected) on a card, which I could swipe to move o
  • Translation
  • Dictionary
  • I also had choices for Highlight | Note | Share | Search | Open Dictionary | and Report Content Error

Let’s go back to the recommendation strip at the bottom of the homescreen. I toggled the device on and off, and saw:

  • More by Isaac Asimov (one of the authors on the book showing as the last book read)
  • BOOKS FROM YOUR GOODREADS FRIENDS
  • RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

My overall impression?

It looks nicer. Access to some choices is easier. There is a lot of emphasis on discovery of books to read…people may see that as ads for things for you to buy, and much of it is…but I appreciate having Kindle Unlimited recommendations, which cost me nothing more.

What do you think? Do you have other questions? Have you found other things? Feel free to share with me and my readers by commenting on this post.

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

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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