Happy bookish birthdays (27 March) to…

March 27, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (27 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

#WDYTWed (on Thursday): escape or confront?

March 27, 2020

#WDYTWed (on Thursday): escape or confront?

In the more than ten years that I’ve been writing this blog (the first post was August 28, 2009), one of my favorite things has been interacting with the readers.

That used to happen a lot more. When I started out, I averaged 1,000 new words a day, but in more recent times, I just haven’t been able to do that. I’ve been trying to write more narratives again, but without that, the blog doesn’t tend to provoke many comments…and I miss that. I think my long time readers do, too.

One of those long time readers and amongst my most frequent commenters is Lady Galaxy, who suggested that I write something once a week with the intent of increasing interaction.

It’s a good idea. 🙂

I think the best way to do that is to do one or more polls (which I’ve done throughout the past decade).

I’ve decided to name this series #WDYTWed. WDYT is an internet abbreviation for “What Do You Think?”, and I’m going to do them on Wednesdays. Hopefully, just about every Wednesday…although I didn’t manage to get this out yesterday. I think most of you know, I work in healthcare, so I’ve been very busy. I don’t directly deliver patient care, but I support the people who do. I train doctors & other medical staff, and they are all learning new workflows right now. That’s not just specific to the current pandemic, but there is a big shift to “telehealth”, which requires new skills or honing existing ones.

My question this week has to do with how the current situation is affecting what you read.

I’ve noticed that there seem to be two broad trends.

One is escapism. People want to read (or watch or listen to or play) works that having nothing whatsoever to do with the real world. A lot of people are looking for happy endings. Those people might read, say, cozy mysteries or Regency romances (ones without “consumption”, of course).

On the other hand, some people are choosing works which directly involve plagues & pandemics, or post-Apocalyptic scenarios.

I suspect the latter may surprise some who are choosing escapism. Why would you want more of it?

I think it may have to do with control. If you are reading Stephen King’s The Stand, or Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, or Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (the last can really resonate with social distancing), you can simply close the book (physically or electronically) and walk away for a while to reset your head. It’s sort of like exposure therapy for a phobia…you confront it while there is a control factor that doesn’t exist in spontaneous encounters.

So, what’s your choice?

By the way, this is a time I’m particularly grateful for e-books. We aren’t restricted to just the books we had in our houses when we might have found ourselves unexpectedly at home. We can just download more if we need them.

I’ll be interested to see the answer to this one! I’ll let you know, I’ve sought out resonant works. I rewatched my favorite version of I Am Legend, The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price (available on Prime Video in the USA). However, I’ve also continued reading other books I was reading…the only change for me is the “confront” choice.

Feel free to let me and my readers know what you are reading by commenting on this post! If you have other thoughts, those are welcome, too. I haven’t been particularly responsive lately, but I always appreciate seeing those comments!


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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 organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (26 March) to…

March 27, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (26 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (25 March) to…

March 26, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (25 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (24 March) to…

March 24, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (24 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

 

Happy bookish birthdays (23 March) to…

March 23, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (23 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

 

Can’t get to a bookstore or library? Try e-books (many are free, no special device needed)

March 22, 2020

Can’t get to a bookstore or library? Try e-books (many are free, no special device needed)

Do you read every day?

Lots of people do, including me.

Some of us, who may find ourselves home for an extended period unexpectedly, are lucky enough to already have books in our homes. When I ran a poll last week, more than half of my readers reported having more than 100 unread books:


No internet, no delivery, no leaving: how many UNREAD books do you have in your house?

  • More than 100 |  56.52%
  • 51-100 | 17.39%
  • Other | 13.04%
  • 21-50 | 8.7%
  • 6-10 | 4.35%
  • 0 | 0%
  • 1-5 | 0%
  • 11-20 | 0%
  • I don’t know | 0%

Not everybody’s going to have that, though.

I used to manage a brick-and-mortar bookstore, and I’ve always loved going to bookstores and public libraries. I had regular customers who would come in just about every day…not even necessarily buying something each time, but just enjoying the experience.

If that’s the case, you may not have a large TBR (To Be Read) “pile”.

How do you get things to read if you aren’t leaving your home?

One answer is e-books.

I should start out with saying that I’ve always loved books. I literally have a floor to ceiling library in my home. I’ve had over 10,000 p-books (paperbooks) in my house (although I’ve been donating a lot of them recently, primarily to Loren Coleman’s

International Cryptozoology Museum

I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. Even in high school, I was the “librarian” for our science fiction and fantasy club.

The reason why I’m even mentioning that is to let you know that I love paper books. I honestly didn’t think I’d like e-books…but I got a Kindle as a gift, and after I tried it, I ended up really enjoying it. I say, “The more you love books, the more you love e-books.” I’m not going to rehash all that in this piece, which I mainly want to help people keep reading during these atypical times. My point now is just that it doesn’t have to be one or the other…it can be both, and you aren’t “cheating” on p-books to read e-books.

Let’s do this as a Q&A:

===

What’s an e-book?

It’s an electronic book. Basically, it’s a digital file, like a digital video or an MP3 music file…except that it’s of a book. You read the text, just like you would with a paperbook…a p-book.

Do I need some special kind of device to read it, like a Kindle?

Nope! You can read e-books on your SmartPhone, a tablet, or a computer.

Why do people buy Kindles, then?

It’s for the reading experience…it’s more like reading a p-book.

I don’t like staring at a screen, though, it hurts my eyes.

The main reason for that is that most screens, including those phones, tablets, and computers, shine a light in your eyes. What you are reading on those is lit from behind…it’s called backlighting. Kindles (and other EBRs…E-Book Readers) aren’t like that. It used to be that they didn’t have any lighting at all, so you read them the same way you read a p-book, from the light reflecting off it. Now, they are generally “frontlit”: subtle lights are in front of the words, and point at the screen, not at you. They make the book easier to read just like a booklight does with a p-book. My favorite way to read, including paper, is on a Kindle Paperwhite (at AmazonSmile*).

How much does that cost?

Right now, from the USA Kindle store, it’s $129.99…but I want to repeat that you could just use something you already have like a phone or tablet.

What do the books cost?

It depends on the book. Lots of books are available legally for free. That’s true for books which are in the public domain, not under copyright protection, usually because of their age. Copyright protection only lasts so long. Some authors and publishers also choose to give away some of their titles for promotional reasons.

What do other books cost?

Again, it depends on the book. Many books cost ninety-nine cents, but a new book by a well-known author from a major publisher is more likely to be between $10 and $20.

When I get the book, do I own it?

You own the right to read it.

Huh?

It’s not like when you buy a paperbook and you own one copy of the book. You buy the right to read it. Let’s say your download the book to your phone and you lose your phone. If you lost your backpack with a paper book in it, you’d just be out of luck. If you lose your phone, you can just download the book again from Amazon (I’m talking about Kindle books here…other places could possibly have different rules).

Okay, let me make sure I have this straight. I don’t need to buy a Kindle, but I can if I want a better reading experience. I don’t have to pay for e-books, if I’m okay with reading older ones, but I can buy them if I want…right?

Right. Oh, and there’s also something called Kindle Unlimited, where you can pay about $10 a month and borrow all the books you want to read. It’s like Netflix, sort of, but for books and magazines.

Any book?

No, not any book, but tens of thousands of them, including well-known books from popular authors. Here’s a link for more information: Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile*). If you have Amazon Prime, there are about 3,000 e-books available as part of your membership. Here’s that link: Prime Reading (at AmazonSmile*)

What if I just don’t want to get them through Amazon at all?

That’s fine. Amazon has a lot of features, like sharing books among people on your account and saving your notes and bookmarks, but there are other sources, both for those public domain books and current ones. If you buy a current book from someone other than Amazon, you might not be able to read it on your Kindle (if you decide to get one). Here are a few sites you can use to get the books. I haven’t mentioned this much, but you can read books online, in additional to downloading them…think of those as being like streaming video. You don’t have your own copy, you just read it at the host site:

Your public library probably also has a way for you to borrow e-books, and that’s another way to read contemporary books for free. Check their site: there are different systems in use.

===

I have been working on my own The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip for years (The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip ), and I have some links there, but it will slowly build up and the others one are probably better in this situation.

Hope that helps! If you have additional questions or want to say something about your experience with e-books, 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 The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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 organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Amazon launches Prime Video Cinema to watch new theatrical releases at home

March 22, 2020

Amazon launches Prime Video Cinema to watch new theatrical releases at home

In one of my other blogs

The Measured Circle

I track movie boxoffice quite closely. This will be a year unlike any I’ve analyzed to date.

Movie studios know that, and one of the things that is happening is that works which would just be available in the theatres for some time are being made available to home viewing much more quickly.

Some of them will go to the subsers (subscription services), especially Disney+, ahead of time, at no additional cost.

Others are being made available for home rental…the popular price point seems to be $19.95 for 48 hours.

That may seem like a lot of money at first compared to a movie ticket, but if you have at least two people watching (and they don’t have a way to know that), it’s actually in the ballpark…er, cineplex. 😉

Let’s say you would have paid eight dollars per ticket…that’s $16 right there. Then, you have the cost of driving your car or taking public transit (unless you can walk to your theatre…then you have wear and tear on your shoes). There might be parking costs. Many people buy concessions, which could easily amount to $2 per person.

Amazon has now launched a hub for those movies:

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

At the time of writing, there are four:

  • Onward
  • The Invisible Man
  • Emma
  • The Hunt

Two of these, of course, are based on public domain (out of copyright protection) books…The Invisible Man (H.G. Wells…although th trailer doesn’t make it seem very faithful) and Emma by Jane Austen. Maybe read the book first, then watch…if you don’t have the book now, you can download it as a free e-book! I’m hoping to put out some basics of e-books for people who haven’t been using them this weekend.

I’d expect more movies to be added in the future, if this is a successful model, and to see the prices reduced for a movie after it has been out for a while or on special sales. If this does work, it may continue to be an option in the future, even after people start seeing movies in theatres in big numbers again. My favorite way to watch a movie now is in VR (Virtual Reality), and I assume that would work with this as well.

What do you think? Is this something you’ll do? 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 The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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 organizations, begin your Amazon shopping from a link on their sites: Amazon.com (Smile.Amazon.com)

Happy bookish birthdays (22 March) to..

March 22, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (22 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (21 March) to…

March 21, 2020

Happy bookish birthdays (21 March) to…


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

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

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

 


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