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Tuesday, 03 September 2013


I know I should be more tolerant of neologisms; however, "impacted" makes me wince (unless one is referring to a molar, in which case a wince is also in order). Thank you for "affected."

Mike, I'd like to hear your ideas about digital and paper photobooks. It seems to me that photos look so good on screens that I'm surprised that digital photobooks haven't taken hold.

I'm not convinced that it's worth $20 to be free of the ads. I have two Kindles with ads and really don't find them that objectionable. They appear on the lock screen and are gone once the device is unlocked. Most of the time the ads are for things I choose not to buy, but I have occasionally seen an offer worth looking into that I wouldn't have know about otherwise.

Kindles now dominate book reading at our house. We have three. In a household of two. Plus a dog. The dog doesn't read. (She did attend school as a pup but never graduated--she got a certificate of attendance.)

I do disagree on the "Special Offers" choice, however. We saved the extra bucks and got the models with the "Special Offers" ads and, honestly, they are totally unobtrusive. The ad only appears on the start screen of the Kindle Fire HD models and, on the Kindle Keyboard model, the start screen and at the bottom of the table of contents screen. They never on any screen in ordinary use while reading or browsing the Web. Twenty bucks saved is twenty bucks earned (I think Benjamin Franklin said something like that before inflationary monetary policies were instituted).

We donated boxes of books to a local college book sale event when we started the Kindle journey. I still hold onto a few classics in paper and I will never get rid of my photo library which is now overflowing book cases in two rooms. However, the Kindle Fire HD models do have excellent resolution of images and the few Kindle books I have that have illustrations look very good on those models. My Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is also my portable music library. I buy a lot of music on CD from Amazon and much of it also has a free MP3 included that is saved in the Amazon Cloud Player for playing or downloading. With my pair of Klipsch ear buds, the sound is very satisfying.

Amazon has just announced Kindle MatchBook—a feature that lets customers buy digital editions of Amazon-purchased print books for as little as, well, nothing.


For the most part, however, I don't buy most books twice(!).

Jeff Bezos has a plan for you, then.

"Empire of the Summer Moon" is one of the best books I have read in the last year. I'll tell you this....I would not have wanted to be unfortunate enough to piss off a Comanche!!

I had an original Kindle and wore it out. So I got the first version of the paper white as a replacement. Yes, it has a better screen, and some nice features - but after some months I am still not comfortable with the touch screen interface.

The old Kindle has buttons on the side, where your thumb/fingers are when you hold it naturally. With the touch screen I have to engage another hand to touch the screen (a pain when I'm eating my lunch) or perform an unnatural stretch of the holding hand's thumb or finger - which I'm sure is going to lead to a new ailment - "Kindle finger".

Also, am I the only one who finds the touch screen less than perfect? Doesn't always react when a page turn is required - but seems over responsive to accidental touches. I often find I'm skipping back or forward of the page I want.


My only problem with the Kindle is that I keep remembering the blog entry where Charles Stross taught me the word monopsony.

I bought a kindle because I live in South Korea and the shipping and handling costs for paper books from the States are very high. The price of a Kindle book isn't lower than paper books (usually) but I'm saving money on shipping. And I get the books right away.
But I recently discovered Book Depository and they ship anywhere in the world for free. Very nice. My Kindle is now used mostly for cheap science fiction and fantasy novels I'm not interested in having on my shelf. The Kindle is an amazing device but I still prefer to hold a book in my hands.

For all the pictures in the pre-order page in Amazon, I conclude that boys and men don't read.

The free lending library for Kindle is limited to those that have Amazon Prime subscriptions which cost $79 per year. As for the loaning of Kindle books to others this policy is outlined at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200549320

I bought myself a Kindle Fire HD for Christmas last year. I love it, and use it constantly. The ads don't bother me a bit. Their content doesn't even register most times -- I just swipe through without looking. It's like unlocking a cell phone: it quickly becomes automatic.

My wife and I recently kayaked and camped for six days in Lake Superior's Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and our Kindles were much lighter and more compact than any paperback book of a similar page size, and much easier to hold while lying in a sleeping bag. My only regret is that we don't have the Paperwhite model, which would have been much appreciated when reading at dusk.

Count me as another who doesn't mind the ads. They're not obtrusive, and lately many of them have been for the Kindle Daily Special, which I buy more of than any other Kindle book.

My wife bought me a Paperwhite without the ads to replace my old Kindle that had deals. Surprisingly, I missed the "deals" and enabled them in the settings.

The ads are only shown when the device is asleep and I don't find them distracting. I suggest buying the cheaper Kindle with the deals; you can pay the extra later if you can't stand looking at the ads.

Think of ebooks as more of a permanent rental. You don't own it, or you could lend or sell them as you see fit. I have the Nook, and only buy books that are less than $5, just because I won't pay more than the eventual paperback price.

For those who find Kindle books expensive, see if your local library lends ebooks. The San Francisco Public library does, and I rarely buy a book to read any more; I just go online, click a few times, the book is delivered to my Kindle (and the Kindle apps on my phone and tablet) and stays there for three weeks, when it is automatically returned. No late fees, no piles of books around the house, and no monetary outlay. It's how I read The Omnivore's Dilemma and Botany of Desire, by the way. Of course you can't find everything there, and sometimes you have to wait a bit to get the book you want, but that's no different from a visit to the physical library.


The "available for preorder" link points to a page on Amazon, presenting the new "All New Kindle Paperwhite".

About half a dozen pics on the page. NOT ONE of a male customer. Regardless of age.

Not a man's world anymore, I guess. Either that or Amazon has never been about subtle advertising.

P.S I hope my-tongue-in-cheek is not offensive for any of the blog readers. That is the thing with positive discrimination...

I love the whole e-reader concept and unlike others I have no love left for paper.

No more shelf space dedicated to paper accumulating dust. No more eye strain due to small or ugly fonts. No more carrying 5 to 10 volumes when leaving on vacations.

Ah, and no more guilt for unread books sitting in a corner. I only ever order "samples", if I finish the sample I can then order the book.

I bought a kindle touch on ebay for ~$35 primarily so I could read my ebooks outside, or take it to the beach. I found it fine for that use, though I prefer, greatly prefer, reading books on my iPad with retina display when not outside - though it can be a bit heavy for long reads. I actually prefer it enough that I usually struggle with it out on the deck rather than use the kindle. My wife on the other hand, who does most of her reading in bed, doesn't like the standard kindle but likes the concept. The paperwhite is probably the right product for her. I'm hoping for an iPad mini with retina screen which will I think provide everything I need other than the outside/beach read issue. For the kindle put me firmly on the save $20.00 and get it with offers - the least distracting ads ever.

Lastly, use your library if possible. My local library offers many books in both kindle or ePub format and the selection is quite good. You may have to go on hold for the most popular books but I have to do that for paper copies as well. There are also several email lists that send a daily email of free or very low cost books available from Amazon. BookBub and Ereader news today are two I subscribe to - I've amassed quite a backlog of free books to read this way.

I have the last Paperwhite but I'm going to give it to my girlfriend and get the newest for myself - I've found that reading in a pitch-black bedroom has done wonders for my concentration, allowing me to read more than I have in years. Booklights (even on prior versions of the Kindle) never did it - the light too uneven, the whole thing too clunky.

It isn't worth $20 to me to avoid the ads - at worst they're unobtrusive and some have been good deals I wouldn't have otherwise seen, like the collected stories of Flannery O'Connor for $2.99 or $3.99.

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