Kindle Voyage improves the nearly perfect Paperwhite

IMG_4795 It’s here! This is a photo of the box of my new Kindle Voyage. (And as a happy start ….. the box was wrapped in “frustration free” packaging.)

This Kindle comes with the usb cord, but no adaptor. I don’t view that as a problem, however, because after years of living with mobile phones, iPads and Kindles, well, I have quite a collection of those little plugs.

When you order a Kindle from Amazon, it arrives fully registered and ready to go. It takes maybe a minute or two to get through the setup, adding it to your wireless network, and adjusting the time.

I immediately downloaded the book I am now in the middle of reading, and it opened to my “last page read” within seconds.

The screen is absolutely brighter and sharper than the Paperwhite. The print is crisp and sharp. The Voyage is noticeably lighter, too. But the BIG draw for me …. was the side push buttons.

I do a lot of reading in bed, and much of that is done on my side (rather than on my back). This one-handed position makes screen-swiping nearly impossible. As much as I loved the Paperwhite, I missed the buttons on my Kindle of yesteryear.

And now the Voyage brings them back. Amazon has taken the just-about-perfect Paperwhite and moved it up a notch!

The push areas are on the side of the screen. They are not raised, they are not buttons. The area is indicated by a line and a dot on the edge of the screen. When you give the spot a push to turn the page, you feel an ever-so-slight vibration. It’s perfect. I can turn pages with the touch screen when I can…. and push the sides when I can’t. Perfect!

The on/off button is in the back (that’s different) and (to me) irrelevant. Other than that, most everything else feels very familiar if you have used a Paperwhite. Control panel at the top, touch controls, etc. The lit screen is as wonderful as ever (even brighter) and now adjusts automatically to the lighting in the room.

Bottom line…. if you have a Paperwhite and don’t miss the button-ability, I don’t think there is any reason to upgrade. The Voyage is better, but it’s not cheap, and a Paperwhite is still a great eReader.

But if you do upgrade to the Voyage….. you’ll love it!!

I’m not alone in my praise. (“Best eReader in the market” shows up in reviews over and over again.)

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Kindle Voyage review: Amazon’s e-reader is too good to be merely a Paperwhite 2

Review: Avid Readers Will Love Kindle Voyage

Amazon’s best e-reader yet

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Downloading Books and Audiobooks FREE directly to your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.07.12 PMPreviously on this blog, I gushed about borrowing books from your local library for your Kindle. That post was over a year ago, and I still find it wonderfully exciting to sit in my home, browse through library books, and have them magically appear on my Kindle.

Recently, I tried another bit of library borrowing….. and I’m equally thrilled.

With the Overdrive app, you can download AUDIO books from your local library directly to your iPhone or iPad. Then you can take that audio book with you for a walk or to the gym. Wonderful! And all this is FREE.

It is quite easy to do.

First, of course, you must determine whether or not your local library participates with Overdrive. I’m guessing they do …. it seems quite popular. You can call and ask, or go to your library’s website and hunt around a bit. Chances are there will be an “ebooks” section, and you can see if they use the word “overdrive.”

Once you know your library participates, download the app.

You’ll be asked to “add a library.” I typed in my zip code, and my library magically appeared.

Sign in to your local library (probably with your library card number and a pin).

Find the book you want to download, and tap it to start the process.

All done! Your audio book is now on your iPhone and you are good to go.

From Skitch-19

From my experience, it is MUCH easier to browse books from my computer (rather than the phone). Once I’ve made my choice, I just “search” for it on the app on the iPhone, and tap it to download.

And so now…. from my local library, I can get books to read on my Kindle, and books to listen to on my iPhone. It’s a kid-in-a-candy-shop kind of experience to get books like this from the comfort of your own home.

It’s just as easy to download books to read to your iPhone and iPad with this app. I chose an audiobook because I don’t really enjoy reading on the small screen of the phone. (However…my iPhone 6 Plus …when it arrives… may change all that!).

Just to be clear: you can directly download books to read OR to listen to through this app.

Overdrive is free in the iTunes store

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Another Great Discounted Book Source: Early Bird Books

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Nothing better than great book deals!

In other posts, I alerted you to eReaderIQ (which I absolutely LOVE) and BookGorilla.

And now…. another discount-alerter for your browsing pleasure. :)

Early Bird Books will send you an email each morning with several book deals. Some expire quickly, some may be on sale for weeks, so check the expiration date. These books are limited to ones that are published through Open Road, so the model is a bit different from the other discounters.

It’s always fun to have bargains delivered to your inbox!

Just click on Early Bird Books to subscribe.

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New Feature: Goodreads now has “Previews”

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I spend a lot of time browsing on Goodreads. I find it is a wonderful place to find my “next great read” by learning from others, reading reviews and looking at the bookshelves that individuals have created.

And now, just last week, they have added a new feature, further enhancing the browsing experience.

You can now PREVIEW any book that has a Kindle edition. Yay!

from the Goodreads blog:

Don’t judge a book by its cover…judge it by what’s inside with our new Preview feature, which launches today! With Preview, you can sample the story before committing to the whole book. Now our U.S. members can get a taste of their next amazing read right on the Goodreads website.

Just click on the book, and notice the PREVIEW button. Tap that button and a significant preview opens on your screen.

From Skitch-18

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Since we have (for years) been able to preview Kindle books on Amazon, I would often go back and forth between Goodreads and Amazon. Happily this back-and-forthing is no longer necessary. I am delighted. :)

At the moment, this feature is only available in the US.

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A Funny Video from the Onion, Reading Snobs Rejoice!

To my readers: This video is fake. It is a product of the clever writers at The Onion . It is fake. It is satire.

I’m making this point, because the video looks so real. And if you are not familiar with The Onion, well…. you might think….. Just sayin’. :)

And so, here it is ladies and gentlemen. A new Kindle for the Reading Snobs. For those folks who want everyone to know what book they are reading.

In the old days, you could throw a War and Peace dust jacket over a sleazy romance novel, but no more. When you hold a Kindle, people can’t “see” what you’re reading… until now.

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Rumor? or Real? Amazon about to offer a New eBook Subscription Service

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The internet (the part that is interested in ebooks, anyway :) ) is abuzz today with the most-likely-true rumor that Amazon is about to launch a new service.

This looks like it will be a new Netflix-ish subscription service with digital ebooks and audio books…… an “all you can eat” approach …. for $9.99 a month.

It isn’t available yet. As a matter of fact, it hasn’t even been confirmed, yet. But the stories about it are everywhere.

When (if) this launches, I’ll be sure to post the details. But in the meantime, here are some links to many of the stories flooding the internet, today:

Amazon Tests ‘Kindle Unlimited,’ A Netflix For Ebooks And Audiobooks

Amazon Appears to Be Testing All-You-Can-Read Kindle Ebook Subscriptions

Amazon’s Prepping a “Kindle Unlimited” Subscription Service For Books

Amazon is working on Kindle Unlimited, the ultimate subscription service for readers

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A Question for Readers …….

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 8.09.29 AMThis is the time of the year where my Kindle is always within reach. I take it everywhere.

I read a lot. My favorite kind of book is historical fiction, “Pillars of the Earth” being a great example. And if it is really good … I like it LONG (because I’m always sad when a great book comes to an end. :( )

I know a lot of the readers of this blog are also voracious readers.

Here’s a question that I saw on twitter the other day:

What was the LAST BOOK that you recommended to someone?

Hmmmm. Interesting question! Not any-old recommendation. Not your favorite book. But the LAST book that you recommended to someone.

My answer: The last book I recommended to someone was The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. Set in France during the occupation, a reluctant architect designs intricate hiding places for Jewish citizens. It is a page-turner!

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How about you? What was the LAST BOOK that you recommended to someone?

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Like E-books? Want ‘em cheaper? eReaderIQ just made it easier than ever!

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 7.44.15 PM I am a voracious e-reader. And that means I buy a lot of books. (I also borrow books … from both my local library AND from Amazon Prime.) But in spite of all the free opportunities, I find that for me, just about every-other-book is a “buy”.

So to manage my budget, and get the books I want as cheaply as I can, I turn to a marvelous website, eReaderIQ. Although I have gushed about eReaderIQ before on this blog, I am not going to link to those posts because eReaderIQ has gotten BETTER, and the “old ways” just don’t apply anymore.

But first, let me back up a bit and tell you all about eReaderIQ. It is absolutely FREE to use. And when you sign up, you only need your email address (no password to remember!!).

There are so many features on this website that I usually spend time there every day. If you have a Kindle, this should absolutely be on your “look here” list.

Kindle books often fluctuate in price, and with eReaderIQ you can stay up with and take advantage of those price changes.

You can:

…. set up daily alerts via email for the genres you are interested in

…. see the day’s best price drops

…. see what is new today on Kindle

…. look at a list of books for just $1

…. see the most popular FREE books of the day

and ….. my FAVORITE feature ….. Track the prices of the books that you are interested in!

I’ve been using this feature ever since I discovered the website. I find a book that I would like to read, and I put it on my “tracking” list with eReaderIQ. I can pick a price and tell them to alert me when the book drops to the price I am hoping for. This is a truly wonderful and money-saving feature.

AND, it just got better!

In the past, in order to track a book, you had to copy and paste book ASIN numbers into the website. Although I explained all of that in a previous post, I’m not linking to that post, because the procedure has been GREATLY improved. :)

Now they provide a link that you can drag to your bookmark bar. I did this, and it is awesome.

I now have a “one-click watcher” AND a “one-click viewer” sitting on my bookmark bar. When I am browsing books on the Amazon website, and see a book I would like to “watch” and wait for a price drop, all I have to do is tap the “one click watcher” link on my bookmark bar. This is MUCH easier than all the copying and pasting from before.

Another great shopping tool is the “one-click viewer”. If you are considering buying a book, you would probably be interested to know if the book was ever priced lower or higher. This might help you decide if now is the best time to buy the book. With the “one-click-viewer”, just give a tap on the link and you will see the entire price history of the book you are looking at.

Here I “one clicked” to see the price history of “World Without End”. You can see that the price has gradually come down over the years, and appears to be at its lowest point right now.

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Just go ahead and explore their website for all these wonderful features. The main page is here, and a link to their tracking tools is here.

Enjoy!! and Shop Smart! eReaderIQ

eReaderIQ is available for the US, the UK, and Canada. Just click the appropriate flag at the top of the screen.

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Kindle App just keeps getting better and better!

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 8.23.46 PM Although the Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader ever ….. I also read on my iPad. (I’m a multi-tasker-reader. :) ) When I read on my iPad, I use the Kindle app.

I have only wonderful things to say about the Kindle app …. and I use it every single day. (I actually prefer to look at my Kindle library through this app on the the iPad (rather than my Paperwhite) just because all of the covers look so colorful, and are so easy to browse through.) We have talked about it many times on this blog, and you can find links to all those posts by clicking on All Things Kindle.

Remember … even if you don’t have a Kindle, with the free Kindle app you can have books sent directly to you iPhone or iPad with your Amazon account.

So, back to the latest upgrade!

With this update, you now have the ability to look at the Table of Contents of a book from anywhere within the book. You can be merrily reading along, and with just a tap you will see the contents appear on the side of your screen.

Here is how to access the Table of Contents within the Kindle App:

Tap the top of the page that you are reading, and then tap the menu lines in the upper left corner.

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A menu will drop down and you will see the now-available choice “Table of Contents”. Give that a tap.

The Table of Contents will appear on the left side of your page. You can scroll through it or even jump to another chapter.

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This Kindle app just keeps getting better and better!!

The Kindle App is FREE in the iTunes store.

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I am one of the 4%

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.50.56 PMEarlier this year Pew research released the results of several studies regarding the habits of the reading public.

As someone who reads “e-books only” I was curious to see how common (or not) this has become. According to the research, this puts me in a small group of just 4%. Most people who read e-books also read print books.

But me? I stand firmly in that 4%. My eyes prefer the adjustable fonts, the adjustable light, the ease of getting, saving and carrying books. I’ve always been a big reader, but the e-reader (Kindle) simply makes reading even better.

However, when it comes to e-reading in general, once you take away the “exclusive”, the numbers climb. 28% of adults have read an e-book in the past year, and this number continues to rise.

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Half of all the adults in America own either a tablet or an e-reader, and coupled with the stats below, this makes me wonder:
…. if 32% of people own an e-reader, but only 28% have read an e-book, can we assume that about 4% own e-readers that are just collecting dust? (not to be confused with the 4% of us who are e-readers-only!)

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The full article: E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps
Three in ten adults read an e-book last year; half own a tablet or e-reader

Where do you fit? E-reader only? E-reader + print books? or do you (gasp) have an e-reader just languishing at the bottom of a drawer?

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