Amazon Prime on SALE for ONE DAY only September 25

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 3.35.46 PMAmazon Prime Membership usually costs $99 a year, but this Friday, September 25, it will be on sale for new customers for just $67 for the year.

Amazon Prime gives you free two-day shipping on the Prime products you purchase on Amazon. There is also a boatload of free music available to Prime members, and free videos, as well. Although their video library is not as deep as Netflix, it is substantial, and most recently they added the “download and watch later” option (which is wonderful for travelers).

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Access to a Kindle lending library is also part of an Amazon Prime membership. (This is limited to only certain books, and just one borrowed book per month.)

Another benefit of Prime membership is one I haven’t used yet…. but I plan to give it a try shortly. Unlimited Photo Cloud storage. (This is exciting to me. I have far too many photos on my devices!)

Two day shipping, free music, free videos, free photo cloud storage and a kindle lending library.

$67 instead of $99! If you’ve been considering Amazon Prime, this is a great opportunity to give it a whirl.

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Have I really been gone since February???????

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 12.11.45 PMOh my!!! That was quite a break! I was recently reminded that I haven’t been active on this blog since February …. and that certainly is NOT the “short break” I originally intended. :shock:

I would like to thank all of the many lovely people who sent inquiring messages as to my whereabouts. I appreciate your caring thoughts. I won’t slog through all the detail of the time I was absent, but I will share that a full month of that time was spent riding across the entire country. Quite a road trip!! Coast to coast, over 7000 miles, days full of wonderful adventure.

To my surprise, during the time that I was absent, visits to this blog continued. I think this is because many of the issues that I have covered for the iPhone, iPad and/or Kindle often trouble new users (of course, this is the original point of this whole blog!) and therefore when people are searching for answers to their troubles they often land here.

HOWEVER …. as time goes on, it concerns me that earlier posts of the “how to” variety are no longer relevant. As the operating system changes, and new hardware is introduced, etc … some of my “instructions” are completely out of date. I hope that readers will carefully look at the date of the post and the number of the operating system discussed before trying to apply the directions to their own devices. This blog is now several years old, and in ‘technology years’ that’s HUGE.

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My immediate goal is to make many of those older posts current as I add new ones. In my absence, I’m sure many of you have updated your iPhones, iPads and Kindles and so I’ll do my best to bring us all back up to speed. :)

And so …… I’m back. And looking forward to visiting all of YOUR blogs again. I’ve missed you all, and I’m anxious to catch up.

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How to Loan a Kindle Book

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.22.24 PMWhen we read a great book, it’s natural to want to share it with others. Unfortunately, this is the one big drawback with digital books. Sigh. :(

There are a few work arounds. You can form a “group.” And recently Amazon introduced “family sharing” which also involves linking accounts.

But what if you want to simply lend a book to a friend?

You can share a Kindle book ….if the publisher allows it. (note: the recipient does not have to own a Kindle. The Kindle app on their iPhone or iPad will work just fine.)

How to loan a Kindle book:

Bring up your Amazon account, and select “Manage Your Content and Devices.” There are several ways to navigate to that page, but I think that the easiest way is to go to a page with a Kindle book(s) and look across the top of the page, just below your search bar. On the far right, you’ll see “Manage Your Content and Devices.”

Click on “Manage Your Content and Devices” and you’ll be brought to a page that has tabs marked “content,” “devices” and “settings.” Click on “Content” and you will see all the books that you own … and the opportunity to do things with them. One of those things …. if the publisher allows it…. is to lend your Kindle book to anyone at all.

To the left of each book, you’ll see a little gray box with dots, under the column marked “actions.” Click on that box, and the possible actions (for that book) appear.

Here I have clicked on one of those boxes, and you can see all the choices, including “Loan This Title.”

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If the publisher does NOT allow lending, the option will simply not be there. So if you SEE the option, you can loan the book.

Click on “Loan This Title,” and you will bring up the screen, below.

From Skitch-2

As you can see, to loan the book, just enter the email address of your recipient (and a message if you would like).

When the receiver-of-your-book (the loan-ee? :) ) gets the email, all they have to do is follow the instructions to download the book to the device of their choice.

That’s all there is to it! (One note… you cannot read the book while it is loaned out.)

I wish that this option was available for ALL books, but for now, it’s not. It should be, (grumble, grumble) but it’s not. Maybe someday….

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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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Improving the Paperwhite: Amazon Introduces the Kindle Voyage

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 7.17.56 AMLast week the tech world was all abuzz about the new iPhones. In the middle of all that excitement, Amazon quietly released a bunch of new goodies. (at least it seemed like it was “quietly” to me….)

I know that many of my readers are HUGE Paperwhite fans (me, too!!!).

Honestly, I could not imagine how it would be possible to improve that device. It seems darn near perfect.

And yet, as technology moves forward, so do the devices, and Amazon has now ramped up their Paperwhite to a new level, and they are calling this NEW eReader the Kindle Voyage.

So how did they improve ‘perfect’?

1. It’s THINNER.

2. TWICE as many pixels as the Paperwhite, making the text super-crisp.

3. Added tapping sensors on the edge so that you can gently press to turn a page.
(I like love this. I missed my buttons.) You can still turn the page with finger swipes.

4. Automatic light sensors will adjust the light according to the light in the room. It will gradually decrease in a dark room, as your eyes adjust to the dimmer light.

5. General re-design, including a flush-front.

Wifi only, with special offers, costs $199. Removing the special offers hikes the price to $219. (I have the “special offers” appearing on my Paperwhite, and it really doesn’t bother me at all.)

I thought long and hard about this, because I really love my Paperwhite. I did not feel the need to level-up ……. UNTIL I saw that page-turning sensor. That is the one thing I have always missed on the Paperwhite. I am a bed-reader, and when you are comfortably reclining on your side, holding the kindle with one hand, it can be awkward and inconvenient to try and swipe the pages. It’s a nightly struggle to position the Paperwhite just right, and usually I don’t. I missed the old Kindle buttons on the earlier models.

And so I am going to try it. Amazon’s generous return policy makes this a no-brainer for me, because if I don’t like it, I can easily return it. No harm, no foul.

To my surprise, MANY people must be ordering this, because when I tapped the “buy” button on Friday (just a short time after the quiet launch) …. I was told that I won’t be receiving my Kindle Voyage until NOVEMBER 28! :shock: (when it first went on sale, the shipping date was in October!). Wow. I guess the market is strong for this new eReader.

Amazon has also released 4 other products.

1. A Fire HD tablet for only $99. Cheapest tablet available.

2. Fire HD KIDS Edition. “If they break it, we replace it. No questions asked.” If there are Kids in your life, this is worth a closer look.

3. FireHDX 8.9 Big improvements to this tablet.

4. Basic Kindle. Touch screen. No light, but lots of other features. $79

For further information on all of these products, just go to Amazon. They are all displayed on their home page with links to more details.

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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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