Bitchin' Blog Posts
: E-Reader Olympics
by SB Sarah | October 03, 2012 | Wednesday at 12:11 pm | 50 Comments
Last night my Kindle Paperwhite (which I've been calling the Kindle Paperweight without meaning to, and the name has stuck) arrived. I had this scheduled on my calendar as soon as I received the shipping notification. I wanted time completely alone to set up the Kindle - and to my surprise my sons were about as excited about the new Kindle as I was. They wanted me to open the box in front of them, which was bonehead easy, thanks to Amazon's truly (and I mean this) excellent packaging initiative.
Not only is the entire box easy to open (rip tab, lift lid, ahoy Kindle!) but the whole damn package is recyclable. I can't even tell you how much I love that.
The packaging is part of the presentation (something Apple figured out a long time ago) and my kids thought it was a big deal that I got to rip the paper off my Kindle box and open it with them. TA DA!
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by SB Sarah | September 06, 2012 | Thursday at 3:28 pm | 41 Comments
Amazon unveiled all the new toys today including the Kindle Paperwhite, available with WiFi only and with 3G access, and new Kindle Fire options with jaw-dropping cheap 4G dataplans.
The Kindle Paperwhites come in a 3G version ($179 with Special Offers and $199 Without) and a Wifi version ($119 with Special Offers and $129 Without).
There's been a good amount of chatter and coverage, and you can read a lot of the news articles about it at FastCompany (which is fast (hur) becoming one of my favorite magazines) and Mashable, and you can read a biiiiiiiig long page of specs at Amazon, too.
But wait, there's more, though without paperwhiteage: the Amazon WiFi Kindle also received an upgrade in the pageturn speed and the rendering of text (said to be "crisper"), and is on sale now for $10 less than it used to be. That Kindle is $69 with Special Offers and $89 Without.
A few thoughts of mine own:
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by SB Sarah | November 16, 2011 | Wednesday at 9:28 pm | 30 Comments
I had two questions when I opened the Kindle Fire package and started to play with the device last night:
1. Would this device be as easy to use as the other Kindle products, the ones that come with the world’s shortest printed user guide?
2. Who is the ideal customer or customers for the Kindle Fire?
No, wait, I had a third question:
3. Could I get through a device demo with Hubby on the sofa next to me without either of us saying, “FIRE! FIRE!”
There was a good bit of Beavis and Butthead while we tried out the device, including wonderful moments like:
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by SB Sarah | October 04, 2011 | Tuesday at 10:54 am | 1187 Comments
Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels is out in stores everywhere (or should be!), so let’s celebrate with HUGE GIVEAWAYNESS OF AWESOME!
So many authors contributed to EIKAL, and shared such amazing and valuable stories about their own experiences with romance that I wanted to celebrate EIKAL’s release with a GIANT BASKET of every author’s book that I could get my hands on.
PLUS, if you’re curious about digital reading, you get a choice of those, too (thanks to Jeaniene Frost for the idea!).
Here’s the deal: leave a comment, and tell me one thing you’ve learned from romances - silly, sad, serious, wtfish, whatever - and you’re entered to win.
This contest is open to anyone anywhere, including the space station (Hi Astronauts!), and I will ship internationally. You must be 18 or over, and this is void where prohibited. The comments are open from now until noon EDT, Tuesday 11 October.
What do you win?
Your choice of:
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by SB Sarah | June 20, 2011 | Monday at 10:38 pm | 21 Comments
Lately I’ve been using the Kobo app on the iPad to read, and I found myself turning to the iPad in the evening more often than the Kindle. I’ve been on a reading tear, not only because of the RITA Reader Reviews, which have damaged the schedule of my TBR list like whoa and moly, but because I’m super busy during the day and in the evening am ready to read and disappear into someone else’s story for awhile.
The Kobo app is interesting to me because of the way it tracks what I do, and shares stats with me about what and how I read. Even though I find the awarding of badges somewhat goofy in any app or community to which I belong, I found that I was curious what my stats looked like. Plus, with the Kobo Read On trillion minute challenge to read more and encourage donations to charities specified by readers, I wanted to see what my reading might contribute to their efforts.
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by SB Sarah | June 15, 2011 | Wednesday at 11:49 am | 36 Comments
I admit, I’m terribly curious to find out what the Kindle on-device library lending will look like, whenever it arrives this fall. But I learned recently of another library lending program that totally knocked my socks off. At the Cudahy Family Library in Cudahy, Wisconsin - where is that, you ask? It’s right here - the librarians have the Most Interesting Lending Program.
They lend Kindles.
No, really, they lend Kindles. Preloaded with a ton of books, each device devoted to a different genre.
I will let Michelle Gibbs, the Adult & Administrative Services Librarian (or, as I called her, Superpowered Librarian), explain the program.
Michelle Gibbs: We’ve got 6 Kindles that we loan out for 3 weeks at a time, and each is pre-loaded with 30-50 titles within a particular theme: Mystery and Suspense, Romance, Book Club Favorites, Nonfiction and Memoir and two Young Adult (different titles on each one).
Each Kindle has unique content; we made sure that we only loaded one copy of each book that we purchased, and if we had wanted the…
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by SB Sarah | May 23, 2011 | Monday at 10:08 pm | 62 Comments
A hard-to-find Loretta Chase is on Amazon for $2.99 digitally. I don’t know who “NYLA” is as a publisher, but with the square cover art and the artistic style of the image, I’m wondering if Chase self-published this book. Anyone know?
First out of the gate in News From My Tweetstream From BEA was Kobo’s announcement of a new ereader with a touch screen, selling for $129 and available next month (“in time for Father’s Day”) at many retailers including Indigo, Best Buy, WalMart and Borders.
I’ve been waiting to see what the new Kobo will look like, because I’m curious about how it will work, especially since I am wondering if a different reader will lure me away from Kindle III (“Motto: easy to load books, crap-ass organization.”) Kobo has user-created collections, and some dexterity in loading files that might appeal to me, and I adore how much of their data they like to share and talk about at conferences. I’m going to try to go fondle one at BEA this week.
From the Department of Backhanded Compliments, comes this article about summer reading wherein writer Allison…
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by SB Sarah | April 20, 2011 | Wednesday at 3:32 pm | 43 Comments
I had a feeling this would come eventually: Amazon announces library lending for the Kindle. Over 11,000 libraries are going to be linked to the Kindle universe “later this year” and according to the press release:
Customers will be able to check out a Kindle book from their local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer’s annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.
“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
I am presuming that if your local library does not have…
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by SB Sarah | February 22, 2011 | Tuesday at 4:06 pm | 47 Comments
There’s a software update coming to the Kindle, with some features that I suspect users will very much enjoy.
First, page numbers, not locations, so as to make the citing of passages easier for people who cite things regularly. 2 WOOHOOs and a fist pump for that.
Second, public notes. And I quote: “Any Kindle user—including authors, their fans, book reviewers, professors and passionate readers everywhere—can opt-in
to share their thoughts on book passages and ideas with friends, family members, colleagues, and the greater Kindle community of people who love to read.” (emphasis mine) So, hold up, instead of changing the software and updating it, then having the internets and the Twitters explode with the news that someone’s made your phone number, address, underwear size and most recent cholesterol number unless you go turn off the “Expose My Ass” setting, you’ve decided that people should OPT-IN to share their notes on a book?
Wow, Amazon. You and I don’t always agree on everything, but you get a high five for that one.
Third: social network rating and sharing: “If…
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by SB Sarah | February 17, 2011 | Thursday at 10:03 pm | 105 Comments
If you are left handed, and you use a digital reader, in which hand do you hold the device?
Conversely, if you are right handed, and you use a digital reader, in which hand do you hold your device?
This was something Jane Litte and I were talking about yesterday as we were getting ready for our session, eReading from the eReader’s Perspective. (Full conference update coming soon.) Our presentation covered the differing hardware, software, and customer support of the different readers, and what a curious device buyer needs to consider when shopping for a device.
The device Jane was examining specifically was the Nook Color, which has a touchscreen page turn (and no buttons) that cannot be customized. So the page forward is on the right side of the screen, and the page back is on the left. This cannot be changed.
ETA: as MsCrankyPants identified, I’m speaking specifically of the frame screen tap: “It is done by a quick light tap between the frame and the screen that will forward a page or go back a page. Tap on the right side of the NookColor to advance…
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by SB Sarah | October 14, 2010 | Thursday at 4:07 am | 22 Comments
After I started this week’s round up of reviews and opinions on various ereaders available to the book-reading, device-buying public, I received a mini review of the Bookeen Cybook Opus from Kathlyn. I asked if she’d be willing to expand on her review and describe what she likes about her device, and this is her response. I’m also working on a Kobo review - and if you have a device to suggest, let me know.
My e-reader is a Bookeen Opus. I like it for three reasons:
1. I find it easy to use.
2. I won it in a crazy fun contest.
3. I find it easy to use.
My first foray in to the world of e-books evolved out of a video game habit. After consulting a fellow gamer, followed by a quick internet search, I discovered how to convert e-books into jpgs and then download them to my Sony Play Station Portable (PSP).
The PSP, a handheld device like e-readers, allowed both horizontal and vertical viewing of the e-book jpg photos. I also liked that I could choose white text on a black background for…
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by SB Sarah | October 12, 2010 | Tuesday at 5:49 pm | 58 Comments
I write this with dismay, honestly. Despite some major faults, the Kindle does digital book reading, loading, and buying so well, and works so well for me, I’m using the Kindle. Not even the Sony Mercedes ebook reader could lure me away.
Every time I sit down at my computer, I find out about a new way to read, load or access books on the Kindle. I can sync books purchased at Amazon across six devices at this point, and I can email files to my device anywhere. Because of the way I interact with books (lots of them, in different formats, moving around towards me, all the time, pretty much always) the Kindle is the easiest and most versatile device for me.
That said, I fully recognize that (a) many folks loathe Amazon, (b) the Kindle doesn’t work as well if you’re not in the US because of digital book international rights asshattery, and (c) there are other options that would work better for different readers, particularly if you like to borrow books from the library or like to shop at different places for books - or like to…
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by SB Sarah | October 12, 2010 | Tuesday at 10:12 am | 48 Comments
I think of the three Sony readers with the updated touch screens as the Lexus, the Mercedes, and the Hummer. The Lexus, or the Sony Pocket, is slender, trim, comes in pink and is luscious. The Hummer is the Daily and my gosh golly it’s huge. Built like a Zagat’s guide on steroids, with wireless and a touch screen interface and did I mention it’s huge? It’s like a reading sky scraper.
The middle one, the Touch, I think of as the Mercedes. And I want to be clear here, the high-end car analogy, which I will absolutely beat into the ground because that’s what we do with analogies around here, is pretty apt and I don’t mean it as an insult. The new Sonys are expensive. The Touch is $229 US, the Pocket is $179, and the Daily is not on sale yet but one presumes higher than $230. Compare that to the Kindle, which is $189 for Wifi and 3G, and $139 for Wifi-only. The Nook is $149 for WiFi-only access. In other words, for $10-20 more, you can get a device that has Wifi-connectivity for…
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by SB Sarah | October 11, 2010 | Monday at 12:32 pm | 65 Comments
Three readers, one week: today and tomorrow I’ll be featuring reviews of the new Sony Touch, the Kindle 3, and the Nook - the latter by guest reviewer Shannon Stacey. I personally didn’t like the Nook. It was bottom heavy. It’s interface was clunky, poorly responsive, and the LCD at the bottom was hugely annoying.I got the fail flower all the time. I didn’t think it was comfortable. I liked the Kindle better.
But that’s my opinion and I know many, many people who adore their Nooks (HOLY GOATS WHO CAME UP WITH THAT NAME?!) (I promise that’s the last time I’ll mention it) (Ha. I liked. NOOK?! REALLY?! It goes so well with
I mean PubIt). So I wanted to allow those who really enjoy their Nooks (*cringe*) to have a chance to speak up about what they like.
I have long maintained that there is no one perfect reader, and much like cell phone advertisements, this isn’t the goddam Highlander where There Can Only Be One. There doesn’t have to be One Digital Reader To Rule Them All And Bind Them To Higher Prices For…
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by SB Sarah | September 14, 2010 | Tuesday at 10:32 pm | 7 Comments
A few weeks ago, someone tweeted (thank you, oh kind someone) that there were vintage Garwood novels available for digital pre-order at Amazon.com for a rather low and seductive price. I thought I hadn’t pre-ordered - as I mentioned in the previous entry, my memory, it is not so good - but it turns out I had, and when I found the file, I thought, Oh! Vintage Garwood! YUM.
So I opened the file, and… it wasn’t The Lion’s Lady. It was Castles. Hur? I vaguely remembered (*sigh*) that Angie James had said something about receiving the wrong file for her preorder, so I emailed her and said, “What’s going on? Am I nuts?”
Seriously, this is why I don’t pre-order books. Not because I don’t want to, but this one episode alone is enough to make me go barmy. I can’t remember if I preordered it, then I get the wrong file - I *think* - and I’m all confused.
Angie says, no, I’m not nuts. It’s a 2-in-1 file, though the book description doesn’t indicate that, and Castles is first. You have to skip to somewhere in the middle…
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