Thursday, December 29, 2011

Click here for all of the challenge information!
I was catching up on my blog reading and came across the 2012 TBR Challenge from Once Upon A Wanderer.  Go read about the challenge here or sign up here!

I'm joining the challenge AND putting myself on a "buying ban" for at least the month of January.  That way I'm not enticed to read anything new, which causes the novel to not count towards my goal.

If you are a blogger, love to read and want to be entered to win cool prizes... join the challenge!! Keeping in mind, this challenge goes on for an entire year!

My Goal: A Sweet Kiss

Levels:
1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

For a list of the rules go here.

Hosts:
Evie from Bookish - http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - http://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - http://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea -http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions

Wrap-up Post Schedule:
January - Donna (Theme: Let It Snow + Book Cover Challenge)
February - Nicole (Theme: Un-requited Love/Love Gone Wrong + Advice Column Challenge)
March - Rie (Theme: Green or Pinched + Green Cover Challenge)
April Bonnie (Theme: Easter + Mini Challenge)
May - Christa (Theme: MayDay - Disaster Books! + Cover Disaster Challenge)
June - Jenna ( Theme: Camping + Sentence Challenge)
July - Rie (Theme: International Day + Cover Comparison Challenge)
August - Angel (Theme: Summer Memories + Send Your Fav Character On Vacation Challenge)
September - Nicole (Theme: Life Changing Books + Mini Challenge)
October - Caitlin (Theme: Thanksgiving Theme + Share-A-Book Challenge)
November - Vicky (Theme: Spooky Halloween + Book Puzzle Challenge)
December - Evie (Theme: Xmas Bliss + Book Bachelor Challenge)

Think you'll join the challenge?  Even if you're not a blogger, this is still a really fun challenge!!  Happy Challenge Day!!

I want to know!!

Well my friends, 2011 is about to end. It's been a very crazy year and next year promises to be just as crazy! With the new year, comes new material to write on. With that said... I want to hear what you want to read about.  I don't just want your suggestions... I NEED them. heh. I'm good until Jan 4th, aaannnndd that's it.

Of course there will be more reviews, because I'm still reading like crazy. What types of books are you interested in? Specific titles or authors or genres?

I'm hoping to continue the How To series, but I only have a Kindle Keyboard. Are you interested in that still?

I'll still continue sale alerts or freebie alerts - letting you know when I find a good deal or chunk of freebies worth while.

Do you want to hear about my "To Read" list? I started doing that a while ago, but didn't really seem to get much response on it. Basically I'd let you know what books I've added to my list each week, if any that week at all, and where to get them.

A new little series I'm considering is Author's Corner. With a way better title, that one is lame. Maybe Tweeps or Super Authors! or Authors Who Rock! or Seriously? You haven't heard of --- yet? or LOOK WHO I FOUND!!.... I'll stop. haha. I would tell you about any authors of books, blogs, etc. that I have met on Twitter and where to find their stuff. Hmmm. I like that one. Maybe I'll just write it anyway. (smirk)

So. Many. Ideas!!! Help? Happy Last Three Days of 2011!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How To: Get the Most out of Your Gift Card

Since ebook gift cards make it much easier for friends, family, coworkers, etc. to get you a *gift* that keeps on giving... they are super popular.  But, like most things, they do eventually run out.  Here are a few tricks I've found that help me streeetttccchhh my cards out.

1. Budget Buying - instead of just buying the first book on your *wish* list... go through it and find as many ebooks as you can that are middle to low end prices (under $7) and buy those instead.

2. Buy only what you want right now.  If you found a book you just kinda like... but it's not under $7... then maybe you should pass on it for now.  Go for the ebooks you know you will read first.

3. Sales and Discounts and Coupons - double (or triple.. or quadruple?) up! *Try* to wait (super hard to do sometimes) for sale events or check out the discounted monthly deals or even the daily deals. Read the back of your card or details from e-gift cards to see if "valid with other offers" is or is not on there. Use coupons (search Google for some even) to help boost the discount.

4. Make two lists - one for the books you *must have* and one for the books that are just *eh... sounds good but...* Buy from the must haves list first!  Pair this with tip 2.

5. Bargain Hunt - Look around at other sites to find better deals! Shop 'til you drop....or until you get carpel-tunnel... heh. Shop the "after Christmas" sales!

6. Don't buy something just because you have a gift card. Wait to use the gift card, especially ones that do not expire, to get something you actually want.

7. Know the expiration date of your gift card. For in-store gift cards, use it within the year. Many online stores' gift cards never expire (Amazon and B&N for example) soooooo..... refer back to tip #6!

What do you do when you get a gift card to make it last?  Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kindle How To Recap

With over 5,000,000 Kindles sold as gifts this year alone, I thought I would recap all of the How To posts I have written. These posts are for the Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3) but can still help for Kindle and Kindle Touch users.  Sorry Kindle Fire owners, I can't help you yet! Starting out with an eReader can be very confusing... need to know how to do something that I haven't talked about? Want me to explain something in more depth? Leave a comment and let me know. I'd be happy to help!

Here are all of the How Tos I have written so far:
  1. Download Ebooks
  2. Ebook Lending
  3. Create and Use Collections on Kindle
  4. Recover Archived Items
  5. Quick Fixes for Kindle Errors
  6. Pick out the Perfect Case
  7. Use the Aa Menu
  8. Cleaning Your Device
  9. Buy Ebooks on a Budget
  10. Preview First Chapter
  11. Ebook Gifting on Kindle
  12. Pick Out eReader Accessories
  13. Use Twitter to Find New Ebooks
Good luck and enjoy your Kindle!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quick Tip (Holiday Edition)

Today's Quick Tip is where to start when you just get an eReader.  If you just got an eReader and haven't ever had one before then I bet you're trying to figure out how to use the thing!  They can be a little complicated if you aren't very comfortable with the new technology.  I have soooo many posts about how to do things on Kindle.  The best thing to do first is to charge your eReader battery fully before playing with it too much.  If you're like me and can't wait that long, plug it in and charge it while you're getting to know it.  I definitely recommend starting with the "start here" guide that comes with every device.  Yeah, they can be a little boring but they have a ton of information in them! If you do wait for it to charge, go set up an account on either B&N or Amazon and start ebook shopping! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

How To: Use Twitter to Find New Books

With the awesome new friends I've found on Twitter... I've also found tons of new books to read!  Authors, bloggers, publishers, publicists, fans.... so many people use Twitter to promote their books.  I don't personally tweet that much, but it's really fun to follow and read any upcoming news for books, Kindle, ebooks, Amazon... ya' know?  Many of the authors will even chat back with you!  Makes me feel special... (grins)

These are the people/groups I follow that have introduced me to new books, products and news:
  • LazarusStrain - tweets for Ken McClure an author - mystery and thriller/suspense fans will love this!
  • MALeslie1 - a writing duo that tweets about their books and their lives (amazing people!)
  • LegacyUniverse - an author of the Legacy Universe novels who tweets about his books and more fun geeky stuff
  • BestEbooks1 - a website that tweets about popular ebooks; great deals on ebooks
  • ABestsellerBook - a group who only tweet about best selling ebooks and books; great reviews on ebooks...perfect place to start if you want to try a best seller
  • JasonJackMiller - author who tweets about his books
  • HeidiRubyMiller - author who tweets about her books
  • RedAdeptReviews - a blog and twitter account that reviews ebooks by Indie and Commercial authors; a great place to start if you want to check out new authors
  • amazondeals - Gold Box deals tweeted by Amazon
  • kindlenews - the unofficial tweets about updates and news for the Kindle; perfect for Kindle fans
  • PixelofInk - my favorite website to get free ebooks; tweets about the free and discounted, high customer reviewed ebooks
  • KindleToday - news and updates about Kindle
  • kindlefreebies - links to free ebooks, cheap accessories, and just Kindle bargains in general
  • amazonbooks - official twitter account for Amazon books and ebooks; links, information and updates for books and the release dates
  • Horror_Nerd - author and horror novels and movies enthusiast
Following all of these might seem ridiculous... but someone has to know what's going on... right? I'm not crazy! My mother had me tested! (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory).  Twitter accounts are free to use, and extremely easy.  If you decide to get one or have one already... add me!! I'm HilyBee on Twitter. Happy Tweeting!  Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review Day: Please Stop Laughing at Me

Today is review day!! And this week's book is (drum roll).....

Please Stop Laughing at Me by Jodee Blanco
Rating: 5 stars
Go here for the Amazon description.

A memoir about a young woman who was bullied from a very young age all the way through until her senior graduation.  It's powerful, beautiful, angry, bitter, moving, disheartening, and extremely true.  Jodee went through serious physical abuse as well as outrageous mental abuse.  The novel keeps you interested because you want something to happen, someone to step in and help her, anything to make this poor young woman be happy and healthy.

The part I disliked the most was how every single one of the teachers, the Catholic nuns, the parents, neighbors, peers, principals... thought it was Jodee's fault.  Every time someone didn't believe her, help her, stick up for her, anything.... I just wanted to crawl inside the book and shake them.  Bullying is not okay.  A little teasing will happen, it's inevitable.  But there is a clear line between teasing and bullying... and the students in this novel were way past the teasing part.

Jodee Blanco now holds workshops, seminars, meetings, etc to shed light on bullying and how to stop it.  She has specific seminars for parents, ones for people being bullied, those who are the bullies, and even ones for schools/employers on how to recognize bullying.  She is such an inspiration for everyone, whether you were bullied or you are just simply trying to make a name for yourself.  I truly can't believe how much this woman has accomplished in her life, and how far she has come after the traumatic experiences she had.

This novel brought bullying to a whole new light for me.  I knew it was serious, but never did I think it was this bad.  I was appalled by the bullies actions and couldn't even imagine any of this going on... but then I thought about it.  I remember sticking up for people in school just like Jodee did.  I was teased, but never let it bother me and obviously pushed it out of my mind.

I normally don't go for memoirs.  I picked this one up as a free ebook (the deal lasted only 5 hours that day) and truly love it.  I even added it to my favorites!!

Happy Review Day!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Favorite Book!

Over the past year (since I've owned DragonToo my Kindle) I've read over 150 novels and 50 short-stories.  But not all of them have been added onto my favorites, and never have I added one to my favs before I even finished it!  This book is absolutely amazing, beautifully written, outstanding, crafty, heart-warming, thrilling, incredible, passionate...  If you liked: My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult or any of her books and anything by Karen McQueen... then you must read this book. Right. Now! Or whenever you finish the book you might currently be reading.. heh.

What is this book I speak of?!  Is it driving you insane not knowing yet!?  You didn't peak did you!?!?


Drum roll please!


This is a phenomenal novel that touches your heart in unexpected ways.  Go here for a description!  I was lucky enough to pick up this novel when it was free too, although I'd definitely pay full price for it!!  I loved this ebook so much I'm considering learning sign language (at least the basics..).  How fun would that be!? Be able to have a conversation without everyone else knowing/hearing!? That'd be so much fun!! I remember when my two sisters and I were little and made up languages all the time.  Heh.  My younger sister and I still do that all the time!!  This book makes you wish you had a twin all over again (like when you were little and really wanted one!).  It is available for loaning through Kindle so please ask if you'd like to borrow it.  Happy Review Day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Quick Tip

Today's Quick Tip is to have a book stand or easel.  These nifty little things hold up your eReader or paper book for you so you can read hands free!  The best part is, for eReaders, many hard cases have them built in!  I highly recommend these especially if you like to listen to use audio books but follow the text as well.  With the major shopping holiday right around the corner, keep an eye out for some great discounts on these little easels! I love love love mine! Happy Standing!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

Been so busy you didn't even realize what day it was huh?  Well.. here are a few ideas for those last minute gifts for people who love to read!
  • Gift Card - so easy right? Just get one for Amazon, B&N, Half Price Books or a local book store. Don't forget audio books too!
  • Book Marks - get one that is pretty to look at just in case they don't ever use it.  They could hang it up or set it on their desk or in a picture frame or inside a collage or in a scrap book!
  • Gag Gifts - don't be afraid to be silly! Get them a children's book or something cute that they might be like ...what?... Or you know.. crazy how-to books that could create a new inside joke!.. ha.  You know it'd be hilarious! Add an anonymous name to it if you're nervous.
  • Lit Wit - a trivia card set to *enhance* your reading, literature and book knowledge!
  • Book Page crafty items - these ornaments could be made so quickly or purchased and I love them! Go here for an entire list of thousands of items that could be replicated with old book pages or purchased! All of them are so unique and awesome!
 Even if you get a last minute gift, it doesn't have to be a generic one.  Get crafty! It's fun!  What do you do for last minute gifts? Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review Day: Legacy Universe

Banner made by Travis at ProCovers and author Martin Perry
**This review will be a little different. I am reviewing a fan club and a novel.**

The LURC is the Legacy Universe Reader's Club.  This club is for those who read the Legacy-Universe novels or people who want to read them.

Legacy-Universe is a series of science fiction novels that are captivating, well written, and outstanding.  The novels do an absolutely phenomenal job of making the reader believe he/she is actually on the planet with the characters.  Keep reading for a mini-review on Gentle Reminders (book one).

Members of LURC you get some perks. Go ahead.. tell someone you're part of LURC and see how awesome it sounds. (ahem..) Hilary LURC, CPC, Blogger extrodinaire, Kindle addict.... See!? Awesome.
  1. Lifetime 25% discount on ALL Legacy Universe novel releases which you can share with friends and family!
  2. Lifetime free Legacy Universe short story releases!
  3. Your name with a dedication or your choice of non-offensive URL (your book, your blog, your whatever) in ALL future Legacy Universe releases on the special LURC credits pages.
  4. Newsletters/Emails from Martin Perry (author) about book releases, discount codes, etc.
What are you waiting for? Go sign up to be an LURC member! Don't forget to check out the rest of the site too.
oh oh oh!! Guess what!!!!  I have discount codes to share!!

Codes for not one but two free short stories:

Legacy Universe: Prize Fighting - XW98U
Legacy Universe: Wandering Man - UQ77R

Go to Smashwords to pick up the ebooks! Just don't forget the codes... Smashwords is compatible with any eReader.

Guess what else!!! It gets even better!!

This week Gentle Reminders, book one in the Rosewell series, is on sale for only $.99 on Amazon! BUT... it is only this week! The promotional sale has ended! However, the ebook only around $4.00, so not bad.  For a mini review on this novel, keep reading!

Mini review for Gentle Reminders (book one):
Gentle Reminders is the first book in a series of seven.  This novel starts out a little slow, but immediately picks up by the end of the first chapter.  The detail, characters and plot really keep you intrigued and wanting more. Normally I am not a die-hard Sci-Fi fan, but I couldn't get enough of this novel.  It is written so well that I felt like I was in the novel.  My heart was pounding during the action *scenes* and my palms got sweaty when the characters found themselves in one crazy predicament after another. The author did an outstanding job of making the other planets extremely vivid and believeable.  I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a gripping Sci-Fi novel that takes you on a journey through the galaxy.

Book two in the series, Lessons Learned, was just released last week on Tuesday. Stop by Amazon or Smashwords and pick up the novels.  Don't forget to subscribe to the LURC to get newsletters from the author! If you stop by or sign up, make sure to mention I sent you.  Happy Review Day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Look what I found!!!

I recently came across some *new* ebook sites because of all the amazing people I have met on Twitter. Oh, Twitter... how much I love thee!  (ahem) Anyways... Here are a few new ebook sites you should take a look at.  They also have traditional paper books as well.

Smashwords.com
Goodreads.com

 Oh oh oh!!! I also learned something new about the Kindle yesterday! SUPER excited! I think I heard about this lovely little thing when I first got Dragon a year ago... just wasn't interested because it wasn't really useful... BUT now it is!!! So excited!!

Kindle.Amazon.com

Basically.. this is a site for Kindle users (sorry Nook and Sony friends...go read up on NookFriends and Sony LendMe Friends for your version of this) to share what they have been up to on the Kindle.  You can make a profile about you (like Facebook but less crazy and much much more simple) and your reading habits. THEN you can share that profile/information with your new Kindle friends.  This way you can keep track of what your friends are reading, what they rated the ebook, their notes and higlights from the ebook and more! So much fun! If you have a Kindle and are obsessed like me (heh) then go check it out! We can be friends. My Nickname is: HilyBee

I'm still learning the ropes for all three sites. Anyone want a How To for one, two, or all three of these new sites? Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy New Site Day!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Greatest Ornaments Ever!

I don't put up a Christmas tree at my apartment (yet) but... I love ornaments! Especially handmade ones or DIY style ornaments or clear glass ball ornaments with stuff inside. So many options!  Here are a few favorites of mine!  All of these can be found on Etsy.com! I linked them all, so please check out the sellers! All of the sellers have more than one style of book page ornaments too!

This flower is so awesome looking! I bet they are hard to make too.

This glass ball is so elegant!

I love that this one has a snowman inside it! And snowflakes on the outside! So cute!
By the same maker of the snowman, this one has a delicate little flower inside! I wonder how they get it in there and keep it so perfect looking?! Kind of like the ship-in-a-bottle thing I guess.

I love how curly the pages are in these.  They look incredible!

For all the comic book fans out there... this one is for you! So amazing!
I love the glass ornaments with book pages inside them! I think I'm going to make these! Anyone want one? haha. Make sure to stop by the Etsy sellers' shops! They have so many different ornaments!  The people who make them do such a great job! What are your favorite ornaments? Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 9, 2011

How To: eReader Accessories

eReader: Check!  Accessories: uh...uhm... hhm... ?  Don't know what to buy? Get an eReader as a gift for someone? Thennnn....  you need to go to the mall!! or just shop online like I do.. haha
  • Protection - buy a case or cover or roo or bag or slip cover or neoprene cover or small purse that closes or...... anything that will keep your case clean and dirt free!
  • Lights - something worth having but not 100% necessary. Pick one up that can easily fit inside your case so you don't have to worry about carrying it around separately.
  • Cleaning (dry)- pick up a microfiber cloth or small piece of 100% soft cotton fabric from the leftover fabric shards at a craft store.
  • Cleaning (wet)- pick up some glasses cleaning wipes or electronic wipes.. just never ever ever spray cleaner directly onto your screen.  The sprays don't always clean off well enough and can get inside your device.  BAD.
  • Screen Protection -  Great for those people who use touch screens or multiple users per device. Make sure to get ones that actually fit your screen size.  Don't be like me and try to cut your own.  It doesn't turn out well.
  • Decals or Skins - Do. Not. Buy. These. unless you are okay with never being able to take them off without leaving a slightly sticky or white film residue... eeeww.. But if you have your heart set on getting one (like I did before I realized they are just giant stickers that can't ever come off) make sure you get one that you will always love.. treat them like a tattoo. okie dokie?
  • Headphones - if you like to *read* audio books.. pick up a pair of tiny earbuds or headphones that can compact... they will save you the embarrassment of having the audio book read out-loud at a restaurant.. or while waiting at the Dr. office.. not like I did that or anything...heh.
Happy Accessorizing!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is deciding on when to read another book edition #2.  Scenario:  You just finished a book that is so memorable (either good or bad... hopefully good!) that even after waiting a full day you just can't stop thinking about it! And it's driving you insane!!!  Well, have no fear! Here is a solution!!  Go tell someone about it! Anyone!  It could be a random person walking down the street, your best friend, your dog or cat, even yourself (record a memo or write it down) or me!  Just talk talk talk about it!  By talking about the book, it will better help you understand why it is you can't stop thinking about it and then you can steer the conversation in a different direction.  Like to trains or animals or food.. or something really off the wall like why does lint get stuck on the bottom of a broom?... then next thing you know... you won't be thinking about it anymore! Crisis solved!  Just be sure the person you're chatting with knows it's a book.  You don't want them getting too creeped out by you.  Go watch that link.  Just not at work....you want the sound up!  And just try not to laugh! That may even be a good way to forget as well.  heh.  Happy Forgetting!

So... I've been asked to divulge exactly what book made me write this post. Here ya go! Darkness Under the Sun (novella) by Dean Koontz. If you read it, and sit through the whole thing... tell me how it goes!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gift Ideas at Every Price Level

Many people will be getting eReaders for the upcoming Holidays.  Here are few gift pack ideas for different price levels.

Side Note: Each bullet represents one gift pack.  Prices will vary as well as tax percentage.  All prices based off US dollars.  Remember to consider shipping prices and time if purchasing online.


$5
  • 1 ebook (3.99 each)** 
  • 4 ebooks (.99 each)**
  • 2 ebooks (1.99 each)**
  • 4 pack AAA batteries for a light (4.99 per pack)
  • e-gift card (sent via email with a card)
  • 1 screen protector
  • 2 microfiber cloths
$10
  • 9 ebooks (.99 each)**
  • 2 ebooks (3.99 each) plus 1 ebook (1.99)**
  • e-gift card (sent via email with a card)
  • 1 eReader light
  • 3 pack of screen protectors
  • 1 microfiber cloth plus 30 ct. box of wet cloths
  • 1 eReader sleeve
  • 1 eReader skin/decal
  • AAA Battery charger
$15
  • 14 ebooks (.99 each)**
  • 4 pack AAA batteries plus a gift card
  • e-gift card (sent via email with a card)
  • 1 eReader light and 1 pack of AAA batteries
  • 1 eReader skin/decal plus 1 screen protector
  • 1 eReader gel case plus 2 screen protectors
  • 1 eReader sleeve
  • 50 ct. box of wet cloths plus 1 microfiber cloth
  • 1 battery charger plus 1 extra pack of AAA rechargeable batteries
$20
  • 4 ebooks (3.99 each) plus 3 ebooks (.99 each)**
  • e-gift card (sent via email with a card)
  • 80 ct. box of wet cloths plus 2-3 microfiber cloths plus 1 battery charger
  • 3 microfiber cloths plus 1 eReader light plus 1 pack of rechargeable batteries
  • $5 gift card plus 1 eReader light plus 1 pack of batteries
  • 1 eReader light plus $10 gift card
  • 1 eReader hard case
  • 1 eReader sleeve plus 1 eReader light
  • 1 eReader sleeve plus 2 screen protectors
$25
  • 1 eReader hard case
  • 1 eReader light plus 50 ct. box of wet cloths plus 2 microfiber cloths plus $5 gift card
  • e-gift card (sent via email with card)
  • 1 gel case plus 3 screen protectors plus 1 eReader light plus 1 pack of AAA batteries
  • 1 eReader sleeve plus 3 screen protectors plus $5 gift card
  • 100 ct. box of wet cloths plus 3 microfiber cloths plus 1 eReader skin
  • 1 battery charger plus 2 packs of AAA rechargeable batteries
  • 1 eReader sleeve plus 1 eReader light plus 1 pack AAA batteries
  • 5 ebooks (3.99 each)**
  • 4 ebooks (4.99 each)**
  • 2 best selling ebooks (11.99 each)**
$30
  • 1 eReader hard case plus 2 screen protectors plus eReader light
  • 1 eReader hard case plus 1 eReader light
  • 12 pack microfiber cloth plus 1 eReader light plus 1 AAA pack of batteries plus 1 eReader sleeve
  • e-gift card (sent via email with card)
  • $10 e-gift card (sent via email with card) plus 1 eReader sleeve plus 1 screen protector
  • 3 best selling ebooks (9.99 each)**
  • 1 best selling ebook (14.99 each)** plus $15 gift card
  • 5 ebooks (3.99 each)** plus 1 eReader sleeve
  • 2 best selling ebooks (14.99 each)**
  • 1 best selling ebook (14.99 each)** plus 1 eReader sleeve plus 1 microfiber cloth
  • 5 ebooks (5.99 each)**
$40
  • 1 eReader JAVOedge hard case with stand (online purchase)
  • 1 eReader JAVOedge hard case with stand plus $5 gift card (online purchase)
  • 1 eReader hard case plus 1 eReader light plus 1 pack AAA batteries
  • 1 eReader light plus 2 packs AAA batteries plus 1 eReader sleeve
  • 1 eReader hard case plus $15 gift card
  • 1 eReader light plus 50 ct. pack of wet cloths plus 1 microfiber cloth plus 1 eReader sleeve
  • e-gift card (sent via email with card)
  • 2 best sellers (14.99 each) plus $10 gift card
$50
  • 1 eReader JAVOedge hard case with stand plus 4 screen protectors
  • 1 JAVOedge hard case plus 1 eReader light plus 1 pack of batteries
  • 1 JAVOedge hard case plus 1 eReader light plus 4 screen protectors
  • 1 hard case with stand
  • 1 eReader hard case plus $25 gift card
  • 1 eReader hard case plus $10 gift card
  • 3 best selling ebooks (14.99 each) plus 1 ebook (4.99 each)
  • 1 eReader sleeve plus 1 eReader light plus 2 ebooks (3.99 or less each) plus 4 screen protectors plus 5 microfiber dry cloths plus 50 ct. box of wet cloths
**eBooks can be given as gifts via email; leave enough money for tax; shipping/delivery is free; Please read Kindle Gifting for more information.**

Gift cards at every level can be stretched out to get more than one purchase.  I plan to be posting my tips and tricks on how to stretch your gift card after Christmas (Dec. 25), so stay tuned!  I hope these gift ideas help.  Leave any other suggestions or changes needed in the comments!  For information about what dry cloths, wet cloths, and JAVOedge case I have/use, please read: Picking Out the Perfect Case and  Keeping Your Device Clean.  Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Good, The Amazing, The Terrible - Recap!

I can't believe it!  I've reviewed sooo many books on here already! If you've missed them, here are the links to each review.  Have a book or ebook you want me to read or review?  Please leave me a comment with the title and author.  Many of my review days have multiple books/ebooks on them from different authors. Check them out!
Follow me on Twitter: HilyBee
Have you read any of these? What do you think of them?
Happy Review Day Recap!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick Tip (Holiday Edition)

Today's Holiday edition Quick Tip is for reading.  It's a busy busy busy time of year, so make sure you pick out books that are not super long.  Reading something long when you're going to be busy makes any book turn boring very quickly.  When you spend too much time reading a book, it doesn't matter how good it is, you will lose interest in it.  I recommend short-stories, novellas or books that have around 300-400 pages for this time of year!  Try books such as Donor (Ken McClure), Soul Screamers Series (Rachel Vincent), The Hunger Games Trilogy (Suzanne Collins), and Hellbender (Jason Jack Miller). Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How To: Kindle Gifting (ebook gifting)

AHA! I found the information I was looking for! Happy dance time!

Kindle Gifting is when you buy an ebook for someone else and *gift* it to them through an email.

Amazon is still tweaking this little system, but for now it's still pretty amazing!  Instead of getting a gift card, you can purchase the exact book they want and send it to them!

There are a few rules of course.  Which includes some exclusions.  *cough lame cough*  

FAQ information about Kindle Gifting:
  • You can *track* the order - Amazon will send you a purchase receipt, a "your friend got the email" receipt, and a "your friend opened the email receipt and accepted the gift" (last one is optional)
  • You can resend your digital gift if for some reason the email gets lost (or put into a spam folder.. or deleted)
  • Gifted books can still be loaned
  • There are no additional charges (just pay for the ebook) for gifting.  Plus! Think of how it will save you on wrapping, postage or even on the card (send an e-card instead!)
  • The gift can be redeemed for a gift card (so if everyone bought your friend the same book.. no worries! They can turn it into a gift card instead.. I know it defeats the purpose.. but still handy!)
  • You cannot (yet) send ebooks to friends who live out of the country (lame!) because of copyright laws (understandable... ish).. but if you do go through with the purchase before knowing that... they can change it into a gift card instead! yay!
  • Free ebooks (obviously), periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers) and pre-order books cannot be gifted (yet)
All you have to do is go the page of the ebook you wish to gift.  Click "give as a gift" instead of "add to your cart" or "one-click purchase".  Then it will send you through the process.  All you need is the recipient's email and an Amazon account.  Super easy and quick!  No more waiting to deliver a gift to someone.
Remember when I said Amazon is still tweaking this system?  Keep that in mind.  I can definitely see some room for improvement and changes.    I have over 379 ebooks.. I'd love to give ones I've read away.  That'd be the cherry on top if I could! (So far... I can't...)  I want to know if they will ever make it so already purchased ebooks could be gifted?  Like a one-time only gift to someone else versus a one-time lend? Hmm....

Follow me on Twitter!! I can't believe how much fun it is!! I re-tweet book releases, other blogs, information about ebooks and eReaders!!  Happy Gifting!

Monday, November 28, 2011

How To: Preview First Chapter before Purchasing!

One of the best best best feature Amazon offers their customers is the preview first chapter and search inside a book! I LOVE these features! Honestly they have saved me tons of money and time.  The first chapter can make or break a novel.. If it doesn't catch your attention and hold it.. then why keep reading it right?

Now this ties in with the Web browser that is still in *experimental* on any Kindle before the Touch.  All you have to do is go to the page of the ebook you're considering.  See if it says *preview first chapter* near the *purchase* button.  If so.. I highly recommend clicking it!

To see what I mean go here.  This is the page for 1Q84.  A book I can't wait to get and have even considered purchasing! Shocking I know!  Anyways.. Go to the right hand side of the page.  There is a second box (it's green in the US) under the first blue purchase box.  Within the green box, there is a *read first chapter free* button.  Voila! The first chapter is free!  The only downside is you have to read it on the web.  That's where it ties in to the experimental web browser.  You can do this on your Kindle, it just takes longer and won't look as nice (yet).  I can't wait for the browser to be done!

Happy Preview-ing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Deals: Amazon and B&N

For the Kindle
Cyber Monday deals have started on Amazon! They will be holding the deals all week long and adding new ones as they become available. yay! Go here for thousands of ebooks under $3.99.  Pixel-Of-Ink will be highlighting the best deals of the week as well, so go subscribe to their daily email newsletter if you haven't already.  POI will only feature the ebooks with average ratings of 3.5 stars and up; however, they showcase the best ebooks from any genre.  Makes shopping way easier! I haven't found any deals that are different for cases, lights, skins/decals, etc.  Let me know if you found any!

For the Nook Nook deals have expired!
B&N Cyber Monday deals haven't started yet.  BUT go here for a 30% off coupon for online shopping.  They have continued their Black Friday deals as well.  Go here for those deals as well as the Cyber Monday deals when they become live.  The Nook accessory "must haves" are on sale, up to 44% off.  Go here for those sales.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review Day: Donor

Today's review day!! yay!!

Donor by Ken McClure
rating: 5 stars  Adding this one to my favorites!!


Go here for the Amazon description.  I wrote this review on my NotePad app for DragonToo (my Kindle) about 5 minutes after I finished the book.

An exceptional novel that is very well written! The characters create such a deep connection with each other it's hard not to feel like you're really there.  From the very beginning, the plot twists and turns so smoothly and effortlessly that creates a background chocked full of details  Not many novels can provide the amount of detail and background Donor contains without boring and losing the reader; however, Ken McClure walks that fine line with ease and perfection.

My favorite part was being able to see the entire story from almost every character's view point (parents, hospitals, government/Sci-Med, Dr. Dunbar, the nurses and doctors...).  This is by far the most captivating, intriguing, and twisted medical mystery novel I have ever read.  I cannot wait to continue reading more from the series! I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys the television shows House and Bones.  This is truly a novel for every reader from ages 15-16 and up. It's not overly complicated in a way that can confuse, but has enough detail to keep even the most avid of readers pleased.  This novel can be classified as medical mystery, thriller, suspense, mystery, investigative mystery, heart-warming, twisted and fiction.

If you would like to borrow my Kindle ebook edition of Donor, please send me an email with email address attached to your Amazon.com account and when you would like me to send it.  I highly recommend just picking it up on Amazon especially since it is super cheap ($1.36).  Currently you cannot buy the ebook edition from B&N for the Nook.  But you can get the paperback and hardback editions from either Amazon or B&N.  Check around local book stores and libraries if you want the paper edition.

Go here for the Facebook page for author Ken McClure!  Happy Review Day!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Twitter Find!!!!

I started a Twitter account just to follow authors and to help promote my blog.  I've met some fantastic authors, editors, co-authors, and people who tweet for them (assistants, family, friends...).  It's ridiculously fun to chat with them about their books, especially after I read them!!  Through Twitter, I have found tons of new books and series to try out.  I have a follower (who I also follow...) that tweets for the author Ken McClure. Also, check out the Ken McClure Facebook page for more information!  I was looking into McClure's novels and couldn't believe I hadn't read them yet! They are exactly the type of books I love: suspense, thrillers, mystery, very slight romance, puzzling, intense... and 100% worth every penny.

I picked up a book by Ken McClure, titled Donor.  Donor is the first book in a series of five all about Dr. Dunbar.  Go here for an Amazon description and place to buy it.  It's SUPER cheap for the Kindle too, I paid $1.38 (it's now only $1.36...a $.02 difference is apparently the Black Friday special...heh).

Once I sat down and actually just read the book for more than 20 minutes at a time... it only took me about 2 days.  I couldn't get enough of it!  I even went and purchased the rest of the series within 15 minutes of ending the book.  I haven't EVER done that.  I usually wait until they go on sale for super cheap... but I actually paid full price for the Kindle versions.  I haven't paid full price for a book or ebook for over 10 years.  I purchased over 300 ebooks in the last year alone.  Let that sink in for a minute..

If that doesn't tell you how excited I am about these books then I don't know what else will.  A review will be up later this week for Donor.  I loved it sooooooooo much I literally typed the review on my Kindle.... plus I didn't have a PC nearby.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

eReaders vs Paper Books

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people who don't use an eReader is they don't want to convert because of (insert giant list of reasons here).  Some people even get a little defensive when I prove them wrong or just *stop* listening... Those are the same people who now worship their eReaders and can't live without them.  HA!

Here are a few arguments about physical books versus eReaders.

Physical Books are better because... Libraries have the books for free.  I can shop at Half Price Books or local used book stores and get books cheaper than on an eReader.  Ereaders are too expensive.  I like to hold a physical book.  I like the smell of new books.  I like hearing the sound of opening a new book.  I don't like looking at a computer screen all day.  It's too small.  You can't borrow them.  The books are more expensive than paper-copy books.

eReaders/ebooks are better because.... (see how my argument is longer? heh.)

Public library books can only be checked out for a short period of time, often have wait-lists for popular books, smell funny (like perfume or cigarette smoke or coffee or dust or just plain weird!?), have late fees if you don't return them on time, are not guaranteed to come back in the same condition as before, are germ breeding grounds, only have 1-2 copies of a book per library (so you have to wait forever to get it) and typically get ruined within a short amount of time especially those that get read a ton.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE libraries.  But I love my Kindle more.

Ebooks are actually cheaper by at least 25% compared to paper editions, for the new ebooks, and up to 98% cheaper for older editions.  Ebooks will never change condition, can be *written* in even if you borrow it from someone, can be kept for a longer period of time when loaned out, can be purchased and delivered within minutes of it being released.

One eReader costs less than 12 new hardcover books (price around 12.95).

Holding a physical book is great! BUT... you have to hold it open, bookmark your spot with something that might fall out, write any notes or passages you want to remember on a sheet of paper that will most likely get lost and they can be so thick or large that you have to hold with two hands just to keep reading.  Kindle = hands free or one hand and weighs less than a paperback book.

The e-ink pearl screens are so amazing! They look like an actual book, not a computer screen.  You can read for longer periods of time without your arms getting tired or your eyes hurting.  You can change the font size to suit your needs, not get the large print (if they even have it) or squint to read tiny print.

Guess what?!? You CAN loan out or borrow ebooks.  Even from your local library and friends!

I've converted so many people with these arguments.  Kinda like the Kindle comercial where the girl has to fold down the corner of a page and then switches to an eReader.  ha.  Happy Conversion to eReaders Day!

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is reading a book description.  It's harder to focus on the actual story if you are constantly trying to figure out what in the world the book is about! I highly recommend reading the book description that comes with the book.  If the description doesn't give you enough information, try reading a few reviews on the book online, but only read enough to get the information you want.    Many people have spoilers in their book reviews though.  Beware of the spoilers!!!!!  Spoilers are going to ruin everything about reading the novel for yourself.  And be careful that their opinion doesn't sway your opinion before you even get to have one!  Ask your friends if they had read it too.  Happy Reading!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review Day: Chosen

I recently finished an ebook titled Chosen, by Paula Bradley.  It's a faith-based, Christian, fiction, Sci-Fi novel that is only 344 pages long.  But it feels like it's way way way way longer.  And I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing this time.  I have very conflicting feelings about this novel.. so read all the way to the end to get my full opinion.

Go here to read the description on Amazon before reading me review.  No worries.  I'll just sing the waiting song from Jeopardy!

I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.  Amazon customer rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

This novel reels you in with the intriguing mix of religion, Sci-Fi, romance, adrenaline pumping thrills and detailed characters.  I would only reccommend this book if you love ridiculously long novels.

What I expected to be something extremely interesting turned into a crazy, chaotic mess that was hard to follow at times.  The chapters jump from being on Earth to being on Planet X and quickly turns into a Sci-Fi novel.  It has taken me much much longer than normal to get through this novel.  Usually a 344 page books takes me about 3-4 days to read with school and work.  This one took two and a half weeks.  I was not a fan in the beginning of the book and definitely not a fan in the end.  The story had some amazing chapters that ultimately kept me hanging on... it could get better right?  Well... needless to say I'm extremely happy I'm done with this book.


Chosen is sold in ebook and printed paperback.  If you'd like to borrow it and have a Kindle or Kindle App... just ask!  I don't recommend purchasing it unless it is free.  Happy Review Day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Add Special Offers to your Kindle!

The Kindle with Special Offers is cheaper because it is sponsored by multiple companies.  Well, if you already had a Kindle before the special offers version was available, you might be feeling a little left out.  The offers give you various discount codes, coupons, etc. for a certain company.  Guess what!? You can add the offers to your Kindle for free now! yay! (Thank you POI for telling me!)  Go here for more information or how to subscribe to it.

I'm debating on it.  The offers will give you different screen-savers that are adds, will give you more discounts and send the offers to your Kindle.  Sometimes the deals will be Kindle/Amazon related, other times it can be cars, food, credit cards, cosmetics, clothing, toys.....PLUS you can unsubscribe at any time you want if you decide you don't like it!!  If you already have the special offers, you can now unsubscribe as well! Just go here for the information.

Happy Special Offers Day!

Kindle Owner's Lending Library Review

I have talked about the Lending Library in at least four posts since it was announced... but now that I have actually tried it out, I have a slightly different opinion.  I started a trial Prime membership on Nov. 7th.  I was super excited because I would get to use the Kindle Owner's Lending Library... then the restrictions hit...

You can only get one free/borrowed Kindle book per month.

 I guess I didn't read the fine print well enough at first.  I understand why they added this restriction, but it's not really worth it for me.  Don't get me wrong, it is still a phenomenal program! But....I already get about 4 free ebooks in one day! AND I get to keep them!  I've read over 250 Kindle ebooks in the past year since I've had Dragon/Dragon Too.  At least 90% of those ebooks have been free.  One free ebook per month, no matter how new it is, does not appeal to me.  Read my post titled "How To: Book on a Budget" to learn about how I get so many ebooks for free!

If you don't read as much as I do (if you are a normal person...) then the lending library is still worth it!  I still highly recommend the program as long as you 1) already have a Prime membership or 2) will use the Prime membership for more than just the lending library.

Now if they ever choose to change the program and make it 3-4 free ebooks a month that are newish... I will consider getting the Prime membership again.  So... have you tried out the lending library? If so, what did you think? I'd love to hear about other experiences!  Happy Lending Library Review Day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Gifts

It's that time of year again when people start shopping like crazy for the Holidays.  Here are a few gift ideas for someone who wants or owns an eReader!

For those who already own an eReader:
  • New case - find out what generation of eReader they have and pick up a new, inexpensive, neoprene case or cover.  These are great when you're trying to pack light!
  • Light - see if they have a light for their eReader.  If not.. these are great inexpensive gifts!
  • Batteries - if they have a light.. they'll need some AAA batteries! Pick up a four pack or even some rechargables with a charger!
  • Gift Card - get them a gift card for either Amazon or B&N.  They'll be extremely thankful!
  • Ebooks (Amazon only) - gift an ebook to them! Go here for instructions.
For those who want/are getting an eReader this Holiday season:
Try to team up with whomever is getting them the eReader (parents, husband/wife, fiance, sibling, etc.) so you know exactly which one they are getting and what else they may be getting with it.
  • Case - every eReader needs a case.  There are plenty of inexpensive, easy to care for cases that can be purchased online or in stores.  If you're bargain hunting, online is definitely the best place. Just order early!
  • Light - just like reading a book you need to have good lighting! Pick up a light that will go with the generation of eReader they have.
  • Gift Cards - a great way to help the person start their ebook/audio book collection!
  • Batteries - Get them a light? Don't forget some batteries!
  • Cleaning materials - touch screens get dirty and nobody likes to use a dirty screen! Pick up some eye-glasses cleaning wipes or dry cloths (NOT the sprays though!)
  • Give them the batteries and cleaning materials first.  Throw them off completely! Then they'll be dieing to know what goes with them! The anticipation is so much fun!
 Just make sure you get gift receipts for anything that can be returned... just in case! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is keeping your eReader warm!  Since the weather is getting colder, it is crucial to not leave your eReader unprotected.  Extreme heat or extreme cold can cause your eReader to malfunction and die.  Which is extremely sad!  Plus, since it's getting down to the *wire* for Holiday shopping, shipping will take longer to get the replacement!!  Since most warranties do not cover mistreatment like this, make sure you keep your eReader safe and cozy.  Wrap up your device to prevent it from the extreme weather, but never leave your eReader in your car or direct sunlight for more than one hour.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Early Shipping!!

If you purchased a Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire... GUESS WHAT!!! Amazon has begun shipping them out!! If you have pre-ordered one, get ready! They began shipping them on November 14! yay!!  If you get one, let me know how the work! I'd love to know more about them!

Happy Early Christmas!!

Pre-Black Friday Deals!

Amazon is holding a countdown to Black Friday with even more sales! There are deals in just about every department, but not all of them are really different so shop smart.  Go here for the countdown to Black Friday deals for all departments.  Keep in mind Amazon is an online based retailer so their major deals will come on Cyber Monday!

I will keep updating this as new stuff is added. They are up to 80% off this week! yay!  Go here for the pre-Black Friday book deals.  Some of the deals will expire though so make sure you watch out! If you've been waiting to get a book, this would be a great week to pick it up!

A little confused about Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Black Friday (November 25) is the day after the US Thanksgiving (November 24) where almost every single retailer in the US heavily discounts their merchandise.  It's the best shopping day of the year for those people who want to get the best deals for items.  The deals only last 24 hours, however some store do give out vouchers/rain-checks if they run out of something.  The deals will start as early as 1am and go almost all day long.. and yes people actually get out of bed to go shopping! haha.

Don't forget Cyber Monday (November 28 this year)!! Cyber Monday is when online retailers will have major discounts.  These deals will only last 24 hours and from what I know they do not give out rain-checks or vouchers... first come first serve online!  The best part is!? You don't have to leave your home to get the best deals for the Holidays! Sleep is your friend!  Some online retailers will participate in both sale events but will have different sale prices for each day.

Don't forget to share the links with your friends and family! The share buttons are below each post.  Happy Pre-Black Friday Shopping!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wish List and Purchasing Tip

Everyday I get emails about the *hot new bestsellers* for Kindle.  So of course I search through them falling for the toy commercial ploy all over again.  Thinking  "I gotta have these books!"  Since I don't really have the time to read all the ebooks that have ever existed...(dang it!).... I have to sift through the books and carefully choose which ones to actually purchase.  My book taste changes all the time.  To prevent myself from regretting a purchase I.......

step 1: open list (mine are usually emails)
step 2: peruse the list
step 3: add which ones you *think* you like to wish list A (or in my case... Books I Might Like) on Amazon
step 4: save and close wish list A
step 5: wait at least a couple days.. then go through wish list A again... do you still like the books you picked out? (repeat this step as much as you feel it is needed...sometimes I repeat it 3-4 times for one book)
step 6: if yes to step 5, move the books you still like from wish list A to wish list B (mine is titled Kindle Books)
step 6: if no to step 5, delete the books from your list and move on
step 7: purchase books at your leisure from wish list B

side note: I keep all of my wish lists on Amazon to keep it simple.

Ebooks are constantly changing price and going on sale.  So wait a little while before you purchase something to get the best prices.  Even if a book jumps out at you, don't purchase it right away (unless it's free or on sale of course).  Check with your Kindle or Nook friends to make sure they don't have the book already, or for their opinion on the book.  Library Lending has begun in some states for Kindle, so be sure to check your local library!  If you're a Prime member, click on the ebook to see if it is available for free to borrow too.  Happy Wish List Making!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review Day: If I Die

I just finished If I Die by Rachel Vincent (about... 20 minutes ago...ha).  This is currently the *final* book in the Soul Screamers Series, although I predict either another series or more add-ons to come! I reviewed all of the others a while back, so go check out that review as well!

If I Die - 5 out of 5 stars
This is by far the best one in the series.  Gripping, thrilling, suspenseful, chilling, incredible, passionate, mind-blowing good... I loved it!  It took me about six days to read because I had to take breaks for school and work. heh.  If you've read any of the Soul Screamers series... you MUST read this one too! I can lend it out!

Go here for a book description.  Do not try to read this novel if you haven't read ALL of the others first, including the novellas.  It will 100% spoil the entire series and you will be super confused.  Many of the other novels and novellas in the series don't depend on the previous books, but this one does and heavily.  But that's what makes it so good! Finally all of the past actions and plots made a difference!

If you haven't read anything from this series and want an amazing (my favorite!!) series to read... I can lend out the entire series to you if you have a Kindle or Kindle App, of course one book at a time.  A perfect sci-fi, fantasy, YA, semi-romance, friendship/relationship... it's an all around amazing set of books.  Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Quick Tip (Holiday Edition)

Today's Holiday edition Quick Tip is Black Friday shopping.  Black Friday shopping is the day after Thanksgiving (in the USA).  It starts as early as midnight and 1:00 am!  Only get up early if the sale is actually worth it.  Don't get up to go shopping just because the item you want it a whole $3.00 off.  That's not worth the lines and wait! Be sure to check online too.  Many companies, such as Target and WalMart, have the same sales and sometimes even better sales online.  Shopping online for Black Friday saves you gas, a headache or two, waiting in line and having to get up before even the birds do.  Happy Black Friday Shopping!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quick Tip! (Holiday Edition)

Today's *Holiday Edition* Quick Tip is gift cards for eReaders.  Buying a gift card for eReaders will allow them to pick out exactly which ebooks, audiobooks, or apps they want instead of you guessing.  Amazon and Barnes & Noble sell various levels of gift cards.  Even $5.00 gift cards can be used for more than one book! Both sites offer a large amount of ebooks for under $1.00 each.  If you got a gift card... try making it stretch by watching out for sales and discounts.  Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More about the Kindle Owner's Lending Library

I can't help it! So. Much. Information!  This is a program for Amazon Prime members.  It lets you borrow/rent over 5,000 ebooks for free.  There are some down sides to the program, considering it's brand new (announced Saturday, Nov 5).

Go here for a full list of prime eligible ebooks!  I can guarantee the program will be expanding, changing, evolving into something even more spectacular (if that's even possible) during the upcoming months.

I've been doing a ton of reading on this program so I can get as familiar as possible with it.  I really can't wait to try it out!  There's a ton of discrepancy with the program on the publisher/author side of the deal, so hopefully it gets worked out.  Read more about that here.

Pros:
  • Free ebook rentals
  • Unlimited reading time - borrow as many times or as long as you want!
  • Over 5,000 ebooks available from 100 top sellers to the classics
  • New program means lots of changes to come
  • Similar to a regular library
  • Ebooks only
  • One flat fee of $79 per yea
  • Saves you hundreds of dollars
  • Highlights, bookmarks, note, etc can still be made and will be saved to your Amazon account even after you return the loaned ebook
  • Open to any Kindle device owner with a Prime membership
Cons:
  • Only available for Kindle - not the app or add-ons for any other eReader (including Nook or Sony)
  • New program means lots of changes to come
  • Similar to a regular library
  • Ebooks only
  • Must be a Prime member and own a Kindle
  • Cannot own the book unless you choose to buy it (which costs)
  • Cannot have multiple loans at once (hope this changes)
  • Cancel membership and still have a loan? - ebook will become locked and you will only be able to return the ebook (if you purchased the ebook, no worries; this is only for loaned ones)
  • You can only borrow one ebook per month (which is the biggest restriction for me...)
I listed some things on both the pro/con lists because to me they are mostly pros but many people view them as cons.   What do you think? Will this cause you to get a Prime membership? Happy Prime Shopping!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Kindle Owner's Lending Library!

So excited! I started an Amazon Prime account today! I can't wait to start using the lending library.  I already have 30 books picked out.  Has anyone tried it out yet?  I hope they continue to expand the collection!  I'm considering a post (again) about using it.

Happy Lending Library Using!

Review Day: Children's Books Anonymous

Welcome to Children's Books Anonymous everyone!

Do you know what else today is!?!? My one year of owning a Kindle!! yay!!

Ahem. Lets get started!

Step 1: Admit you have a problem.

I.....am addicted to................CHILDREN'S books.  *deep breath*

haha.. Seriously... I am a child at heart. I've always loved books, but had a hard time reading when I was little, because I couldn't find books I liked.  I was very picky.  Not anymore!  haha... Do you remember what your favorite books were from when you were very young?

Oh come on! They're so cute and lovable and funny and silly and adorable and cute... They're so cute I had to say it twice okay!

Well...Here are the most memorable children's books I have read within the last year.
  1. Knuffle Bunny - A cute little story about a baby, Trixie, and her favorite little bunny (Knuffle Bunny). Such a cute heartwarming story that everyone can appreciate.  The pictures are a cross between actual photographs and animated pictures.  This story hits home because we have all lost a toy or something very dear to us at one point in time or had to deal with someone who has.
  2. Knuffle Bunny Too - The sequel to Knuffle Bunny.  Little Trixie has grown up a bit.  She's made a new friend who has a Knuffle Bunny too (get the title now?)! I loved reading another tale of Trixie and her beloved Knuffle Bunny's adventures.
  3. Knuffle Bunny Free - The third and final (so far) tale of the adventures of Trixie and Kunffle Bunny. Trixie goes to visit her grandparents.  Gorgeous pictures again! Such a sweet and happy story!
  4. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus - Pigeon wants to drive the bus.  He doesn't care if he's not allowed.  He must drive the bus! This is such a silly tale about a pigeon who just wants to drive a giant bus.   The hand-drawn pictures are absolutely hilarious and made me tear up from laughing so hard.  Must have for book for every child!
  5. Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog - The Pigeon finds a hot dog! Oh how lucky he feels! Until a little ducky comes along, Pigeon can't wait to eat his hot dog.  But the ducky wants to eat it too!  Between the pictures and the hilarity of a pigeon and duckling fighting over a hot dog, this is another must have children's book!
  6. Noisy Nora - My all time favorite book.  An adorable little tale about a middle child mouse (I obviously related to this story...note sarcasm) who wanted attention from her parents.  Hush said her Father, Quiet said her Mum... NORA! said her Sister... Why are you so dumb!? Best. Lines. Ever.
  7. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse - A cute little tale about a little mouse named Lilly who loves her new purple plastic purse (say that ten times fast! I dare you!).  A bit of a tongue twister but such a cute book.  Love the pictures!
What children's books do you love (or love when you were a child)? Are you a children's book-aholic too (I have openings available)? Did I make you miss being a child or reading these books?  Happy Children's Book Reading!

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    Quick Tip (Holiday Edition)

    Today's Holiday edition Quick Tip is to shop online! Shopping online is very very easy and convenient. You don't have to waste gas going to 10 different stores for just one item.  Some stores will even gift wrap the item for you! Gift wrapping will save you time and paper cuts! What? I know I'm not the only person who gets paper cuts when cutting wrapping paper!!  Also, shopping online can give you more guarantee of actually getting the item.. Just make sure you shop at least one month in advance so your package arrives.  Online prices can even be lower if you shop around!  Check multiple stores online before buying.  You won't even have to get out of your footy pajamas to shop!! Or in my case... footy-less pajamas....  Happy Shopping Online!!

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Amazon Announcement!!!!!

    Attention Amazon Prime Members! This is for you (and anyone considering Amazon Prime)!!

    Yet another reason to get Amazon Prime memberships... hm... AND ANOTHER way to save money on ebooks!!!  See that tie in? heh.

    Amazon announced a new (I'm jealous) extremely (seriously jealous) amazing (not fair!) opportunity for Amazon Prime members (sigh...).  It's called Kindle Owner's Library Lending!  Currently only offered to Prime members.  This is a free service where you can *rent/borrow* thousands of ebooks for FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let that sink in for a minute...

    THOUSANDS OF FREE EBOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not just any ebooks... NY Times CURRENT best sellers... Current top 100 best selling ebooks... If you have a prime membership... Use. This. Feature!!

    Go here for directions on how to use this totally-amazing-OMG-I-am-extremely-jealous-incredibly-awesome opportunity.  And then let me know how it goes!! I really really want to know more about it.

    If you're like me and haven't gotten a prime membership yet... you can try it out for a whole month for free!! Go here to start your trial and see all of the other perks!

    For you: Lolo, Sharon and Nathan :-D Happy Prime Memberships Are Awesome Day!!

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Quick Tip!

    Today's Quick Tip is battery charging.  Wait until your eReader has 1/4 or less of the battery left to charge it.  Waiting to charge it will allow the battery to be used completely and charge completely.  Charging your eReader when the battery is full will cause the battery life to be shorter.  If you have a Nook, purchase two batteries to make charging quicker.  Keep one fully charged as a back up while using the other!  For Kindle users, charge using a wall-adapter instead of charging on the PC.  The battery life will last longer and charge faster! Happy Charging!

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    November Monthly Deals!!

    Super excited! Today is such an amazing day to pick up some free ebooks and discounted ebooks! Publishers release a ton of ebooks the first week of each month and today Pixel-of-Ink has soooo many freebies!! Plus, Amazon's monthly 100 deal started again today! Go here for POI and here for November deals from Amazon.  Let me know if you get anything and pass on the information!  I've only picked up 5 today.. heh.  Happy November!!

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    How To: Buy eBooks on a Budget

    Today's How To is books on a budget.  It's extremely easy!  Here are a few tips that will help you save money on ebooks.  These are also the various things I do to get all of my free ebooks!
    1. Subscribe to Pixel-Of-Ink! POI offers a free subscription email that will send you daily free ebooks.  Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer free ebooks daily as well.  They are found on their websites here and here. The lists change every week, so check back often.  Another great way to save money on ebooks is to check with your local library.
    2. Library lending!! Kindle Library Lending has begun in some states (finally! yay!).  To see if your library has ebooks for your eReader, check their websites.  Many of the libraries are advertising the ebooks right on their homepages.
    3. Kindle Lending and Nook Friends!! Borrow books from your Nook and Kindle friends.  Even if you don't have similar reading habits, ask if they have anything in a particular genre that you might like.  You'd be surprised how many people are willing to share their ebooks!
    4. Shop your own collection.  If you're like me, then you have over 250 books (and counting) in your collection (at least 90% of those were free).  Go through your collection.  Re-read books you liked or don't remember very well.  Have a favorite series? Re-read it!
    5. Ebook swapping with friends! Similar to sharing, but a little different concept.  Next time you finish an ebook, suggest swapping it with the last ebook your friend has read.  This is a great way to break into new genres or try out ebooks you wouldn't normally buy.
    6. Check other sites that offer free ebooks.  There are thousands of sites that offer them.  THOUSANDS!!  Just be careful when searching for them.  I only use the ones Amazon has approved.  The list from Amazon can be used for Nook and Sony eReaders as well.  Beware of the wireless/download prices.  You don't want to have to pay for the ebook to be delivered to your device, that's defeating the purpose.  Also, check the ebook format.  You don't want to *purchase* an ebook that won't work with your device.  Just check with your eReader's carrier (B&N or Amazon or Sony) to see what ebook formats are supported.
    7. Check out the monthly deals! Amazon offers 100 books every month for less than $3.99.  Just check here every 3-4 weeks. These deals only last through one month.  The list does include newer ebooks too, not just the classics or "doesn't sell well" ebooks.  On occasion you will see a repeat from previous months.  This is a great way to get your hands on ebooks at really low prices!
    8. Check out the daily deal! Pixel-of-Ink will often include links to the Amazon daily deal in the daily emails.  The deal only lasts 24 hours so check everyday!  They include fiction and non-fiction in this deal. 
    9. Browse University library ebook collections!  Many Universities and public libraries offer ebooks, but Adelaide University (in Australia!!) offers thousands for free that you can download and keep!! It's happy dance time... again!  Go here to check out Adelaid's collection.  They are ePub format so *most* eReaders can handle them (Nook, Kindle, Sony...) OR you can just read them right off the web!  No downloading necessary, you just read it right there on the site.  OR you could (if you realllyyyy wanted to) print off the books.  So if you don't want to download it... you can just print it!!  Really awesome if you don't have an eReader but have the apps for PC or MAC.
    10. Kindle Owner's Lending Library.  This program allows you to get one free Kindle ebook a month, and most of them are current best sellers!  You can keep the ebook for as long as you want to read it and can return it whenever you are done.  Unfortunately, this is only available for Amazon Prime members, not Amazon Mom or Amazon Student prime members.  You also have to have a Kindle device not the app.
    11. Goodreads.com A site somewhat like Netflix. You rate books you have read, find books you want to read, and have a status update of what you are currently reading. The site will give you book recommendations based on your reading history. Rate and review books and ebooks you have read to get more recommendations.
    Pass on the word so others can take advantage of these offers/tips too! Have any other helpful money saving tips or websites?  Have a question?  Leave me a comment! I'd be happy to add any new suggestions to this list. Happy Saving!

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    What is in a name?

    I was challenged!

    So TinyDreamer was watching a YouTube vlog and this guy was talking about being a "book worm".  The super old name for people who read too much.  Then he asked... what do you call people who read a ton of book but on Kindle or an eReader? He suggested E-Worm or E-Nerd.  But those are boring names! I've just been calling myself a Kindle Nerd of Addict... but those names are pretty boring too.  And for those people who have a Nook or Sony eReader, those names wouldn't really work.

    So.. what do you think we should be called?  I'm not too proud to admit that I am a library, Kindle, book, ebook... nerd! It's time to wear the old thinking cap! Don't forget to blow off the dust. heh.

    So far all I've got is e-book worm or e-book fiend.  haha.. I'm challenging all of you to come up with a name.  Write your suggestions in the comments.  If I get enough, I'll hold a mini poll/contest on here to see which on is the most liked!

    Happy Thinking!

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    How to: Pick Out an eReader

    So you finally decided you wanted an eReader huh? There are tons of options out there.. Which one is best for you can be a scary thing to figure out (que scary music).  I'm officially freaked out.  Don't listen to that music too much.. it's creepy!

    Have no fear!  Super eReader is here to save the day!! (Yeah.. I know it's lame...) Here are a few tips and questions to ask and things to consider when deciding.  This is for any brand of eReader.  Whether you are looking for your first eReader or looking to get a *new* one.... this will help!

    1.  What do you want your eReader to do? Go online, just read books, read books to you (audio books and spoken menus), play MP3s, be in color...
    2.  Price - how much do you want to spend (please don't go buying a super cheap no-name brand ereader.. they really aren't worth the money.)
    3.  How big do you want your eReader to be? Weight, screen size....it makes a huge difference
    4.  Touch screen or non-touch screen?
    5.  Kindle, Nook or Sony? If you don't have a preference (yet) read reviews on the product
    6.  What do you want to use your eReader for? School, work, personal use (or all three!)?
    7.  Why do you want an eReader?
    8.  Make a list of the qualities that are most important to you.  1 = most important 10 (or more) = least important
    9.  Buy online or in stores? Factor in shipping for price if you decide to purchase online (online will have better deals and packages)
    10.  Color or Grayscale? Do you want a color screen or is black and white/grayscale okay?
    11.  WiFi or 3G? If you don't have your own wireless or access to wireless at least once or twice a week, get 3G.
    12.  Tablet or eReader only? Refer back to question 1 - what do you want your eReader to do?
    13.  Accessories? You'll want a case and light (if not back-lit)... factor into price but shop around offline as well as online for the best prices
    14.  What is the purpose of getting an eReader? Pleasure, work, school, internet, computer replacement...
    15.  Battery life and storage - how many books do you want to store? how long of a battery life do you want?

    I highly recommend filling out these questions or just mentally asking yourself.  I really hope this helps you decide what type of eReader is best for you!  If you have any other questions to add to this list, because I know I've forgotten something, let me know!  Happy Shopping!