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. 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 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!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is deciding on when to read another book.  Scenario: You just finished a book.  It was amazing (or terrible...)!!  Give yourself time to bask in the glory (or dread) of the this book.  Wait at least one full day before starting another book.  Waiting will let the story sink in and really end.  If you jump into another book too soon, you'll find yourself thinking more about the last book and less about the new book, missing important details or mixing up the two books.  Nobody wants that!  If the last book made you mad or ended terribly or just won't get out of your mind... read something completely different from it (if possible).  For example, when you finish a particularly creepy book go read a romance or comedy novel to help push out the creepiness.  Happy Waiting and eventually Reading!

**Time between novels will vary.  I don't always wait a full day between books (sometimes it's only an hour), but sometimes I find myself waiting as long as a week between.**

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review Day: Soul Screamer Series

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Soul Screamer series by Rachel Vincent is tied with the Odd Thomas series for my favorite series/novels so far. Who knows if I'll ever have a favorite... or if something will top these. I highly doubt it... maybe?

I can't get enough of these books! They are absolutely outstanding novels that appeal to just about everyone (sorry boys.. you might get a tiny bit bored in some of them...). With just enough fantasy/Sci-Fi, romance, comedy, suspense, thrill, mystery and friendship these novels quickly gained my praise and will forever be among my favorites. I highly recommend all of these novels to anyone who wants an amazing series of YA novels.

There are five novels in the series and two prequel novellas. Each one takes you on an incredible journey through the life and *death* of a group of teens and their secrets. All descriptions are from Rachel Vincent's website. The ratings are my own. Why didn't I write my own reviews? I tried! But they contained way too many spoilers... I just love these books too much!

5 stars to full length novels
5 stars to both novellas

(prequel to Book 1) My Soul to Lose - Kaylee Cavanaugh's trip to the mall ends with a brutal panic attack and a brainscrambling shriek she can't stop. Her secret fear is exposed. It's the worst day of her life. Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit. But the hospital isn't a safe place for Kaylee, and getting out won't be easy because everyone thinks she's crazy. Everyone except Lydia, who has a secret of her own...

Book 1: My Soul to Take - She doesn't see dead people, but...She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally. Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

Book 2: My Soul to Save - The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand. Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk...

Book 3: My Soul to Keep - Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them. Until something does. Demon’s breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow, the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked. And when the epidemic hits too close to home, Kaylee will have to risk everything to save those she loves.

Book 4: My Soul to Steal - Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can’t just pretend nothing happened. But “complicated” doesn’t even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. See, Sabine isn’t just an ordinary girl. She’s a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people’s fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. And Sabine isn’t above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

(prequel to Book 4 and 5): Reaper - Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food, and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him—and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it should have been a very long life indeed. All of that changed in one horrible moment and suddenly Tod had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....

Book 5: If I Die - Everyone else is talking about Eastlake High’s gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck, but Kaylee Cavanaugh has bigger things on her mind. Kaylee’s a banshee—her scream is a portent of death. But the next scream might hit too close to home. Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline has almost run out. Yeah—it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself from her own problems, Kaylee is determined to defend her school against the latest supernatural threat. That hot new teacher is really an incubus, who feeds from the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend’s delinquent ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human either. But Kaylee’s running out of time, and those who love her will do anything to save her life.

Now, I didn't read them in this order. I read Reaper first, then Take, Save, Lose, Keep, Steal. The order above is the official order that Rachel Vincent intended them to be read in. I recommend reading them in the actual order. It will really help make the most sense of the characters. Although I loved reading them in the order I did. Especially because I got most of them free! I haven't read book 5 yet, so please please please don't spoil it if you have!

If you would like to borrow any of these via Kindle Lending, just ask. I just don't have Book 5 yet.. so don't ask for that one... Does anyone else have it?!? Pretty please can I borrow it!? Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kindle 3rd Gen Update Today!

Amazon released an update today for the Kindle 3rd Gen (Keyboard).  Go here to get the information you need and the link for the download.  It's very easy to update your Kindle.  There are two different ways to do it.  The automatic way and the manual way.  I recommend doing it the automatic way.

Auto Update:
Step 1: Turn on Kindle
Step 2: Turn on WiFi or 3G
Step 3: Click menu then 'sync and check for items'
Step 4: Wait until there are no more things being downloaded onto your Kindle (wait about 4-5 minutes)
Step 5: Turn your Kindle on hold or sleep mode (slide the power bar over; picture should appear)
Step 6: Wait for about 15 minutes
Voila! The update is done!

Manual Update - Go here for instructions.

Determine your software version: From Home, select Menu, then Settings. On the Settings screen you will see the Kindle version at the bottom of the screen. If you see "Version Kindle 3.1" or earlier (3.1.2, 3.0.3, 3.0.2, 3.0.1, or 3.0), please proceed with the steps below to update your Kindle Keyboard to the latest software.

This update is number 3.3.

Something go wrong? FAQs and Troubleshooting here.

Happy Updating!!

The 2020 debate: Will eReaders last?

TinyDreamer sent me a link to a very intriguing article.  I recommend reading at least the part about e-readers quick, it's short!

Did you read it yet?? No!? Go read it! Right now! I promise it's not that boring.  I can wait until you read it. (singing the waiting song from Blues Clues) wait wait wait... all you have to do is wait!

Alright... now that you have finally read the article (and if you didn't... I'll know. Don't make me come over there and read it to you! haha)

So what do you think?  It's kind of fun to think about isn't it? Honestly I don't know if I will make the jump over to a tablet/e-reader hybrid unless the e-ink screen works the exact same way as it does now.  I love my e-reader because I can read for hours on end without it hurting.  Just like a printed book.  I have very sensitive eyes... I can't help it!  Plus... Why get a tablet when I already have a desktop?  I love hand-held gadgets but I just don't think I would get enough use out of a tablet. Simple as that.

What about the other items on the list....Do you think you they will become obsolete by 2020 or will it be sooner?  For many of the items... I'm betting way way way sooner.

Now, I am super behind on getting a smart phone.  But I just don't have a need for it.  I barely use my cellphone as it is.  I didn't even get a cellphone until I was 18.  I'm 21 right now. Pathetic right? Considering I'm part of the generation that can barely function without technology. haha.. totally true by the way.

I don't know what I'll do if I ever get rid of my GPS named Maggie. haha.  It's a Magellan... get the name now? Not really? haha...ha.. hha... ahem... Seriously I'd get so lost without my GPS.  But that's because I am 100% terrible with directions.  Not just somewhat terrible... seriously terrible.  Horrible.  I could get lost in my own house I'm so bad.  Yeah.  Pathetic.

I don't care what anyone says... I will always have a gaming console.  Always.  Even if they are old and outdated... who cares!? Nostalgia! It's like keeping your favorite stuffed animal from when you were young or your blanket or pictures or... what? Not the same?

Let me know what you think.  It's interesting!

Friday, October 21, 2011

FAQs - Updated!

I asked everyone what they wanted to know about, but didn't get as many comments as I did in person.  I'm not sure why people are afraid of the comment section... it's not like it's going to eat you or anything.  Although I've heard it likes to bite occasionally.  The comments monster is coming to eat you! AH!!

Anyways... here are the top questions I get asked.

Q 1:  Which eReader is the best or Which eReader should I purchase?
  • I'm a little biased.....okay okay! I'm more than a little biased.  I'm *extremely* biased.  I love the Kindle 3 (Keyboard).  I don't care how many perks the others have, I just love my Kindle 3!  I can't really pick out an eReader or even recommend one for someone without knowing a few things about their habits and needs first.  If you want or need help picking out an eReader.  Please email me.  I'd be glad to help!  I'm currently *working* on the eReader war posts.  They might be on here soon.  Maybe... Possibly... Before Christmas I think... ?
Q 2:  I want an ereader but don't know which one.  Now what!?
  • Do your homework. You need to make sure you are getting the best device for your money and needs.  I bet you didn't even know you had reading needs until now did you? HA! See!!  I taught you something. *happy dance*  Make a list of important features then compare your list to each of the eReaders on the market (Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad) and find the one that matches.
Q 3:  How long have you had your Kindle?
  • It will be exactly one year in November.
Q 4: Do you like other eReaders or only the Kindle?
  • I don't dislike other eReaders.  I definitely don't hate them.  But I also don't like them.  It's hard to explain okay!
Q 5:  What case would you recommend for Kindle?
  • The JavoEdge flip case is my favorite by far.  But that's just what I prefer.  Really do some research.  The JavoEdge cases are high quality cases for a low price (around $20-30 dollars on Amazon).  I know that $20-30 sounds like a higher price for a case, but honestly it's really cheap for the quality of the product.  I'm very surprised JavoEdge cases are not $40+ on sale.  I'm not really sure about Nook or Sony eReader cases.. just do some research and read reviews!
Q 6:  Do audio books work on eReaders? I only like audio books, which eReader is the best?
  • On most but definitely not all.  The new Kindle or Kindle Basic (the touch screen super super tiny Kindle) does not recognize audio books or any sound files.  Just check in the description of the product to make sure it has an audio plug-in or speaker slits.  Kindle 3 and Kindle Touch are by far the best audio book eReaders out there.  BUT if you only use audio books and don't think you will ever actually read a book, get an iPod or MP3 player.  They are much cheaper and easier for audio books.
Q 7:   You only post links to free ebooks... why not links to ebooks that are not free or are on the top 10 list?
  • Simple answer: I don't want to spend a ton of money on ebooks.  Long-ish answer:  Ebook prices are constantly going down after they are no longer the *super new* releases.  And I know I'm not going to read it right that second, so what's the point in getting an ebook when it's full price if I just wait a couple months and get it half price or even free?  Plus I like that they are free.  Many of the ebooks I read are not free for longer than 24 hours.  So I'm really just bargain hunting! Who doesn't love bargain hunting?
Q 8:  Why did you start blogging?
  • Because I wanted to.
Q 9:  Do you ever share your ebooks?
  • Never ever.  Why would I do such a thing?  Share my ebooks with total strangers? HA!..........Of course I lend them out! Best part is, I am guaranteed to get it returned... so why not right?  Yet another perk of owning a Kindle!  Whats the total at now? 500 something? Hm.. Maybe I should actually write them down sometime......
Q 10:  Do you do anything else with your time?
  • I take pride in knowing a ridiculous (add as much emphasis to the word ridiculous as possible) amount of information about Kindle.... Because I can.  BUT yes, I do have other hobbies.  And no.  I won't tell you.
Q 11:  How do you do (insert topic here) on Blogger? How did you get so comfortable with Blogger?
  • I'm not 100% comfortable with it.  I still have to look things up.  Just Google it!  I'm definitely not a blogging expert.  I consider myself a newbie.  I tried to keep everything looking neat and clean.  I also read a ton of information about *How to Build a Better Blog* which were super boring to read, but extremely helpful.  Just try to learn as much from each post and each change that you make.  Trial and error is the best way to blog.  Yeah, it's annoying having to wait......but you should just evolve your style and get better over time..
Q 12:  How do you (insert Kindle topic here)?  Could you show me or walk me through it?
  • NEVER!  ha.. I'd be happy to help.  Just ask!
Q 13: I want to get an eReader because I read a ton of books.. but I don't want to pay more for ebooks than print books.. help?
  • Ebooks are cheaper than print books.  The average ebook is $8.95 for new releases.  The best part about ebooks is the price is always dropping.  There are over 500,000 free ebooks out there.  You will save hundreds of dollars by getting an ereader and purchasing ebooks on it.
Q 14:  I bought an eReader that was super cheap... and hated it.  Who's to say these brand-name eReaders won't do the same thing?
  • Kindles and Nooks come with a 1 year warranty which can be extended for less than $30.00.  The warranty guarantees that if anything is wrong, they will fix it for free.  Those super cheap eReaders may be cheap... but they won't be fixable or worth the time.  If you want an eReader... save up the little extra needed and get a good eReader like a Kindle or Nook.
Have another question that I didn't answer? Leave it in the comments! Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nook Friends and LendMe!

Here is the post on ebook loaning/lending for the Nook.  I'm sorry for the lack of in-depth information.

Nook has a Nook Friends lending process that is very similar to Kindle Lending. I picked up the most information I could without actually purchasing a Nook.  I hope this helps the Nook users!

A little information about the program... Please remember I do not have a Nook.

Nook Friends is social networking with books.  This is only part 1 of the lending process.  You can keep a list of your friends and their devices on your device.  Which is super helpful!  It requires internet, but is very user friendly.  You can set-up profiles for yourself with details about the types of books you like.  You can borrow from your friends, loan books to your friends and even give personal recommendations very easily.  You can share quotes, reviews and ratings all on your profile.  Sounds just like the old Facebook... (sighs)  Anyways...You can also see how many "likes" a book receives from your Nook Friends.

LendMe, part 2, is the name of the actual lending process between you and your Nook Friends' books.  For a complete list of books that can be loaned go here.  B&N made it super clear which books can be lent out and which ones cannot, before you purchase a book...which is amazing and super helpful! (hint hint Amazon!!)

I highly recommend you take advantage of this system.  It will save you oodles of money on ebooks!  Ask around at school, work, the library, etc. to see if you can make some Nook Friends!

There are a few limitations to the system.  There always seems to be a down side to these amazingly awesome programs.  Unfortunately, I can't actually see the full FAQs without actually having a Nook.  But, from what I have found... you can only lend a book out to one person so many times before it can no longer be loaned to that same person again.  The loan period is very strict and ends to the second of when you accepted the loan.  And the loan can only be accomplished if you have a Nook or NookColor, not an ereader app.

Again I do not have a Nook, so let me know if you do! I'd love to have a guest do some posts about Nooks! Happy Loaning!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Have a Question?

Since I have been getting asked a bunch of questions, which is awesome, about ereaders, ebooks, audio books,etc.  I have decided to write an FAQ post.  Leave a comment on this post with your question(s) so I can answer only what is needed.  With that said, please go back through my old posts before asking your questions.  I may have already written a post about it.  If your question is not answered thoroughly enough or not included in any older posts, then go ahead and ask.  I frequently update old posts to make sure all of the information is as accurate as possible; however, I'm only one person so I can't *always* update everything.

What do you want to know about? Is there something that you want to know how to do with/on your Kindle? Have a question about ebooks, audio books or vooks?  Have a suggestion for something you want me to post about?  Have a book you want me to read and/or review?  Want to borrow an ebook or lend me one?  Leave your questions in the comments, ask me on Twitter or even send me an email!  Happy Question Asking!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Freebie Alert!!!

Recently the library I work at cataloged 2,344 new ebooks that are free!  The ebooks are from Adelaide University in Australia!  How awesome is that!?  The being-from-Australia-part... hehe...although that is a run around the town screaming yay! giant list of free ebooks!! Not like I did that or anything.. I mean.. come on? Who would really do that? haha...ha...ha...

On to the best part! They have an A-Z list that contains both fiction and non-fiction books!  I highly recommend spending some quality time with this list.  Let me know if you want me to post a list of all the books that I pick up from it.  I just picked up a huge bag of assorted candy from Target.  I think me, DragonToo and the bag of candy have a date with Adelaide University in Australia this weekend!

If you have to read any books for school, I highly recommend checking to see if they are on this list! A few examples are Aesop's Fables, The Alchemist, Beowolf, The Cantebury Tales, Animal Farm and soo many more.  Even if you don't have an ereader or ereader app, you can still read the books on a PC or Mac!  Pass the word!

The ebooks will be compatible with all eReaders and Apps as far as I can tell.  If requested I may even do a tutorial later this weekend on how to add them to the Kindle or Kindle Apps.

Please pass the word on!  Don't strain yourself by going through 2,344 ebooks in one day.  Or like me in two days.  ha.  A special thank you to Nathan for giving me the information!  Happy Free eBooks from Australia Shopping!!

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is lighting.  When using any type of device you should have proper lighting.  There are various compact lights you can get for Kindles, Nooks and eReaders.  The best kind are the adjustable arm lights.  They have an arm that can be adjusted to allow the best lighting on the device.  If you can, try to find a light that runs of the device's battery.  These will last longer and be brighter; however, they are more expensive as well.  Also check for lights that can fit inside your case or are built into a case.  They are easier to carry around and use. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is how to pick out your next book.  So you just finished a book and want to read another one eh?  Think about what you just read.  Did you read a murder mystery?  Maybe you should read something a little muted like a romance or comedy.  Just finish a novella or short-story?  Try reading something just a bit longer, but not super long.  Jumping from a super short novella to a super long novel will make your head go crazy and ask "Am I done yet!?" before you even reach the half-way point!  Don't have a bunch of free time coming up but still want to read?  Try a collection of short-stories or something with medium to short length chapters.  This will let you read in short bursts without stopping mid-sentence.  Not sure what you want to read next or can't decide?  Go for something either by your favorite author or in your favorite genre.  Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kindle and Nook How To: Keeping Your Device Clean

Kindles and Nooks have very sensitive screens, especially the touch screens.  Who wants to read with a dirty device?  That would be like borrowing a sticky, stained, hairy, smelly book from the library.  Nobody likes those books.  Nobody!  *shudders*

Problem 1: What can we do to keep our e-readers clean without ruining them?
Solution 1: Wash and dry your hands before you use your device.  This will help prevent the oils from your hands transferring to your device, as well as anything else that is/was on your hands.

Solution 2: Dry cleaning microfiber cloths.  These cloths are typically marketed towards eye-glasses, camera lens, flat-screen TVs, computer monitors, etc.  I found an amazing set at Amazon (pack of 12 for only $11) that work perfectly.  And since there are multiples in a pack, you can share them with friends or use them on multiple surfaces. They are safe for not only the screen but the keys as well.

Solution 3: Wet wipes for devices.  I use these, which last much much much longer than you'd think.  The price may seem high ($5.66 for 30 wipes) but the wipes are very large and can be used more than once.  The towels are cotton and can be used for multiple devices.  They are safe to be used on the screen and keys.  Please don't squeeze out the product onto your eReader... this is not safe! Too much liquid can sit on the keys and/or get inside the cracks.  Just gently wipe the screen or keys, let dry for a few seconds, and you're set!

Solution 4: Screen protectors.  These are thin, clear sheets of plastic that can keep your screen clean.  You can use them on touch screens without loosing sensitivity.  I recommend looking for some at your local stores (WalMart, Target, Staples, BestBuy) and on Amazon.  Be sure to do some research and find the best prices as well as a good product.  This is one item that cheaper is not always better!  However, these only work for the screen.

Problem 2: There's a piece of hair (cat or dog fur in most cases) stuck on the side of my screen! How do I get it off without ruining the screen?
Solution 1: Using a dry soft cloth, put a little pressure on the hair and gently pull towards the center of the screen.  Then use the cloth to wipe off the screen.

Solution 2: Damp or Dry Q-Tip.  Carefully pull at the hair with the Q-Tip and then wipe off the screen with a dry soft cloth.  If you use a damp Q-Tip, please make sure you only put a tiny bit of water on it.

Solution 3: Index Finger.  Carefully apply a little pressure on the hair with your index finger and pull.  Use a dry soft cloth to wipe off any oil left behind.  Side note: This method may be the fastest, but if your hands are oily, it can damage the screen over time.

If you have found any other solutions to keeping your e-reader clean, please explain it in the comments! I'd love to hear about other ways to keep mine clean! Happy Cleaning and Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is to have identification on/with your eReader at all times.  Picture this: you lost your eReader.. but you don't know where.  You're running around trying to remember, then your phone rings.  You answer the phone and it's the taxi service you use saying they found your eReader in the car.  What luck! If you keep your phone number, name and address with/on your eReader at all times, you will have better luck getting it back if it ever gets lost.  Happy ID tagging!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sale Sale Sale!!

Amazon is really *loving* their customers this week! So many cheap prices! Got an email about 100 Kindle books starting at $3.99 and down to $0.99 each! They were all handpicked by various Amazon editors.  They will be doing this sale every month from now on! yesss!  Go here to see the full list just released today for this month.  The deals end on the last day of every month.  I'll *try* to post a link every month for the sale.  The sale has nonfiction, fiction, mystery/suspense/thriller, romance, science fiction/fantasy, biographies, business/investing, history and children's books.  Pass the news along!! Happy September Savings!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review Day: Vook Books

I spent about half a day trying to figure out what a Vook really is.  I was always given the "it doesn't work as well on Kindles...sorry" or "the media only comes with some of the books".... then what in the world is the point of calling it a Vook!? I became a little *obsessed* with trying to figure them out.

The reviews on Amazon didn't give me any information. Strike one.  POI told me most of the media is only visible on the PC. Strike two.  I looked around online for more information (hello Google!) and found very little information.  Strike three.  Needless to say, I was getting annoyed.  Why give ebooks another fancy name if they are not any different?

Here's what I learned: Vooks are *interactive* ebooks designed to *enhance* the story for readers.  POI wrote, "A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story. You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms."

It reminds me of all the silly commercials for toys.  You know what I'm talking about.  The ones where some announcer guy is talking super fast about all the crazy stuff you can do with one toy, how awesome said toy is, how everyone is going to have that toy and how it's perfect and awesome and super fun? Family Guy even did a little spoof on it.  Go watch it.  I love that little commercial.  Now think back to how many times you fell for that as a child or even as an adult.  hah.. That little paragraph above made me not only want a Vook, but need a Vook.  Especially because they were free!

So I picked up four Vook books (all free) thinking this was going to be the greatest thing ever!  I start reading A Princess from Mars.  I'm reading and reading and reading... get to chapter 6.  All I've seen were a couple pictures that were just okay.  So I'm thinking, where's all the stuff I was promised? Only to find out... pictures are the only media that work on the Kindle version.  Okay.. So I decided to read them on my PC app for Kindle.  I finished A Princess from Mars.  Still no social media or video.  Hm... what's wrong with this Vook? I open a second Vook The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. No social media. No videos. Only a few measly pictures that only kind of fit with the story.

I did some more searching... and found out that Vook considers the table of contents (you can click on each chapter to jump to it) the *interaction*.  (annoyed face) Seriously!? Are you kidding me!? All that hype for click-able chapters? Something the Kindle could already do for every ebook?  (sigh)  And what about the videos and social media *all on one page* stuff?

I still can't figure out where these mystical videos are or how to access the social media linked with each Vook.  If you know... PLEASE tell me.  Nobody seems to know! This is torture I tell you! Torture! They dangled something amazing in my face, I fell for the bait and took it... and nothing happened! I now feel like a child falling for the crazy commercials.  BUT I got some really great classic books for free. again. Thanks Vook!!

I'm sorry Amazon.  I tried to like them!

If you got through this whole post without having to stop, scream or get back on your chair from laughing too hard...I applaud you.  You deserve a prize.  What's that? You actually want a free prize? Okay! Click here.  (mischevious smile)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sale Prices on K2 and K3 Accessories!!

Since Amazon unveiled four new Kindles on Wednesday, the Kindle 3 now named the Kindle Keyboard, is cheaper! The K3 WiFi is now available for $99.00 $139.00!  The cases, lights, covers and sticker covers are getting cheaper by the day! Go here to find my favorite K3 case!

The new name means more changes! There is talk of more K3 updates! We'll see if that happens or not.  Whether you need a new case, a light, sticker sleeve or not... I highly recommend keeping an eye on Amazon's page.  The prices keep dropping more and more! Plus, you can't ever have too many cases to protect your precious little device (need one for every day of the week right?!?).

The JavoEdge cases are not the only brand going on sale, so be sure to do some digging on their site.  They are no longer 'advertising' the K3 on the Kindle Store.  So you will have to type it in the search box to find accessories.  I just found a case that is actually nice, 5 star reviews, for only $5.62!  However, there are also some cases that have not come down much in price, meaning less than $5.00 off or normal *sale* price.  There are other accessories going on sale as well such as screen protectors, lights, skins, gelly sleeves/covers... Check it out soon!

Have any friends with a K2? Tell them to get on Amazon quick! The cases and accessories are selling out like crazy!  They are discontinuing the K2 line on Amazon (for the most part) so finding any kind of accessories is going to become very difficult very fast.  Pass the word to all your Kindle friends!!  Here is a link for all the cases for K2s.  I just found a faux leather case for only $4.21, originally $35.78! No longer available. The JavoEdge cases for K2 are starting at $12.00!  There are skins, sleeves, gelly covers/sleeves, and screen protectors for super cheap (under $10.00).  There are cases with stands and lights for K2s still.

Happy Kindle 2 and 3 shopping!! Please link my blog on your FB and Twitter so others can take advantage of these deals!  See a sale I missed? Link it in the comments!

Kindle How To: Use the *Aa* Menu

This menu allows you to do several different tasks.  This is an important menu to know how to use and locate.  Here are the three *main* functions located in the Aa menu.

Change Font Size and Type:
  1. Turn on Kindle
  2. Open the ebook you are reading
  3. Locate the Aa button on the bottom right next to the space bar
  4. Click the Aa button; a menu will pop up
  5. Select the new font size (use the directional/arrow pad; there are 8 total to choose from)
  6. Click the back button or the Aa button again and continue reading
Change Screen Direction:
  1. Turn on Kindle
  2. Open the ebook you are reading
  3. Locate the Aa button on the bottom right next to the space bar
  4. Click the Aa button; a menu will pop up
  5. Select the new direction you wish to turn the screen (using the directional/arrow pad)
  6. Click 'back' or Aato go back to the book
Enable Text-to-Speech:
  1. Turn on Kindle
  2. Open the ebook you are reading
  3. Locate the Aa button the bottom right next to the space bar
  4. Click the Aa button; a menu will pop up
  5. Using the arrow pad, select 'turn on' (if available it will be darkened) next to 'text-to-speech'
  6. Click back or Aa to go back to the book; Kindle will begin reading to you
  7. To stop it, just click the menu button and hit stop
  8. Follow the same steps to turn it off, selecting 'turn off' instead
There are other options to change in this menu.  I don't usually change any of them, however play around with the settings to make reading more comfortable for you.  The settings will stay changed for every book unless you change them back.  Happy Reading!