Third-party covers for the Kindle Oasis are here!

Not too long ago, I wrote a post on the bad reviews about the  Amazon-branded Kindle Oasis cover. Customers were also complaining on the Amazon forums about the poor performance of the expensive covers. But because the re-designed Oasis was so new, there were no third-party covers available with the launch of the new e-reader.

Thankfully, that situation has changed with new cases, sleeves and covers for the 2017 Oasis starting to show up on Amazon, including covers from long-time cover makers Moko and Fintie.

Clamshell cases:

Fintie Slim Case for Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release ONLY) – Ultra Thin Lightweight Smart Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon All-New 7″ Kindle Oasis E-reader – various colors and designs

The MoKo Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) – Premium Ultra Lightweight Shell Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon Kindle Oasis E-reader Case – various colors and designs

Ratesell All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) Case – Slim Folding Stand Cover Case with Auto Wake & Sleep Function for Kindle Oasis E-reader 2017 – various colors and designs

Konglin Leather Cover Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation,2017 Release Only) Tablet Premium Ultra Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Kindle Oasis E-readers – various colors

Sleeves:

If you prefer a sleeve rather than a case for your Oasis, several that have been designed for the new Oasis are available.

WALNEW 7″ Kindle Sleeve for Kindle Oasis 2017 Protective Insert Sleeve Case Bag Kindle Oasis 9th Generation Cover – various colors

ACdream All-New Kindle Oasis 2017 Sleeve, Protective Leather Tablet eReader Case bag for 7 Inch Kindle Oasis 2017 – various colors

Because people seems to be SO dissatisfied with the Amazon covers for the Oasis, these covers seem to be selling VERY quickly and their availability varies considerably (even from day to day). I am seeing some of these covers go back and forth between Prime shipping and third-party, which is not eligible for the free Prime shipping.

Also note that if you are searching for covers that fit the All-New Kindle Oasis E-reader,  they will say 9th generation, 7 inch or Kindle Oasis 2017 in the description.  Covers for the previous Oasis are listed as 2016 model, 6 inch or 8th generation.

Prices on the new cases seem to be averaging between $10.99 and $18.99.

I bought the Moko clamshell cover and am quite happy with it. (Review to follow shortly).

What about you? Have you been looking for a new cover for your 2017 Oasis?

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Happy 10th birthday, Kindle!

Today is the 10th anniversary of the release of the original 1st generation Amazon Kindle. The original device cost $400 and sold out within hours.

Courtesy of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, here is Jeff Bezos’ letter announcing the device. It dominated the Amazon.com homepage (see the page here). 

In contrast, today’s basic Kindle costs only $79.99. We’ve come a long way in the last 10 years, While the Kindle was not the first e-book reader, the device, along with Amazon’s marketing, has made an indelible impact on the book industry. I know that it has certainly changed the way I read.

Happy Birthday, Kindle!

How about you? Has the Kindle changed the way you read or impacted your life?

Covers for the 2017 Oasis drown in poor reviews

When it was released, I bought myself the new 2017 Kindle Oasis e-reader. I did NOT buy the Amazon-branded cover and right now, I am feeling pretty happy with that decision. Both the leather and the fabric versions of the Amazon cover are getting extremely poor reviews from customers. The products are currently at a two-star average rating.

The main functional complaint about these covers is that the cover keeps sliding and falling off the device. Like the original Oasis, these only cover part of the device. Many customers are complaining that because of the new aluminum back on the device itself and weak magnets in the cover, the device offers little protection for the expensive Oasis.

There are also complaints stating that the covers are flimsy, poorly designed and over-priced for a product that costs $45 for fabric and $60 for leather.

Since the new Oasis is really slippery, it is a difficult device to use without a cover. I have a device bag, but for right now, I am refusing to take the device out of the house without a cover.

Several third-party covers are starting to crop up on Amazon, but none are sold by Amazon itself or available via Amazon Prime shipping. One of these does look interesting, however: The MoKo Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) – Premium Ultra Lightweight Shell Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon Kindle Oasis E-reader Case, BLACK. This is a clamshell case that is only available through a vendor that ships directly to the consumer and the delivery date is two weeks out with expedited shipping. MoKo makes a number of covers for Kindles and Fire tablets that are available on Amazon. I am predicting that this one will soon be available as well. I own several of the MoKo covers and have found them to be well made and to fit well.

Did you buy one of the new Oasis covers? What are your thoughts?

2017 Oasis unboxing photos

My new 2017 Oasis arrived yesterday. I got the 32GB version. I am still in the process of setting up, so no real initial impressions so far.

Here are a few unboxing pictures:

The box in the sleeve:

The sleeve and the inner box:

Open box with the first view of the device:

Box contents and Kindle Tree logo:

Device on first setup screen and box content view:

Back of Oasis (in horizontal view):

Since I really prefer third-party covers to styles and prices of the Amazon ones, I haven’t bought a cover for the device yet, so my use of will be somewhat limited except at home.

The Kindle Oasis is currently sold out, with the next shipments expected later in November.

What hundreds of American public libraries owe to Carnegie’s disdain for inherited wealth

Photo: Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square, formerly the Central Public Library, 801 K St., NW, Washington, D.C.
Carol M. Highsmith

Guest Post by  Arlene Weismantel, Michigan State University

The same ethos that turned Andrew Carnegie into one of the biggest philanthropists of all time made him a fervent proponent of taxing big inheritances. As the steel magnate wrote in his seminal 1899 essay, The Gospel of Wealth:

“Of all forms of taxation this seems the wisest. By taxing estates heavily at death the State marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire’s unworthy life.”

Carnegie argued that handing large fortunes to the next generation wasted money, as it was unlikely that descendants would match the exceptional abilities that had created the wealth into which they were born. He also surmised that dynasties harm heirs by robbing their lives of purpose and meaning.

He practiced what he preached and was still actively giving in 1911 after he had already given away 90 percent of his wealth to causes he cared passionately about, especially libraries. As a pioneer of the kind of large-scale American philanthropy now practiced by the likes of Bill Gates and George Soros, he espoused a philosophy that many of today’s billionaires who want to leave their mark through good works are still following.

A modest upbringing

The U.S. government had taxed estates for brief periods ever since the days of the Founders, but the modern estate tax took root only a few years before Carnegie died in 1919.

That was one reason why the great philanthropist counseled his fellow ultra-wealthy Americans to give as much of their money away as they could to good causes – including the one he revolutionized: public libraries. As a librarian who has held many leadership roles in Michigan, where Carnegie funded the construction of 61 libraries, I am always mindful of his legacy.

Carnegie’s modest upbringing helped inspire his philanthropy, which left its mark on America’s cities large and small. After mechanization had put his father out of work, Carnegie’s family immigrated from Dunfermline, Scotland, to the U.S. in 1848, where they settled in Allegheny, Pennsylvania.

The move ended his formal education, which had begun when he was eight years old. Carnegie, then 13, went to work as a bobbin boy in a textile factory to help pay the family’s bills. He couldn’t afford to buy books and he had no way to borrow them in a country that would have 637 public libraries only half a century later.

In 1850, Carnegie, by then working as a messenger, learned that iron manufacturer Colonel James Anderson let working boys visit his 400-volume library on Saturdays. Among those books, “the windows were opened in the walls of my dungeon through which the light of knowledge streamed in,” Carnegie wrote, explaining how the experience both thrilled him and changed his life.

Books kept him and other boys “clear of low fellowship and bad habits,” Carnegie said later. He called that library the source of his largely informal education.

Carnegie eventually built a monument to honor Anderson. The inscription credits Anderson with founding free libraries in western Pennsylvania and opening “the precious treasures of knowledge and imagination through which youth may ascend.”

This postage stamp depicted the steelmaker in a library, halfway through a book.

Supporting communities

Carnegie believed in exercising discretion and care with charitable largess. People who became too dependent on handouts were unwilling to improve their lot in life and didn’t deserve them, in his opinion. Instead, he sought to “use wealth so as to be really beneficial to the community.”

For the industrial titan, that meant supporting the institutions that empower people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps like universities, hospitals and, above all, libraries.

In Carnegie’s view, “the main consideration should be to help those who will help themselves.” Free libraries were, in Carnegie’s opinion, among the best ways to lend a hand to anyone who deserved it.

Carnegie built 2,509 libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 1,679 of them across the U.S. in nearly every state. All told, he spent US$55 million of his wealth on libraries. Adjusted for inflation, that would top $1.3 billion today.

Some were grand but about 70 percent of these libraries served towns of less than 10,000 and cost less than $25,000 (at that time) to build.

A lasting legacy

Through Carnegie’s philanthropy, libraries became pillars of civic life and the nation’s educational system.

More than 770 of the original Carnegie libraries still function as public libraries today and others are landmarks housing museums or serving other public functions. More importantly, the notion that libraries should provide everyone with the opportunity to freely educate and improve themselves is widespread.

I believe that Carnegie would be impressed with how libraries have adapted to carry out his cherished mission of helping people rise by making computers available to those without them, hosting job fairs and offering resume assistance among other services.

Public libraries in Michigan, for example, host small business resource centers, hold seminars and provide resources for anyone interested in starting their own businesses. The statewide Michigan eLibrary reinforces this assistance through its online offerings.

The Michigan eLibrary, however, gets federal funding through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. And the Trump administration has tried to gut this spending on local libraries. Given Carnegie’s passions, he surely would have opposed those cuts, along with the bid by President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers to get rid of the estate tax.

Following in Carnegie’s footsteps, the Gates family has supported internet access for libraries in low-income communities and libraries located abroad. Several billionaires, including Buffett, have publicly professed their support for the estate tax. A philosophy of giving and public responsibility may be one of Carnegie’s most enduring legacies.Outside of government, Carnegie’s ideas about philanthropy are still making a difference. In the Giving Pledge, contemporary billionaires, including Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, have promised to give away at least half of their wealth during their lifetimes to benefit the greater good instead of leaving it to their heirs.

The ConversationEditor’s Note: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a strategic partner of The Conversation US and provides funding for The Conversation internationally as does the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Arlene Weismantel, Senior Associate Director, Libraries, Michigan State University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Re-posted under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license. Read the original article.

New updates bring Audible to basic Kindle and new customization options

Today’s announcement of the all-new Kindle Oasis included big news on the integration of Audible audiobooks into the device.  Audible integration will roll out as an update when the new Oasis device ships on October 31, 2017.

Also included in the announcement was the news that the basic, entry-level Kindle (current generation 8), along with the first generation Oasis,  will also be getting Audible integration over the coming months. This may be a feature that makes the basic Kindle (which does not have a backlight) more desirable as a device for prospective owners. As noted in this post on The eBook Reader, at least according to its reviews,  the basic, entry level kindle is not well liked.

Today’s announcement also included news of new firmware updates that would add new settings for reading customization, including new font sizes, bolding options and new margin options including an option for left-aligned  /ragged right text..

The new features are:

  • New Font Size and Bold Settings: Now choose from more font sizes than ever before–and five levels of boldness–for whichever font you choose to read with. Combined with the new, 7-inch Paperwhite display, you can personalize your books so it’s perfectly comfortable for your eyes.
  • New Accessibility Options: In addition to the OpenDyslexic font, we’ve added a feature to invert black and white on the display if you have light sensitivity. The new enlarged display option also lets you increase the size of items like the text on the home screen and library as well as the book icons to make the all-new Kindle Oasis easier to read.
  • Light Settings: Built-in ambient light sensors automatically adjust the display to your surroundings whether you’re in a dimly-lit room or outside in the sun–and can be fine-tuned even further based on personal preferences.
  • Ragged Right Alignment: You can now read using left-aligned (ragged right) text.

To me, one of the most intriguing of the new features is the ability to invert black-and-white on the display for those with light sensitivity. This is generally a feature found on apps and tablets, not e-ink readers (although there is supposedly a hack for the Kobo line here.). My old Literarti e-reader had this feature, and I can tell you, being able to read white text on a black screen in a dark room Is a great feature for reading in the middle of the night without disturbing your partner! 🙂

The new firmware features will be delivered as a free over the air update to the Kindle Paperwhite and newer devices starting today.