Kindle Promotions

Amazon is running several promotions tied in with its popular Kindle eReader.

First, just in time for Mother’s Day, you can buy a Kindle 3G or a Kindle DX and get a $25 gift card with the purchase. The promotion runs from April 27, 2011 to May 8, 2011.

Secondly, there is an exclusive promotion for owners of the new Kindle with Special Offers. You can get a $10 Amazon gift card if you purchase any item from this list of books with a Visa card. The offer is valid from April 27, 2011 to May 21, 2011.

(Please note: Both offers have special terms and conditions. Be sure to read the fine print!)

Pandigital Novel 7 inch White on Sale

Bed, Bath & Beyond has the White Pandigital Novel Multimedia Tablet PC and Color eReader on sale. It is $169.99 with a $30.oo rebate. If you also have one of the store’s 20% coupons, you can get the item for a good price. They are also available for competitive prices at Radio Shack and Amazon.  (Note: Model number on this is the R70D256)

Like the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, Pandigital recently updated the Novel to add more android tablet functionality. These readers are tied to the Barnes and Noble bookstore. The major complaint seems to be the very slow response of the touchscreen. Read this review at CNET for the info.

That review was somewhat off-putting to me at least – a shame, because for that price (less than half the price of the Nook Color), I would have bought one.

How about you? Are you in the market for a tablet eReader? If so, what’s your price point and must-have feature?

Reactions to Amazon Lending Announcement

Wednesday’s announcement by Amazon that they will finally allow library lending for the Kindle has caused quite a stir on many of the various ereader discussion boards.

Reactions to the news was both mixed and interesting.  Here’s a sampling from some of the forums:

The shock and disbelief crowd: “………..runs off to check the thermometer in HELL!!!!!!”
The cynical crowd:  “Welcome to the 21st century, Amazon!”
Great in 20 years when my library finally gets ebooks I will be all set. I wonder if my kindle will last that long….”
“Good. Now maybe those folks will stop complaining about it.”
“You need to sticky post this over in the Q & A forum as well where the “Why can’t I get library books while every other eReader can?!?!” complaint gets posted just about daily.”
The grateful crowd:  “I am SUPER excited… THANK YOU AMAZON for listening your consumers!”
“Inability to check out library books is the ONLY thing I dislike about my Kindle.”
“This is awesome news! Guess I will finally have to get a library card again.”
“Now my kindle will be perfect!”
“The now I’ll buy a Kindle” crowd:   Now I will buy a Kindle.”
 “I’ve been waiting for Amazon to do this before I’d buy a kindle. Guess I’ll probably be getting one now!”
The too late crowd:  “Oh, finally!!! If only I had known two months ago before I bought a Nook so I could borrow library books!”
The “I was going to buy a ____ so I could read library books” crowd:  Fill in the blank with Nook, Sony, Kobo, etc.
The wanting more and can’t make ’em happy crowds:
“Now if there was only a color version of the Kindle…”
“This is terrific!! Thank you so much 🙂 Please let there be text-to-speech on the library books too, please!”
“Great news. Hopefully the ability to lend your own books to friends more than once will follow.”
“Unfortunately this won’t help the fact that my library has a really poor collection of ebooks and that many major publishers won’t release their ebooks for libraries or severely limit them. But it is definitely a step forward.”
The altruistic crowd:
“Fantastic! Hey Mr. Bezos, one more idea from your customers: when I buy a book from you, after I’m done reading it can you work with Overdrive to figure out a way I can relinquish the e-book and donate it to a library of my choice? Library budgets are tight, and that would be a great way for you, and your customers, to help libraries keep up with technology.”
Concerned for other readers and the libraries crowd:
“Definitely not good news for the other readers – their one big advantage was library books.”
“I do hope it won’t add too much to library expenses. And it will take awhile before many libraries offer this. As it its my local library is not set up for lending to e-readers (I do know about other lending libraries). But I foresee Kindle getting the lion share of business (in the USA) once it happens. I know more people with Kindles than other e-readers.”
Librarians’ reactions to the news show more concern than excitement, as this article from the website  shows. You can follow the ongoing discussion on Twitter under the hashtag #AZOD.
So, what about you? How do you feel about the news?
This blog entry composed while listening to The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music.

Kindle DX on sale

Today’s Amazon Gold Box Deal is the large screen Kindle DX for only $299. It normally retails for $379.

The item raises a couple of interesting questions. Amazon never puts the Kindles on sale, so does this item mean that we are going to be seeing either a new Kindle DX or the much rumored Amazon Android Tablet soon? Kindle aficionados have noted that the DX hasn’t had any updates recently, another possible sign that Amazon is close to rolling out a new product. Most users think that it doesn’t handle fonts and PDFs as well as its Kindle 3G  counterpart. The DX is also not available in WiFi – a definite deal breaker for me, even though I would love the larger 9.7 inch display.

Stay tuned for future updates…

An Ad supported Kindle

On today’s Amazon home page  – the announcement for the ad supported Kindle for the all-time low price of $114. The device feature ads on the screen savers and the home page. It also has special coupons and offers for customers accessed through the Kindle. The new Kindles start shipping in May.

You can read more in this article from the Associated Press.

If ads on the books are the ereaders of the future, I think I will pass. Especially with some of the low prices on Nooks and Kobo readers that have been available lately. Terribly disappointing, Amazon.

Where to find Free Audio Books

One of my most popular posts was one I did on Where to Find Free Ebooks. But did you know that there are also sites that have free audio books available as well?

There is a wide variety of quality and type among free audiobooks. You can find human read books that range from a simple narration to others that are audio performances by groups of actors. There are also machine read books that also vary greatly in the  sound of the computer translation. Some sites offer both human and machine-read audio books.

Human read Books:

Audio Books for Free downloads. You can also purchase MP3 discs, CDs and DVDs formatted in various ways.

Audio Free audiobooks. Also has audio books available for purchase.

Literal Systems Recorded by professional actors under a Creative Commons license.

Librivox: Audio books narrated by volunteers.

Lit2Go: From Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse, K thru 12 children’s stories and poems.

Podiobooks: Serialized books presented as podcasts. Oh! And they are read by the authors – How cool is that?

Computer Generated Audio Books:

Books Should be Free: Books from Public Domain sources presented in a very visual way. Includes books digitized by and recorded by

Free Classic Audio Books: Offers free digitally narrated books. Also offers human-read books on CD for a fee.

Free Christian Audio Books:

Free Christian Audio Books: Digital Narration

Audio Treasure: The Bible in various languages and translations.

This bolg entry composed while listening to Best of Duke Ellington.