Book Deals of the Day: 12-30-2014

Johnny CashAmazon is still tempting us to fill up our Kindles. Today,they are offering 20 popular fiction titles for $2.99 or less. Today’s offerings include the first four titles in Kendra Elliott’s Bone Secrets series.

Also for $2.99 or less, there are 12 memoirs and biographies including titles on musical greats such as Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, and Mick Fleetwood. There are also recent titles such as I am Malala and Robin Roberts’ Everybody’s Got Something.

Finally, for the kids daily deal, there are six Calvin and Hobbes books for only $1.99 each.

You can see all of Amazon’s Daily Deals here.

Barnes and Noble is still tempting us as well. There are 101 thriller NOOK books and 101 e-books for kids and teens, all on sale for $2.99 or less.



Book Deals of the Day

Fatal AffairAll those new e-readers and tablets usually mean that people are looking for content to fill them with. While I don’t generally post book sales, some days there are prices and titles that are too good not to mention. Today is one of those days.

Amazon has several in their Daily Deals today. First, they are offering over 80 romance titles from Harlequin and Carina Press.  For today only, these are $1.99 or less. Available titles include authors like Diana Palmer, Lauren Dane, Brenda Novak, Lynne Graham and B.J. Daniels.

For the Inspirational Daily Deal, there are  over 120 books from Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series. For today only, these are $1.99 or less at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. These books contain inspirational true stories that are intended to inspire, comfort and motivate.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Find of the Day is Nora Roberts A Will and a Way for $1.99. And, for a limited time, there is also a nice selection of Disney books (including Frozen) for $3.99 or less.

Kobo’s holiday sale is offering up to 70% off selected e-books and magazines. The Kobo sale offer is valid until January 5, 2015. 🙂

If you are an iBooks fan, Apple has you covered, too. There is a whole list of Bestsellers for $3.99 or less.

Library Corner: 12/29/2014

Library corner imageThe week in library news:

Alan Dundes papers open for access at UC Berkeley Bancroft Library (Teleread)

OverDrive: Streaming Video From MGM Now Available For Library Lending in U.S. and Canadian Public and School Markets (Infodocket)

Simon & Schuster Expands Library eBook Loans to the UK (Digital Reader)

Is Your City Miserly Toward Library Books? Go for a Surtax or a Special Book Funds (Library City)

Ten library systems pass one million digital checkouts in OverDrive in 2014 (Teleread)

Deal of the Day: Walking Dead Books

Walking Dead NovelFor those of you who are looking to fill up those new Kindles and tablets, Amazon’s Bonus Deal of the Day  has some great prices today on Kindle books: they are priced from $1.99 to $2.99. Titles include books by authors such as Jeffery Archer and Sandra Brown, with a few bestsellers in the mix such as Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin and Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg (the book that was the basis for the film Angel Heart).

I picked up the Sand Omnibus by Hugh Howey and also found the first books in The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman. BTW, these aren’t the comics, these are the new novels exploring the origins of characters in the series.


Is The Book More Important Than The Text?

This is an interesting form over function argument that most of us who have transitioned to e-books have already come to terms with. Here, in true postmodernist fashion, the book has become an objet d’art. 🙂

Jak's View of Vancouver v.3

The major Canadian literary prize, the Giller, was won in 2010 by Johanna Skibsrud’s “The Sentimentalists”. This book was published by a small boutique outfit called Gaspereau Press and was available only in a small edition typical of small presses (they specialize in runs of between 400 and 4,000 copies). The Giller would generally add tens of thousands to sales and a number of larger publishers offered to print a large run. Gaspereau however refused all offers, dismissing Random House et al. as people he wouldn’t want to do business with, and strongly defending tiny quality print runs.

That is one part of an interesting story. The other came in an interview that the publisher at Gaspereau had on CBC Radio where it was noted that Gaspereau has made an e-Book version of “The Sentimentalists” available to anyone online. The publisher dismissed that as merely “the text,” comparing it…

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The first 10 things you should do on your new ereader or tablet

tablet_bowNote: The order in which these are completed may vary from device to device. I was also trying to make sure this advice applied as much as possible to most e-readers, tablets and phones. Therefore, I may have broken some sort of a world’s record for the number of times I use the word device, LOL! Sorry!  🙂

First thing, charge the device. The device probably comes partially charged. Is a good idea to make sure it has a full charge before you start any kind of heavy use. You can usually still use the device for setup and personalization while it’s plugged in and charging.

Read/watch the tutorial. If this is a new device, go through the tutorial and familiarize yourself with the device.  Kindles, for example, generally only show the tutorial the first time you boot up the e-reader. Other devices, like Samsung tablets, allow you to choose whether or not to show the tutorial again. Watching the tutorial helps to familiarize yourself with how the device works. If this is an upgrade from a previous model, this will clue you in to what you need to know to understand the changes.

Set up the Wi-Fi (and the cellular service). Generally, Wi-Fi controls are found under settings. Most devices will scan for available Wi-Fi networks, ask you to choose a network and then ask you to enter your password. If your device uses GSM, you will need to insert the Sim card  and then follow your carrier’s instructions to activate it.

Don’t skip the update!  The first thing many devices do is to perform a software update. Don’t skip this step! Your device will run much more smoothly and securely with the latest software version installed.

Set up your accounts. Most of today’s devices are personal and designed for one person’s private use. Whether it’s a phone,  a Kindle, a Chromebook or an iPad, setting up your account is crucial. It personalizes your device and auto fills most of your profile information. Essentially, it does most of the hard work for you. If you have a device which allows you to set up family or multiple profiles, it is easiest to add them right at the beginning. Remember, if you have accounts with services such as Amazon, iTunes, or Google play, all your content is tied to your account. By setting up your account on the new device, you authorize all your content to be available for the new device.

Personalize. Every device has a settings and or preferences section. Here, you can personalize and send aspects of the device to your personal preferences. These settings can include basics such as setting how the clock displays, choosing a time zone, or changing the colors and setting your home screen. There are also advanced settings where you can manage preferences such as passwords, parental controls, languages, dictionaries and connects social media accounts.

Download and re-load. Depending on the device, you may find content already waiting for you. Kindles and Fire tablets allow you to send purchased content to the device before it is even delivered. If you already own content, you can find your previously purchased content in the cloud, waiting to be downloaded. Some tablet manufacturers (such as Samsung and Apple) will install everything from your old device onto a new one from a recent backup.

Get yourself a cover! Do yourself a favor and get some sort of a skin, cover or case for your device. Accidents happen and you want to protect your investment. There is a wide variety of accessories available, making it easy to find something you like at a reasonable price.

Play with it! The best way to familiarize yourself with a new piece of technology used to use it! Allow yourself some time to play with the device to learn how it works and get comfortable with it. Try to use the device under low stress situations until you’re used to it. You’ll learn more and have a lot more fun.

Keep it plugged in! I know. You were told that this blank had an incredible battery life, right? So, why am I telling you to keep it plugged in? Most electronics batteries perform better after several charges. In the case of Kindles, the e-reader actually reads every book you put on the device. This process is called indexing. It allows the Kindle to search for a particular word or phrase. This process occurs every time you add a book to the Kindle, even ones that use sideload manually. The indexing process uses a lot of battery power and if you’re adding a lot of books or adding them on a regular basis, for best performance, keep the battery plugged in.

Any questions, leave it in the comments and I will try to help. 🙂

You can more resources for new e-readers and tablets on the New e-reader? Start Here page.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 on sale today for 30% off

hdx_89Amazon has what looks to be the entire line of 8.9 HDX Fire tablets on sale today for 30% off. This is pretty amazing as these seem to be the current 2014 model. That means a you can get a flagship 8.9 HDX (Amazon’s iPad competitor), starting at only $299. Most of the other HDX tablets previously on sale were previous generation models.

The 4G LTE models (Verizon and A T & T) are included in the sale. This sale includes an unlocked GSM version of the 4G LTE model. Since T-Mobile offers 200MB a month of free tablet data to its customers, this was the model that I was looking for. 🙂 You can also buy an A T & T sim to go with the tablet for use on their network.


Library Corner: 12/21/2014

Library corner imageThe week in library news:

Sighart Report warns of “absolute disaster” in UK library services (Teleread)

Librarians are continuing to defend open access to web as a public service (Techdirt)

The Real Costs of Open Access Publishing (Teleread)

The National Library of Australia now has the largest freely available collection of digitised newspapers in the world   (Medianet)

Jisc releases report on ethical and legal challenges of learning analytics (JISC)

Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press Sues University Of California For Access To Historic Gov Docs Held at UC Berkeley Library (Reporter’s Committee)

Open Clarity on Open Licenses  (

“The Promise and Problems of the Visual E-Book: Call for an Alliance between Authors and Librarians” (Infodocket)

France: Agreement Signed to Facilitate E-Lending in French Public Libraries  (Infodocket)

Picture adapted from Morguefile original



Last minute Holiday gifts for the e-book lover

Wrapped Holiday GiftsWell, we are almost out of shopping days for the holidays. If you are still wracking your brain for a gift for that e-book reader or techie in your life, here are a few ideas for last minute gifts.

How about a device stand? While some cases and covers have a built in stand, many don’t have that feature. This is an example of a adjustable e-reader and tablet stand that fits both e-readers and tablets.

Another great gift is a portable battery charger. These are available as something small and  lipstick-sized or something larger that is capable of charging two smartphones.

If you need to connect a device on the go to charge or share data, a USB cable is one of those modern necessities. And they come in every color imaginable! You can choose small and flat for the traveler  or something made for multiple device connections. There are cables that are retractable or USB drives that come as key chains.

Audiobooks are very popular right now, making a set of ear buds another of those must-have items for everything from the phone to the e-reader or tablet. You can even buy travel cases for them. I have to confess, I carry a set in not only my purse, but in each of my bags for my Chromebook and e-reader.

In fact, they even make USB Travel Charger Kit that has a wall charger, a USB cable and a set of ear buds in a clamshell case.

Because we use our phones, tablets and e-readers so much, touch screen gloves are almost becoming a necessity, too. Because of their popularity, you can now find them available in anything from eco-friendly bamboo to fine Italian leather.

Gift Cards

Generally speaking, gift cards can seem like a very impersonal gift. To the e-book or e-music lover, however, a gift card makes a great gift. People who have e-readers tend to be avid readers and gift cards are a great way to say to someone, “Buy some books that make you happy!” They are also a fantastic accessory to give with a new e-reader or tablet. That way, the recipient can download something that they will enjoy, right out of the box.

You can find gift cards to go with all the major e-reader brands:

Remember, you can also send a gift directly from any Amazon, Barnes and Noble or iBook page. [I cannot figure out how to gift a book from the Kobo site directly without buying an e-gift card. If someone knows how, please let me know in the comments. :)]

Daily Links: Blackberry Classic launches today

Blackberry classicFor die-hard Blackberry fans, the factory unlocked BlackBerry Classic smartphone launched today for just $449. (Amazon)

Bloomsbury joins Oyster (Oysterbooks blog)

Macmillian reaches contract with Amazon, will try subscription services (Publishers Weekly)

Budapest’s beautiful book stations (Teleread)

Several IOS apps were updated:

Comcast will finally let Roku owners stream HBO and Showtime (Recode)

Amazon brings Kindle Unlimited to France and Brazil (Ebook Reader)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other links of interest on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.