Goodreads adds rereading feature

reread_mainIf you are a Goodreads user who like to reread your favorite books, here’s some good news: Goodreads had finally added a feature to track rereading a book. This has been a highly requested feature on the site (I’ve personally requested it on several occasions).

With the new feature, you  can add a separate set of start and finish dates each time you re-read a book. The rereads also now count towards Reading Challenges as well.

The new feature was announced yesterday on the site’s blog and is in the process of rolling out to all users.

To see if you have the new feature, go to the page of a book you’ve read on Goodreads, click Edit in the My Activities section and scroll to the dates read section. It will say if the rereads are enabled. To use the feature, click the Add Read Date button. (See screenshot.)

reread_enabled

If you have been keeping track of your rereads via the “Number of Times Read” option or by using different editions to track rereads, the system will automatically add those to the section. I am going to try adding them in after the fact, since I did not track rereads because I could not enter dates.

Since I have actually missed completing more than one yearly reading challenge because I couldn’t count rereads, I am really excited to see this feature implemented. How about you?

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Daily Links and Deals: States win the right to limit municipal broadband, beating FCC in court

daily_links_1Today, states win the right to limit municipal broadband. Also, a look at how question-based headlines are perceived, new IFTTT integration, a guide to selling your Android phone or tablet, and a new feature allows you to share notes and highlights on Goodreads. In deals, a great price on the Instant Pot 6-in-1 cooker.

Daily Links for Wednesday, August 10, 2016:

Readers perceive question-based headlines more negatively, study shows (Journolism.co.uk) Is it clickbait just because it’s phrased in the form of a question?

Selling your Android phone or tablet: The ultimate guide (Android Central) As new phones are hitting the market, a lot of people are opting to upgrade and sell their old one. Here’s a guide to help.

States win the right to limit municipal broadband, beating FCC in court (Ars Technica) IMHO, this is a huge win for  telecommunications corporations and a huge loss for the people.

IFTTT enables third-party developers to integrate the service into their products (Tech Hive) Built in support for IFTTT will add a lot of flexibility for users of the service.

You Can Now Share Your Kindle Notes and Highlights via Goodreads (The Digital Reader) I have somewhat mixed feelings about this,,, While it could be useful in writing reviews, it sounds like it is defaulting to on for sharing from books you’ve shelved.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes The Black Prism (Lightbringer Book 1) by Brent Weeks and Frankenstein: Prodigal Son: A Novel by Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson.

In Today’s Deals, you can get the Instant Pot  6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker for $69.99.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Perfectly Broken by Robert Burke Warren. The Romance Daily Find is Saddled and Spurred (Blacktop Cowboys Series #2) by Lorelei James.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson. The Extra Daily Deal is Body Switches by Barbara G.Tarn.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) by Ann Brashares.

Google Books has a selection of Summer Travel Sale books.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


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, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Are Goodreads Deals now opt-in? Check your settings

goodreads_dealsI got an email from Goodreads Deals today telling me that Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan was on sale for $1.99. My response was was not happiness, but a rush of anger and a complaint email to GR customer service. Since I had previously opted out of these notification emails, I was not a happy camper.

Granted, getting put on an email list I did not sign up for is one of my pet peeves. But a lot of my anger in this particular situation was because this is the second time that Goodreads has signed me up for a list that I did not want. The last time this happened, I also wrote an email complaining about their actions. Goodreads’ response to that email came across as uncaring – after all, as they explained, all I had to do was go into my account and change my settings. Never mind the fact that they sent me something that I did not want and had not signed up for.

After the last email, I specifically went into my listings and changed all my newsletter and mailing preferences to state that I did not want these kinds of email notifications.

When Goodreads started the Deals newsletter, the feature was supposed to be opt-in. This description is from May 20, 2016 in the The Verge:

Goodreads Deals is an opt-in feature that analyzes user data (looking at individuals’ favorite reads, authors, etc), before emailing out relevant ebooks when they go on sale. “If one of the authors you follow has a not-to-be-missed promotion on an ebook,” says the company in a blog post announcing the service. “We’ll make sure you don’t miss out.”

Notice that description says “opt-in”. Now, let’s consider that phrase opt-in for a moment.

Marketing site Click Z has this definition for opt-in:

Just to be clear, opt-in means that the recipient has knowingly given you, the sender, permission to communicate with them via e-mail. An easy test to determine whether or not your e-mail is opt-in is to ask yourself if the recipient will be expecting to receive e-mail from you. If so, it’s opt-in. If not, it isn’t.

Was I expecting to get that email from Goodreads? Absolutely not. I had previously opted out in my email settings on my account and had even written them a complaint letter about unsolicited newsletter signups. So I had no reason to expect that I would receive this kind of an email from them and every reason to expect that I would not find something like this in my inbox.

That Click Z article goes on to note that it is not against CAN-SPAM rules to send opt-in emails. It’s not illegal, but it certainly is not best practice to do so. Goodreads privacy policy says that a user can opt-out from “email messages regarding updates, improvements, or offers.” It seems pretty apparent that while Goodreads Deals was originally promoted as opt-in, it has evidently become opt-out.

The insult-to-injury part was that I already own Altered Carbon. It is actually one of my all-time favorite books. So I wouldn’t have signed up to be notified about a book I already own. It seems pretty apparent that while Goodreads Deals may have originally been promoted as opt-in, in practice, it has evidently become opt-out.

I haven’t heard back from Goodreads yet, but after the unconcern expressed the last time I dealt with them on this issue, I am not expecting much from them other than being told I can, of course, opt-out. < /sarcasm> Of course, I have done that before and we see how far that got me….

I would advise checking your Goodreads settings. And, if you don’t want to receive these kinds of emails, I suggest that you specifically opt out of the deal emails. To do so, go to Account Settings>Deals and uncheck all the boxes.

Who knows? It may actually work…for a while.

How about you? Have you gotten any unwelcome emails from Goodreads?

Daily Links and Deals: Goodreads Debuts Kindle E-book Giveaways

daily_links_1In today’s links, Goodreads allows Kindle e-book giveaways – at a price. Also, a reported Gmail hack, a way to learn to code in bite-sized lessons and more. In deals, an Instant Pot a refurbed Dyson and and a last call for Mother’s Day e-readers and tablets.

Daily Links for Thursday, May 5, 2016:

The rise of a new era in the monetization of digital content (Techcrunch) An opinion piece looking towards the future of making money on the web.

SoloLearn Teaches Coding Basics In Bite-Sized Lessons Every Day (LifeHacker) Want to learn code but short on time? This may help.

Millions of Gmail accounts said to be impacted by data breach (Android Central) The comments seem to indicate that this  is not a new hack, but hackers checking for previously compromised passwords.

Google feeds its AI machines steamy romance novels to improve natural language processing (9 to 5 Google) So, “the romance novels were picked because they all tell essentially the same story, but with different words.”  *shakes head*

Goodreads Debuts Kindle E-book Giveaways (Publishers Weekly) As an e-only reader, this is good news. But the price aspect really discriminates against indie authors and small publishers. They need a better way to deal with this.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes The Shark Whisperer by Ellen Prager and Antonio Javier Caparo from the Tristan Hunt And The Sea Guardians series.

In Today’s Deals, an Instant Pot IP-LUX50 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 5Qt/900W, a Dyson V6 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum (Certified Refurbished) and the Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series Collection on DVD.

Last call for Mother’s Day delivery on Kindles and Fire Tablets:  Almost out of time for delivery by Sunday. Amazon is still offering-ink Kindles at $20 off regular prices on the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle for Kids bundle. 

There are several promotions on Fire tablets. The 7″ Fire (normally $49.99) is only still only $39.99. Amazon is also offering savings on the Fire HD 6 (8GB and 16 GB versions) and the Fire HD 10 is $50 off for a limited time. There are also still deals on pre-owned Fire tablets.

And, yes, I am also still seeing the option for 5 payments of $58 for the Kindle Oasis pre-order. Current delivery date is June 1, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Nuns with Guns by Seth Kaufman for $2.99. The Romance Daily Find is Carolina Mist by Mariah Stewart for $1.99.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Soundtrack  is a B & N exclusive until May 20. You can also pre-order Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Soundtrack (vinyl) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens Soundtrack Laser-Etched Edition!  (also vinyl)  See the site for details and release dates.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Raven Boys (Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater for $1.99. The extra Daily Deal is A Merry Wedding (Little Merry Mystery) by Audrey Claire for $1.99.

And, you can still get $20 off the Kobo Glo HD.  Free shipping is included but I am not sure about a Mother’s Day delivery at this point, although they are still advertising it as a Mother’s Day sale.:)

The Kobo has a monthly special 3 for 2 deal features books by  Grace Burrowes. The special runs the entire month of May.:)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Chill of the Night: A McCabe and Savage Thriller by James Hayman for $1.99.

Google has a Short Story Month collection at great prices. (This includes short stories and novellas)

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


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, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

January 24 is National Readathon Day

NationalReadathonDayThumb2Penguin Random House, GoodReads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation have joined to sponsor National Readathon Day. The event aims to promote and fund literacy and reading.

According to the website:

You can get involved by joining readers across America in a marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24. From Noon – 4 PM in our respective time zones, we will sit and read a book in our own home, library, school or bookstore.

Funds are raised by getting family and friends to donate via Firstgiving. There will also be group events at libraries, schools and bookstores. The proceeds will be donated to National Book Foundation.

The hashtag for the event is #timetoread.

You can find out more information and details on how to participate on the National Readathon Day page. 

 

 

Thoughts on the Fire HD 6

Fire HD 6 pictureI had mentioned a while back that I had skipped purchasing the new Kindle Voyage e-reader, but did purchase a Fire HD 6. Now that I have had a chance to play with it, I thought I would share a few thoughts on the device. While I upgrade my e-ink Kindles fairly frequently, I don’t upgrade my tablets as often. My perspective in this review, therefore, will focus on comparing it to my older devices.

Just for background, I already own a 1st Generation Kindle Fire and two Fire HDs (1st HD generation, 2012), one that is a 7″ and one that is 8.9. The !st generation fire is old enough that it is not supporting newer apps and games. There is also no way to connect to a television to the device to stream video to the big screen. The 2nd generation fires use a micro-HDMI cable to connect with the TV.

I wanted the HD 6 predominantly because of its size and form factor. I have had eye surgery, so for ease of use, I need something that is bigger than a tiny phone screen (I used to carry my iPod Touch with me). My phone is a Galaxy Note II and I wanted something even bigger that that. The HD 6 seemed like a manageable size and weight to throw in a purse or a bag for a visit to the doctor’s office. And, in fact, that presumption was indeed correct. It is the perfect size to carry around with me. With the cover on, it is just about the size and weight of a library binding paper back. It is lightweight enough to be comfortable, but hefty enough to feel substantial.

The headphone jack,  power button and micro-usb charging port are located at the top of the device, which I also like. On the original Fire, the charging port and headphone jack were at the bottom, which made it very difficult to hold the tablet vertically and read or listen to music. On the 2014 models, the charging and micro-HDMI ports were positioned on the side. This made certain cases awkward to use with the device,  especially when connected to a TV.

I also liked the fact that the Fire HD 6 does have substantially-sized physical volume buttons which are placed in a convenient position on the upper left side of the tablet. I tend to pick my tablets up from the bottom or the middle, so this is perfect for me. On the first generation Fire, there was no physical volume button. Everything was done via software and it was very inconvenient to use for games, videos and music. On 2nd generation Fire, the button were small and badly placed on the ends of the device. Those buttons were very hard to use because they were hard to find by feel alone.

While it doesn’t impact the function of the device, I liked the fact that the Fire HDs come in colors and  not just black. I bought myself a white one.

Unlike the earlier generations of Fire HDs, the Fire HD 6 ahs both front and rear facing cameras. The quality is about what you would expect for VGA and 2MP cameras ( not great), but it would be sufficient for Skype.

The Fire HD 6 has an up to 1.5 GHz quad core processor, faster than both the original original Fire tablet (1 GHz dual core) and the earlier Fire HD 1.2 GHZ dual core models. Out of the box, the initial response was pretty snappy. 🙂

There have been small tweaks made to the appearance of some of the programs. The carousel and memu bars look slightly different and a few names have changed. Notifications off is now easier to find and called Quiet Time. Orientation Lock is now called Rotation Lock and is also easier to find. I also found that I really needed that function because the gyro on my device is pretty sensitive.  I also found that the text-to-speech controls are much easier to find from within a book than they were on the previous Kindles and Fire tablets.

There are a couple of new features that I really like. Goodreads is integrated into the Fire in a way that seems to me to be much more organic than it does for the Paperwhite.

My favorite new feature is the addition of voice recognition to the Kindle Fire HD 6. None of my previous Fires had this capability.You can use a microphone or a headset with a microphone to dictate into any of the note or word processing programs. I use a set of JLab Headphones with microphone for mine.

The biggest new capability that makes this tablet really stand out is the profiles and shared library feature for OS 4.5.1. It was a bit tricky to set up as Amazon was still rolling out the feature and changing the instructions when I was working on it. I plan to write a entire post on setting up the sharing library and will come back and link to it here when I do.

Like many couples, my husband and I shared an account when we got my first Kindle. So all the early books we bought, all the videos, and all the music was put on that account. When I started blogging, I set up my own Amazon account so that I could have verified purchases under my own name for review purchases. That has made it difficult to share content – and is part of the reason we had two Fire HDs. Now, we can share all that content between accounts on both the Fire HD 6 and our Kindle Paperwhite 2 e-readers.

One of the few downsides to this tablet is that the built in speakers are only mono sound. However, the headphone jack is stereo and device features Dolby sound. The tablet also has only single band wi-fi, but so far, I have not had any problems with connections.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of the Amazon covers for the tablets. I did try the Javoedge Kindle cover that I wrote about in this post, but the cover was too wide to safely hold the Fire. I am currently using a lightweight MarBlue Fire cover which is working quite well for me. This cover does NOT have a wake/sleep function built in to the cover, but since that is not a feature I personally care much for, that is really not important to me.

I am really enjoying the Fire HD 6. I have to say that this is one of my favorite devices at this point. With the features this tablet has,  I think that this is an amazing device, especially for only $119.

If you have any questions about the device, let me know in the comments. 🙂