Prime Reading: The good, the bad and the confusing

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Recently, Amazon expanded its Prime benefits by adding a new feature called Prime Reading.It allows Prime Members in the US to read for free from a selection of over a thousand books, magazines, comics and more.  I have been using it over the last week and wanted to share some observations.

The available material is only a small subset of the content in the Kindle Unlimited (KU) program (which has over a million titles). Also, like some of the content on Scribd, the content in Prime Reading will rotate a variety of content monthly, whereas the Kindle Unlimited content is available as long as the content is in the program.

Like Kindle Unlimited, you can borrow up to 10 books at one time. You seem to be able to borrow an unlimited amount of books in total. If you already have 10 books on your device, you will be prompted to return one before you can borrow another.

The Good

For a long time, Prime membership included the benefit of reading free books with the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL).  Because this was set up for owners of an actual Kindle device, the KOLL monthly borrow couldn’t be initiated on the Kindle apps or the Kindle for PC and cloud reader. Prime Reading will allow borrowing from the apps as longs as the book is compatible.(See below**)

Surprisingly, Amazon has made the Prime Reading section really easy to find. (For a long time, customers have been frustrated that there is no section for KOLL books per se.) For Prime Reading, there are headings in the Kindle Books section on the website and it is even easy to find in the bookstore menu on the Fire tablets:

 

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Like Kindle Unlimited books, books borrowed through Prime Reading show up on your Manage Your Content and Devices (MYCD) page. You can also sort them by date and returned book status.

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The Bad:

One of the new feature of Prime Reading is the addition of magazines to the program. The selection is limited and is in a fixed view format (Amazon’s version of PDF).  That means the text is does not reflow and you have to pinch and zoom to read. Personally, I find this totally useless and way too hard to read. However, if you want to look at the original magazine ads, this has you covered.

Amazon has also added these magazines to the Kindle Unlimited subscription as well,so if you already have Kindle Unlimited, Prime Reading is unlikely to offer any additional value.

Every time Amazon shows you the Prime Reading section, it uses the opportunity to pitch you Kindle Unlimited. Since Prime Reading books are a small subset of the KU books, if you are already a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, there probably isn’t any added value for you from just Prime Reading feature .

Prime Reading content cannot be shared and content cannot be loaned to other Household members on your Prime account. Only the primary user can access any of the content, although it can be delivered to other devices on the same account.

The Confusing:

The content you see available on your screen may vary from one account to the next on both the web and device screens. Prime members who are not Kindle Unlimited members will see something different that those who do not have Prime or who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

Here’s the one of my favorite recent reads, Anne Frazier’s The Body Reader, as seen on two different Kindle Paperwhites. The one on the left is my husband’s; he is the Prime account holder and does not subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. The one on the right is from my Paperwhite; I do not have a Prime account of my own but do subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. Note the difference in the text on the button on the left.

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As with borrowing through the KOLL library, you will be charged the purchase price of the book if you click on the buy button instead of the one that says read for free.

If you are neither a Prime or KU subscriber, you should see a Kindle Unlimited prompt next to the buy button as a default.

On the Fire Tablet, Prime Reading displays pretty much the same way. Note the pitch to join Kindle Unlimited at the bottom:

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**Also  somewhat confusing is the fact that, due to formatting issues, all material from Prime Reading may not be available on all devices. Some people have reported that they cannot read some titles on various apps or devices. I myself have had problems certain graphic-heavy books not downloading, although they still show as borrowed on the MYCD page. On the first day, there were some reports of some comics and graphic novels coming up sideways. 😦

Books that can’t be delivered to a particular device do not seem to be indicated on the borrow page itself. Ineligible devices for delivery of a particular book are grayed out on the MYCD page.

It is still not clear exactly how the rotation in the Prime Reading program works. Will the titles change monthly? What happens if a title is removed from the selection before you are finished reading? It will be interesting to see how the program develops.

Have you tried Prime Reading? What do you think?

Daily Links and Deals: Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales

daily_links_1Today, a look at the age statistics some think are driving ebook sales. Also, a Wisconsin library is the poster child for how e-vendor changes affect patrons, Samsung acquires an AI and a a piece on the effects of “security fatigue”. In deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga and a deal on the Alexa enabled Triby.

Daily Links for Thursday, October 6,  2016:

Wisconsin county library system informs patrons of loss of digital magazines (Talking New Media) There’s no getting around it: when libraries change vendors it can be hard for patrons.

Samsung acquires Viv, the AI bot developed by the original creators of Siri (9 to 5 Google) Will Samsung soon have its own AI system?

‘Security Fatigue’ Can Cause Computer Users to Feel Hopeless and Act Recklessly, New Study Suggests (NIST) Raise your hand if you have ever thought, “If a large corporation like X can’t protect themselves, what can I do?

Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales Though Print Still Holds Strong (Huffington Post AU) Interesting statistics on what age groups really drive ebook sales.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals include Kindred by Octavia Butler and Wolverine: Enemy of the State: Enemy of the State Ultimate Collection by Mark Millar, John Romita Jr., and Kaare Andrews.

In Today’s Deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E (3rd Gen) 11.6″ Touchscreen Convertible Ultrabook and the Triby – Smart portable speaker with built-in Alexa Voice Service in Grey.

Through October 9th, the Alexa-enabled Amazon Tap is available for $100.

This week, Prime members can save on Kindles. The basic Kindle is $50, The Paperwhite is $90 and the Voyage is $150.

The Echo inow available in white. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find features savings on the first eleven volumes of Yusei Matsui’s global hit, Assassination Classroom. The Romance Daily Find has the three books in the Pulse Trilogy from Shoshanna Evers.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is I Know This Much Is True A Novel by Wally Lamb. The Extra Daily Deal is The Saint of Seven Dials
Collectors Edition (four books in one volume).

Also, a selection of titles called Romance On The Ice for $4.99 or Less until October Until October 31st.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until October 14, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Dating Tips for the Unemployed by Iris Smyles.

Google Books has a selection of Hot Deals.

(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.

 

Saturday Daily Deals: No Mercy

no_mercyDeals of the Day for Saturday, October 1,  2016:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes No Mercy (A Jonathan Grave Thriller Book 1) by John Gilstrap.

In Today’s Deals, there’s Falling Skies: The Complete Series on Blu-ray and three months of magazine service Texture  for $9.99. Service features over 200 magazines and this offer is for new subscribers only.

The Echo inow available in white. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is all three books in Wesley Chu’s Tao Series for $2.99 each. The Romance Daily Find is Assassins in Love (Assassins Guild Series #1) by Kris DeLake.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is is a selection of romance titles, including Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley. The Extra Daily Deal is In Other Worlds by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016 – now delayed to September 30, 2016 October 7, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Half a Life: A Memoir by Darin Strauss.

Google Books has a selection of titles in its Celebrity Memoir Sale.

(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.

Daily Links and Deals: How-To: Manage your ‘digital afterlife’ while you’re still here to do it

daily_links_1Daily Links for Friday, March 4, 2016:

UCLA Library works with faculty to cut students’ cost for course materials (UCLA) – This sounds like a great program. I wish they had something like this when I was in college.

The Untold Story of How Magazine Media is Winning (Folio) – This is a  fascinating look at the magazine industry in the digital age.

AT&T is bringing internet-style targeted advertising to TV (Engadget) – Like ads chasing us across websites wasn’t bad enough?

How-To: Manage your ‘digital afterlife’ while you’re still here to do it (9 to 5 Google) –  With so much more time being spent online, we have to think now about managing digital assets and our digital afterlife.

B&N is Shutting Down One of Its Top Three Digital Blunders on 15 March (The Digital Reader) – Goodbye NOOK UK, Goodbye NOOK Video and Goodbye NOOK Apps. Some great insights from Nate at The Digital Reader on why.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals includes Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott for $1.99.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Died in the Wool (Knitting Mystery Series #1) by Mary Kruger for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road Series #1) by Katie McGarry for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is A Darker Domain by Val McDermid for 99 cents.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Black Water Rising by Attica Locke for 99 cents.

Google is having a Read up to 50% Free special. You can read half the book as a sample before you decide to buy. (This is not exactly my idea of a deal, but maybe for some people ….)

(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 and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: The Life and Death and Life of Magazines

daily_links_1Daily Links for Tuesday, February 16, 2016:

Beware This Android Malware That Erases Your Phone With a Single Text  (Gizmodo) – A reminder: Don’t open MMS messages from people you don’t know!

Library hires employee to work with homeless, at-risk people (Chicago Tribune) –  At today’s libraries,  this is becoming a more frequent response to serving the needs of homeless patrons.

The Life and Death and Life of Magazines (Atavist) –  Thoughtful piece on the diminishing role of the magazine in our culture.

Three Ways Publishers and Libraries Can Work Better Together (Publishers Weekly) – Interesting article that also talks about how pricing affects collections and therefore, readers.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal includes Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel by Richard Kadrey for $1.99.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War by Jacqueline Winspear for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Hot Property (Molly DeWitt Series #1) by Sherryl Woods for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Final Scream by Lisa Jackson for $1.99. Kobo is also having a Grow Your Library For Less sale with books priced at 99 cents and up.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Next Always by Nora Roberts for $1.99.

(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 and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links: Paper, ereader, tablets, phones: Reading goes eclectic

daily_links_1Today’s links and finds:

Paper, ereader, tablets, phones: Reading goes eclectic (Vancover Sun) – As far as e-reading nowadays, anything goes.

8 Nook And Kindle Hacks You Need To Know About (Bustle) – Good tips for e-reading, especially converting back and forth between PDF, .epub and .mobi.

People are in denial about using devices while walking and being bad at it (Ars Technica) – Yeah. Just yeah.

To Push Moments, Twitter Starts Shoving The Notifications Tab To The Side (Techcrunch) – Seriously, somebody moved the furniture…. Hate it when that happens!

Access Denied (The Awl) – This adds an interesting dimension to the tension between publishing and technology. It also suggests that ad blocking may not be the only factor in magazine and website money woes.

As one of today’s deals, Amazon has a Kindle Fire HD 7″, HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Previous Generation – 3rd) for just $99. This is the 2013 model (presumably new as it does not say refurbished). This model does not have a camera, microphone, HDMI port or the Mayday function.  This model is has no special offers ads.  The device has a 1280×800 screen resolution resolution at 216 ppi.

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 and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links: Children’s Socioeconomic status affects digital reading preference

Child readingFrom the Bookseller, Children’s Socioeconomic status affects digital reading preference.

A new art form rises: Audio without the book, from the New York Times.

From Talking New Media, Brazils Editora Tres dedicated to producing native language tablet editions.

Just in time for Cyber Monday, Don’t fall for this online shopping scam, from CBS News.

Amazon is offering over 2000 ebooks at up to 80% off for their Cyber Monday Kindle Deals. The wide variety of choices (fiction and non-fiction), include works by Octavia Butler, Leo Uris, Pat Conroy, Dorothy L. Sayers and many, many more.

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.