Well, I’ll start off by saying I really don’t have a set agenda for this post – shocking, I know. However, I do have a few random thoughts, plus I thought I would answer a few questions I have received from several of you via email: my thought process is if several of you have the same question and took the time to write to me, that means a whole heck of a lot more of you have the same question and are looking for an answer.
I am, as usual, way behind on replying to email but if you would like to write to me you can send an email to kindle at gagler dot com (I type it that way in a small attempt to thwart the spammers).
To start off, while there was certainly a lot of damage due to Hurricane Irene and there is a lot of cleanup to do, I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as initially thought!
Many people are still without power to their homes. I’ve experienced that with a hurricane before, and I know it is a pain in the neck, but look at the bright side: your Kindle is an energy miser, and if you leave the wireless off or just turn it on periodically to download, say, this blog then turn it off again, it can last for over a week without a charge. Of course, your experience may vary depending upon hours of use, do you have the lighted cover drawing power from the Kindle, age of the battery, etc.
One thing you can use, and I have three of these in my house, is an emergency USB charger that runs on two “AA” size batteries. I have used these primarily with camping, and also during power outages, to power up my family’s Kindles, iPods, cell phones, and my antique MP3 player (I refuse to drink the Apple Kool-Aid although my family members have warmly embraced it). In other words, we have WAY too many devices in my family. You can get one like I have for $5.00, which includes shipping, if you click here or type in http://amzn.to/m6XQrd in to your computer’s web browser. I think this is one of my better “be prepared” investments.
Here’s to hoping there aren’t many more hurricanes this year, but we sure could use some rain here in Texas!
Kindle Book Lending
Several people have written me with problems about lending a Kindle book, specifically they never can have the book “returned” after the two-week period is over: the loaned book’s status on their Kindles show as still being on “loan” and the original purchaser is unable to read it. The emailers want to know how they can get the book back to their account again so they can read it.
I’ll be the first to say I haven’t loaned a Kindle book out, ever: my family shares the same account and we all read the same book at the same time on several occasions. I did, however, consult an expert (a fellow co-worker) who has experience with this, and here is what she told me she did to correct it on her Kindle and start reading the loaned book again:
- Turn your Kindle’s wireless feature on by pressing the “Menu” key and selecting “Turn Wireless On” with the 5-way controller.
- Click the “Home” button.
- Next click the “Menu” button.
- Select the “View Archived Items” button.
- Scroll until you find the loaned book, then click the 5-way controller.
If you followed the above, the Amazon server should re-send your book back to you and you can read it to your heart’s content on your Kindle.
Internet Connectivity and Adult Titles
Here’s an email I received a few weeks ago, the theme of which I receive about twice per month:
I subscribe to your Free Kindle Books blog. For some reason your click-links are consistently failures, as the kindle says “failed to connect” and some addresses also fail on my computer. Thus, the info on organizing collections is unavailable, and I’d like it. After all, I pay you for it. Also, I’d appreciate it if some category of “adult” books existed, those written for adult minds, with subjects not merely mystery and romance. Thanks, John
I’ll tackle the easy one first – the post I had on organizing Collections was originally written in September 2010, and is consistently one of the most popular posts (in terms of page views) on the blog each month. This post is rather long and is about the “Collections” feature, and is broken up into two parts. The first section is for the experienced Kindlers who already know about Collections and want to transfer them over to their new K3; the second is a general review of what a collection is and how to establish them on your new Kindle – which might be handy to those of you who have upgraded from your K1 to either a new K3 or the many used K2’s that are on the market. You can see this post if you click here or type in http://bit.ly/fDZSA9 into your computer’s web browser.
Concerning the fact your Kindle can not connect to some Internet addresses is beyond my control: I experience the same thing from time-to-time on my Kindle, and after a brief waiting period I try again and the Internet address shows up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and most of the time my connection speed is super slow as compared to my cable or office connection. Considering the Internet connectivity is free, who am I to complain?
The intermittent Internet connectivity is one of the reasons why I put an actual web address you can type into your computer’s web browser to most things in case the link that says “click here” fails to work. When the blog posts are released for publication, the URL listed works. Amazon does, however, move pages around from time-to-time.
As far as the “adult” titles, I am assuming John is talking about the erotica or similar titles Amazon also has for free: I’ve discussed this a few times before. While I may post about a free hot and steamy romance (my Dad calls them “lust in the dust” books), I’ve drawn the line at books offered for free in Amazon’s “Erotica” category or books listed on the Kindle site where the book’s description basically indicate there is a lot of sex, etc. in the content: people under 18 I personally know read this blog, and I am sure there are many more. As a parent I think kids have enough pornography thrown at them each and every day, and I certainly don’t want a stranger / blog poster throwing it in my kids’ faces so I will return the favor by not doing the same to your children.
Am I a prude? The people who actually know me and are reading this will laugh out loud at that comment as I’m not: I’m a parent who is trying to set a great example for my kids and shelter them while they are young, and I feel pretty strong about it. There’s enough free material out there without lowering standards. Will this stand make the subscriber base decrease for the blog? I hope not but, at the end of the day the number of subscribers are not my motivation for blogging.
Kindle Screen Typeset
Here’s a question I received from Sheri W.:
I really like the dark print on my Kindle, but I get frustrated when the print gets really light. For instance, this happens when I connect to the amazon website, or actually any other website, or when a particular part of a book wants to put emphasis in a certain section. I’ve seen it on blogs, newspapers, eBooks, searching the web, etc. Is there any way that I can get all the print darkened so that if parts are too light to read, I could modify it and make it dark like I like it? I’ve had my Kindle since December, and haven’t been able to find a solution on my own. I would appreciate any insight you have about this. Thanks.
The short answer is no, you can’t make part of the text on the screen lighter or darker. A longer reply is that would be a nice feature to have,as I have noticed, for example, some inconsistencies in various books from one paragraph to the next where the font will be a little lighter, or a different font altogether. Part of me wants to push CTRL-A like I am on a computer so I can change it all.
While I said the short answer is no, if anyone reading this post knows of a way to change that function please let me know: send me an email to kindle at gagler dot com, and if the method works I will send it out to the larger group.
That’s about all the time I have for now, and congratulations if you read this far!
Want to have this blog sent wirelessly to your Kindle vs. reading it on your computer? Try out the free two-week subscription! Click here for the Amazon page for Free Kindle Books Plus a Few Other Tips.