As many of you know, I do correspond with the blog readers via email…sometimes it just takes me a while! I’ve been corresponding recently with blog reader Delena Bunte about how she has been using a Kindle Fire and how it has helped out her in life and some of the tips and tricks she has learned on her own or through others to make her life a little easier.
A lot of people have done the same with their Kindles, so some of you may be asking “why is this unusual?” Well, that’s because Delena is disabled: she had a stroke and is paralyzed on the right side of her body and has a visual impairment as the result of diabetes.
Please read on to learn some of the tips and tricks Delena shares with us, as I learned a few things after reading this!
After a stroke and diabetes left me paralyzed and visually impaired, using my laptop became problematic and large print books were sometimes difficult to read. Without two of my favorite pastimes, I became isolated from the world. Then I saw a commercial for a Kindle Fire, bought one and it quickly became my digital flying carpet as I explored the world again.
Initially, I thought that I would get all my e-books from the public library system. But, Amazon has so many books available and, with resources such as Free Kindle Books and Tips and the Kindle to help navigate the course, it’s easy to build a personal digital library. Click books on your home screen, then go to “store” and enter “free books” in the search box. Search parameters can be narrowed, i.e. “historical fiction free books.” I “buy” most of my free books from the Kindle Store rather than from Amazon.com because the entire store is set up with white words on a black background which is easier for me to see.
I use the same reverse color mode when I read a book. Click on “Aa” at the bottom of any page and you’ll see a pop up menu with view options for font style, typeface, line spacing, margins and color mode. I can increase the size of any image in a Kindle book by placing my finger on the image until the magnifying glass appears. Then I tap on it to enlarge the image and tap again to return it to its normal size. I can also zoom in and out by pinching my fingers.
I enjoy discovering new authors and writing book reviews. I always give constructive criticism. With the current self-publishing movement, it’s much-needed and I think that it’s the only helpful kind of review for an author.
I spend 95% of my life in a fancy chair that even converts to my bed. I average about twelve hours a day on my Kindle Fire. Obviously, I do a lot more than read books. For starters, I follow the news closely from a variety of online sites and sources.
Late at night or whenever I hear a lot of sirens, I listen to the police scanner. Yes, there’s an app for that. Speaking of apps, my advice is that if you see one in the app store that looks interesting and you are comfortable with the application permissions, the file size and you’ve read the reviews, try it. I seldom pay money for an app; but, even if I do they’re very inexpensive.
I’ve tried quite a few different things including playing a harp, pinball, jigsaw puzzles, all sorts of word games, a prayer record, solitaire, hidden object scenarios, genealogy, mahjong, Bible study, photo editing and meditation. FYI, it is increasingly common to find “powerups” or other “premium” content for purchase during a game. Remember, this requires actual money. Because the vast majority of apps are designed to be used with a stylus, I find them user friendly.
Almost all of the greeting cards that I send to people are e-cards. The variety available is endless and I am able to personalize them to make them unique. Almost all of my gift shopping is done on my Kindle Fire.
I’ve used my Kindle Fire to catch up on TV programs and movies that I didn’t have time to view before my circumstances changed. One app that I whole heartedly recommend is for the TED talks. These are mini seminar (max.18 minutes) presentations given by some of the world’s most interesting speakers on a vast array of topics. One Amazon reviewer described them as “continuing education on steroids.”
Social interaction remains a fundamental human need. One of the tools that many people use to get this need met in the 21st century is through social media. As with any activity involving the Internet, a person needs to exercise all the safety precautions to protect your identity and privacy that a reasonable and prudent person would take.
My body is broken, but my mind still functions relatively well. My doctor told me this pearl of wisdom, “In order to live a truly contented life, a person needs three things: someone to love; something to look forward to; and, a purpose for living.” My primary purpose for living has always been helping people. Just because I’m not a paid professional helper anymore doesn’t mean that I can’t still help people. I mentor several people by email and I help others by participating in an online support group. I’ve made new friends while chatting during word games. I remain current in the lives of younger family members through texting.
The single thing I appreciate the most about my Kindle Fire is that the majority of things that I do with it, I do in the same way that the majority of other people do them. It is intended to be held and manipulated with one hand. It is a refreshing change for me, as a differently abled person, not to have to adapt my behavior in order to use something. Normalcy can be such an extraordinary thing.
Thank you, Delena!