Posts Tagged Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is only for right hand use


I’ve been using the new Kindle Paperwhite for close to a month now. It seems to be a good replacement for my 3 year old Kindle 3 (with keyboard)  which died on me one cold winter night – just when I needed it the most.

The ability to read without any lights on in the room at night is what makes the Kindle Paperwhite amazing. I’d pay for that any day. Thanks Amazon!

kindles in dark room

It is an upgrade in some ways and not so much in other ways. Actually, it is a retrogression in some ways.

It’s super responsive touch screen interface is a winner and I love the virtual keyboard.

However, nothing prepared me for the fact that I couldn’t listen to MP3s or play audiobooks on the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. I miss that about the Kindle 3.

The fact that I can’t plug my earphone into my Kindle Paperwhite is a no, no.

Today I discovered another issue about the Kindle Paperwhite while  on my way from school – the Paperwhite is best suited for holding [and reading] using the right hand.

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I had moved the Kindle from my right hand to my left hand to read but realized that in order to tap the [the right side of the] screen to move forward/ progress through the ebook, I had to stretch my left thumb all across the screen to tap there. Or I had to m0ve my Kindle into my right hand just to easily tap the screen to progress.

Once again the Kindle Paperwhite is beaten by the Kindle 3 because it offers the convenience to progress through an ebook whether it is being held in the right hand or the left hand.

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Bibliophilia or Bibliomania – Hoarding of a different kind


Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

My love for my Kindle is quite known amongst my friends. Well, I don’t love the Amazon Kindle for its sake. I love my books. I love the fantasy and sci-fi, horror and mystery genres. But then again I think I love the Kindle for how it makes it easy for me to carry my books.

But ever since I got my Kindle, I’ve been in the habit of loading up e-books on it. Many e-books. Too many e-books that sometimes I just page through my collection and never manage to settle on one to read. There are always so many books I want to read and so little time and so many books read to different percentages and shelved.

Blaming Project Gutenberg for having so many English classics on the web in many formats free to download is what I’ve been doing and by extension it is the reason I’ve only read bit and pieces of the books that I’ve read.

CLASSIC CASE OF HOARDING

Stepping back, I realized I have been obsessively and unhealthily ‘collecting’ e-books that I might not read and blaming the availability of free/ cheap e-books for this new habit I have formed. I just caught myself right on the borderline of becoming an e-book hoarder.

So my plan to stop myself from hoarding is to:

1. Only keep on my Kindle e-books I can finish reading within a 2/3 months time frame

2. At any time I should have read more than 50% of the e-books on my Kindle and

3. Archive e-books after I have read them or

4. Only read paperbacks and hardcovers

Will one be called a bibliophile or bibliomaniac for hoarding e-books?

Do you have more than 50 e-books on  your e-reader with about 75% of them unread?

Can one love e-books?

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Calibre E-book Management 0.8.8 review


Calibre just keeps getting better.

‘Welcome to Calibre, the one stop solution to all your e-book needs’ is the first thing you read when you starts the Calibre E-book Management Welcome Wizard. Now that is a mission statement that the latest iteration of Calibre (0.8.8) has managed to achieve impressively.
The Welcome Wizard takes you through setting up your e-book reader and just about caters for every e-book reader currently on the market. The Kobo, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook, Apple and Android devices, my favourite; Amazon Kindle are all listed and to complete the party Sony, PocketBook and your ‘Generic’ ebook reader are all catered for.

The selection of one’s e-reader at the welcome wizard ensures that a default e-book format device is set up for future e-book conversions. For Kindle users, one can enter Kindle email for delivery of (converted/ downloaded) e-books by whispernet / wi-fi to the Kindle.
Calibre e-book viewer/library/browser/format converter are all names you can call the software and rightfully so. I first discovered Calibre when I needed to convert some Microsoft Reader (.LIT) e-books to .EPUB and I was impressed then and for avid readers with multiple e-readers you definitely need this piece of software. It can convert from all popular e-book formats to about 25 formats and has an editor that allows for tweaking font, font size, spacing before converting. The practical benefits are obvious here; one can purchase an e-book for cheap from a rival publisher/seller and convert and read on one’s preferred e-reader or e-readers.

LIBRARY
The library is at the heart of the software and lot of care has been taken to make it look good and functional. From the iTunes-esque display of e-books in the library to the side bar, you can tell that the developers have taken pains to make using the software a pleasant experience; intuitive and aesthetic.
E-books can be searched by Author, Series, Format, Publisher, Ratings and Tags. I’ve been using the Author and Format more to narrow down my searches and for e-book transfers to my Kindle.
One thing users have to be aware of is that by default, all e-books are copied into a Calibre folder, without deleting the original e-books. Just another 2 or 3 GB of space to plan for shouldn’t be a problem with a 500GB HDD laptop.

E-BOOK VIEWER
The new e-book viewer that comes with Calibre is adding more arsenal to e-book management software. The e-book viewer is a stand-alone that works with the Calibre library or can use explorer to navigate to any location on your pc to open an e-book.
The interface is simple, with all icons to the left of the reading pane. The page turners are centered and the other icons are quite intuitive. There is no learning curve here.

The interesting addition is the Reference Mode which displays an index/reference number for every paragraph. Now that is something you don’t get with the Kindle for PC but is it enough to satisfy e-reader owners? What use is referencing if you can’t synchronize it between your pc and e-reader and vice-versa?
The dictionary function works only with dict.org and internet access which is restrictive in many ways. I think Calibre should come with a standard dictionary as default and a selectable number of online dictionaries.
I am still wondering why there is a Print function. Is it redundant for an e-book viewer to have a print option? Let’s agree for sustainability sake and to reduce our carbon footprint, not to print any e-books on papers.

OTHER FUNCTIONS
RSS Reader
Calibre can fetch news (in full with pictures) and can be read in the e-book viewer or transferred to one’s e-reader in any format.
Connect/Share
This allows for connection to content servers online, iTunes and management of e-mails to one’s Kindle account.

GETTING E-BOOKS / ONLINE STORES
One can access an array of online stores by using the ‘Get books’ icon. Some websites are rendered in Calibre and displayed in a pop-up screen and others like Amazon Kindle open in a browser. All categories are deployed; free e-book websites, popular premium websites and independent e-book publishers as well. Affiliate programs that make contribution to Calibre developers have Red Hearts next to them.
If you want to make any donations to the project, just hit the Red Heart icon. To show the Calibre developers love, donate some money. Money = Red Heart.

Is Calibre going to remain an Open Source e-book management software project or will soon release an ubiquitous e-book reader capable of reading all formats?

For now, I am a satisfied customer and looking forward to see how much further Calibre can raise the bar in e-book management.

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