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Messages - Ann in Arlington

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Let's Talk Kindle! / Kindles on sale -- including VOYAGE
« on: Yesterday at 10:24:35 am »
Basic kindle is on sale at Amazon.

Other refurbished models are on sale at INCLUDING the VOYAGE.

They're in 'good' or 'acceptable' condition and are around $50.

Not Quite Kindle / MOVED: epub invalid
« on: November 14, 2020, 10:59:02 am »

The Book Corner / MOVED: Review - "Revival" by Stephen King
« on: November 14, 2020, 10:57:19 am »

The Book Corner / Re: So What Are you Reading in 2020?
« on: November 09, 2020, 08:53:04 am »
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I very much liked that one!

Not Quite Kindle / MOVED: Marketing and KDP reporting
« on: November 07, 2020, 07:02:14 pm »

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Question on returns
« on: November 07, 2020, 07:01:27 pm »
They should refund according to your payment method. Or sometimes you can opt for Amazon credit.

Best thing is to call and talk to them or do a chat (which you can then save).

They should refund the full amount if you're within 30 days, less the return shipping charge, which is usually not more than $10.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Libby/iPad/Kindle
« on: November 06, 2020, 06:24:14 am »
I don't use Libby as I prefer to read on my eInk kindles vs a tablet or phone. And I don't have any fruit based technology. :)

That said: I have noticed that when I borrow from the library -- via Amazon if there's a kindle compatible file* -- I can specify which kindles to send it to. When I finish reading it, I can, theoretically, return it to the library direct from the kindle (any of the devices to which it's been sent). When I do, it definitely is removed from that device as well as any other kindle devices I had sent it to. On each device I get a 'letter' that says it's been returned. And it HAS been returned per the Amazon devices and content page, BUT, often, if I go to the library website, it will still show as loaned out to me. Now this isn't a problem for ME. BUT I like to return early if I finish early so that the next person in line can get it sooner. So I try to remember to do that.

If the loan simply expires -- which happens sometimes if it's non-fiction I've borrowed as I find I don't read those as fast -- it will just disappear from the kindles and it's gone from both my Amazon account and the library site shows it's returned. I do generally get an email a couple of days ahead saying that the loan will expire soon.

I suspect borrowing via Libby is a separate operation -- even though it's connected to the same book/library -- and that's why, if you return via Libby, it doesn't register as returned on kindles.

    *if the only option is an ePub file, I return the book immediately. I only read on kindle and ePub isn't compatible. Sometimes, with a relatively new release, I know there's a possibility that the publisher will release a kindle file for libraries after it's been out a while. In such cases, it was probably on hold anyway, so I just put it back on hold after returning in the hope that a kindle file will eventually be available. There's nothing I want to read that badly that I can't wait. And if there is NEVER a kindle file available to borrow or at a reasonable price to buy, I'll likely never read it. That's just me: YMMV. :D

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Classic literature download
« on: November 05, 2020, 11:03:50 am »
Possibly the file was created from a print book that was scanned with OCR software and not properly proofed.

If you bought it from Amazon you can return it within a week. Check other versions -- some might even be free -- for better editing/formatting/proofreading.

Linda, I just did it.

I didn't do any editing to the GR file so, yeah, there's a lot there that I don't care about. But I haven't had a chance to go through everything and figure out what's what.

One behavior of the site that I wish I could change ... it defaults to putting your list in the order you 'entered' them. I wish I could change to a default Author sort order rather than having to change it every time. It seems like even if you change it, if you go off the page to check something or change a status, when you go back to the page, even in the same session, it's back to this random order that's based only on how you entered them and nothing like real life. :-\

On the one hand it seems weird that a thing that always worked stops when you haven't changed anything. On the other hand, it also sort of makes sense that the first thing to do to fix it is be sure you have the latest update. They come so automatically for me that it never occurred to me it might be the problem.

OTOH, I've also heard people say everything was fine UNTIL they did the update and then things 'broke'. Ain't technology great? :D

I put the goodreads file in and it worked. 283 series, 620 books. Its a start.

I just got my goodreads file the other day and now I can't find anymore how I did it. Hold on...

Its not where I thought it was. Not under settings. Duh. Go to your books page (My Books). All the way down on the left is import export. that is where you get it.

Thank you! I was looking all over settings, which seemed the logical place. :)


Of course in the end, I still will never get back the series I had followed on fictfact but hadn't actually started yet. I didn't have this in goodreads of course as I had used fictfact to specificaly track series. But again, had I known, I could have made screenshots before they turned the site off. But they didn't tell anyone until it was too late and the fictfact file did not include those series, only those one had started reading. And that still  p*ss es me off. I can hold long grudges.

Yeah, I know. And their explanation of WHY they had to shut the site down never quite made sense to me. The new site is by someone else entirely, though.

Well I tried to upload the fictfact file I still had and all I get is "cvs formatting not recognized" Please upload a goodreads cvs instead. Thats not useful to me as of course I don't have all those series listed on goodreads like I had on fictfact.

Its the file as it was when I dowloaded it from fictfact back when. Ann made me some fixed one I printed out so I'll have to do this one by one?  :o :o :o :o. Not sure if I have the patience for that. Might have to start from scatch on the site.

If and when they actually have the books I read on the site. I also dont have patience to fill in all the data on books I read. 

I haven't even tried to upload my fictfact file. I do still have an unadulterated copy. I'll try that in a minute

FWIW, there were so many series that weren't yet there that it didn't take long to add mine that it DID have. You can search by author, book title, or series name and it has 'fuzzy' logic which is supposed to account for typos. I guess it sort of does, but, for example, when I entered "Elizabeth Peters" in the search, her name came up as an author among a bunch of others -- some of which didn't seem particularly close -- and ALSO weren't particularly alphabetized. So there is work to be done.

When I did find a series, it was pretty easy to add it -- just a couple of clicks. Then you can click on the series name and see all the books. If you've read them all you just click to mark all read. Or you go down one at a time.
I just tried to upload my completely un-manipulated fictfact file and got the same message you did. It's not obvious to me how to get a GR data file -- though I did it once before so there must be a way. When I can figure that out I may try to upload that and see what happens.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: KOLL coming to an end in January
« on: November 03, 2020, 11:01:16 am »
KOLL never did much for me.  It rarely takes me more than a day to read a book - so a single borrow in a month is tiny.
But I've been going through some different series in KU lately that are keeping me entertained.  I buy 6 months or a year at a time when they have it on sale.

I also read pretty quickly. But I have always grabbed my one a month because I can. Got plenty else to read from many other sources -- Prime reading, library borrows, and books I've bought* -- that it's no big deal to wait until the next month to borrow again.

*including many I bought ages ago and it's about time I get to reading them! :D

It looks like it has the potential to be a pretty good replacement and although it's worth keeping an eye on it as it expands, I'm not sure I need it any more.

I'd never really been bothered about using Goodreads until FF went away, but now that I've put considerable time and effort into getting myself set up on there, I think it gives me all the info I need - enough that I don't really want to be bothered to do it all over again with another new site.

I hear ya.

I have kept track on GR since at least 2014. And when fictfact shut down I used that data to build my own spreadsheet. It didn't take me long to go through it and see what was listed in BooksOnTrack ... mostly because there were a lot missing. I'm not sure if I'll invest much more time in it or not but I will probably at least keep an eye on it a bit.

The Book Corner / Re: Surprise: FictFact is closed!
« on: November 03, 2020, 04:49:54 am »
So, for those of you who haven't been following the discussion on Good Reads, someone has made a new site to fullfill the gap created by the closure of fictfact. It's called

I've not had a chance to play with it much yet but here's the announcement thread on GR:

I wonder if I kept my original fictfact data file after massaging it into a useful format?

Update: Played with the site some. Shows promise but definitely a work in progress. MOST of the series I am reading are NOT in the database. I'm talking ongoing popular ones here: Lady Darby, Genevieve Renard, Sebastian St. Cyr. The authors aren't even listed. Older series that are finished (author has died or ended the series) are listed, which is probably helpful for some but not for me. Newer series and small/independently published authors are definitely not there yet. Note: my series are mostly mysteries; maybe there are more in the Romance genre.

One can click to add information which I may do eventually. I did find my old fictfact file but didn't try to upload it. Meanwhile, I think I'll keep up with my spreadsheet. :)

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle E-Readers - Software Update 5.13.3
« on: November 03, 2020, 04:23:15 am »
I'm confused. Mine looks the same after the update. I don't have the options in my Aa menu, but where they were before in "About the book"

I actually think the page options moved with the last update. Or maybe the one before that. I don't play with 'em much so never noticed in the main settings area that there was any sort of notice about it. Also -- it's a bit odd because you have to actually open a book to see some of them -- and a magazine or newspaper doesn't count. The Aa options for those things are different.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Oasis 3 battery life.
« on: November 03, 2020, 04:19:37 am »
I'm going to start leaving the Wi-Fi off on my Oasis 3 to help the battery a bit. It's an at-home only device, so I have no issue charging it, but the battery does cause some annoyances at times.

Wifi off will certainly prolong battery life. My Oasis is the 2nd iteration and I don't have a feel for how the battery lasts really. It lives on my bedside table and I read every night anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more depending. I do leave wifi on because I want it to sync with my other kindles that I read on during the day, whether at home or out and about. Even when it says the battery is low -- I think it starts warning me at around 10% -- I can read for quite a while. And when I'm done for the night I just plug it in. I've only once or twice had it flat out turn off on me -- and that was as much me not paying attention as anything. (It was a really good book, I guess. :D )

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: KOLL coming to an end in January
« on: November 03, 2020, 04:14:43 am »
I thought with Prime reading you could only borrow one book at a time, once per month. I know with KU it is 10 at a time.

What you describe is KOLL -- Kindle Owners Lending Library. KOLL is a Prime benefit of owning an actual Kindle device; it was introduced in fall of 2011. Books available via KOLL were mostly ones published directly through Amazon. When KU began in 2014 or so, it essentially expanded KOLL as a subscription service and removed the 1 a month limitation. So the KOLL and KU catalogs are nearly exactly congruent. My recollection is they never pushed KOLL much and certainly since the introduction of KU haven't promoted it. My guess is it was a first effort to see if people would be willing to borrow books.

Then, in 2016 they introduced Prime Reading. Which was a different sort of expansion of KOLL. It operates more like KU but without a subscription (except that you have to be paying for Prime already). BUT does NOT include the whole KU catalog, which is HUGE -- like millions of titles. Rather, it has a catalog of something around 1000 which may include books by big name authors/publishers as well as magazines and comic books. The titles in the catalog do rotate in and out but once you've borrowed something you can keep it as long as you like. I have about 6 borrowed right now -- the oldest from April. You can hold up to 10 at a time.

I seem to recall discussion here, when Prime Reading was introduced, that it would mean the end of KOLL. But it's still been available all along. The main reason people don't know about it is that it is NOT promoted as a benefit of owning a kindle and hasn't been for years. Probably since they introduced KU -- of course they'd rather have people pay for a subscription. AND, you can't really find out about it on Amazon's website. You have to go in through your kindle (maybe a Fire qualifies) and navigate through the menu system to find the KOLL catalog. You're not likely to find it on your own, though -- you kind of have to know it's there. I would guess that anyone who didn't already own a kindle in 2011 and learned about it then, hasn't a clue.

The question remains: is KOLL really going away or not. The article mentioned in the OP says Amazon have started sending emails about it. So far, I've not gotten one and, as noted, I was able to borrow for November and was reminded I couldn't borrow again until December.

Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting (Kindle) / Re: Kindle PC Will Not Open
« on: November 02, 2020, 03:35:41 pm »
I didn't answer after you initially posted because I don't use kindle for PC or Windows so I don't know how it works.

I can say, pretty definitely, however, that if you uninstall it you will NOT loose your library. Your books are attached to your amazon account and your kindles -- whether eInk devices or apps on a phone, tablet, or PC -- may be registered TO the account to get access to them. You can even switch what account your device is registered to.

Such is my understanding, anyway.

The Book Corner / Re: Amazon First Reads -- November 2020
« on: November 02, 2020, 09:32:46 am »
Exactly the same list this month in the UK.

I notice several of them are subtitled "a novel" which seems to be the fashion lately. It always strikes me as somewhat pretentious and they're the ones that (sweeping generalisation here!) turn out to be dire.

I don't feel inspired to try any of them.  :(

I agree absolutely: why say "A Novel"? What else would it be? ;D

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: KOLL coming to an end in January
« on: November 02, 2020, 03:58:12 am »
I suppose as you have to be a Prime member to get it and - if you are - you now have Prime Reading anyway which allows you to borrow all the same books without restriction, then it's pretty pointless keeping it going.

Except it's not the same selection of books. With KOLL, it's been my experience that you pretty much have access to the entire KU library, if only one a month. Prime Reading, though you can borrow up to 10 at a time, is a much smaller set that certainly intersects the KU set, but includes other books NOT in KU as well, some fairly big names. Like the Harry Potter books seem to rotate in and out of it. Of the KU books that are in Prime, presumably they're somewhat curated.

That said, I have a whole wish list of books that are in KU but most are NOT in Prime. They're mostly relatively inexpensive to buy, of course, but I prefer to start by borrowing if I can. :)  I had KU for a year and found that about half of what I borrowed was mediocre at best, so I'm not keen to plunk down cash on complete unknowns. But also not keen to pay for KU when there's so much I want to read that is NOT in the program for one reason or another.

I didn't recall that you have to be a Prime Member to use KOLL; thought it was just that you had to borrow using a kindle device vs using the kindle app. Not sure about that, though, as I am both, of course; I could be completely misremembering. :) * (And there's no info on Amazon about it that I can find to confirm one way or the other -- which speaks to the article linked being accurate. OTOH, I don't think there has been for a while -- it's not been touted as a kindle device benefit for years.)

I suspect that there's a large overlap between the set of kindle owners and the set of Prime subscribers. I also suspect that there is a larger percentage of kindle readers who use the app. I prefer a dedicated eInk reading device, but I increasingly here from people that they're happy using an app on their tablet so don't see the point of buying a kindle device. And I wonder how many kindle owners have been regularly using KOLL? I bet it's a really small percentage, but also probably some of the longest tenured kindle customers.

FWIW, I was just able to borrow a KOLL book for November and it said I can borrow again in December. I guess we'll see what happens next month.

*edited to correct myself: did some research and KOLL did require both that you own an actual kindle device and be a Prime member.

The Book Corner / Re: Amazon First Reads -- November 2020
« on: November 01, 2020, 04:23:35 am »
Leaning toward Open House but will await a few reviews. The Last Resort sounds promising from the write up, but the one review so far pretty much pans it. But really nothing that screams "Get ME!"

The Book Corner / Amazon First Reads -- November 2020
« on: November 01, 2020, 04:20:47 am »
8 titles this month, and we get to pick 1 free (or reduced if not a Prime member)

The list and links: :)

First reads for November

Suspense: Every Last Secret

Thriller: The Last Resort

Book Club Fiction: Memories in the Drift

Historical Fiction: Under a Gilded Moon

Domestic Suspense: Open House

Biographical Fiction: The Empress

Memoir: Jew(ish)

Children's Picture book: The Snow Dancer

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: KOLL coming to an end in January
« on: October 31, 2020, 02:46:50 pm »
I seem to recall there were rumors earlier in the year but this seems a bit more certain.

I guess it's just one more thing to monitor. I kinda like it. Not going to pay for KU, but with KOLL, I can get most KU books anyway, albeit only one a month.

Oh well. No biggie, really.

FWIW, I have NOT gotten an email about it.

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