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Messages - Ann in Arlington

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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.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle E-Readers - Software Update 5.13.3
« on: October 29, 2020, 04:53:37 am »
My PW and Voyage seem to be on the current version. No idea when they updated. I expect the Oasis is as well.

I did notice the other day I was looking for something in settings and saw some notice on a page that "some" options had moved. Specifically, Popular Highlights, Book Mentions, and Word Wise are no longer in Reading Options but available in the Aa menu while in a book. What I think that means is that you can set them differently depending on what you're reading by using the "Themes".

So I set everything the way I like it and have it on a 'custom' theme that I use for everything. But it looks like I can make more than one custom theme to use depending on what I'm reading -- say make something different for non-fiction vs fiction. The settings include font and layout but also those other things. I may have to experiment some -- right now I just read everything the same. That said, I'm pretty sure once you set a theme it stays 'til you change it. What I mean is, I don't think you can tie a theme to a book so that when you open book A it automatically sets to One Theme and when you open book B it automatically sets to Other Theme. If I get motivated, I may play with this some, though, as it could be more useful than I've been assuming. :D

The Book Corner / Re: Goodreads Choice Awards
« on: October 28, 2020, 09:13:32 am »
So .... I don't read much Romance .... what should I vote for in that category? ;D

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Which Kindle for a senior?
« on: October 28, 2020, 04:19:05 am »
All the kindles currently for sale have a built in lighting system and allow the user to adjust the type style. Adjustments can be for size, type face, and boldness. You can also adjust for line spacing, margin width, and alignment (justified at the right side or not.) Which is best comes down to what you want to pay, really. More expensive ones have some additional features, but even the lowest price one is a fine device. The best value is probably the mid-range device, the PaperWhite. The Oasis might be a better choice for those with dexterity issues as it has actual buttons for turning the page, vs just swiping a touch screen. It's also got a slightly larger screen which is nice if the reader needs or prefers a larger print size.

I am not certain, though, that Polish is an available language. There are probably books in Polish, but it's not one of the default options for the menu/interface. Maybe check the Amazon website in your country for more information.

In general, you can't buy a kindle with books pre-loaded, but if you have compatible format books available, they can be loaded onto the device before you give it to your friend.

FWIW, you might also look into the Kobo brand. They have comparable models that allow for both ePub and .mobi formatted books. Not sure whether it's available with Polish for the menus, however.

Suggestions, Comments / Re: Why won't Link Maker work??
« on: October 27, 2020, 02:37:03 pm »
Thank you for the help. Now if I could just find a new owner butt to kick to get them to fix it. :)

Yeah .... good luck with that. The screen name is vsAdmin, but they pretty much ignore all communication. At least, I know they've been advised of this issue and done nothing.

The Book Corner / Re: Goodreads Choice Awards
« on: October 27, 2020, 02:27:08 pm »
I was able to do the first category -- general fiction -- and was (I think) able to add a book I'd read that wasn't listed. But then it kept hanging up on me and I couldn't get to the next category.

Tried again later -- to do mystery. The latest Louise Penny was NOT one of the ones listed so I tried to add it, but it wouldn't let me. And then, again, it kept hanging up and just taking me to the 2019 results.

edit to add: and just now I was able to get in and vote without getting kicked out. Still didn't vote in all categories -- did add in some of my own suggestions. it is nice that there is a link to take you to your book lists where it's sorted by date published so you can see what you read that was published this year.

Suggestions, Comments / Re: Why won't Link Maker work??
« on: October 27, 2020, 12:37:37 pm »
The short answer is that Amazon changed something -- probably well over a year ago now -- and the new owners haven't bothered to update the code that Harvey did years ago.

The longer answer is: if you go to the link maker page and click the hyperlink on "here" in the sentence about the old manual link maker, that one does work. Or, at least, it did last time I wanted to make a fresh link.

The Book Corner / Goodreads Choice Awards
« on: October 27, 2020, 11:00:51 am »
Is anybody having any luck voting? I saw the banner when I checked in this morning and I was able to vote in one category but since then it's just been showing 2019 results.

Also have gotten a 'server is too busy' error a couple of times.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Oasis 3 time
« on: October 26, 2020, 09:34:27 am »
We change in the US next weekend ... I shall try to remember to perform a similar experiment with my Kindle(current basic version), PW10, Oasis2 and Voyage. :D

Not Quite Kindle / MOVED: Author's website
« on: October 25, 2020, 05:05:39 am »

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Which Kindle is just simple ereader?
« on: October 20, 2020, 11:50:25 am »
For me, the PW has PLENTY of storage. Keep in mind you don't need to keep ALL your books on it at the same time. As long as you can regularly connect to a WiFi network, you can have access to everything in your library pretty quickly.

As for storage, if you go to amazon and look at any kindle page, you can scroll down a bit and see a comparison of the various models. It looks like the current PW is available with either 8 GB or 32 GB of storage. If she has an older PW, it might only have 4.

The Oasis also is available with either 8 or 32 GB, but that's a lot more money for the device. For most, I'd say the PW is the best value, but if price is consideration, the basic Kindle is still a nice device and if her old PW only has 4 GB, that would still double the storage.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Confused about the timeline of quarterly taxes.
« on: October 19, 2020, 09:57:10 am »

I don't do this because I've been told if you don't pay quarterly you'll be charged hefty fees.

If your balance due is more than 10% of your bill OR more than $1000, yes, you will likely owe penalty and interest.

Keep in mind, if you have a wage job that has withholding, you can always adjust your withholding UP to account for the extra income from your side gig. There's nothing wrong with a balance due, but it should go without saying that you should do your best to legally avoid extra fees. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Confused about the timeline of quarterly taxes.
« on: October 17, 2020, 07:45:24 am »
Assuming you operate on a calendar year (which you do unless you formally elected some other fiscal year) and are a cash basis tax payer (which, again, you are unless you formally elected to be an accrual based taxpayer) you pay tax based on income actually received, vs income expected.

So, for example, Amazon pays 2 months in arrears. In November you get September's earnings; in December you get October's earnings. Both of those will be this year's income. November's and December's earnings won't be paid until January and February of next year, so they'll be next years' earnings. Conversely, if you've been doing this a while, earnings from LAST November and December (2019) would have been paid to you in January and February of 2020. So they should also be included on your 2020 tax return.

I suppose if you're paying quarterly based on what you earned that quarter (rather than based on a calculation adjusted from your 2019 numbers) you'd want to include in the 4th quarter the amounts that hit your account, or were at least available to you, in October, November, and December.

When deciding what to pay, don't forget to adjust for allowed expenses, and don't forget that you owe income tax and ALSO self-employment tax (social security/medicare) at a rate of around 15%.

If you need professional help, here are a couple of websites to find a qualified tax professional (who may or may not be an accountant) in your area.

(n.b. I'm an Enrolled Agent in good standing with the IRS, though currently retired.)

Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting (Kindle) / Re: Book not loading
« on: October 17, 2020, 04:32:13 am »
This is an intermittent but ongoing problem that some of us have had for a while now.

On your Kindle, depending on the model, you need to set the sort on the top left to 'All' or 'Cloud' rather than 'On Device' or 'Downloaded'. This will show all your books, whether downloaded or not. When you find the book you're after (it might help to change the sort option top right to 'recent') then just tap on it and it will download.

Unfortunately, while this problem persists, for e-ink devices, manual downloading like this is the only way to go.

And it's not at all consistent behavior, at least not for me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  But with 3 active kindles on my account (5 if you count my brother's and my husband's) I can't always recall specifically which one I send any given book to. Which means I'm never sure if it's a glitch or something I did. :) I think they all go to bedtime reading. But then some go to Tardis and some to Hermoine's Handbag -- usuallly one for fiction and one for non-fiction. BUT I know I don't always pay close attention and I'm sure some books have gone to both or the "wrong" one.

A thing I've seen lately on my Bedtime kindle -- which is an Oasis, not the newest but the one before -- is that the books download but then show twice: once as normal and you can interact with ti, and once as a sort of ghots. It just shows a generic cover with the title, but when you touch it nothing happens. And you can't make it go away. It doesn't seem to affect reading anything else. If I do a restart, the ghost goes away.

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