Tag: Amazon

“good” reads

Books are amazing, but the options we have to buy books and track our reading are terrible. A lot of us are locked into the Amazon ecosystem – buying books on Amazon.com, reading them on Kindles. Sites like AbeBooks and Goodreads were quietly acquired by Amazon. Even LibraryThing is now part-owned by Amazon.

The new reading stack – macwright.com

raises hand I am deep in that life. I have a Kindle, subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and use that alongside the Libby app from my library.

The company started with books because they made business sense, and they acquired Goodreads for the reading data, and are now killing its ecosystem out of boredom or malice. Amazon has never cared about books.

I recently removed everyone but my wife from Goodreads and took the account private. Mostly because I wasn’t using (and never used) any of the social features on the site. I wanted a place to track what I read, when I started, and when I finished.

That’s it.

But it did such a poor job of that I’ve given up on the site.

Despite reading books from Amazon on a Kindle. It couldn’t even get that part right. Sometimes I’d had a start date from when I opened and synced the book and told Goodreads I was reading it. Other times I’d look back at the end of the year and half the books I’d read wouldn’t show up because they had no dates at all on them.

Amazon has all the data on every sync. But instead of using it for me, I’m sure it went into their recommendations for what to read next or how to sell me something else on Amazon.

I’ll keep an eye on the list that Tom lists this post, but I’m not sure any social reading thing will be easier than picking a text file to record what I read and move on with life.

Sharing in the Digital Age

There is a growing need in our increasing isolated digital world to share.

My wife has an Amazon account linked to Kindle books.
I have my account and own set of books. It is frustrating not to be able to connect those two accounts. To not even be able to lend the “not lendable” books to each other is irritating. ((Thanks publishers!))

I would like nothing more than to read some things she has purchased and she’d like to enjoy some of the things I have purchased in return.

The problem is not limited to Amazon’s Kindle.

In Audible((Also owned by Amazon)), I have a growing collection of audiobooks and it’s silly to have two accounts for one family but there is no way for me to share my books with my wife or for her to share the couple of books she collected before we were married.

This would be a moot point if we had started out with a joint account. However, as single people we each had our own account. Even thought I am able to add her to the Amazon Prime plan for the family, we cannot combine any of our other services and are forced to maintain separate accounts and permissions.

The best Amazon was able to suggest when I contacted them was one of two things.

1. To deregister the Kindle or Kindle app we happened to be using and register it in the other person’s name. Not an ideal solution by any means.

2. I was offered a refund on the books I purchased through the Kindle store. Then the offer was taken away since I had “too many” books already. In the words of the Amazon rep I got a reply from,

>I can understand the inconvenience with this. To help you out, I would like to issue refund on your Kindle content orders, if you have placed fewer orders. So that you would be able to buy the content again after registering to your wife’s Kindle. But, you have placed many orders for Kindle content. So, I’m unable to issue refund on all the orders.

So the only solution is to deregister and reregister as my wife and I trade-off using it. This includes redownloading and resyncing any books we had made progress on. That is the only solution for this problem.

Amazon has revolutionized many industries and changed the book buying world. However, this is an area which has seemingly received little to no attention.

Perhaps it has and perhaps it is the publishers not wanting the risk of “piracy” to rob them of their sales. I would love to be able to limit sharing to a physical address, or even just a single other Amazon account. This is not piracy.

Perhaps one day there will be a way to share digital content between two linked accounts. Perhaps there will come a time when technology will catch up with their analog equivalents.

The Amazon eBook Cycle

It starts out innocently enough. I am reading a story about the boom in dystopian fiction for young readers. The story focuses mainly on the Hunger Games trilogy but also touches on a handful of other books and series.

Many of the books mentioned I have read but I am interested in some of the others so I take the logical progression of search the name, find the Amazon link and add it to my book wish list.

This is where Amazon gets you.

Most of the time, the book is $5 or $10 so I add it to the list for later. I figure when I am on the hunt for something new I’ll pick it up.

Only, today when I found The Knife of Never Letting Go I found the book was $1. Normally, it is $10 but today, it was a single dollar. I don’t know for how long or why but it was.

So I bought it.

This is how Amazon gets you. Ever since the Kindle and their iOS apps reignited my love of reading, I’ve added to my list of books to read. Sometimes I look for sales, other times I use the wonderful book-lending service Lende which I reviewed.

My list of books to read is growing out of control and every week I am adding more and more. I love to read and I love Amazon’s enabling of my reading but they need to stop the madness. I have too many books and there is no sign of stopping.

Is there such a thing as reader’s guilt?

Sites I Love: Lendle

When I was young I would tear through books. Then when I got to high school and college I had to do a lot of reading for school which mostly killed my delight in reading. Reading went from a pleasure activity to a rush to keep up.

The Kindle has completely changed the way I read. It reinvigorated my desire to read for fun. It opened my eyes to all the amazing books out there. I don’t even mean Amazon’s Kindle device. I do all my reading on an iPad at home or the iPhone when I used to take the subway to work. Despite owning a Kindle, I haven’t actually seen it since the day we got it, my wife entered her credentials and said, “This is my kindle now! See? It says Annie’s Kindle.”

My renewed love of reading did not come with a budget to match so I turned to Lendle to borrow Kindle books so I don’t have to pay for everything I read. Amazon announcing they would allow lending of Kindle books for two weeks was a partial answer. Just because Amazon was allowing lending of books doesn’t mean I could find people to borrow books from. Lendle has filled that gap in a really simple and elegant way.

What is Lendle?

Lendle is a free book lending service. It is the online equivalent of handing a physical book to a friend.

How do I sign up?

You can join Lendle by signing up via email or using a Facebook or Twitter account.

How much does it cost?

Lendle is free to use. You can sign up and start borrowing books for free. When you lend books, Lendle will actually pay you per book lent a small sum to urge you to continue to lend. There are other book lending sites that require you pay them for the privilege. Lendle is not other book lending sites. Lendle is completely free.

How does it work?

To understand Lendle, you first need to understand Amazon’s Kindle; both the device and applications.

Lendle only works with Amazon’s Kindle eBooks. No Nook, no Sony eReaders, and no plain PDFs are supported.

For the book to be lent through Lendle it has to be a currently available title on the Amazon Kindle Store and the publisher has to have enabled the lending rights to the book.

Most books Amazon sells through the Kindle store are lend able. The only exceptions being books which the publisher or the author have specifically asked not be lend able because they’re still living in the dark ages of technology where the internet is scary.

Amazon will allow you to lend each eBook one time for two weeks. ((This is an Amazon limitation, not Lendle’s.)) While this is nowhere near as good as handing them the physical copy but it attempts to replicate the experience.

Lendle’s role in all this is a middleman putting those who have books to lend together with those who want to borrow books.

How does the Lending work?

When you sign up, you are given a several Borrows. This is the number of times you can request a book from other users. You search Lendle by author, title or keyword for books you want to borrow and click the Borrow button.

When you select a book to Borrow, Lendle looks at the list of people who have made the book available to lend and will email the borrow request to a number of people. The Lender will click a link in the email taking them to an Amazon page to lend out the book.

They complete the lend and the book is sent to the Borrower’s account on Amazon. The borrower is then notified by email the book has arrived and can download it to their Kindle, or a Kindle application running on any device. ((Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android device, or Amazon’s own Cloud Reader.))

Then in two weeks, when the loan has ended you will receive an email stating the loan is over and the book has been returned to your library and the Borrower will receive notice the book is no longer available to read. The entire process is completely painless.

How do I add my eBooks to Lendle?

Adding books to Lendle is as simple as searching the title, author or keyword of the book and clicking I Own it. The book is then added to your library. As a perk, you get additional Borrow requests for making more books available. In addition to encouraging growth by handing out more Borrow requests Lendle also pays you for each successful lend.

Wait, I can make money just by lending?

Yes. Lendle Pays You To Lend Books!

The money you earn is based on the value of the book lent. In addition to earning money when you lend, the site is completely free to use. Whereas some other sites will try to make you pay to get books lent to you, Lendle lets you join and borrow books for free.

What are you waiting for?

No really, why aren’t you at Lendle signing up?
Go to Lendle.me and you would be so kind, use my referral code NDI3KLZP. I get more Borrow requests, no cold hard cash or anything but it also adds you as my friend. And I like to think of us as friends.