Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

Kindle 3 Pseudo-Review

December 30th, 2010 No comments


A few months ago Beth and I got the newest model of the Amazon Kindle.  We decided to go ahead with our purchase right when the model was coming out, so I had to wait a couple weeks for delivery.  That wait gave me plenty of time to read the reviews and write-ups on the internet about this newest e-reader.  Since there really is a plethora of full reviews out there on the interwebs, I decided to forgo a true assessment and list a few reasons why the Kindle is right for me.

  1. Portability – With our upcoming overseas move, we simply couldn’t take our whole book collection with us; with the Kindle, we can.  It is also awesome for long plane flights.
  2. Free 3G – Sure, we paid an extra $50 for 3G, but we have no ongoing fees with that.  Since we don’t have smart phones, it is awesome to have access to free portable internet where ever we are.  Granted the Kindle web browser is a bit slow and clunky, it is perfect for looking something up on Wikipedia on the fly, or for checking email when away from a computer.
  3. Extra-long battery life – The Kindle is advertised as having up to a month of battery life (assuming you leave the wireless off).  For my typical usage I am getting closer to 2 weeks.  It is great to be able to have an electronic device at hand that I don’t have to worry about recharging every other day.  An iPad wouldn’t even make it through half of a trans-Atlantic flight, but my Kindle will last my whole trip to Swaziland this March.
  4. Cheaper books – Of course I did spend roughly $200 on the device to start with, but now that I have it, most books are 30-50% cheaper than the printed version. 
  5. Book Samples – 5 years ago most of the books I read were either on recommendation of friends, or required reading for class.  Now I find a good portion of the books I buy are because I am looking for a book on a specific topic; often I don’t know which books are considered well written and which are not.  With Kindle samples, you can download the first chapter or so and get a feel for yourself.
  6. Free Classic (and other) Books – There are lots of book that I know I should read.  Many of these I have purchased, but never gotten around to reading.  Now I can have access to them, but not feel as bad if I don’t get to them immediately.  Amazon has a great collection of our public domains book and many others as well.
  7. Search books – Sure print books have indices, but that pales in comparison to the ability to search for a specific phrase.  This is very helpful for the Kindle Bible and for trying to find a particular section of a book I have previously read.  Along the same lines, I love having interactive tables of contents.
  8. Highlights and notes – This is a blessing and a curse.  I love to mark up my books when I read them – it helps me comprehend and makes it easier when I go back and skim.  While it is very handy to be able to highlight on the fly without needing to carry a pen, it is just not the same writing a note on the Kindle as it is marking up the margins of a book.  That being said, there are two "Killer Features" related to highlighting and notes.  First, you can view all your highlights in one spot, which makes skimming super easy.  Second, you can view the passages most highlighted by other users.  This is a great way to get a feel for a book and to draw your attention to key sections.
  9. Reading Experience – I know many people are hesitant about reading on an e-reader, thinking they will always prefer a good ole paper copy.  But, I absolutely love reading on my kindle.  I love the light weight and easy to hold design.  The e-ink is easy to read and the adjustable fonts are great.  I actually find myself getting less distracted while reading the kindle.
  10. Games – This is a minor highlight, but hey, I needed another to make it a round number.  The games are nothing special, but they are great for passing the time while on the road or looking to kill a few minutes of time.  Many of the word based games are free and slightly educational.

Amazon loses on shipping

December 6th, 2010 No comments

I ordered a book on Amazon the other day that cost $24.95.  That price put it just $0.05 away from qualifying for free shipping.  Rather than cough up the $7 in shipping costs, I searched around for something cheap that would put me over the threshold and since I know I have some electrical work to do on my car, I picked up some wire shrink wrap for $.18.  It worked out and I saved some money on shipping.

Then things got weird (and expensive for Amazon).

A day or two after placing the order, I got an email from Amazon saying they had divided my order into two shipments.  The irony made me laugh: I had only ordered the cheap tubing to save on shipping for the book, and now they were doubling their costs to get me my tubing that costs less than a quarter.

When the tubing package came in, I realized just how much Amazon lost on the deal.

Painting and pig clip 002

Instead of shipping it in a 3"x4" bubble envelope like I expected, this tiny bit of tubing (flexible, and about the thickness of a pencil) came in a 4′ plastic tube that was then in a super reinforced cardboard mailer.  The shipping label didn’t have a price on it, but it did list the weight at 6 pounds.

Not only did Amazon lose money on shipping the original book, but they had to have thrown at least $10 down the drain to ship me my 20-cent tubing (which, as it turns out, is too narrow and I won’t even use it).

I am not complaining, but the inefficiency certainly made me chuckle.

Categories: Random Tags: , ,

Books: Keep, Loan, Sell, Give away

May 19th, 2010 No comments

A couple weeks ago I wrote about having to whittle down my book collection.  With much difficulty, I have decided which books I am ready to get rid of.

Most of these are available

I basically have created 4 lists.  I have The Keepers that are staying with me, The Give Aways that are up for grabs, The Sellers that are being listed on Amazon and The Indefinite Loaners which are those books I want to keep, but can’t take with me.

The books that are listed as Give Aways are free to take as long as you will use them.  The represent a smorgasboard of reading: everything from real life adventure stories to Christian reference.  We can arrange for you to pick them up or ship them if you are interested.

The books that are listed under Indefinite Loaners are books that I want to keep in my collection, but probably won’t be able to use when we move to Swaziland.  I want to make sure they have a good home.  They are yours until I may need them again (probably in 5-10 years) but again, only only if you will use them.

The books I have down as For Sale are being listed on Amazon.  These are books that have been helpful to me, but still have a decent market value.  I have included the going rate for each of these.  Funds generated from these books will go towards our move to Swaziland (which is after all the reason I am selling these books).  Here is the deal though, if you as my friends and family have a use for one of these books, I would gladly pass it along to you.  But, I would ask that you consider making a donation to help pay for our move.

Sound good?

Here is a list of the lists:

I have also included an embedded version of the Sellers since those are generally the most significant:

Categories: Random Tags: , ,