Kindle Unlimited: Boss or Bust?

kindle-unlimited

Is Amazon showing some love for their Kindle readers, or what? The online retailers announced a new program today for Kindle users: Kindle Unlimited. Members of Kindle Unlimited will have access to over 600,000 titles, thousands of which come with free Audible audiobooks that can be listened to via Kindle tablets or the free Kindle reading app. Additionally, Kindle Unlimited members will receive a free three-month Audible membership, providing them with access to over 150,000 titles. How much will this cost you? Simply $9.99 per month. What a deal! Or is it?

Dealio-schmealio, is what I say. $9.99 per month adds up to $119.88 per year. To me, personally, the titles available via Kindle Unlimited are not worth $120.00 each year. Don’t get me wrong – there are some good ones available; just not as many as I would prefer. I am sure that there are many of you out there who will jump at this deal and it will do wonders for your reading life. More power to you! However, many of the titles that were of interest to me are either already in my personal library, or are available via my online public libraries. The rest, well, I’m willing to hoof it to the local library and read them in print – for free.

Take a look at the Kindle Unlimited trailer:

 

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Library Love – Friday, March 28, 2014

librarylovelogo1

Library Love is a recurring post in which I share the week’s current bounty from my public libraries.

 

 

I have a huge confession to make. I have library fines. Like, huge ones. And, we lost a book. Thus. Thus, we are avoiding the library like the plague. Thus, all of my checkouts are for the Kindle only. Man, I hope we find that book soon. We really need to get back to the Richard Gere Branch library (okay, so it’s not technically named after Richard Gere, but that’s what we call it). In the meantime, however, here’s what I’ve found on the digital side of things:

Boy, Snow, Bird is apparently somewhat based on the story of Snow White, and has received great reviews. I’ve been wanting to read The Kitchen House for ages, and am really looking forward to that one! Margot, by Jillian Cantor, is a fictional tale based on what would have happened had Anne Frank’s sister survived the Holocaust – I think it will be very interesting. I’m also anxious to read Men We Reaped, a memoir by Jesmyn Ward, who wrote Salvage the Bones (great book). All I Have In This World is a new release that sounded pretty interesting, as is You Should Have Known. And Zelda: A Biography, of course, will tell me more about one of my favorite women of the Jazz Age. All in all, I think it’s going to turn out to be a good haul. Let’s just hope I make it back into the good graces of our local librarian by next week…

Have you visited your public library recently? Do you ever have to pay for late fees?

 

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What We Did in September…

hhm

As you may know, September was Hispanic Heritage Month here in the good old U.S. of A. While The Boy was home from school for most of the month, we weren’t “officially” homeschooling yet (as far as following any specific curricula, etc). We did take a few trips to the public library, however, and had some great experiences there.

What We Saw:

  • Hispanic/Latino Artwork Display: We trekked across town to visit a library we don’t usually visit to view artwork shared by members of the local Latino community as well as people who have lived in Latin countries on display in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • Hispanic Heritage Dance Presentation and Movie Day: We enjoyed viewing a movie about a young man’s coming of age with the help of his curandera. The cultural dance group Kurumi performed just prior to the movie presentation – it was absolutely beautiful.
  • Hispanic Heritage Read-in: Latino and Latina community members from a variety of backgrounds celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by volunteering to share part of their culture by reading stories and poems, and sharing a bit about themselves. There were Hispanic themed crafts available for the children; they were a little young for The Boy, but he dug in anyway!

What We Listened To:

  • Fiestas by Jose-Luis Orozco

What We Read:

Where would we be without our beloved libraries?! It was a great month full of other learning opportunities, as well. On another note: we begin “officially” homeschooling today – can’t wait to see what adventures that will bring to us!

Did you do anything to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in September? Tell us all about it!

Library Love, Junior Edition – July 31, 2013

librarylovelogo1Library Love is a recurring post in which I share each week’s bounty from the public library.

The Boy and I finally made it back to the library so he could spend a little time browsing around. You know, these days I like to get in and get out, and I forget how much I used to love just being at the library, wandering around, browsing through the books. I don’t let The Boy do that enough, so I gave  him some time for it today. I, of course, had already reserved some books for him that were ready to pick up, so that was my job:

Thank goodness for me, because when left to his own devices, The Boy does not exactly go for literary or educational feats of greatness:

Coins? Coins?! The Boy doesn’t even collect coins! Ah, yes, the good old Antique Trader… Did I mention to you that The Boy is obsessed with “American Pickers”? He begs Poppie to take him to estate sales and antique shows and flea markets, and comes home with all kinds of knick-knacks that clutter up the Pathologically Literate Household to no end. Although I will admit that every now and then he does find a treasure. But those times are far and few between. My most recent method of dealing with this issue is to let the items sit out for a couple of days until the newness and excitement wears off, then have him collect them in a box or tote and put them in the closet or basement. Things are pretty much out of sight, out of mind for him. So, once school starts in two (two!) weeks, Mama will be making some trips to the Goodwill to drop a few things off… Unless he reads this post, in which case all bets are off. Whoops. I was just joking, honey. I’m not going to get rid of any of your beautiful things. Promise!

Did you take any children to the library this week? How do you deal with excess clutter?

Random Penguin House… Hook Me Up!

ebooks for libraries

As of Monday, July 1, 2013, publishers Penguin and Random House have officially merged into one entity to now be known as Penguin Random House (I personally would have preferred Random Penguin House, but they didn’t ask my opinion). According to The Associated Press, this merger “creates the world’s largest publisher of consumer books.” The former chairman and CEO of Random House, Markus Dohle, will be the CEO of Penguin Random House. In a statement on July 1st, Dohle stated, “Together we will give our authors unprecedented resources to help them reach global audiences – and we will provide readers with unparalleled diversity and choice for future reading. Connecting authors and readers is, and will be, at the heart of all we strive to accomplish together.”

What does this mean to me? One thing – more eBooks at the library. Out of the Big Six publishers (now to be the Big Five), only three publishing houses have made their entire eBook catalogs available to libraries for purchase – and Random House happened to be one of these publishers. Currently, eBooks published by Penguin are subject to ridiculous restrictions: titles purchased before February, 2012 are still available through libraries that use the Overdrive eBook platform, but new titles and bestsellers are available only to a limited number of libraries through a pilot program with two somewhat uncommon eBook platforms.

Is it possible that this merger means Random House will exercise its influence upon Penguin to make its eBooks more readily available to libraries? Oh, I certainly hope so! The cold shoulder publishers have shown libraries in the past regarding eBooks has long been a point of contention for library staffers and patrons alike. Historically, publishers have supposedly been concerned about the financial side of things, and the sales they might be losing by allowing eBooks to be loaned out instead of requiring them to only be available via purchase. This is a ridiculous claim, however, when statistics have long shown that library users are much more apt to purchase books or books from a series that they originally discovered within a library. There is no reason for this to be any different with eBooks.

I truly hope that Markus Dohle is ready to put his money where his mouth is and bring Penguin Random House into the future (present?) of eBooks as a major media platform. We love our Kindles, our Nooks, and our other eReaders. And now that tablets are so commonplace, as well as the many eReader apps for smartphones, no one is immune to the ease and accessibility of eBooks. This novelty idea that so many thought would fade is only getting bigger and bigger, and it’s not going to go away. Publishing houses’ only option is to move forward with readers and give us what we need and want – and for many of us, that is more access to eBooks at the library. Give it up, Big Guys – it’s long past time.

Library Love – Tuesday, July 2, 2013

librarylovelogo1Library Love is a recurring post in which I share each week’s bounty from the public library.

I did it again, y’all! I logged on to the online library to check out one (one!) book, and wound up on both library sites, finishing up with a total of ten (ten!). I am just hopeless. This is why I don’t go into bookstores, ever. The effects on my (extremely limited) budget would be absolutely disastrous. It is helpful that there’s a limit to the digital downloads (10 at a time per library = 20); with the actual books the limit is 150 books. Obviously I’ve never checked out that many, but it just leaves so many possibilities…. Here’s what I found this weekend:

I’m so sad – this is my last Deborah Crombie novel until Febuary, 2014. I guess I’d better savor The Sound of Broken Glass…  Several years ago I read The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. It was so awful (a la DEOTO) that I’ve shunned any and all books by her ever since. I’ve decided to give her a second chance with Light on Snow… Don’t let me down, Anita – it won’t be pretty. I still have quite a few books left from my last library trip, as well as a few ARC’s, but I think I can fit these all in – let’s keep our fingers crossed…

Did you make it to your library this week? What goodies did you discover?

Read to a Dog at the Library!

healingheartdogs-logo-small  Here’s a great opportunity for Lincoln, Nebraska residents! This summer, Healing Heart Therapy Dogs will be offering 15- and 20-minute drop-in sessions for children to read aloud to a dog. This is an opportunity for children ages 6 to 12 who have experienced reading difficulties or who just need to practice their reading. No preregistration is required. Sessions will be held at two branch locations:

Gere Branch Library
2400 S. 56th Street, 402-441-8560

  • 10:30-12:00 noon on Tuesday mornings in June and July starting the week of June 4
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons – June 5, 19, July 10, 24, and August 7

Walt Branch Library (15-minute sessions)
6701 S. 14th Street, 402-441-4250

  • 1:30-2:45 p.m. on Saturday afternoons – June 15, June 29 and July 27

I can personally attest to the positive effects this program has on children. Three years ago, The Boy went through an 8-week Read to a Dog program. There were no concerns over his reading ability, but I was hoping that being around the animals (and their handlers) and reading out loud would help to build his confidence. He was going through a very hard time at school and his self-esteem had taken some pretty hard blows. The Boy loved the dog he was assigned to and it turned out that the dog’s owner worked at our vet clinic, so he felt an added connection there, as well. Reading aloud for that extra 20 minutes a week at the library did make a difference for him – it elevated his mood, it made him feel good about himself, and it made him feel good about being around other people. And let’s not forget – our kids can never read too much! I highly, highly recommend getting your children involved in this program. Woof!dogsandbooks-small

Library Love – June 19, 2013

librarylovelogo1Library Love is a recurring post in which I share each week’s bounty from the public library.

Well, y’all… This week I may or may not have been what my blogging idol, A Reader’s Respite, calls a library whore. Yes, yes, it’s true… I got a little jiggy with my library cards. That’s the problem sometimes when you belong to not one, but two separate public library systems. It all started when I read this blog post by one of my Goodreads friends. It all just went downhill from there. Here’s what I left with:

I know, I know! Plus, I’ve still got library books to read from my last library trip, plus two advanced reader’s copies to review! But I’m really excited to see if Big Brother lives up to all the hype it’s been getting. I’ve wanted to read Shanghai Girls, like, forev-ah; same with The Sisters Brothers. And I’m always down with another Crombie novel. All in all, my friends, it will be a very busy week of reading, reading, reading in the Pathologically Literate Household. Ah, just the way I like it…

Have you made it to the library this week? What goodies did you find?

Library Love – May 24, 2013

librarylovelogo1Library Love is a recurring post in which I share each week’s bounty from the public library.

I promise I did my best to stay away from the library this week, you guys! I did, I did! I didn’t even check the sites on New Book Tuesday! But then some books that I had reserved became available, and then… Then, the temptation was just too strong. But I kept it down to five this week. Five goooood ones, that is…

Despite the title, I’m really looking forward to the Ben Franklin book – I hope it lives up to my expectations. I’m somewhat skittish about Second Nature by Jacquelyn Mitchard… She included characters from that annoying Coppodora family from the dreaded DEOTO. Have I ever shared with you all my experience with The Deep End of The Ocean? I don’t think so… I’ll definitely have to work that into a post at some point so you can be in the know when I drop my DEOTO references!

OK, guys, you’d better get to the library by tomorrow – most public libraries will be closed on Sunday and Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. Make sure you have enough books to last you through the long weekend!

What did you find at the library this week?