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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:57 PM 
Trakanon is FFA!
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I know we have some college students on here, so let me pass on some advice that I couldn't take when I was in school:

Check Amazon.com for college textbooks.

In my MBA, all the textbooks are pre-purchased, so I can't use Amazon to buy. But, I have sold 4 so far for about an average sale price of $50. These are books the on-campus book store wouldn't give me a penny for.

So, if it hasn't crossed your mind, check Amazon. Sorry, I'm just happy to see a wee little bit of justice in the textbook world.

What a scam.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:02 PM 
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There was a great site I once used that let you enter an ISBN number, and it searched like 15 to 20 book sites. I'll look for it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:32 AM 
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Half.com was great for undergrad books - the only problem a lot of people had was that financial aid couldn't be used.

It's fun when the bookstore charges you 150 bucks for a book you can get for 10 dollars on half.com.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:35 AM 
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I use half.com almost exclusively for my textbooks. Although Amazon is pretty good too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:21 PM 
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I used both half.com and amazon.com. Great sites for that...they saved me hundreds of dollars.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:04 PM 
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Austriana wrote:
I used both half.com and amazon.com. Great sites for that...they saved me hundreds of dollars.


Yep! I got fantastic deals off Amazon.

I also have a kindle and they're working on getting more textbooks to the kindle. I love the idea of being able to carry 50lbs worth of books in a mobile device. I really hated the fact that I had to get what was essentially rolling luggage to cart my books around campus. Especially since I'm not very weak when it comes to lugging shit around like a sherpa.

It was just ridiculous though the amount of crap you have to lug around!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:27 PM 
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be honest, is the Kindle any good?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:35 PM 
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Neesha the Necro wrote:
be honest, is the Kindle any good?


It's the best thing I own, I adore it.

But I'm not an 'average' user. The average user tends to be an older person who enjoys picking up the latest books/paperbacks and reads a lot.

I have an extensive library, so much so that it's caused some problems. So I'm converting most of my books. If I own the book, I generally do not pay to buy it again. If I get a copy of a book I do not own but enjoy, I will read it (much as I would at a library). If it's a book I wish to own (to reread at my leisure) I will then either buy a copy of it (if the book has a lot of typos and shit I'll often do that) or I'll buy a real copy of it and donate it.

That way the author is getting paid, and I'm not blowing cash rebuying a huge library, especially when I've got some books I've already purchased 2-10x (lost due to loan outs, or me leaving them somewhere).

The internet access w/ the kindle is amazing as well. It's very enjoyable to be at a museum or historical site and be able to look up information immediately in my 'book'.

And if I REALLY want to read something that I can buy off Amazon, I can buy it and be reading it in under a minute.

I take it with me everywhere.

There's only two complaints I have, both minor.

First: When you turn the page there's a screen flash so that morons know the page was turned. This bugged the shit out of me. It's hackable/fixable, and I was going to do so...when after 3 days I noticed I never noticed it any more. So it's a very temporary problem that quickly becomes ignored. But for those three days it's REALLY annoying.

Second: When you're laying in bed, or rather when I am, I hold the book in a certain way where I cannot easily turn the page. I wish I could reprogram the button in the upper left to page forward during these times. But again it's just a personal pet peeve.

---------

The display is the same as reading a book, there's no annoying backlighting so you can use whatever reading light you want. Battery time is great, lasts forever offline, and online more than long enough to do whatever you need. You can check your email too.

I think it's Borders which has them for testing so I'd recommend checking it out there. Amazon is really good about refunds too, so if it's not working out, you can always get a refund on it.

The display doesn't scratch (I'm sure you could manage to gouge it, but it's super resistant) and it comes with a decent case.

I bought a $50 leather case for it, because it's a better case. And I'm completely happy with that.

Seriously best thing I own. I'd give up my cell phone AND computer before I'd give up my kindle.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:55 PM 
Trakanon is FFA!
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Tarot, is there any way to lend a book out once you've purchased it without lending out your Kindle?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:19 PM 
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i like dl'ing ebooks and audiobooks for my google phone.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:33 PM 
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While we're on the thread hijack:

If a book comes out and I want it, will it almost always be available on the Kindle? For instance, if/when the last Wheel of Time book comes out, can I buy it for my Kindle? Or is it really just for more established titles? I supposed I could look this stuff up online (and I will do so once I am done typing), but I'd like to hear it from someone who actually has one.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:56 PM 
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Never mind, I found what I needed. :p


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:43 PM 
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Kulamiena wrote:
Tarot, is there any way to lend a book out once you've purchased it without lending out your Kindle?


If it's Kindle content purchased from Amazon, yes sorta...but not easily. You can attach other people's Kindle's to a master account and thus 'share' all books between those Kindle users (up to six Kindles). However if I were to tie yours to my account...then books your purchased via your kindle would be tied to MY amazon account.

So you'd only do it with close friends and family since one person is paying for it all (and everyone else has to pay them back).

Plus you'd have no privacy. So if you wanted to buy Boxed Lunch (a great book on how to eat pussy) for your kindle EVERYONE else would have access to it too. Slightly embarassing.

All other e-book formats can be shared no problem. But you would need to use a computer to transfer the files (or use a memory card and then move them off your kindle blah blah blah).

If I were to take my copy of Study in Scarlet which I purchased off Amazon and copy it on a memory card, you couldn't access it on your kindle. It's tied to my amazon account and can only be used on kindles registered on my account. If instead I gave you a copy of that book which was not a licensed Amazon purchase, but was just an e-book or text file, then no problem.

They ARE looking into trying to develop a 'lend' program, allowing people to lend content, but the primary problem is authors and publishers not supporting that. Some authors and publishers do not support sharing it among other kindles...so the 'six copies' rule doesn't apply to all content. Most aren't shitty about that at least.

If for any reason you have to return a book (which I did, there was a corrupted copy of a book that had to be redone by the publisher as you couldn't access one page by turning the page, only by manually typing in the number)...you're refunded and the next time your kindle is online...they delete it from your library. Whenever your kindle is online, it will check for updates, adding to any subscriptions you have, putting on any purchases, and removing any refunded content. So I kept it offline 'til I finished it, then allowed the erase. (And repurchased it when they fixed it).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:47 PM 
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Neesha the Necro wrote:
Never mind, I found what I needed. :p


Assuming you found all the info, but one additional thing you might not know, you can request books be added to the kindle. I have made MANY such requests, and as a result a lot of old Heinlein books are now available (yay).

They're very good about contacting publishers and authors IMMEDIATELY whenever a user puts in a request stating they would like to purchase the content on kindle.

It will not always be available though. Some authors absolutely refuse to EVER allow e-books to be made of their work. J.K. Rowling has been SUPER snotty about this actually, saying she will never ever ever allow the Harry Potter books to be released in an e-book format.

I have all 7 books. :P Her decision means she made nothing, though of course I bought all of them in hardback previously anyway.

And legally you can scan in any book you own and make a pdf or text file of it for personal use...which a lot of people do. And Amazon will convert an entire pdf file for 10 cents per file, if you're too lazy to do it yourself.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:58 PM 
Trakanon is FFA!
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I thought Kindle would be a stupid, flaming turd... but people are raving about it. I am truly stunned. Must consider taking a look at it...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:28 PM 
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I really want a Kindle, and will probably get one (or something similar) eventually.

However, the backlight thing is a little disappointing to me. I like that there's not a backlight at all times, but I wish there were an option to turn one on. I often read in the same room my kid is sleeping in, and it'd be nice not to have to worry about a booklight or something.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:36 AM 
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I think I will wait for kindle 2.0 or better. My wife would love one now, but I really want a color screen =P

IF that never happens, then I will probably just get one when the price comes down. I think 350 is a bit more than I personally am willing to pay.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:17 PM 
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Everyone I know that has a kindle feels much the same way that Tarot does. I've yet to hear a bad word about it from someone that owned it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:57 PM 
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Kindle.

Enjoy spending $350 for an extremely limited device while the rest of us pay half as much money for web-enabled devices that can do pretty much anything, including being damn near infinitely extensible with 3rd party applications.

While reading your kindle, do you extend your pinkee finger ala Dr Evil?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:14 PM 
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Except that the kindle is web enabled, and I have free internet access from anywhere. It also functions as a GPS device.

I can access most sites on the web, and can always access wikipedia. This has been a highly useful function, as I mentioned previously, when visiting historical locations, or museums.

One of my favorite functions is NowNow, which uses mechanical turks to find information for you. When I can't research information, I can simply ask NowNow a question and I'll have 3 answers sent back to my kindle. Most of the time the answers are high quality. This is also a free service.

Of course the kindle isn't worthwhile unless you're also an avid reader. I've moved my magazine subscriptions over to my kindle as well which I enjoy quite a bit. People who are not certainly won't have a need for it.

It's like bitching about someone's souped up computer system because they have a console that's much cheaper and does games. Of course such people won't see the value of a good computer because it's uses are simply beyond them or their interests. /shrug

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:28 PM 
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An iPhone or google device can do everything you like about the kindle, and twice as many the kindle can't do, for half the cost up front. They are also small enough to fit in your pocket.

Quote:
It's like bitching about someone's souped up computer system because they have a console that's much cheaper and does games. Of course such people won't see the value of a good computer because it's uses are simply beyond them or their interests. /shrug
I get it. It's a book. It definitely is more convenient than porting around a dead wood edition.

But I checked, and of all the books I bought last year, none that I looked for on my cursory check were available on the kindle. If it doesn't work for everything, it's kind of useless, to me at least. That's why the iphone really does it for me. Instead of limited WAP support from only the biggest web sites, I can surf pretty much anything. It does not have any of the limitations that crippled WAP devices and devices like the Kindle. And it will only get better as they make them more feature-rich with things like Flash support.

Seems to me that anyone who is an avid enough reader to drop that much money on a Kindle will have many books that they like, obscure books or niche books, that are not available and won't be. What's the point, then?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:48 PM 
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joxur wrote:
An iPhone or google device can do everything you like about the kindle, and twice as many the kindle can't do, for half the cost up front. They are also small enough to fit in your pocket.


Except it can't. The reason I have a kindle is for reading. There's no backlight, so unlike all other computer devices, it doesn't strain my eyes. It also uses very little energy when offline. I can adjust the font size. :)

For anyone with any type of vision problems, a kindle is one of the best things ever. :D

And I can purchase most new releases for under $10 through Amazon...instead of paying the $20+ I normally would for a hardback edition.

I have no monthly service fees. I have no fees of any kind, other than any books I'd like to purchase more cheaply than I would a real book. My library is maintained on Amazon, so I don't even have to maintain the books on my kindle device if I don't want to (though I prefer to have all my books accessible to me which is why I have a memory chip).

It allows me to reduce my library, not eliminate it. I'll be keeping most of my first editions and rare volumes. But any book I own I can put on my kindle by scanning it in, converting it to a pdf and then mailing it directly to my kindle address, which converts it (font preservation, illustrations and all) to a kindle book.

And it's certainly worthwhile to me to do so, as it allows me to preserve rare volumes in case of destruction of the real book (fire, flood, whatever)...something I wouldn't normally be bothered to do, except that I can use the book more easily on the kindle, and read it without concern of damage.

Again, YMMV, but for anyone who is a book lover, an iphone isn't even close to being a competitor. And all the additional bells and whistles are simply that; nice additions.

I know people who've owned other e-books, such as the Sony one, who've also used a kindle. All of them have either converted to a kindle, or in the case of one person I know they're anxiously waiting for 2.0 so they can convert...even though it means they lose their Sony library, since Sony's books cannot be converted to other formats. =\

Some users wish it wasn't a greytone scale. Personally I don't mind this only because old illustrations look FANTASTIC. Wood cut illustrations, and old black and white ones are just wonderful. I purchased the entire Sherlock Holmes series through Amazon (even though it's available free as it's in the public domain, as an ebook in many locations) because it came with the original illustrations that appeared in the Strand.

It was a whopping three dollars. :D

I love my kindle and it was worth every single penny. I'd give up my cell phone and my computer before I'd give it up. :skewl:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:16 PM 
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I've been wanting a kindle for a while. Hopefully I get one this year. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:27 PM 
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Trust me Joxur, the iphone and other phones are NOT better than the kindle, for the primary function the kindle performs, plus several others, due to limited screen real estate and non-adjustable font sizes.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:53 AM 
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I get that. But the limited nature of what is available on the Kindle makes it a no-go as a book replacement, too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:38 AM 
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Totally off topic, but I've been on the Internet for years and I still don't know what "YMMV" means. Someone fill me in?

Tarot, your descriptions of the Kindle (which I didn't even know existed until this thread) are almost enough to get me to go buy one.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:41 AM 
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:47 AM 
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Yea seriously Fribur, Tarot almost has me sold! They need to hire her =p

In seriousness I'm tempted, but I'm going to wait a bit and see how the other e-book competition shapes up.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:05 AM 
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Quote:
In seriousness I'm tempted, but I'm going to wait a bit and see how the other e-book competition shapes up.
Competition here is actually a bad thing. The key to success for the kindle is adoption rates both among consumers and publishers. If another device comes out and signs an exclusive deal with a certain publisher, we're back to Blu-ray vs. HD DVD, and no one will win.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:10 PM 
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http://www.bigwords.com is cool. Haven't had any luck finding books with Half.com, Amazon usually works though.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:12 PM 
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it almost seems worth it for free wiki access anywhere...

Hey can you use it like a phone book while your out? We travel a lot and we might be out in BFE and wondering if there is a cool antique mall around. Would I be able to do that?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:35 PM 
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DraagunSoulstealer wrote:
it almost seems worth it for free wiki access anywhere...

Hey can you use it like a phone book while your out? We travel a lot and we might be out in BFE and wondering if there is a cool antique mall around. Would I be able to do that?


Sure. You can google it online or you could submit a question to NowNow, though it's faster to look up the information yourself if you need it quickly.

It also plays and stores audiobooks, though I don't have any on there. I prefer not to put any audio files on my kindle...I have an ipod for that.

All online access is labeled 'experimental', but they've stated they have no plans to charge for it in the future or remove it. And it connects to the internet via cell towers, so you can get online anywhere there's cell phone access. My kindle went offline for a day or so when I first flew into PA (despite having no problems picking up cell sites in other states and on the layover) but once it connected again I had no problems in Philly or down the Jersey shore, or coming home. And we used it many times as a mobile GPS. :)

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