e-Reader – Beginning to Cave

I am an avid reader. I started in high school, voraciously reading science fiction. I can get through 3 or more Sci Fi novels in a week.

I used to be a frequent visitor to the used book stores.

E Readers, FTW!
E Readers, FTW!

The advent of eBooks was a godsend. Instead of raiding the used book stores, and carrying 6 or 7 books when I go on business trips, I use a reader.

My first reader was a Sony. I got it before the launch of the Kindle, so it was the only real choice. I loved that thing. I could carry as many books as I wanted to carry, and always had fresh material.

A couple years later, my Sony got stolen, and I replaced it. This was probably 2010 or so.

In the mean time, the Amazon Kindle launched and pretty much took over the market. But I had a pretty large investment in ePub books, and they are not compatible with the Kindle. So the kindle was never a really an option.

Fast forward to today. My sony has been through 3 batteries, and is feeling its age. I still have a shitload of ePub books (with and without DRM), and I read mostly on one of my tablets. Yes, it isn’t as satisfying as a good e-ink display in bright light, but it is convenient.

But the tablet is not an ideal platform. The temptation to just drop to email, or do a quick check on Facebook is too great, and interrupts my reading.

Kindle makes an appearance

I was browsing Amazon a few weeks ago, and one of their free kindle books was tempting. I had known that there was an app for my iphone/ipad and android tablet. So I grabbed the free book, and the app and started reading. I reall liked it.

The Kindle ecosystem has some great attributes:

  • The store is very well set up. It is easy to find what you are interested in. Plus, since I have been buying books and media from Amazon for 14 years or more, they know what I like. So their recommendations are on target.
  • The buying process is easy. No, I am not using whispernet, but it is real easy to buy a title and have it sent to one of my devices.
  • The selection on the store is amazing. Amazon truly does have the widest selection, and the prices are good. I mostly bought before from the Sony store, or the Google Play store. Rarely from the Apple itunes store.

So, I am once again in the market for a dedicated reader. While the tablets are nice, and very servicable, a dedicated reader has some benefits, including the higher resolution e-ink screen, and vastly longer battery life.

I could go back to Sony, but the quality and features have really degraded. Or rather they haven’t kept up. Kobo is another choice, but again, it is a distant 3rd place.

Thus, it looks like I will be opening my wallet to buy a kindle. Probably a Paperwhite Wifi unit.

I can use Calibre to convert my ePub library to kindle format. So I will be able to move over most of my collection seamlessly.

I have held out against the Kindle for a long time. Early kindles seemed toylike and cheaply built, but it is clear that it has won the e-reader market.

Donut Shop Etiquette

Since it is the last work day (and a half day at that) for the year, I stopped to get a couple dozen donuts for the gang. We have a great small chain of donut shops here in Phoenix, that I am happy to patronize.
But there are some people that just don’t get it. Ordering is simple. You walk up to the counter, wait your turn, and order. Some friendly peddler of fat pills will be glad to put as many as you want in a bag or box, take your greenbacks and send you on your merry way.



The rules:

  1. What is on display is what they have. If they have no boston cremes in the display, that is a pretty good indicator that they are out until more are made. No amount of telling the counter worker to “check again in the back” and exhortations of “are you really sure?” isn’t going to make it so.
  2. If you don’t hover around the counter, you won’t get served. It is assumed that they serve those browsing the glass cases in a first come first served fashion. If you walk directly up to the register, wishing to order from there, don’t be surprised when the staff doesn’t recognize your precedence. And don’t get uppity with the other people who are following the rules, and waiting their turn in front of the displays. (this is always an older, likely retired person)
  3. If you are ordering more than a few donuts, for the love of god, do not use the frigging drive through.
  4. Corollary to #3 above. If you are going to be rude enough to order two dozen donuts via the drive through, let the damn staff choose the ones to include. Don’t insist on picking them one by one.
  5. Don’t bitch about their coffee. Yep, it is standard, coffee service coffee, probably delivered by Sysco or Keystone. It isn’t some gourmet shit. You don’t go there for the coffee, you go there for the donuts.

Seems simple, but I am astounded at how many ‘muricans fail to know the rules.