Category: Housekeeping
Housekeeping: You’ve come a long way, Kindle 4 comments
A dozen years ago today
Twelve years ago today Amazon announced the Kindle 1, forever changing how many readers consume books, newspapers, blogs and more.
Though other companies introduced e-readers before the Kindle, Amazon’s large following and marketing power quickly moved Kindle to the most popular device. The Kindle 1 held 200 medium-length books and sold for $399. The Kindle Store bragged 88,000 titles.
Read the complete Kindle timeline here at a site named


Check out the original webpage for the K1. Read the product overview. If you can download the correct Flash Player you can view videos by Jeff Bezos and authors giving their support for the K1. You can also watch the famous “drop test” (remember that?).


I had forgotten several events that are mentioned in the history and remembered others that weren’t in the timeline. In 2009 skins were all the rage for personalizing the K2.
Blogs were big with the K2 audience. The novelty of getting an update every day when I turned on the Kindle was heady. After just a few weeks the bloom was off the rose. The blogs were stacking up unread and I canceled the subscriptions.
The timeline does not mention the day that games were available on the K2. The Kindle Forum (remember that before Amazon ended it) was all atwitter about the games.
Please share your story with us – about your first Kindle; how the device changed your reading habits or anything you want to tell us about your Kindle experience.
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Housekeeping: On the road again and Throwback Thursday 14 comments
About that one day delivery….
Each fall my husband and I spend several weekends traveling to away games for the local university football team. We have spotted several Amazon 18-wheelers on the interstate. We were behind one at a truckstop that proclaimed on its back doors: There’s more to Prime. A truckload more.
Last Saturday we passed a semi-trailer hauling three smaller delivery trucks with Amazon logos. The company must be prepping for the holiday season.
Several weeks ago winter weather arrived in our state and this Amazon rig didn’t make its destination as planned. The newspaper reported no damage and only a few hours delay.
Have you seen Amazon delivery trucks and/or semi-tractor trailers in the wild? Or in the median?



Throwback Thursday
In recent weeks I’ve been de-cluttering magazines. I admit to leafing through every single one of them before boxing them to pass along. I found this blurb in the May 2009 edition of Bon Appetit. Remember paying $359 for your first Kindle 2?


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Housekeeping: Prime deal for vets and military and MacMillan vs. Libraries 8 comments
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.
Prime deal for veterans and active military
Amazon is offering a very sweet Prime membership deal for all veterans and active military personnel. Now through Monday, November 11, a year of Prime is available for only $79.
If you already have Prime, the deal extends your membership for one year.
Learn more about how Amazon supports the military here.


MacMillan limits sales of ebooks to libraries
MacMillan Publishing, one of the five big publishing houses, has drastically reduced the number of newly-released ebooks to libraries. Under the new process in the first eight weeks after publication only one copy of an ebook is sold to libraries. Prior to the change a library could order limitless copies.
MacMillan defends the action as the first eight weeks being critical to all book sales and that they feel that libraries are cannibalizing sales. Today 45% of MacMillan books are borrowed through libraries. CEO John Sargent says that that number is growing and action had to be taken.
Libraries are not happy with MacMillan’s decision and are seeking remedies. Read more about the controversy here.
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Housekeeping: Keep calm and Alexa on 4 comments
I want this!
Did you know we have a Daily Cheap Reads site that serves Kindle users in the United Kingdom? Our audience is small, but they are a loyal group and I enjoy learning the popular books among their readers.
From our experience, I know that the Brits love history, historical fiction, quirky humor and situations and European football.
One day while browsing Amazon’s UK store, I found this Alexa skill: Book Finder by Audible.

Book Finder helps you find your next book or Audiobook through recommendations and free audio samples.

There are three different ways to get your recommendation:
– Inspirations – hear recordings of Audible editors, authors and celebrities talking about their favourites
– What’s trending – new releases and best sellers
– Find similar books – give the name of a title you like and get recommendations based on this.
You can listen to free samples of the professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible for all recommendations.
Alexa, ask Book Finder for best sellers
Alexa, ask Book Finder for The Girl on the Train (gives similar titles to The Girl on the Train)<
Alexa, ask Book Finder for Mystery (bestsellers in the mystery genre)

Now the sad news: This skill is not available in the United States! I live in the wrong country.


Amazon Fresh delivered free for Prime Members

Amazon announced via blog post that “Prime just got better. Now members get free and fast grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market.”

Prime members in more than 2,000 cities and towns can request an invitation to shop Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market delivery. Go to the blog post to find the link.

When I requested an invitation, this appeared on the screen. I live in the wrong town.

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Housekeeping: Last-Minute Boxtumes from Amazon boxes 0 comments
Amazon Prime shared pictures of last-minute costume ideas for Halloween. Creative folks took a few Amazon boxes and made clever and cute wearables for children and adults. Check out the nine last-minute Halloween boxtume ideas.
Perhaps this will spark your imagination. Please share a picture with us of your boxes-to-costume idea.
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Housekeeping: Spend $60; Get $40 credit 13 comments
Get $40 in eBook credit
Did you get an email announcing the great $40 in eBook credit?
According to the website, this offer is by invitation only. If you did not get the email, I encourage you to click on the links to see if the deal will work for you.
In reading about the offer, this is one of the best deals that Amazon has announced. After you activate the deal, if you spend $60 on any ebooks at Amazon (in one or multiple transactions) you will receive a $40 credit to spend on any ebooks at Amazon.
Pam dropped us a note about the deal and said she will be buying books that she feels will NEVER go down in price. Pam was disappointed the deal is limited to ebooks. Sorry, Pam, no audiobooks, magazines, pre-orders or subscriptions this time.


Read the details on the web page. If you do spend the $60 from now until October 29, you will receive the credit and have 21 days to spend it.
If you did not receive an email and are able to activate the $40 in eBook credit from this link, please let me know.


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Housekeeping: Erasing the tape 4 comments
Erasing the tape
Years ago one October, my sweet husband Tiger and I attended a party with a large group of friends. The host couple instructed everyone to come in costume.
Tiger wanted to be someone original or at least one-of-a-kind. Amazon wasn’t yet a company so I scoured the local stores until I found a Richard Nixon mask. Tiger borrowed a vintage suit from my dad. He placed a cassette tape in the suit jacket pocket with the tape pulled out and draping down the front. As he walked among the party goers, he gently bumped each one and said, “Pardon me.”
Sadly, the group was either too young or ignorant of history because no one appreciated his humor.
I’m telling you that story to tell you that you can be like Richard Nixon as you can now erase your Alexa recordings.
You can read about the options and set your Alexa Privacy Settings here.


Once you are on the page, if you click on the PRIVACY SETTINGS tab, (see below) you will see in the first paragraph a link to auto-delete. At that link you can set your deletions to on-command, after 18 months or after 3 months.

In the example below, my deletions are set to 3 months.

If you click on the “>” on the right as shown above, you will see the pop-up shown below. That’s where you select the time before deleting.  

Another option is to delete recordings as you go or at the end of the day.
The weekly Alexa email provided these options:
“Alexa, delete what I just said.”
There are now even easier ways to delete your voice recordings. You can also say: “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”


If you attend a costume party this season, I hope you have a great time and the attendees understand your humor. Personally, I thought Tiger’s idea was very funny.
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Housekeeping: Play along! and Free Short Stories for Prime Members 6 comments
Play along!
If you participate in social media, you may have seen a game of sorts where the person posting answers questions and invites others to copy the list and play along with their answers.
I put together one for readers (and audiobook listeners). You are welcome to copy the list and provide your own answers or choose to answer only your favorites. If you have suggestions to add to this list, please let us know. Play along!
Thirty years ago I read: Happily-ever-afters and young adult fiction
I doubt that I will ever read: Horror and/or vampire fiction
Go-to genre to escape: Romantic comedy or historical romance
Recently reads: WWI and WWII historical fiction novels
Three one-click-buy authors: Terri Blackstock, C. J. Box, Sandra Dallas and at least 50 more
Book I would read again and again: Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury, an amazing book of forgiveness and personal responsibility
Daily print newspaper or Internet news?: Daily print newspaper. I used to read it for the news. Now my husband and I compete to find the most egregious spelling or proof-reading error.
Favorite book made into a movie: The Martian
What I read now that I didn’t think I would enjoy: Memoirs and biographies
Author I want to meet in person (deceased): Mark Twain, a famous Missourian
Author I want to meet in person (living): Rick Bragg if my husband meets him too
I won’t buy a book when: The blurb includes profanity and other offensive words
Favorite place to read: The loveseat where the sun streams in
Best snack that goes with a good book: Popcorn!
Time of day I read the most: Late night which explains why I won’t read horror and/or vampire fiction


Free Short Stories for Prime Members
Prime members: Read and/or listen to six sci-fi short stories by popular authors. Enjoy a short read or listen during your lunch hour. Free with your Prime membership.
These stories range from darkly comic to deeply chilling, but they all look forward.
Click here to read these Amazon Original Stories
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Housekeeping: Update on the Update 6 comments
Kindle Keyboard Update
As I wrote on Monday, Kindle Keyboards had to be updated by the end of the day or the device would be inoperable without a manual update through a computer connection.
The Amazon site listed the version needed based on the serial number of the device. My devices need version 3.4.3. None of them updated and all work fine today.
The original letter stated the update was needed due to web standards, but apparently my devices do not need the latest version to work. I am leaving the wi-fi on to see if the update comes through this week.
Patricia commented on the original post about her frustrating and disappointing experience with Amazon. She noted that being in a panic mode has caused all of us consternation. How very true!


Really, nine pages?
The graphic below was posted by a Facebook friend. My only thought was, “Nine pages? NINE pages?” Think how nine chapters a day could change your life!


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Housekeeping: Kindle Keyboards need to be updated today 14 comments
Last minute update!
If you own a Kindle Keyboard and want the simple solution, you need to charge your device and leave the wi-fi connection on so an update can be delivered before midnight tonight.
I received the letter below Friday, September 27. Amazon cut it short giving me notice. I looked on my list of devices and found three Kindle keyboards registered. Instructions were sent to my brother and sister to get their devices updated. The third device had my name on it.
Then I remembered placing an order for Kindle Keyboards at many months ago. The price was $15 each so I purchased five and quickly forgot about them.
I spent yesterday morning rummaging through the Kindle/Fire cabinet. Yes, I have that many. Please do not judge.
All have been registered and charged; all have the wi-fi turned on. Not one has the latest software update. Yet.
Go here, scroll down to the information about the Kindle Keyboard update. On you Keyboard, select HOME then SETTINGS. The DEVICE INFO at the bottom of the screen will tell you the first four characters of your Serial Number. The software version is at the very bottom of the screen.
If you do not get the update before October 1, you will be able to update via a connection to your laptop or computer.


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Housekeeping: Two free First Reads and Audible Captions 2 comments
Twofer First Reads this month
Prime members can select two free First Reads this month. Leading the reader reviews are these three titles:
The Dressmaker’s Gift – Historical fiction by Fiona Valpy
The Vine Witch – Fantasy by Luanne G. Smith
Everything You Are – Contemporary fiction by Kerry Anne King
These suspense novels are doing well in the review competition:
Little Voices – Psychological thriller by Vanessa Lillie
Drowning with Others – Suspense fiction by Linda Keir
The selection for children is faring well:
Along the Tapajós – Kindle Fire book for ages 4-8 by Fernando Vilela
Reviewers are saying to take a pass on these:
The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin – True crime by Jan Stocklassa
Quantum – Kindle in Motion thriller by Patricia Cornwell


Audible Captions
Audible has created a unique listening experience they have branded Captions. The product is different from immersive reading which requires that the reader/listener have both the ebook and the audiobook.
Captions displays text on the screen while the audiobook is read and the listener does not have to possess the ebook.
Not surprisingly, publishers have cried foul that Captions violates copyright laws. Read about their lawsuit here.
Earlier this week, Audible confirmed that only public domain works will be included in its controversial Captions program until the copyright lawsuit filed by seven major publishers and supported by the Association of American Publishers is resolved.
Audible had indicated in July that the product was ready to roll out on hundreds of thousands of audiobooks. For now Captions will be limited to beta users. Check out the technology by watching a demonstration here.
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Housekeeping: Contact Customer Care about email confirmations 4 comments
Contacting Amazon
UPDATE! UPDATE! Good news! Book titles have been restored to the email confirmations. Contacting Care does bring results!
In last week’s Housekeeping, I told how Kindle book purchase emails had changed. The book title is no longer included in the subject line.
Karen commented that we should contact Amazon’s CEO at this email address:
Karen also reminded us of Amazon’s mission statement:
Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company;
to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

These new emails are not customer-centric.


I chose to contact Care via chat so I could share with you the response. You can chat or receive a call from Care when you click here and choose your method.


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