Reading Books

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I have so far read 2 out of 7 books that I chose for the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge, and my brain seems exhausted after only 2 books lol. I think because I didn’t give myself any time between books to properly absorb what I had read, or perhaps it’s like when you are going to the gym every day and your muscles aren’t used to the constant abuse of the machines that they start cramping up randomly for no apparent reason. Does that make sense?

I’m on my 3rd book on page 47 which is chapter 4 and the book is called Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris who also wrote all the Sookie Stackhouse novels which is where the True Blood series came from.

Today I haven’t read anything, and it’s 1pm and I’m already falling asleep from exhaustion, and I’m wondering just how I can be so sleepy when I haven’t accomplished a thing today. All I’ve done today was basically I just woke up, ate breakfast and lunch, played video games and basically exist and that was enough to make me drowsy. Yes, I’m typing this while stuggling to keep my eyes open, so I’m going to cut this short and go take a nap.

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Wait… I’ve already read this Sookie Stackhouse book!

Dead and GoneI finished reading the 14th Xanth novel yesterday called Question Quest and I added a new book to my “Reading Now” on Goodreads which is the 9th Sookie Stackhouse novel called “Dead and Gone.” I wanted to start reading it last night, but I kept looking at Facebook, then I decided to play some video games and watch YouTube so I thought ok I’ll read it tomorrow at the gym.

Today I went to the gym and I got on the treadmill and opened my new Samsung Galaxy Tab a Nook and turned it on and tapped on the book image to load the ebook and I start swiping to the first chapter. I’m reading and getting excited because I already have the characters voices and their faces and their accents in my mind so I can read without being lost.

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!!!

In this book the were community (werewolves and werewhatever) were basically coming out of the closet. I’m thinking, this seems a bit familiar. Did they do this in the series? I don’t seem to recall that ever happening. They had Arlene in there and it said she was in the Fellowship of the Sun and she freaks out when she sees her boss Sam Marlotte basically turn into a collie and she quits her job and I start thinking I’ve read this chapter before, I just know it.

NO MORE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!!!

Then I get to chapter 2 and I saw a bookmark and I’m like ok, now I know I’ve read this chapter. So I tapped the pages which is how you get to the sub menu for the ebook and tapped on the little icon for looking at chapters, highlights and notes and I noticed it has a bookmark for every chapter up until chapter 15, and there are 18 chapters.

I knew I had read a Sookie Stackhouse novel without finishing it, I just wasn’t sure. I thought it was the last book and I thought that I had already finished it. I don’t mind having to read this book again, I just hope it doesn’t take very long.

I’m glad I’m reading it again because I was really getting into the groove of this story. I was laughing a little too loud because there were some funny parts in the first chapter. Then I started reading Arlene’s parts in her voice and in her accent in my head and that alone was making me giggle on the treadmill.

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So after this there are only 4 more books in the series, which I’m sad about, but that’s ok because there are 3 new books from another show I’ve seen and I absolutely love called Midnight, Texas, and I plan on adding those to my collection as well.

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Happy Reading!

Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge

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I recently recommended books based on a Facebook challenge, but I myself have not actually read a book in the last 2 years. The last book I read was called Liar’s Blade, a Pathfinder Tale’s book, apparently number 13 in the series, which I did not know until just now. Before that, the last book I read I finished in November 2014. So, how can I be recommending books to people when I am terrible at reading a book?

I actually started reading 2 books recently. I started reading V: The Original Miniseries earlier this year in February. The Nook version has 595 pages, and I’ve already read 125, so I’m on chapter 4. I also started to read Question Quest which is the 14th book in the Xanth series and I’m on chapter 8. That book has 271 pages and I am currently on page 100. So I am at least making an attempt to read.

Last night I decided I need to take the challenge since I am recommending books, so I challenged myself to read 7 books, and I added 7 books to a new Goodreads list called 2018-challenge.

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I’ve been waiting a long time to read some of these books, like for example I bought Gladiator’s Master in 2012 and it’s literally been sitting in my Nook library waiting to be read, same with Question Quest. I stopped reading the Sookie Stackhouse books after True Blood ended, and I really want to go back and finish them. Splinter’s is a book that was recommended to me by the author himself when he visited and spoke in front of a group I belong to and I bought the Nook book when I came home that night and I guess I just never gave it a chance. Then this year I bought V, and read a few chapters, but that was it. I’ve actually been holding on to Queen of Sorcery for a lot longer, I have the Belgariad volume books which has 3 books in the first volume, and I read the first book in the series in 2010 after my aunt recommended it to me in 2005, I just never moved on to the 2nd book, so I added it recently for this challenge, and since I am reading V The Original Miniseries, I figure I might as well read the Second Generation while I’m at it, you know?

The order in which I read all of these books doesn’t matter, I mean obviously I’m not reading the first one on the list. These were listed this way based on the dates they were added into my account, not based on the order I will read them. And it doesn’t matter what I read first, Goodreads will only count the book for the 2018 challenge after I’ve finished reading it.

Anyway, I had to stop reading for the night because I have been reading for several hours today, and I can only read for so long before the words stop making sense to me, so I figured I’d write this blog post instead, and hope it makes sense lol.

Have you taken the Goodreads 2018 reading challenge? And if so, have you completed the challenge or are you still challenging yourself?

Edit: I’m going to cheat a little. I added a new book to my 2018-challenge list called Zombie Day Care because according to “Details” it’s only 134 pages. A lot of the books I’ve chosen to add to my list are almost 300 or in some cases almost 600 pages long, so in order for me to read 7 books this year, I’m going to need some easier books that I can go through quicker to basically catch up.

Nook HD+ Unlock Your eBook Prompt

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I went into a slight panic attack yesterday when I saw this message. I highlight several eBooks in my Nook, and I was looking for one particular highlight so I could copy the quote. I saw the quote in the “Your Highlights and Notes” app on my Nook HD+ and clicked open, but it wouldn’t because the eBook was no longer downloaded. I guess after so much time, your eBooks get deleted from your tablets to save room for more stuff, and to read them again you simply download them again. I can see that being a good thing, but I personally don’t want to have to do that. If I decide I will never need the book again then I will archive it, but otherwise, I see no reason removing it from my Nook.

This is my issue with this particular problem. I bought this particular eBook when I bought my very first Nook back in 2007, or was it 2008? I can’t recall, which brings me to my next point, the credit card number that was used is long gone since it is long expired and I was issued a new card. My credit card or debit card number changes from year to year or every couple of years, that is of course depending on if I lost my card and had to get a new one. At any rate, the card I have now is definitely not the same card I had way back when I bought this particular eBook. So how the heck am I supposed to download this again if I don’t have that old credit card number?

So this is what I did. I went to Google and typed “Nook Unlock Your eBook” and found a website that said to archive that eBook, then make it active again. I had to use my computer for this because I wasn’t sure if I knew my Nook password lol. It’s stored in my computer rather than my Nooks browser because I very rarely visit the Nook website. I went to Nook.com and clicked MY NOOK at the top, then signed in and clicked My Library. Then I found the eBook and clicked move to archive. Then I had to scroll up and tick where it says Show Active Items or Archived, and clicked Archived. I found the eBook and clicked Move to Active. I was able to download it without issue on my Nook HD+ after that.

I’m sure no one has had this issue, but just in case someone has and haven’t a clue what to do, this should help, at least I hope it does. If it did, let me know.

Happy reading! Smile

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

New Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire

Amazon has done it again.  They have surprised us with new Kindle devices.  Not just a replacement for their popular Kindle but 3 all new Kindles.

First there is the Kindle Fire (pic) which is more like a tablet and some people are calling it an iPad killer.  It’s battery lasts 8 hours which is pretty good for what it is.

The specs on the Kindle Fire is an 80GB hard drive for storing 80 apps plus either 10 movies, 800 songs or 6,000 books.  The Kindle Fire has a 7″ vibrant color IPS screen with multi-touch.

I had never heard of an IPS screen before so I had to look it up and I found some information on it on a message board.  This is what someone said it was.

IPS – in-plane switching…. the liquid crystals are aligned horizontally instead of on an angle. This process greatly increases vertical viewing angles. When coupled with the high brightness and contrast of the glaretype displays, color reproduction is almost perfect. Basically it becomes a 1/4″ professional graphics flat CRT monitor…. which is why the display is primarily for those in professional graphics.

Very interesting.

The new Amazon Kindle Fire is $199 and it is a WiFi only device.

The 2nd new Kindle is a smaller priced Kindle with no keyboard.  It is WiFi only, has a 6″ e-ink Pearl screen, 2GB storage for 1,400 ebooks and its battery life is 1 month.

The new $79 kindle doesn’t have a keyboard but it does have a 5-way controller at the bottom for navigating.  With no keyboard I would imagine that it would be a bit difficult to type in the name of a book you are looking for.

I noticed that it allows you to check out books from the library.  That was something that will make it easier on most people who can’t afford to buy a lot of books but don’t want to have to go to the library for their books.  I looked that feature up when I was researching last year and our library is not in the system so it wouldn’t work for me unless they changed that in the last year.

They still have their Kindle with the keyboard which they have 2 versions of, a WiFi only version for $99 and a WiFi and 3G version for $139.  That went way down in price since last year when it was $150 for WiFi only and $200 for 3G.

Now they have a new Kindle touch in WiFi only for $99 and WiFi and 3G for $149.

The battery for both the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch lasts for 2 months which is longer than before.

All of the kindles use the Amazon cloud storage for unlimited amazon content and they have an experimental browser with the exception of the Kindle Fire which uses their new Amazon Silk cloud-accelerated browser.

I remember when e-book readers first came out.  I had just made my new years resolution to start reading in December of 2005.  I saw the Sony reader at Costco for about $500 or $550, I can’t remember.  I do remember thinking how cool it was that they were coming out with them but I didn’t think they would catch on at that price.

I started reading the Harry Potter books in January 2006 and got hooked on reading.  I was reading all the time after that.

Then Amazon came out with their first e-book reader which if I can remember was almost as high as the Sony Reader but eventually they lowered the price down to $250.  Then B&N came out with their Nook after a little controversy with another e-book reader with a color screen at the bottom.  The nook was also $250.

The war was on and every year these 2 rivals have come out with a new version of their e-book reader with a lower price.

The Kindle has dropped from a high $500 all the way down to a low $80.  I never thought the day would come and it has.  Before you know it there will be another Kindle or Nook on the market that will be as low as $50 and every kid will have one in school with their textbooks on them.

My question is, what ever happened to the Sony reader touch?  That was a good one and it’s a shame it’s gone because you could write on the screen.  I seriously thought that the Sony Reader would evolve into the Sony Trapper Keeper where you would have all of your textbooks in there as well as a notebook with tabs for each subject and you could write your notes on a notepaper screen and have it turn it into typed text that you could save.  That would’ve been awesome.

Maybe that will be the next evolution for the Kindle or the Nook, or who knows, maybe even both.  It would be much easier for a child to carry to school rather than a heavy 20lb backpack filled with books and a notebook or a laptop.

Reading is a Skill

I talked to one of my aunts on Facebook this morning about reading a book that she and my uncle had recommended to me in 2006.  I read the first book in the series of a million books (over-exaggerated number) and it was probably the most difficult book I had ever read.  I told her, and I was just saying this as an excuse, that reading is like a skill.  I can’t read an advanced book as a beginner, or even intermediate reader.

This was her response:

“Your analysis of reading being a skill is spot on, as the Brits say. It IS a skill, and the only way to improve that skill is to continually work at it.”

So, it is no longer just an excuse and the only way for me to be able to read those books is to continue to read my immature vampire ebooks to continue to grow as a reader lol.

I actually love reading.  I would say that I used the Harry Potter books as my beginners books and have grown from there.  The Harry Potter books were amazing because they didn’t have big words that I had never even heard in daily use, they were simple words that every person knows.

I think buying the Nook was the best investment towards my “skill” for many reasons like the built-in dictionary for example.  If I don’t know a word I can look it up by either typing the word into the Nook or by placing the cursor next to a word.  This helps me learn what those words mean for the next time I see it.  It helps me grow as a reader.

Eventually I will get to those Belgariad books.  Like I said, I read the first book and as difficult as it was to read, it was just as difficult to put it down because it was such a good story.  I’ve only read the first story and I can’t wait to get to the next one because I have to know what happens next.

I’m in the intermediate stage because the vampire books that I have read have had some pretty big words and I’ve been able to understand without having to look the words up so I feel like I’m almost there.

I was going to make up my own skill level names but I wanted some examples like beginner, intermediate, pro etc. but I actually found that there is in fact a reading level Wiki site.  Wikibooks: Reading Levels.

So here we have pre-reader which are the children’s book which I actually did read as a child until I was maybe 5.  Then there is beginner which is almost similar to children’s books but maybe without pictures.  I’m pretty sure Harry Potter is in this category.  Intermediate which are books that most adults can comprehend and I do believe that the vampire books that I read are intermediate.

The final 2 categories are advanced and professional.  I’m pretty sure the Lord of the Rings and Belgariad are both in the advanced category.  They may be somewhere in between though, I’m not quite sure.

It will take me a bit of time to get to the advanced stage because I haven’t really read that many books but I’m working on it.  The more I read the better I get at it and as long as I continue to read what I’m reading I’m pretty sure I will get up in the ranks and join the rest of the adults my age lol.