Goodbye Borders

I have some very sad news about Borders.  It looks as though they are closing their doors forever.  I got an email from them several months ago – Borders Sad Chapter 11 News – which also had a letter in my inbox saying they are closing some stores but not all of them.  Well, things didn’t work out too well for them and now they are closing their doors forever.  Read the letter that I got from them last night by clicking the smaller image.

This is sad news for readers everywhere who have enjoyed visiting Borders over the last 40 years that they have been open.  They are closing their doors because they couldn’t convince any company to help them stay afloat.  I guess everyone has given up on them.

It’s sad though that people have basically abandoned their local book store to buy e-books from the comfort of their home.  But this is the casualty of electronic evolution.  Although not everyone can afford to buy an e-book reader so there are people who still buy books.  Borders doesn’t just sell books though, they sell magazines and toys and cd’s and movies etc.

Today is the first day of the sale so if you still have a Borders near you, go there quickly because they close their doors on July 29th.  You have exactly 1 week from today.  They have a 40% off sale at Borders locations, unfortunately as you can see from the image below that the sale is only in stores and not on their website.

It’s sad that they are closing and I hope that there is a chance that they will still keep a few stores open to keep the Borders name alive.  Who knows for sure until the end of this month when we find out their final fate.

I don’t want to give my final goodbye just yet because anything can happen in a week…

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eBook Conversion and Creation Made Simple

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to fix the James Potter fan books for my Nook. The James Potter Series of fan books by Norman Lippert based on the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series are only downloadable in PDF format from the website.

So what needs fixed? If I try to read a PDF file on my Nook, it turns whatever page that has an image into an image itself making it unreadable.

How can I fix this that will be less work for me? That has been the question on my mind for days and I finally figured it out tonight.

First I used Calibre to convert the PDF file to ePub file for Nook. Then I went into Sigil, I opened the ePub file that Calibre created.

Here is the tricky part that I didn’t understand at first. What I had to do was find the Prologue page, highlight the word Prologue then made it Header 2 and same with all the chapters. That will help the e-book reader find where the chapters are to create a table of contents.

The first letter of the first paragraph of the Prologue page and every chapter thereafter is missing. Why? Because in the PDF file that letter is bigger than all the rest so when Calibre converted the PDF file to ePub it lost those letters.  I had to figure out what the letter was then type it in.

Page numbers are all over the entire document which means I had to click Edit then Find and type in the first number (1) and find it then I could either replace it with nothing or when it found the number I could click it and delete it manually. Then 2, then 3, etc. Sometimes the number would be mixed in a paragraph and the rest of the paragraph was down on the next line so I had to bring it up.

Yes, it’s a huge pain in my rear but I really want to read these books.

There are a lot of .xhtml files so what I’ve done is when there is a new chapter I click the Sigil logo which is the create chapter button which basically creates a new .xhtml page. The previous page that I had just edited all the numbers out of is now its own chapter in its own file so I renamed that file to Prologue.xhtml. This makes it easier for me to go back to each chapter if I need to edit them further.

This is a painstaking process and it has taken me a couple of hours just to do 10 chapters and I have several more chapters to do tomorrow but I am willing to put in the work to get this done because I really want to read these books. It’s just too bad that the author of these great fan based novels didn’t think to create a file for every persons needs for e-book readers. .ePub is the most common e-book file there is, much easier than a PDF file. I mean seriously, who wants to stare into their LCD screen for hours reading an e-book?

I seriously hope that these books are worth the effort I’m putting into them.

Another thing about editing an e-book is that I didn’t know how to create a chapter that didn’t start with the word “Chapter”, I thought it HAD to have the word Chapter but apparently it doesn’t because these chapters don’t. Also the Prologue page isn’t called Chapter and now it shows up in the table of contents in the Nook for PC program.

So, I have a ton of work ahead of me tomorrow to get the rest of the first James Potter novel converted to .ePub so that I can read it.

This also helps me with my own e-book that I am writing. I wasn’t sure how to create the chapters and now that I have this new information I can do it without any issue and actually I think I might just write the darn thing in Sigil instead of using MS Word. I think it will make it so much easier to write.

I can also now write my Cookbook with diabetic recipes from the SparkPeople website that I can store in my Nook so when I need to find a recipe I can find it easily. What will make it easier is being able to make a chapter named “Entrée’s”, “Sandwiches”, “Salads” etc. instead of Chapter 1…

Thanks Sigil for making my life so much easier.

My Final Decision – Nook

I’ve made my final decision about which e-book reader I want to buy. I said in my last post about waffling that I really wanted the Kindle because it’s the iPod of the e-book reader world but then last night I found out that Calibre will convert many e-book file formats to the .epub file format.

I’ve literally spent the entire day today trying to figure that program out and came to the conclusion that .epub is the best file for the Nook. When I tried converting my ebooks to .pdb file format (which is Nooks familiar format), the table of contents were always screwed up. It worked but it wouldn’t just say chapter 1, it would have the word Calibre with the chapter title.

The .epub file format works so much better and it’s the first choice in Calibre when you are converting a file so it makes it that much easier.

Of course Calibre probably won’t work with DRM books, the books I buy from Rainbow eBooks don’t have that restriction on them (yet). Although if a book I buy from them is already in the .epub file format then I won’t have to convert any of their books for the Nook. I can just buy,download, upload and read.

Although the book “Fell” did come in epub but it didn’t work on the Nook for PC program. So there is a good chance that I will still have to convert other file formats for the Nook.

And yes, I know, I can do the same thing with the Kindle but I think I’m going to get the Nook WiFi despite the fact that it’s $10 more than the Kindle and if I buy it at Barnes and Noble, chances are I’m gonna pay even more with taxes. The issue that I’m having with the Kindle is how it’s sold out lol. I don’t want to buy a Kindle if I can’t get it for another month. I also don’t want to buy something that I can’t return to the store.

There are a few features of the Nook that I like and don’t care for. For example you can replace the battery, it has an Expandable micro SD slot. I’ve seen in a video how slow the color screen is when sliding your finger to find a book, that is a bit irritating to me but I think I can get past that. The lend feature won’t do me any good but on the other hand who knows what might happen in the future. The very fact that we can walk into a B&N and I can bring a Nook with me and be able to read a book for free for 1 hour is appealing.

The main thing is that I can convert my existing e-books to the .epub format that I can read on a Nook and be able to use the dictionary, look up words, highlight and annotate. That’s all I wanted. That’s all I needed.

If I do get one, I’m going to buy 1 copy of the Los Angeles Times so that Darrin can see if he likes reading it on the Nook. If he does then I’ll get him the monthly subscription.  I’m tired of having to pick up his newspapers lol.  I don’t read so much that I will monopolize it from him, although I can’t say that he won’t monopolize it from me lol.  If that is the case I will suggest he buy himself one with his credit card.

I think I was wrong when I said that the Kindle is the iPod of the e-book world because it’s not sold in stores, it’s only online.  My Dell DJ was only online and they screwed me over on that because I can’t take it to any store to have it fixed but the Nook has a store.  So I think the Nook is really the iPod of e-books.

Leggo my ebook

I feel so stupid for waffling so much on this issue. I want a Kindle real bad because it’s the iPod of the e-book reader world. When I got my mp3 player I bought the Dell DJ but I was stupid, I should’ve gotten an iPod. Now, Dell doesn’t support fixing the Dell DJ. Heck, they don’t support anything with that product anymore. They won’t give you software updates, firmware updates, nothing. Not even tech support. They won’t even help me get a battery that works. I’m on my own with that and I can’t even find a company that will send me one that fits. I bought one in July and it still hasn’t shown up. I did get a refund though.

I got a tweet from Sony when I asked someone on Twitter if I should get Kindle or Nook and Sony said to get Sony Reader. So I thought ok I’ll check out their website. I did look at the Sony Pocket reader and although they have a good e-book reader it’s not as good as the touch BUT I did see some video reviews on that and they say that you can barely read the screen because of the touch feature. Also I can just see the screen getting so marked up from using that stylus pen that I won’t be able to read anyway. You know I’m gonna be drawing on it all the time on the books and on the drawing screen.

The Sony touch is what I really want BUT I wish they had an online store that I can buy books wirelessly through the reader and not have to plug it in every time I want to buy a book. I don’t want to be visiting family and have to use their computer to buy a book and have to install the software on someone elses computer. Ya know?

In their tweet, Sony told me about being able to check out library books and so I downloaded their software to check it out and went to the library link and they said I can only check out library books if I have a library card which I do for the Kern County Library which unfortunately is not in their system. So that feature is 100% useless for me.

The review I watched, the e-book reader was flawless but then when I watched another video, the Sony touch was slow to turn the page. He would swipe the screen and the page didn’t turn at all. He had to swipe again and other times he swiped the screen and it took 10 seconds to turn the page. I am way too impatient to wait 10 seconds for the page to turn.

Also, they said that they do supply a USB for it but that’s it. No A/C adapter for charging. Hello? They said that is a $30 accessory. What? Seriously? Although I did read that it uses the PSP power cable which I do have but I find that ridiculous that they are charging so much money for an e-book reader and they won’t even supply you a freaking a/c adapter.

The Sony touch has some good and bad and the bad outweigh the good for me.

I really want a nook or kindle because of the wi-fi feature and online store. I don’t care about 3G, I really don’t. I just want to be able to connect with a WiFi connection at home or at a friend’s house using their WiFi or if we’re out and about then I can use the public WiFi at a Starbucks or McDonald’s.

The Nook has the lend feature which is totally useless to me as well. I don’t know anyone who has a Nook and I highly doubt that me buying a Nook is going to bring me Nook buddies. Also the little screen on the Nook is too slow for me.

Although, the good thing about the Nook is that if I have an issue with it I can just bring it to a Barnes and Noble and maybe they can help me with it. I do want to go to a Barnes and Noble to play with one to see how fast or slow it is. Not just the color screen but page turns and startup and all. I want to be convinced with a in store demonstration.

If I don’t like it then I will go Kindle. But, there are still 2-3 weeks to waffle er um I mean decide.

Money Saved for ebook Reader

I officially have the money saved up for an e-book reader. Although I can’t really buy it yet because I have to make sure we have enough money for food for the next 2 weeks before I can spend the money I am saving. I have to get my priorities straight lol.

So I’m leaning towards the Amazon Kindle. I wanted to get the Nook because of its color screen but heard how slow it is and it’s not worth my time. I don’t need little icon book covers to make me happy.

I didn’t want a Kindle because most of my e-books are in pdf, .prc, .lit, .mobi and .epub format. I know you can read pdf files on a Kindle and I’m ok with not being able to use the dictionary I guess. I probably won’t have that feature with a Nook with pdf files anyway. I don’t really care for a Sony because I don’t really care about library books, oh and I don’t care about lending books with Nook as I have no friends with a Nook anyway lol.  And the Nook, Sony and Kindle stores all have pretty much the same prices for e-books anyway so store options don’t matter.

So, Kindle it is. But, again, I have to wait until I get my next check to make sure I have the money and then some.

Although I still have a lot of regular books in paperback and a hardcover book coming that I won from GetGlue.com. No not the zombie one, they offered me another one. But when I do get the Kindle the first e-book I will buy will be the first Sookie Stackhouse novels books 1-8 despite it’s hefty $55 price tag. I say hefty because it’s paperback version is only $35 so I’m over spending on it. Although, who knows what I will do. I’m unpredictable lol.

Oh and I’m going to also buy the Kathy Griffin book “Official Book Club Selection” and her moms book Tip It. Although, those 2 in e-book format are expensive so not right away.

After those then I will start buying the charmed novels and maybe more buffy novels. I have a few in paperback but not in order. Also there are star wars novels and star trek novels, let’s see, supernatural, smallville, roswell… too many to list. Let’s just say I’m going to be pretty busy. Oh and that’s not including all the books I plan on buying from Rainbow ebooks too lol.

Will I have enough time to read all these books that I plan on reading?

I do have a LOT of e-books on my computer right now so I’m not exactly sure how much money I will be spending on e-books right off the bat because I will be converting all of them to Kindle format so I can finally read them. Yes, I have a lot of unread e-books waiting for me. So the only money I’ll need to spend right away is on the Kindle then I won’t have to spend any money for quite a while until all of my current books have been read.

Ah the life of a book-worm.

Update: Ok so I was wrong, check this out.  The new kindle has this –  Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights.  That’s perfect!  That’s all I wanted to know lol.  Now the Kindle IS my choice to buy.  Cool, now I can buy all .pdf files anywhere and transfer them over to my Kindle.  This way if one store has an e-book cheaper than Amazon then I can buy it’s pdf file.  And I can buy Rainbow ebooks in all pdf file formats and not worry that I can’t read them.  Awesome!

$99 Color E-Reader and Social Platform to Challenge Amazon, B&N This Fall

via $99 Color E-Reader and Social Platform to Challenge Amazon, B&N This Fall.

I like this idea that the Copia is a $99 color e-book reader. However, I don’t like the fact that it’s an LCD screen and has a battery time of 4 hours. Those are the only 2 things I don’t like about it. When I’m reading an e-book, I don’t want to screw my eyes up more than they already get with an actual book. Reading from a LCD screen isn’t going to help my eyes at all.

The Copia does have a lot of cool functions though but personally I think it’s all too distracting from what you’re true intentions are when turning it on, reading. If I want to read reviews or recommendations on a book I can do that on the computer. When I want to read a book I want to read it without the temptation of all the other functions. By the time I’m ready to start reading the battery is already dead because I’ve been looking at reviews for the last 4 hours. Then I’m back at square one, no book to read despite my prior intentions.

Although the $99 price is very tempting, I think that I would rather spend the extra $30 or $50 for a Kindle or aNook.

Rainbow eBooks – My Heart is Within You

I said that I would buy a book from Rainbow eBooks on August 3rd and I did just that. The book that I chose was a vampire novel because I love vampires and since this website sells gay ebooks then I get the best of both worlds, a gay vampire story. “My Heart is Within You” is part 1 in a 3 part series called the Triquetra Trilogy.

It took me a week to read it because I could only read a few chapters every day. The reason is that I had to read the e-book on my computer via Mobi pocket Reader. If I had an e-book reader then I probably would’ve finished a lot sooner but my eyes can only take staring at the computer for so long.

I loved this book. It was a bit strange at first because every chapter was through the eyes (or mind) of a different person. Well, the 2 main characters anyway. The first chapter was Kristair (the vampire) and the second chapter was Jacob. When I started reading chapter 2 I was very confused because I wasn’t expecting the book to be on Jacob. After the 3rd chapter when I was back on Kristair I knew that it was going to be this way throughout the rest of the novel and I learned to adapt.

It is listed under gay, fiction, romance, fantasy and horror. I would have to say that if you are a gay man who loves Vampires, this book is for you.

Every vampire story ever told seems to be different and this is no exception. In Twilight the vampires skin sparkles in the sunlight and they don’t burst into flame for some odd reason. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and Angel) the vampires burst into ash when they get killed. Just as any vampire novel, they need blood and this was no different.

The main character, Kristair, who is an ancient vampire can do things that not a lot of vampires can do such as being able to walk through walls and communicating with their vessels (Jacob) with their minds. He also passed along a lot of abilities to Jacob when he gave him his heart (hence the title) such as being able to heal right away after being bitten and evidently his blood must regenerate too because he doesn’t die from lack of blood. Jacob also has a lot more strength than most humans do because of these new abilities.

Unfortunately the end of this novel came to a grave ending with the death of Kristair. This isn’t the end of the story though, it’s just the beginning. There are 2 more books, Haunted By Your Soul is the 2nd book and Our Sacred Balance is the 3rd and final book.

I won’t be able to get the 2nd book right away because I have some other books in line but I will buy it in September. I’m doing that to give my eyes a rest from the LCD screen. I would much rather read natural paper or an e-ink screen.