Kindle questions

Posted by $ Flootus5 5 years, 9 months ago to Technology
44 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

I have questions for those Kindle users out there. I noted a comment in another post that a Kindle is so cool because you can have hundreds of books in your hand all at once.

So, at this point in time, how many books are actually available in digital Kindle format? I note that most new books coming out are available, especially on Amazon. Especially fiction.

How many older books are now available? And is there a source to be able to query to find out if a certain book is available?

My issue is that I read a lot of obscure history. I like to acquire actual dated books of vintage age to read what the attitude of the day had to say about historical events before the modern revisionism has set in.

It would be great to reduce the load of books, but I suspect there is a limit for how many obscure tomes are available digitally.

All thoughts appreciated.


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by DrZarkov99 5 years, 8 months ago
    The problem with Kindle is the Amazon proprietary format. There are many, many publications available in PDF or universal ebook format you can access with other ebook readers like the Barnes & Noble Nook. One open source app that makes searching for older titles easier is Calibre, which searches digital libraries worldwide. I now have a collection of ebooks for one of my favorite fantasy authors, A. Merritt, thanks to Calibre.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ jdg 5 years, 8 months ago
      Calibre is similar to the Kindle app but is open source. And there are converters available so you can import Kindle books into Calibre, thus protecting yourself against losing them if Amazon decides to steal things back from its customers again.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by dansail 5 years, 8 months ago
    Project Gutenberg - It is a free website that produces out-of-copyright literature, including classical literature and history, for just about all forms of electronic reading media. There is a handy search tool and is available in both full browser and mobile browser method. There is also another site, the World Public Library, which is a subscription service ($9/yr), which is also quite helpful for more research and less literature.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Riftsrunner 5 years, 8 months ago
    What I haven't seen by anyone below is that Amazon makes it Kindle format available for all platforms. Yes, there is a brand of reading devices with the Kindle name that for the most part are just reading devices. Amazon has stepped into the tablet market with its Kindle Fire devices which for all intents and purposes are on par with IPad and Android tablets. However, Amazon has free apps and programs that can be download into your tablet, phone, and computer that operates as a Kindle device. So you do not have to buy a Kindle device to enjoy the majority of the books available through Amazon's kindle store (there are some books that won't work with certain version of the Kindle apps, but they are few and far between).

    And as some have explained below anything in the public domain that can be downloaded can also be added to your Kindle library. This can happen in one of three ways. If it is already in a format that kindle can read, you can just d/l it into you device and pull it up on you kindle/app. If it is in a format that can be converted by Amazon, each device/app has a dedicated e-mail address. You just send the file to your devices address and Amazon will reformat it to the Kindle format and automatically sends it to the Kindle the address is assigned (I advise you only access this feature using the free wi-fi as if you use 3G or 4G they charge per megabite to send it wirelessly). The final method is for formats that cannot use either of the above methods. You need to use another program that can convert the e-book into a format that can be either used directly by the Kindle program/app/device or into a format that allows for the e-mail conversion above. I have used all three methods through the years of my Kindle ownership (I have a Kindle gen 1, gen 3, a fire, the android app on my phone, my tablet, and on both my windows computers). The one of the advantages of the Amazon Kindle system is that you can transfer books on your account to any of your devices and continue reading from where you left off.

    I know I come off as a Kindle fanboy, and it may be true, but the only downside I see is getting into bed with Amazon (which may or may not be your cup of tea). You need to have an account with them and they will keep a copy of you purchases online for later download to any of your devices as often as you want.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 8 months ago
    Obscure history books, especially if you want to look at the actual text images, excepts from manuscripts, paintings, hieroglyphs, etc still do not display well on most electronic devices. Other than that, the ability to stuff a few hundred books in your carry-on is a treasure.

    Jan
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Stormi 5 years, 8 months ago
    I can only say one thing about digital books, "Anthem"! Probably okay for new titles, but if you cherish the book , save it to digital, but have hard copy. One day, there will ben electromagnetic disaster, and in a flash, or if the government decides, digital books can disappear. One disaster, or the push of an Amazon button, and they are gone.
    I like to live with a hardback book, sit with it, carry it around, and I do not have to worry about yet another battery device or staring into a lighted screen. When I need space, add another bookshelf, get rid of insignificant titles, but treasure those now out of print.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by ProfChuck 5 years, 8 months ago
      Back up your Kindle to a flash drive periodically and put the drive along with a spare Kindle and a solar energy charger in a good quality Faraday bag just in case. I like the SanDisk with built in WIFI for this purpose.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by Riftsrunner 5 years, 8 months ago
        The problem is Amazon DRM'S the files it sends to you to the device it is loaded on. So unless you are reloading the files back to the same kindle, it will error out. I learned the hard way when I shattered the screen on my Generation 2 kindle and bought a new one and tried to just copy directly from one kindle to another. I had to redownload the books from Amazon, if I wanted to read them on my new kindle. I, however, do recommend backing up all your devices to a flash drive (a folder for each device) as you suggested because I have had amazon "repossess" books that I bought at other sellers or got for free through certain deals.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ Stormi 5 years, 8 months ago
        I regularly back up all my documents, books and music to a separate PC, and also to two external hard drives - not trusting the cloud if gov't get involved. However, once you would take you device out of the Faraday bag to use it, it is again fair game. I will never forget "Anthem", when they discovered all books had been taken from the masses, and the couple ran away and found a home library. Powerful image! I have a good number of books which are out of print now, and only some were available to save online, but not all. My brother has even more irreplacable Civil War texts. It will come to the point when only what they want us to read, will remain available. Remember when Amazon put on Kindle some texts which they did not have permission to use, and with one click, they disappeared from people's Kindles.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 8 months ago
      I am beginning to see the need for balance in how much digital and how much hardcopy to maintain. I think you brought up a really good point about books that are particularly valued. Keep it as both.

      I, too, get tired of all the batteries, chargers, and cables and screens. I actually had to make a whole project with a labeler to tag every damn cord and what it is for. And I am old school when it comes to enjoying an actual book. The smell of old paper has its aromatherapy value - so long as it is not moldy!

      And then there is a place for the digital format, especially when traveling. And I get so tired of sitting at computer screens with all the health related issues of the human body sitting too much. To be able to move about with advantage of the digital format is attractive, too.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ Stormi 5 years, 8 months ago
        I know what you mean about cords and cables. We recently installed one of those electric wall fireplaces, which involved moving two PCs - and disconnecting cords! I had marked with paint pen what most cords connected, but a few I missed. It took a while to get all back in running order. Worse, I detest laptop batteries, phone batteries, and any which get hot and run down! There must be a better solution. Just like reading a book on a small screen has not yet pried me from a book which requires only daylight, campfire or the good ole incandescent light bulb (the demise of which was also predicted by Rand in "Anthem".
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 5 years, 8 months ago
    I have one of the original Kindles, has a keypad and a great no-glare screen. I must have a few hundred books on it, those are the ones I may want to read again.There are quite a few books made available in Kindle format. For older, vintage, obscure books, those out of publication, I frequent https://www.gutenberg.org

    I regularly check Amazon by searching for "Free Kindle sci-fi" (or mystery or historical fiction) books. While some of the offerings are fairly poor (for a variety of reasons) there are enough very well done free books that make the regular effort worthwhile. More than a few times I've tried a free book and ended up downloading he authors other works - one most notable was, the Martian by Andy Weir.

    I can recommend or share a bunch of titles in some genres, just let me know, I'd be glad to help.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 8 months ago
    I would say that few up to date publications are worth their weight. There are some authors that have talked about real history and corrected the revisions and misconceptions. But the real thing?
    Many have not been republished in 10's of years and in today's literature climate, I wouldn't hold one's breath.
    However, some of the classics are available for digital down load...ex. Aristotle's Ethics, The Law by Bastiat, John Lock etc.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
      Now we move to the other side of the historical question. so three books to recommend...America's Forgotten History Vol. 1, II, III and others like it. I'm hoping others may add to this particular perspective.

      The hand that makes
      A sword sing best
      Writes a version
      Black ink and red.
      Once the hand
      Has laid to rest
      The final words
      Must pass a test.
      Irregularities scrutinized?
      Damn! History's been homogenized.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 8 months ago
    There's one quick answer. It's called a LIBRARY. I put it on my agenda to make my weekly pilgrimage there. Most library systems have resources that flow into the great metropolitan systems that can bring you all the way up to the library of congress if you have the people working there willing to go all out for you. Luckily, in this small town, I do, bless their hearts (in a non religious way, of course.) The only problem is obtaining privately published books which must be purchased. On a retirement income one must be highly selective except for certain books published by Gulchers named Gore and others.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Starwagen 5 years, 8 months ago
    Kindle is nice. I have two (but don't use the old Kindle reader anymore). Correction from another post: The Lifetime 4G connection is no longer available. One drawback with Kindle is that you cannot directly download apps from the Google app store, Google Play. There are easy ways around this but it is a restriction. And there are a lot of apps at Google Play that are not in the Amazon app store. As for older books I have found most that I wanted either through Amazon or public domain sources. Or the public library.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
    • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
      Que suerte! I went to my old home town library and couldn't find a single Heinlein or Nevil Shute nor a series of other countries that started with the world Inside. John Gunther I believe was the author. No Ayn Rand and no Taylor Caldwell. They had a borrow a book deal from the libraries of two counties....Still no luck.

      I wrote on the visitors log. "Seeing this is a good reason to vote against the library budget."
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by ycandrea 5 years, 8 months ago
    I check out older e-books on line from my local library and there are many options to digitally receive them, including Kindle. I am reading The Sound and The Fury right now on Kindle from my library. Pretty cool. I will see if there are some vintage historical books and let you know. You should check out your local library.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Itheliving 5 years, 9 months ago
    OH. The so called ear shattering rear facing stereo speakers ARE AS WORTHLESS AS AL GORE's warming theories. Find a good portable plug in or Bluetooth for use with music and movies.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by Itheliving 5 years, 9 months ago
    Most of public domain titles there free. You need Amazon Prime. The Silk OS is still being improved. I maintain three units. Books are easily to share . If you read magazines the largest one is best. AND be sure to upgrade to the largest HD available in any model you choose. The ability to take great pix and save and retrieve them from the Amazon Cloud is a big plus. If you buy a Reader only take the 4G free download for life option.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 9 months ago
    You don't need a kindle to do that, just a smart phone: android or youphone, and you can have your entire cd library on it to listen to as well, and have a gps, and a calculator, a calendar, appointment book, and a thousand other useful things, too. It can even be used as a phone.;^)
    If you want something with a bigger screen to read from, I'd recommend a tablet (or even a laptop if you prefer) because it can also have many uses with free (or inexpensive) apps in great abundance. You may find some great books on librevox online, too. Many books are available in epub format, which is a standard for digital books. Atlas is on my phone in epub format.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 5 years, 9 months ago
      Thing is I have a dependency/hate relationship with my android smartphone. The menus are so cryptic and the dang thing is so small. That is all one thing, but you can't even handle it without setting off some window thing or suddenly the weather pops up and all I did was lightly handle it along the edges.

      And yes, I am an old fart curmudgeon that has no tolerance for all this texting social media crap. Having said that, I am plenty computer savvy. I do a lot of database management and 3D computer geologic modeling of complex geologic deposits.

      I like the idea of a tablet. But does a Kindle have more specific reading/navigating/viewing/filing capabilities than a regular computer? And I imagine there is a range of prices on models with both options. Get what you pay for principle here.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
      • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 9 months ago
        A kindle is just a book in digital form. An android is just a telephone with an attitude.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 8 months ago
          An android phone is a general purpose computer with apps available to do many things. It comes with apps and hardware addons that allow making phone calls as a primary function, but competition has encouraged designers to make them general purpose devices, too.
          When Scamazon does the same thing with kindle then it will be interesting to me, but I will still buy a device from someone else that isn't as PC as the jerks that run scamazon..
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
          • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
            My cell radio phone is android OS. and works with my laptop for transferring messages. I have not found many apps and still use the cell for standard telephone purposes plus it's cheaper to text if you don't live on the thing. The only reason to upgrade to android was the photo ability. Anytime I'm in a store and want to know which something to buy i just take a picture and send it saying 'choose.' I've also used it to foto some item needing adjustment, repair or a part and sent it to the supplier or maintenance...practical use.

            Amazon time

            Wait til you move south to FNA they will become your best retailer. I find them other than sloppy in their for sale descriptions -- leaving out key items of information -- to be capitalist to the core and far preferable to stores and malls I left behind. They also have far better customer service and guarantees than most of the other internet sales such as that disaster called Jo-Ann and the other disaster ebay has turned into. It's all perspective.

            Home Depot moved in down here and are their usual sloppy selves. My record was 27 visits to find common items they didn't stock up north in the USSA. Same management style continues locally. Walmart here sits next to Sams Club. and we have three big chain super mercados. each has something the other stores don't. Another big chain store is moving in having bought out a local one. Once you get used to it there is not much you need. I go to the border for visa renewal and find my main shopping is Walmart, any or all of the Dollar type stores, Big 5 for some items, and Lowes. All adjacent so it's no big deal to walk around list in hand and if there is any room left in the ruck or bags the bus station is about a 100 meters from Family dollar.

            What's really nice for example I was two feet short of both pos and neg cables from one solar panel. they had the right length with no shippiing charge. Ordered in on Thursday had it Monday. That included going to a border town where I have a mail drop (it was there the next morning) and people driving back and forth pick up mail etc. any way it's very convenient but always read the customer comments. As for PC it's a disease i don't have so when I communicate they have to translate. their real language though is $$$$$.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 5 years, 9 months ago
          So an android tablet is?
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
          • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
            tablets are mini computers easy to cvarry arround
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
            • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
              to add android is an operating system. Cell radio phones, tablets, laptops etc. are the hardware they all come with abilities and add on options. Kindle primarily is a dedicated system for reading books or manuals. From that they developed the Fire series of tablets just like Eye this and Eye that . I don't use that product.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
            • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
              I have two Kindle's One connects through a computer A full blown tablet (Amazon's Fire system) will connect as do most tablets same way as computers. I'm old school and so are my fingers they have touch screen keyboards. Kindle can also be used as a program within any computer obviating the need to purchase one but their screens are far easier on the eye and size is much more convenient. Like anything else you get what you pay for. About 10,000 book capacity I would think judging on the 2,000 mostly reference books I've stuffed in to mine. One more advantage is a ton of books including in other languages may be down loaded at no charge others at at very low charges and a certain amount 'on loan' at no charge. Like regular library.

              for me it was a size of books issue and weight. I currently have 300 or so on board not relating to operating, maintaining and navigating the boat itself. At least two thirds of those will go the local exchange shelf or the animal shelter book store when I move elsewhere and the books replaced with food, water, spare parts etc.

              As a preference I prefer to read from books with paper pages. Older eyes need less strain. For the younger folks that is still true - but for cost Kindle is far and away ahead of the pack - except at the animal shelter book store where books are a 'suggested' donation.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
      • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 5 years, 8 months ago
        hooray there's two of us. That's the reason for the tablet size or using the computer and as I've often said social media sucks. Damn now you got me saying four letter words. Just riding the bus will set the thing off and they don't hold settings worth a tinkers damn. It's like squads right in a whale boat.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 5 years, 9 months ago
        My wife and I both like our kindles -- on the same account so everything we get is immediately available to both of us.

        Of course you can read ebooks on any platform, but the kindles are very convenient to use. They are designed to encourage you to use Amazon for your books but you can load books outside of Amazon as well.

        The ones from Amazon are immediately downloaded. I've been lying in bed reading a book at night, finished it, bought the sequel and continued reading without getting up.

        There are lots of current books available. Books that have fallen out of copyright are generally available for free download from a number of sites. I suspect there is a gap between them.

        They aren't very good with books with lots of charts an diagrams and they don't actually have much in the way of organization with no file structures.

        The kindle is very inexpensive. If you don't mind having the screen saver be an ad, you can currently get a Kindle Fire for $50. For an extra $15 you can keep it from giving you ads. My wife likes her paperwhite, which looks a little better.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ 5 years, 8 months ago
          So a Kindle has internet access? Setup through the ISP similar to any laptop/desktop device?
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by hattrup 5 years, 8 months ago
            Yes, using WiFi or USB, and some have free cell connectivity for downloading books. and very easy to use as a page by page reader of text. Limits are along the lines of displaying images, graphics, and in some models color.
            Navigating between a large number of books, or paging/flipping through a book is somewhat cumbersome - but you can search.

            The Kindle reader is freely available for a Mac or PC, as are many free books at Amazon.
            Go ahead and download it and try it out - the reader app will give you a feel for what the dedicated device is like.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo