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Okay, I broke down and bought a Kindle.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Valka D'Ur, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I've also had the panicky feeling of losing mine - what if it accidentally got thrown out? What if a neighbor walked in and took it? (I have a bad habit of not locking the door if I'm going down to get the mail or taking out the garbage and am not actually leaving the building - it's only a couple of minutes, right?). So when the gadget came to let me plug it into a normal outlet instead of my computer, I did that. Now it's not going anywhere! The stylus is another story, though... I'm going to have to rig up a leash for that thing.

    Amazon recommendations are sometimes really bizarre. They base it not only on your purchases, but what you (your account) have browsed, and also on what other people have browsed/bought that is the same or similar to what you have. So I've been sent some really annoying ones sometimes. I think there's a way to "fix this recommendation" so you won't get so much of the unwanted ones.

    No, I haven't read that one. I've thought about it. I might even have a copy somewhere, but if so, it would still be in storage from when the rest of my house was packed up. That was a few years ago.

    It was on the reading list for one of the English classes at my high school, but not one my own teacher chose. We read The Chrysalids for our post-apocalypse novel.

    And why were these novels on our reading lists at all? some may wonder. The thing is, this was back in the '70s. The Cold War was still going on, anti-nuke protests were still going on (I took part in one of those), and it was something we tended to think about a lot more than people do now.
     
  2. Leifmk

    Leifmk Deity

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    Of course that stuff was still going on in the 80s when I was in school.

    While on the post-apocalyptic tangent: Anyone who has not yet done so should read Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. One of the earliest examples of the genre and still one of the very finest; originally published in 1949 [1]. In this story it's not war or some other man-made disaster that does in civilization but merely some random killer epidemic. It's also one of the earliest examples I know of someone missing the apocalypse due to taking a sick day (everything starts out with the main character stuck by himself in a mountain cabin recovering from an accidental snakebite; then he comes down to find the nearest towns almost completely empty (apparently the virus was polite enough to kill people at a moderate pace so most of the dead had time to be buried by those who had not yet gotten too sick)). So rather than focusing on the death and destruction of civilization itself, the story is about the survivors and their attempts to rebuild some sort of society in the aftermath. A very melancholy but quite lovely book.

    [1] One of the relatively few places where the book really shows its age is (minor sideplot spoiler)
    Spoiler :
    where it turns out one of the survivors is of partial African-American ancestry and is merely "passing" for white; this is ultimately quite insignificant but it's clear that the author expects his readers to be mildly shocked, whereas few modern readers would care at all and many might even miss the revelation.
     
  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I think I have that book. It might even be here, instead of in storage; not sure. I haven't read it, but that's not unusual. I've had some books for 20-30 years and haven't read them yet. It depends on what I'm in the mood to read, if I can find it when I am, if I have time, etc. I'd even had the Dune books around for a few years before deciding to read them.
     
  4. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Day of the Triffids sprang to my mind.

    edit: Published 1951. You win!
     
  5. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Well, I've run into something confusing. I'm in the Early Reviewers group on the Library Thing site. Each month the members can put in a request to review advance copies of books that are available. The books are free, and all that's asked is the person who wins them (it's a draw each month because there are usually more people asking than there are copies available) write a review.

    So I ended up winning an ebook, and have no idea how to download it. When I contacted the person who sent me the download link, they mentioned that Amazon might have included something in the Kindle that would prevent me from downloading material from anywhere other than Amazon. Has anyone here had any experience with this? :confused:
     
  6. Tecknojock

    Tecknojock Keeping the world running

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    Well, if its in epub format you won't be able to read it on the kindle. Use a piece of software like Calibre to convert it to mobi if thats the case.

    You may also just have to transfer it w/ the cable onto it instead of being able to download it directly. Most of my ebooks are not Amazon books, but rather ebooks from other sources.
     
  7. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I'll try it, thanks. And if I can't figure it out, I'll just have to stop requesting e-books for Library Thing.


    I've been doing a little shopping lately... for anyone who's followed The Borgias TV series, the 4th season was cancelled. The producers offered a 2-hour wrap-up movie, but Showcase said no. So the script they would have used for that movie is now available in Kindle format on Amazon. I've been reading it and am very disappointed:

    Cesare rising naked from his bath, and having an emotional reunion with his MIA henchman Micheletto... not gonna see it, but it would have very nice to see... :(

    :mischief:

    :p

    Haven't finished reading it, but have been enjoying it. As I keep saying to the people complaining and whining over at Television Without Pity (who can't be bothered to read a script; they'd rather post negative stuff than be grateful there's SOME kind of closure available), it's better than nothing.
     
  8. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

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    In that case by definition it isn't a 'public' library in my opinion. That's like saying public country club in a sense.
     
  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Yeah, it's kinda half-and-half. I can go in, sit down, read a book, newspaper, or magazine, I could bring in my own computer and use it there, but only paid members get to use the library's internet stations. The card catalogues are free for everyone to use.

    So it's basically no membership = no borrowing anything or going online. The latter didn't bother me too much since in an emergency I could use the public terminal at City Hall... until the library selfishly took that back (I hadn't realized it was on loan from the library until it was gone one day and the guy at the information desk told me).
     
  10. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Well no, a country club is public if anyone can pay to sign up - the idea at a non-public club is that you need to submit an application, have a sponsorship from an existing member, etc.
     
  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Well, at our library, it's not enough to just give them the money. They check people out, demand to see photo ID, that sort of thing... all for a $10 membership. The thing that annoys me is that they also have twice-yearly book sales AND get a share of the municipal property tax PLUS whatever the province kicks in. But this is Central Alberta, and libraries aren't a top priority with any level of government.

    I remember when somebody had received a free library card via one of the social agencies, couldn't use it because she had already paid for her own, and offered the free one on Freecycle. Next thing I know, I'm getting an outraged email from the library, squawking about how "just anybody" could end up with a free library card, and could I delete the offer or make the offerer retract it?

    I told her no, that Freecycle's mandate is to help people whose offers and requests meet our rules - tangible item that's offered for free, no strings attached, no money or trading involved, and we do NOT discriminate on the basis of "need" or socioeconomic factors. In other words, it doesn't matter of the participants in a Freecycle transaction are rich or homeless or somewhere inbetween. I told her that the library had offered somebody a free library card, and somebody would end up with a free library card. Since a rich person likely wouldn't bother answering the ad, what was the difference?

    She wasn't pleased at all...
     
  12. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

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    Even with higher taxes you can't afford a library? We Americans should invade you all to rid you of socialism so you can have democracy.
     
  13. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I'd love some provincial-level democracy; it's something we haven't had for over 40 years (honestly; the current ruling party is the same one that's been in power since 1971).

    Red Deer has 3 major libraries. The main public one is downtown and it has a satellite branch located in a public school/community centre near my neighborhood. The public can use either one. The other library is at Red Deer College, and I think there's some way for the public to use it without having to be a registered student; not sure how that works these days, since I've only ever used it when I was a student there.

    The downtown library just went through renovations. I'm not sure how they turned out, as I haven't been there in several months. I don't know if the renovations were needed for repairing structural problems (there was an issue with the roof some years ago), or if it was just an interior design makeover. That's one reason they'll be wanting more $$$$ besides what they get from their property tax allotment.

    Another reason is simply that this is Alberta. The governments here are more focused on helping businesses and politicians' buddies. Education is valued, but only up to the point where they can keep convincing people to vote Conservative, as mindlessly as they've been doing all these decades, and Social Credit (basically the Conservatives + Extra Religion thrown in) since 1935. Stephen Harper's riding is a mere 90 minutes away, in Calgary, and he certainly doesn't want an educated populace.
     

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