Trying the new Kindle Voyage glass screen in direct sunlight…

During our recent stay in Ocean Park, Maine, I took a review copy of the Kindle Voyage out to the beach on a sunny day to see if the micro-etched glass screen is as readable in sunlight as the plastic Kindle screens of yore. For the test, I put a Paperwhite and the Voyage side by side on a beach chair. You’ll see the result in this video.

If you are happy with your Paperwhite and have a slightly less obsessive love of new gadgets than I do, I can’t think of a reason to upgrade to the Voyage. It’s a sweet eReader, for sure. The improvement in readability because of the higher screen resolution is noticeable but not earth-shattering. The physical buttons are nice, but after a week of using the Voyage I am still tapping the screen to advance to the next page. I like the auto brightness controls on the built-in light. My favorite improvement is the smaller size and weight of the Voyage.

One thing that really bugs me is Amazon’s Origami Leather Case for the Voyage. Instead of opening like a book, it flips back like a reporter’s notebook pad. I’m not crawling into bed to take notes for a story. I’m in Book Reading Mode, like the old days when the physical thing was one of my favorite things in the world. I love the advances that Kindle technology have made possible in reading, but unnecessarily removing one of the touchable reminders of the book’s heritage seems perverse to me. I know the new cover makes a handy stand in portrait or landscape mode. But I don’t use my E Ink Kindles on a desk or table. I use them curled up before sleep or on the beach.

Luckily, I found a cover that opens the old-fashioned way and have it on order to replace the steno-pad cover. It’s available for $7.99 plus shipping from ACcase. I ordered one and will probably return the $59.99 Origami case.

Let me be clear: the Kindle Voyage is an impressive upgrade to the Kindle line, and I love how Amazon continues to invest time and money into dedicated eReaders. They do it for the love of it, in my opinion, and it shows. With the arrival of the Voyage, the Kindle lineup has three great price points and three good choices to consider for the very best in digital book reading.

Send to Kindle

Fire HD 6 + Kindle (basic, Paperwhite or Voyage) = Reader’s Delight

After using a Fire HD 6 for a week or so, I have decided it’s the perfect reading complement to my E Ink Kindle, currently a Paperwhite but next I’m switching to the Voyage. Sometimes I prefer the sepia color of the Fire’s Kindle view, as well as the faster access to links or looking up information related to the book I’m reading. I also enjoy listening to the Classical for Reading playlist at Prime Music, while I’m reading a book on the Fire HD. You can’t do that with any E Ink Kindle in the current lineup, because they don’t have audio capability.

The Fire HD is also is a great way to watch movies or TV shows, though the audio is a little soft for noisy environments, like the cross trainer in our basement during aerobic workouts. All in all, this is a sweet new tablet in a size that recalls the shape of a paperback book. I love it.


Send to Kindle

TKC 324 Peter Heller

Peter Heller

Author of The Dog Stars and The Painter

Interview starts at 13:42

Nobody, not even artists, understood art. What speed has to do with it. How much work it takes, year after year, building the skills, the trust in the process, more work probably than any Olympic athlete ever puts in because it is twenty-four hours a day, even in dreams, and then when the skills and the trust are in place, the best work usually takes the least effort. Usually. It comes fast, it comes without thought, it comes like a horse running over you at night.  (From The Painter)

Show Notes and Links:


Kindle Scout submission page

Kindle Press Submission & Publishing Agreement

New York Times Public Editor’s rebuke of David Streitfeld – October 4, 2014

“Amazon and its missing books” by David Streitfeld at the New York Times Bits blog – October 12, 2014

“Big Media in Support of Amazon” by Hugh Howey – October 16, 2014

“Don’t Worry. I’m Just Writing” by Hugh Howey – October 16, 2014

“Practically nobody’s buying Amazon’s Fire Phone (including Prime members?” by Lewis Wallace at the Cult of Android – October 15, 2014

Tech Tips

Whispersync for Voice

Interview witPeter Heller

Books on the Nightstand podcast

Peter Heller’s author page on

Hell or High Water 

The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet’s Largest Mammals

Sea Shepherd web site

Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave

The Dog Stars

The Painter

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

Peter Heller’s articles published by Outside Magazine

Jim Wagner, the Taos expressionist painter

Poetry by Peter Heller

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.

Novels by Cesar Aira: An Episode in the Life of a Landscape PainterGhostsHow I Became a NunThe Seamstress and the WindThe Hare

Paolo Bacigalupi’s author page at


Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America by Donald Katz

The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears by Donald Katz

Mindjet for Android free mind-mapping app for Fire

Next Week’s Guest

Denver Donald Katz, founder and CEO of Audible, Inc.

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

Send to Kindle

TKC 323 Maik Maurer & Frank Waldman

Maik and Frank

Co-Founders of Spritz

Interview starts at 10:52

We see this as a technology where people are reading on the go. I have the Kindle app on my iPhone, and I read my books on my iPhone that way. I’d love of course to make that Spritzable, and then I would just hold it at times when I have a few minutes, and I’ll get through a few pages. (Frank Waldman, CEO)

Show Notes and Links:


“Report: Amazon to Open retail store in NYC” by Jefferson Graham at USA Today – October 9, 2014

“Publishing Battle Should be Covered, Not Joined” by Margaret Sullivan, public editor at The New York Times – October 4, 2014

 “Jeff Bezos’s” New Plan for News: The Washington Post Becomes an Amazon Product” by Brad Stone at BloombergBusinessweek – October 6, 3014

Fire HDX 8.9″

Tech Tips

ReadMe! app at iTunes Store – $1.99

Project Gutenberg

Interview with Frank Waldman and Maik Maurer


ReadMe! app for iOS, based on Spritz technology

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain (link is to Project Gutenberg where you can download free ePub version for use with Spritz on an iPad or iPhone)

Readsy web app based on Spritz

Samsung Gear 2 Smartwatch, which uses Spritz (listing at

“Spritz’s speed-reading tech shows up to 1,000 words a minute, makes its debut on Samsung devices” by Dana Wollman at engadget – March 11, 2014

“Financial Times brings fastFT to wearables” – August 29, 2014 (Spritz-enabled Samsung Gear app for reading the FT)

Google Glass


The Dog Stars and The Painter, novels by Peter Heller

Next Week’s Guest

Author Peter Heller


Kindle Voyage

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

Send to Kindle

A Stunning In-House Rebuke for The Times’s Biased Coverage of Amazon

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 8.25.07 PMMy faith in The New York Times is restored tonight with Public Editor Margaret Sullivan’s measured but stinging rebuke of Times reporter David Streitfeld for his one-sided coverage of the Amazon/Hachette battle.

Sullivan, writing in her role as the newspaper’s ombudsman, said she has heard from many readers “that The Times is demonizing Amazon and siding with publishers and those authors who support them.” I was one of the many who wrote to her. On September 15th I emailed Sullivan and urged her to look into the matter, and I included a link to Hugh Howey’s powerful blog post that day in which Howey charged that Streitfeld “has now cemented himself as the blabbering mouthpiece for the New York publishing cartel.”

I frankly never dreamed we’d see this strong a correction of The Times’s coverage. But it makes sense, because Streitfeld is just one writer at a paper whose reporters include more nuanced and objective journalists. I am thinking in particular of David Carr, Farhad Manjoo, and the recently hired (from The Wall Street JournalAlexandra Alter. They usually cover Amazon like any other business, not as “the end of the world as we know it,” to quote from the opening of Sullivan’s column.

Her closing two paragraphs are worth quoting verbatim:

MY take: It’s important to remember that this is a tale of digital disruption,not good and evil. The establishment figures The Times has quoted on this issue, respected and renowned though they are, should have their statements subjected to critical analysis, just as Amazon’s actions should be. The Times has given a lot of ink to one side and — in story choice, tone and display — helped to portray the retailer as a literature-killing bully instead of a hard-nosed business.

I would like to see more unemotional exploration of the economic issues; more critical questioning of the statements of big-name publishing players; and greater representation of those who think Amazon may be a boon to a book-loving culture, not its killer.

Well said!

Here is the link to the column.




Send to Kindle

TKC 322 Paul Biba

Paul Biba

Twitter Curator of eBook/ePublishing/eLibrary news

Interview starts at 14:25

Many of the things that the authors and the publishers complain about are normal, everyday behavior in the chemical industry, in the auto industry, in the telecom industry, and the construction industry, which are industries which I’ve worked on—this is the way business works. The publishing industry doesn’t understand this, and so when Amazon does things that are normal business practices, they get very upset, because they’ve never seen this type of business before.

Show Notes and Links:


My video review of the new $79 Kindle with special offers

Fire HD6 8GB with special offers – $99

Fire HD7 8GB with special offers – $139

Mindmaps app by Endare for Kindle Fire – $3.99

“Amazon draws line between Fire tablet and Kindle e-reader” by Donna Tam at CNET – September 25, 2014

“Should Amazon acquire Best Buy or RadioShack? Pros debate” at CNBC – September 15, 2014

Tech Tips

Amazon press release introducing Fire OS 4 “Sangria” – September 17, 2014

Fire OS 4 features page at (scroll down)

“Kingsoft’s WPS Office Suite Comes to Fire OS 4” – Kingsoft press release on September 30, 2014

Interview witPaul Biba

Paul Biba’s curated Twitter feed on eBook/ePublishing/eLibrary news

“TeleRead Editor-in-Chief Paul Biba resigns” by Paul Biba at TeleRead - July 23, 2014



Mr. Reader RSS reader for iPad

PressReader for Kindle Fire

Feedly for Kindle Fire

Paul Biba’s tweets compiled each Sunday at No Shelf Required


Best Books of October, as chosen by Amazon’s book editors

Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion by Gregg Levoy


“New Kindle Getting Mixed Reviews on Screen Quality” by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader – October 3, 2014

Next Week’s Guest

Frank Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Spritz


Moto360 Watch

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

Send to Kindle

New $79 Kindle Makes Entry Level Very Alluring

Here is my take on the review copy of the new basic $79 Kindle. It’s a very impressive new entry level for the Kindle lineup, mainly because a fast, responsive touch screen replaces the five-way controller of yore.

Send to Kindle

TKC 321 Joshua Tallent


Chief eBook Architect at Firebrand Technologies

Interview starts at 14:14

I think that, because self-publishing has gotten easier, because the tools have gotten easier to use and there are so many more services available to self-published authors, you can compete directly with the work that’s coming out of these major publishing houses.


Show Notes and Links:


Kindle Voyage Amazon video ad

E Inc Carta specifications at E Ink web site

David Carnoy, executive editor of CNET – video from NYC Amazon launch event

Dieter Bohn, executive editor of The Verge – video from NYC event

“Andy Ihnatko wonders if he needs a new Kindle” by Andy Ihnatko at the Chicago Sun-Times – September 17, 2014

“Bookless library opened by new US university” by Alison Flood at The Guardian – August 29, 2014

“Downton Abbey Kindle Ads: Are they spoiling the mood of the period drama?” by Martin Belam at The Mirror – September 21, 2014

Amazon Prime credit for eBook or book when you choose Free No-Rush Shipping

Tech Tip

How to see Collections on your Kindle Paperwhite

[Click here to listen to Casper Fire Chief Kenneth King’s inspiring 8-minute eulogy for his fellow department member, Capt. Jeffrey P. Atkinson, son of my friend and E-Books for Troops helper Tom Atkinson.]

Interview with Joshua Tallent

eBook Architects, a service of Firebrand Technologies

eBook Ninjas training program

Firebrand’s new FlightDeck tool for preparing eBooks for sale by major retailers

Author Earnings website

Books available on Kindle by Joshua Tallent’s sister, Sarah Johnson

“One Year Later, the Results of Tor Books UK Going DRM-Free” by Julie Crisp at – April 29, 2013

O’Reilly Media



“Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly” by Alexandra Alter at The New York Times – September 14, 2014

Poetry volumes by John Ashbery at the Kindle Store, published by Open Road Media

Open Road video profile of John Ashbery

A Poet’s Progress at Bennington – Vol. 1 by Len Edgerly

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!


Send to Kindle

TKC 320 Amazon’s NYC Briefing on New Devices

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.07.32 PMShow Notes and Links:

If you use these links to purchase one of the new devices, it will provide Amazon Associates commission revenue to support the podcast without adding to your purchase price. Thanks in advance! – Len

Kindle Voyage WiFi – $199

New Kindle - $79

Fire HD6 8 GB – $99

Fire HD7 8 GB – $139

Fire HD6 Kids Edition – $149

“A Few Thoughts on (the New) Kindles” by Shawn Blanc – September 18, 2014

The Weekly Briefly – Shawn Blanc’s podcast about creativity, technology, and the like.

My video demonstration of Dynamic Light Control on Fire HDX 8.9″

Interview with Dave Limp, Sr. Vice President of Amazon Devices, starts at 18:26

Interview with Peter Larson, Vice President – Kindle, starts at 35:42

Music for my podcast is from an original Thelonius Monk composition named “Well, You Needn’t.” This version is “Ra-Monk” by Eval Manigat on the “Variations in Time: A Jazz Persepctive” CD by Public Transit Recording” CD.

Please Join the Kindle Chronicles group at Goodreads!

Send to Kindle

First Look at Two New Kindles at NYC Product Demo

This is a video clip, taken by Brittany Turner of Amazon, showing the Kindle Voyage and new basic Kindle at the product demonstration today in New York City.

Send to Kindle