Tips for E-Reader Repairs

Every reader loves their Kindle or other type of e-reader gadget, and once you get into the e-reading habit – which is a great habit to develop – you can be really bummed-out if your e-reader isn’t working properly. But the good news is that some of these problems can be remedied by just doing a little investigative troubleshooting. Others may require a repair by a pro, but could be covered by your warranty if your e-reader is relatively new. These are good things to know about, particularly during the holiday season when many people will be lucky enough to receive a new e-reader as a gift.

You Cannot Turn Your E-Read On

When you are ready to read but the gadget won’t power-up, that can be a real disappointment. Sometimes it’s an easy and quick fix, though, so begin by making sure your e-reader has an adequate charge. Even if the battery is dead, you can still power it up using a USB connection on a computer that’s turned on, or by using a wall socket adapter that accepts a USB connector. It’s a good idea, in fact, to always carry one of those, plus a spare charging cord, so you can power-up under any circumstances.

Does Your E-Reader Not Accept a Charge?

If those attempts don’t solve the problem, it could be that the charger receptacle or charging port that is built into your e-reader is faulty. Maybe it’s gotten bent on the inside or one of the internal connections has broken off. Sometimes corrosion can build up in that area, too, especially if your device has been exposed to high humidity. You can still try to power the e-reader by plugging it into a computer or wall socket. If it does accept a charge that way, you’ll be able to charge it and are good to go. Otherwise it may be a candidate for a professional repair, and most qualified e-reader repair experts can fix that kind of issue quickly, for a reasonable fee.

Your Screen is Cracked or Broken

One of the most common issues with e-readers is that the glass screen gets cracked or shattered. You can replace the screen yourself, but that’s not really recommended since a new screen, plus the tools needed to complete the job, will probably cost you around $75 or more. Some e-readers cost less than that, brand new. You’ll also have to watch lots of YouTube videos to master the steps, and if you mess something up you could do further damage to the delicate electronic components of your e-reader. That is especially true for newer models that have touch-sensitive screens. But if your device is under warranty, you may be able to just have a new screen installed by the manufacturer. Amazon, for instance, will usually replace broken Kindle product screens until the warranty expires – and some customers have had theirs replaced multiple times under the same warranty.

Is There No Headphone Sound?

Once again, a faulty connection port could be the reason that you don’t get any sound through headphones when you want to listen to an audio book or use other e-reader features that offer sound. But first check the headphones. Plug them into another device such as a CD player or smartphone that you know is in good working order. If they still do not work to provide sound, then your e-reader is probably fine – but you need a new pair of ear buds or headphones. When the e-reader is the source of the problem, on the other hand, that may be a repair you need to have done by a pro, and it is one that should not take long for them to fix.

If You Need Professional Repair Assistance

Any of these problems that may necessitate professional repair assistance can be remedied by a qualified professional. But whenever considering e-reader repairs always get a written estimate in advance, and make sure the repair person has a solid track record for success and professionalism. Since the prices of e-readers has become so affordable, it may make more financial sense to just go ahead and buy a brand new one – especially if yours is an older model. Then again, if it is under warranty, you should definitely take full advantage of that – and two of the most popular warranties – those that accompany Kindle products bought from Amazon.com – are described below.

Kindle’s One-Year Limited Warranty

Kindles are generally warranted or guaranteed to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a full year from the date of purchase. All you need to do is treat the gadget with normal care, and not abuse it. If something goes wrong Kindle will either repair it, refund your purchase price, or replace the device with either a new or refurbished unit. The warranty doesn’t cover damage due to fire and if you try to repair it yourself or have someone else repair or alter it besides the Kindle repair folks, that can void your warranty.

The Worry-Free Kid’s Warranty

The Worry-Free Guarantee for Kids Edition e-readers is great, and it lasts not just one year but for two full years from the date of purchase. Apparently the people at Amazon have children of their own, and know that when kids get their hands on a computerized device they can really put it to the test. So when you buy a Kindle for Kids Bundle or a Fire or Fire HD Kids Edition with a kid-proof case the device is covered in basically the same way as the standard Kindle one-year warranty, but for twice as long.

6 Great Christmas Holiday E-Books for Kids

No holiday speaks to children with as much clamor and resonance as Christmas, with its tradition of candy canes, lighted trees, and Old Saint Nicolas coming down the chimney. Of course most modern homes don’t have a chimney, but that doesn’t stop children from using their imagination and having loads of fun. Even for those who do not observe Christmas as their own religious holiday, the occasion is still usually a wonderful reason to celebrate with friends and family, and especially with kids. The joy of the season is also captured in magical and timeless ways in children’s literature. Just as Santa brings free toys, your handy e-reader can also deliver free or very inexpensive books right to the palm of your hand, where you can share them with children to bring more joy and excitement to them during the last days of 2016. Here are six great choices that kids will love to either have read to them or read for themselves.

  1. Twas The Night Before Christmas: Edited By Santa Claus for the Benefit of Children of the 21st Century

Everyone knows the classic long poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and it is one of the most endearing of all. But some parents were concerned that Santa Claus puffing on a tobacco pipe was sending an unhealthy message to children. That’s why this version was published, as the first smoke-free edition of the story in almost 200 years. The idea was golden, and after it came out the book won a Gold Medal. In 2012 it received top honors as the recipient of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award Best Holiday Book. It also won 1st place for the Global International Best Christian Children’s Book. The book is beautifully illustrated and is a lovely, health-conscious update that still preserves the beauty and inspiring poetry of the original version. You can find a convenient Kindle version on Amazon.com.

  1. Stealing Christmas

For those readers who like their Christmas stories a little sassier, “Stealing Christmas” steals the show. The book has been compared in its tone and attitude to the wildly popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The book is laugh out loud funny and although the story is more than 250 pages, the plot is fast-paced and very engaging for kids. It’s about a boy in the 7th grade who was really hoping to get a Playstation for Christmas. Then during a family gathering at Thanksgiving, he and some of his rambunctious cousins got into a crazy and very messy food fight that disrupted the feast. As a consequence, they were told that they would not get any presents for Christmas that year, which was terrible news for the youngster who had his heart set on a new Playstation. Then he stumbles upon a secret stash of presents, and that is where the plot gets thicker – and more hilarious.

  1. Where is Santa – Dónde está Papá

Author Sujatha Lalgudi has been writing and painting since her childhood, and she often leads classes for kids in schools and libraries to get them more excited about reading. She is known for her wonderful bilingual books, and in this book titled “Where is Santa” or “Dónde está Papá” she presents a lovely Christmas story that can also be highly educational by helping kids learn a foreign language. What better way is there to inspire young readers to read in their own native language while exploring beyond their own cultural horizons to find out how kids like them talk and write in another part of the world. Whether your child is speaks Spanish or English as a first language – or if they speak Spanish or English as a 2nd language – this is a great book on so many important levels.

  1. Navidad Libro. 50 Christmas Words (Navidad): Spanish English Picture Dictionary

While kids are in the holiday spirit, why not introduce them to a sweet bilingual book (English-Spanish) for children that includes 50 new Christmas words. This is another wonderful book by author and talented illustrator Sujatha Lalgudi, and is geared toward very young children who are just starting to learn how to read and also get very excited about colorful picture books.

  1. Learn Spanish! A Christmas Carol

Christmas has never been captured with so much authentically inspiring feeling as it was in the classic by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” which is arguably the 2nd most popular Christmas story of all time – only outranked by the actual story of Christmas in the manger that is described in the Bible. Here is the same book that brought Dickens such worldwide and enduring acclaim, except that it is presented in both English – since Charles Dickens was an Englishman – and Spanish. The Spanish translation by Don Luis Barthe is exquisite, and it brings the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge to life in that special, colorful, dramatic way that only Spanish can do.

  1. The Night the Llama Saved Christmas

The Night the Llama Saved Christmas offers a charmingly different take on the story of Santa and the reindeers. One Christmas Eve Santa’s reindeers caught colds in the frigid North Pole. With help from Blitzen, who organized a bunch of llamas to help out on short notice, Christmas still happened. The llamas stepped up to save the day – or save the sleigh. Then they took off and flew all the way around the world, distributing holiday cheers to children everywhere. The 57-page book by author David Wing is sure to bring joy to young readers everywhere, and it can be downloaded for free at Free-Ebooks.net

How to “Google-Give” E-Books – a Gift That Keeps On Giving

gift-gifts-on-givingAlready retailers worldwide are gearing up for the biggest shopping and gift-giving season of the year, which kicks off in November with special sales, promotions, and product launches. Consumers everywhere are beginning to strategize about where to find the best bargains, what gifts will be the most appreciated and enjoyed, and how to choose the perfect gift for a friend, family member, colleague, or significant other. Anyone who is an avid reader already knows how exciting, convenient, portable, and pleasurable e-book reading can be. Now is the time to start thinking about which e-books make great gifts, and how to acquire those and deliver them to the lucky recipients.

Gift a Book from Google Play Books

Fortunately, it recently got much easier to give e-books if you use Google, because there is an option to send gifts from the increasingly popular platform called Google Play Books. Before this new feature was added, the only way to give someone a book through Google Play Books was if you went to the Play Store and actually ordered and bought a gift card. But we all know that it is a lot more fun – and can be much more personalized and therefore more meaningful – when you select the specific gift item, versus just giving a generic gift card. With this feature your recipient gets the book you want them to have and read, which is a nice touch.

How it Works

To use this feature, download the Google Play Books app. When you open it you may be presented with an advertisement or promotion for the gift-giving service. The way it works is pretty simple. You select the e-book that you want to give to someone, open up the gifting tab or window, and fill in the recipient’s email address. There is also the option for you to write a gift message. Pay for your book and that’s it – the title you chose will be sent to the recipient and they can download it to their e-reader device and start enjoying it right away. The feature also applies to titles that are offered in Google Play Books for free.

Ways it May Be Complicated

Some people who use Google Play Books have reported that they have trouble finding the gift-a-book feature on the store’s website. In this cases, they do say that it is easy to locate and use from the reading screen, if you already have the book that you want to gift in your e-book library on Google Play Books. But the ads for the feature explain that you just need to find the small gift icon in the area where the book description is, and then click on that icon. So if you are having difficulty locating it, just keep snooping around inside the app or the website. You may also look for it in the dropdown style menu that appears when you select a book for free download sampling or purchase. If there are any hiccups or delays with rolling out this feature, Google Play Books will surely fix those before the holiday shopping season moves into high gear, in order to facilitate use of this handy feature.

Other Pertinent Information

If your recipient can’t find the email with the gift code, you can resend it. A copy of the gift email is sent to the email account you used to make the purchase. Once you receive that email, just forward it on to the recipient so they can see and use the gift code. According to info on the Google Play Books website, the person you are giving to must be a registered  Google Play user from that same country. In other words if you are registered in one country and they are in another, it won’t be possible. But e-book gifts from Google Play Books can be sent from many different countries. Those include the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, and Switzerland.

Tips for Finding Foreign Language E-books

globesThere are many compelling reasons to read books in foreign languages, and one of the easiest and most conveniently portable ways to do that is electronically. You can carry dozens of e-books with you anywhere you go, and if you are planning to travel to foreign lands then reading in that language can be a fun way to prepare. You may be wanting to ace your foreign language exam in high school or college, or to add a new language to your business skills toolkit. Whatever your reason for wanting to read in another language, you’ll want to know where to find lots of great books that fit your needs and preferences.

Check Out the Kindle Store’s Foreign Titles

One of the most impressive catalogs of foreign language books is the one you’ll find on Amazon.com. The most popular languages that you might be studying in school or wanting to read books in are almost guaranteed to be there, and browsing can be loads of fun. You might also discover one or more languages that you did not even realize existed. You’ll find books, for instance, in languages such as Alsatian, Basque, Galician, Latin, Luxembourgish, Manx, Provencal, Scottish Gaelic, to name a few.

If you visit the Amazon website, just do a search for Foreign Language Books. That will quickly bring up a huge treasure trove of foreign e-books. A recent search of the site, for example, found that there were more than 184,000 Spanish language books; over 320,000 German books; and more than 150,000 French titles. There are also over 50,000 titles in Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese. Many of these are free, and thousands of them are priced very cheaply. You can fill an entire foreign language library of e-books without straining your book budget.

Apple Store Downloads

At the Apple store you can also find a vast inventory of foreign language books. There are instructional books that teach languages such as Tagalog, Swahili, Persian, Vietnamese, Turkish, Norwegian, Biblical Greek, Romanian, Malaysian, Swedish, and Korean. Plus you can download books in more popular tongues like German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, or Italian. You can learn step-by-step, using the downloadable e-book format textbooks, study guides, pronunciation guides, and dictionaries. There are lots of novels and story books, too, to help you practice as you acquire a new language.

Kobo Foreign Language Books

Those who use a Kobo e-reader can, of course, use the Kobo store to access thousands of foreign titles, too. The store currently offers nearly 35,000 foreign language books. Those include more than 1,000 in Indic and South Asian languages and about 700 or more in each of the different categories of Russian, Scandinavian, Chinese, and Slavic titles. Polish, Nepali, Norwegian, Serbian, Hungarian, Albanian, Irish, Romanian, Estonian, Icelandic, and Belarusian books round out the inventory, as well as several thousand German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese books..

Free-eBooks.net Foreign Language Books

The third most popular language in the world is Spanish – and when it comes to Spanish, Free-eBooks.net happens to be one of the most popular providers of books and audiobooks. Just visit Espanol.Free-eBooks.net. There is also a Portugues.free-ebooks.net site that offers books in every genre, for free download, in Portuguese. These Free-eBooks.net sites have visitors from countries all over the world, who speak all different languages and download 10,000 e-books a day. They also have 5.5 million registered users and attract more than 3,200 new member registrations per day. Customers flock to these resourceful sites in order to gain free access to Spanish, Portuguese, and English titles in both fiction and nonfiction, including the classics, academic texts, thrillers, romance novels, “how-to” books, children’s books, juvenile novels, books about business topics, poetry, and more.

A World of Words Awaits

Maybe English is your first language or your native tongue is another of the approximately 6,500 spoken languages on earth. There are about 2,000 languages that are only spoken by around 1,000 people – while those who speak Chinese number more than 1.2 billion. No matter what your primary language happens to be,  having access to a variety of different fiction and nonfiction books in all different genres and on a diversity of topics is a tremendous asset. You can expand your horizons, build on your knowledge, delve into the mystery and adventure of new cultures, and gain from the perspective of writers who express their ideas all over the world. So next time you feel the urge to travel and see the world you live in, start by going online and downloading a sample of what foreigners have to offer in the form of e-books.

The Top 3 Considerations When Buying an E-Reader for School

back-to-schoolSchools and classrooms were some of the earliest adopters of e-book technology, because they realized that electronic textbooks could benefit students in multiple ways. They tend to be dramatically cheaper than printed books, and the cost of textbooks can make the difference between an education that is too expensive and one that is comfortably affordable. E-books can be designed to work interactively, too, so that students can engage with them in various ways that make learning more effective and multidimensional. They are also lighter and take up less room – both in a student’s backpack and on the desk in the classroom, or in lecture halls that don’t have desks. All of these means that more students are carrying e-books and e-reader devices on campus, regardless of whether they are in grade school, high school, or at a community college or university. But what are some of the key considerations to think about when shopping for an e-reader that will be primarily used by a student? Here are three points that you may want to factor in to make that selection process easier.

#1 Price and Long-Term Value

The amount you pay for an excellent new e-reader such as the Kindle – which is offered in a wide variety of models – will be a good investment. But you don’t necessarily need a top-of-the-line model like the pricey Kindle Oasis if you are primarily reading for school or college. You can, of course, buy used e-readers very inexpensively, but the downside is that you don’t know how long they’ll last – especially do-or-die components like the battery. That all depends upon how many hours they have already be used, and how they were cared-for or maintained. In the interest of longevity, it is best to buy a new product – although a reliable hand-me-down from a sibling or parent may be the exception to this rule. If it still has a lot of life in it that can be a really practical way to get your money’s worth.

On the low end of the new-gadget spectrum there is the budget-priced Kindle Fire’s cheapest model, and it comes with other bells and whistles beyond e-reading capability. You can use a Fire to send email, play games, browse the Web, or watch your favorite movie. But before you succumb to those features, keep in mind that they may just serve to distract you from what you really need your e-reader for as a student – reading your homework assignments. For most students the Amazon Fire gadgets are not the ideal solution, not just because they offer digital distraction potential but also because they don’t provide the most ideal viewing surface for a person who is reading many hours per day. That leads us to the next consideration – ease of use.

#2 Ease of Use/Functionality

If your eyes get tired and strained from reading, that will effectively end your study session – and make learning a lot less fun. You have to protect your eye health, and that should be a primary consideration when choosing an e-reader, especially one for school where the amount of reading can be enormous. For that reason, always give an e-reader a test drive before you buy it. Look for one that has a great screen visibility in different kinds of lighting, and one that is illuminated in a way that doesn’t create a glare. The Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Kobo Aura are examples of e-readers that are rated highly for their visual quality and lighting. The ink should look realistic and the words on the page should be very easy to read – and easy on your eyes. If not, keep shopping until you find the best possible reader experience for your money.

Students may be accustomed to writing margin notes and highlighting passages in their textbooks, but the cool thing about e-books is that with most of them, and on most e-reader devices, you can do that plus a lot more, without permanently marking-up your book. When shopping for an e-reader check out the features and ask questions if you aren’t sure what it is capable of doing. Most let you copy and past material, bookmark pages, highlight text, change the font, and do instant text searches. Plus, unlike printed books, the typical e-reading device will also provide you with online remote access to libraries all over the world.

#3 E-Readers vs. Tablets

As long as you are downsizing from traditional textbooks, you are going to shed a lot of weight that you will no longer have to tote around on your back from class to class or across campus. Because e-readers are small, with displays that are typically around 6-inches across, they are also the lightweight option. Most of them will feel about the same in your hand as a paperback book – and not those gigantic soft-cover textbooks either. We’re talking a weight that is more like a pocket-sized paperback.

When you consider the smallness and extra capability of a tablet computer, though, they are also an attractive solution that you should think about before you buy. Evaluate your budget, and also how you need to use the device. If you are mostly using it for reading and don’t need computer features like the ability to run software or print documents, stick with an e-reader. But if you plan to carry around a laptop computer, perhaps a tablet can provide you computer capability and functionality in a gadget that is not much bigger than an e-reader. A tablet will probably cost more than an e-reader. In fact, it may cost a lot more. On the other hand, you might be able to pick up a good, reliable tablet for a fraction of the price of a full-fledged laptop. You may also be able to use a full-sized keyboard via a USB connection, if you don’t like the idea of doing a lot of typing on a little tablet.

With the tablet option you can run document-creation software, surf the Internet to do your research, and also run other kinds of software while enjoying email, video, and movie-watching features that the standard e-reader won’t have. Will it run fast enough and have enough memory to make it powerful and capable enough to replace your laptop? That’s a question you’ll need to answer in order to make the right decision. Do remember, though, that both laptops and tablets are inferior to dedicated e-readers when it comes to the look and illumination of the letters on the page. With that in mind, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, you may still want two different devices – a dedicated e-reader plus a computer, whether it’s a tablet, a notebook, a laptop, or a desktop model.