The 5 Most Important E-Reader Accessories

Tens of millions of lucky people just received a new e-reader device for the holidays. Maybe it was a gift from mom and dad, from a spouse, from Santa Claus, or from a friend or colleague. If you’ve never owned one before, you may not be sure which accessories you need to accompany it, enhance its usefulness, and protect it from damage. Even if you have had e-readers before, you’ll still need a few items to use with it, if those weren’t included in your recent gift or purchase of an e-reader. Let’s look at five of the most essential e-reader accessories. These are add-ons that will enhance your e-reader experience and ensure that the device has great longevity.

#1 Charging Cords and Adapters

If you’ve ever gone on a trip and then discovered that you left the charging cord to a phone, laptop, or other device at home, you know how frustrating that can be. The same thing happens if you go overseas and realize you don’t have the right electrical adapter. Here’s a tip you can use. If you’re staying in a hotel, ask the housekeeping staff if they have an extra cord or adapter that fits your gadget. Oftentimes they do, because other hotel guests forgot and left one behind. Meanwhile, always buy an extra set. That way you’ll never be without one. You won’t suffer the exasperating experience of reading a page-turner novel just when the plot thickens but your e-reader runs out of power.

#2 A Protective Cover

E-readers are built to last, but accidents do happen. Dust, dirt, and grime can creep into those little ports where you plug in accessories. Smudges can obscure the screen. A drop or bump can crack the glass or scramble the computer circuitry. Water and electronics don’t mix, either, and other liquids like sodas can wreak havoc. Many an e-reader has had its life shortened when dropped into the bathtub or smashed while tumbling down the stairs by someone running to catch a subway train. The good news is that most of the common hazards can be easily and stylishly eliminated if you just protect your e-reader with an attractive and reliable protective cover. Most of them are inexpensive, and it’s easy to find one specially designed to fit your particular gadget – in an array of different colors and materials.

#3 Back Up Power

Even if you have charge cords and adapters, they may be not use to you in certain situations – and you’ll still be unable to charge the batteries on your e-reader. Under what kinds of circumstances? Perhaps the most common is when you are outdoors. But it can also happen whenever you travel on an airplane, a bus, or in any vehicle that doesn’t have a compatible charging port. You might be ready to take a long flight, and just when you board the battery on your e-reader dies. You’re stuck for the duration of the flight. The solution is easy, though. Just purchase a portable battery pack, like the ones make by companies like Trond or Anker. Make sure that the backup battery pack is fully charged before you leave, and that you have the right adapter – if needed – to plug your e-reader into it. Then you’ll have enough emergency power to keep your e-reader going strong until you reach a place where you can plug it in for a full recharge.

#4 Cleaning Items

Cleaning e-readers with ordinary cleaning products like those used to wash windows may not be ideal. The screens are especially intricate on modern e-readers, and they can get damaged by harsh chemicals. Or they can wind up with a conspicuous film on them left behind by inferior cleaning products not intended for computer screens. It’s a good idea to invest in some recommender cleaning solution and the right kind of cloth to use on your e-reader’s glass. That will ensure that the viewing is crystal clear and you don’t inadvertently damage anything. A clean microfiber cloth is a good choice because it won’t leave lint behind or scratch the surface. A quality alcohol-free eyeglass lens cleaner or a product like Photo America or Monster ScreenClean solution works fine. Instead of spritzing it directly onto the screen, however, spray it onto the cloth. Then apply the cloth to the glass screen.

#5 Audio Headphones

Last but not least, if you are fond of reading audio books you’ll want to have a good set of headphones or at least some handy ear buds. That will enable you to listen wherever you are, without disturbing anyone around you. Even in a noisy subway train or crowded bar, if you have an earpiece or headphones your ability to listen to an audiobook won’t be compromised. You can escape into your own literary world, no problem.

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.