Meet Martha, Our New Administrator

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Hello Mailbox Monday participants. In January, Martha of Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf will be joining us here as an administrator. Please give her a warm welcome.

I have been a huge reader all my life. Reading (ebook and audio especially) is my recreation from my three businesses! I started reviewing books in 2008 and won a Kindle in March 2009. Since that kicked off more reading I started my own blog in July 2009.

I started participating in Mailbox Monday on July 27, 2009 and I have done 288 of mailbox posts. I have made blog friends all over the world and love how versatile the book blogging community is. I enjoy seeing what other bloggers are reading — even when they are books and genres I normally don’t read. I am very honored and excited to have this opportunity as a host at Mailbox Monday. I am looking forward to meeting and visiting more bloggers and finding new book treasures.

I wish everyone a special holiday season and a bright New Year full of sharing all things reading!

Welcome aboard, Martha. Here’s to even more reading in 2017!

Mailbox Monday, October 29th

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Thank you for the hosting offers last week if November’s MM host is a no show. I didn’t select anyone new to host next month as I already have Kathy from BermudaOnion’s Weblog as our backup host. So if our friends at Edgy Inspirational Romance don’t post Monday, 11.5 head over to Kathy’s blog and leave your links. I believe Kathy usually posts on Sundays so for the rest of November you can stop by either day or when you have time.

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Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday, October 22nd

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Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

** I have not received confirmation from November’s host but the blog is active. **

2013 Mailbox Monday tour hosts and blog stops

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Announcing the 2013 Mailbox Monday tour hosts and blogs stops.

January – Lori @ Lori’s Reading Corner
February -Audra @ Unabridged Chick
March – Caitlin @ chaotic compendiums
April – Mari @ MariReads
May – Abi @ 4 the LOVE of BOOKS
June – Bellezza @ Dolce Bellezza
July -Tasha @ Book Obsessed
August – Penelope @ The Reading Fever
September – Yolanda @ Notorious Spinks Talks
October – Gina @ Book Dragon’s Lair
November – Crystal @ I totally paused!
December – Rose City Reader

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And looking forward to 2014. There is no longer a wait list for hosting Mailbox Monday. Starting next September I’ll post reminders that open enrollment for Mailbox Monday tour hosting will open October 1st of 2013.

~ Marcia

2013 Mailbox Monday blog tour

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Updated at 1:30pm MT – Only November remains unclaimed for next year’s MM blog tour. Thank you to everyone who responded promptly and claimed a month. Once I get November filled I’ll post next year’s tour hosts and blog stops.

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Well gang as of today it doesn’t look like Mailbox Monday will be blog touring next year. It’s not that I don’t want it to I do. But I’ve emailed several invites to those on the wait list and have received zero responses. I realize that some of you have been on the wait list a long time. I know it’s been frustrating waiting for your hosting stop. And I get that you might not be interested in hosting after such a lengthy delay. You might not even post Mailbox Monday posts any more. But not to hear back from anyone is a bit unusual.

I don’t necessarily want to change the game plan but I might have to. I know the hosting page states “that I contact you in the order your name was added to wait list” and that’s what I’ve doing. But this time the game plan isn’t working. I can’t help how you’ll feel about my changing the way tour stops are filled but if I don’t then Mailbox Monday ends this December.

So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to send a group email to every name on the wait list. The first 12 respondents or so, in order the replies are received, will be selected to host a MM tour stop next year. All I ask is that you select your hosting months in numeric order from ‘want to host that to month’ to ‘no thanks’. It might take more than the first 12 respondents if possible tour hosts are very selective about hosting months. If I don’t fill all 12 slots by using the wait list I’ll then open it to one and all to fill the remaining slots.

If this method proves more effective I’ll no longer keep a wait list. I’ll do what my employer does every October – I’ll go the open enrollment route. I’ll post and tweet that I’m looking for tour hosts for the upcoming year and I’ll fill slots in the order I receive your emails.

~ Marcia

Kindle Paperwhite: Love it, returning it

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Updated to include pictures of Fire/Paperwhite screens shot and a print edition book.

** Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this review are based solely on my personal experience and observations. No outside influences have played a part in this review. This a also the first dedicated e-reader I’ve returned for any reason **

I love my Kindle Paperwhite (KPW) but I’m going to return it. Now you’re wondering why I would return a product I love. It’s really very simple: KPW isn’t the lighted e-reader for me. Frankly I don’t believe any of the lighted e-readers on the market would work for me but I haven’t given all of them a test drive so I can’t legitimately say that’s a true statement. I’ve wanted a lighted e-reader for a while now. When traveling it means not having to pack an external light source (yay!). And I don’t always read in ideal lighting conditions.

This is a lengthy post but I believe well worth your reading time. At the end of this post you’ll find pictures of the Kindles I’ve referred to here for comparison purposes.

A little history: My entire work day is spent in front of a computer, all 11 hours of it. And I read for an additional 2-3 hours daily. On the days that I’m not working I’m reading, using my Kindle Fire or laptop. I can devote hours of leisure time, sometimes in a single sitting, to reading. Consequently a large chunk of my week is devoted to staring at some sort of screen, lighted or not.

I’ve owned all generations of Kindle e-readers and I own a first generation Kindle Fire. Plus I own a Nook. So yes I’m dedicated e-reader. I prefer e-readers to print edition books.

First the things I truly love about KPW:

  • It’s lighted. Yes I know I’m returning it for that very reason but if you stick with me you’ll under my reasoning.
  • I love seeing the covers of my books. I don’t mind a list view but I’m a very visual person so having book covers is a nice feature.
  • Time-to-read. I love this new feature. While I can easily gauge how far I have to go within a chapter and book using the bar on the bottom of the Kindle e-reader screens I like the reading stats provided by time-to-read. I’ll really miss this feature when I return my KPW.

Maybe someday when Amazon releases software updates for their other e-readers they’ll include book covers and time-to-read.

And now why I’m returning my KPW: my eyes are very sensitive to light conditions. I’m the person wearing sunglasses when no one else is. Not all light conditions work for me. Some light systems give me migraines and ‘sandpaper’ eyes. I’ve spent the past week playing with my KPW in various light conditions with various KPW light settings. On day two I thought I had things figured out. As the week progressed I continued to be plagued with low-grade headaches and eye strain. Finally came the great experiment – I traded reading on my KPW for reading on my Kindle keyboard. Within the hour no headaches, no eye strain. So back the other way just to make sure it was what I thought. Reading with the KPW was the culprit. And here’s the one unfortunate thing about KWP – you can’t turn the light completely off. Even on its lowest setting it’s still ‘on’.

Lying in bed last night composing this post my head I realized why the light system used by KPW bothers me. Literally the light bulb turned on (yes I intended that). It’s the color spectrum used by the KPW’s light not how system is set up. KPW’s light system is set up to direct light away from the reader unlike most/all other like tech devices(?).  I can’t be sure why this exact color spectrum was chosen because I’m not a lighting expert but I can make a very uneducated guess based on marketing alone. There could be lots of science behind the decision that I’m now aware of. But using a ‘cool’ based light provides a crisper, cleaner, clearer contrast when looking at black text on a ‘white’ page. Much like a print edition book. Though I don’t believe I’ve ever read a print edition book where text was printed a true ‘white’ page. The KPW looks beautiful when the light system is set to 24 (highest setting) I’ll give it that. The contrast is incredible. And for me it ends there.

How did I come to conclude that ‘cool’ versus ‘warm’ lighting was the cause of my problems? Something I remembered when we were experimenting with light bulbs in our reading lamps a couple of years ago. We needed to replace burned out light bulbs. There are gazillion light bulb choices on the market. As we were wandering the aisle trying to make a decision I spied ‘cool’ based light bulbs. I figured they would be better for reading as they’d provide a brighter light then the traditional soft lighting. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Based on my logic we bought a package and installed them in our reading lights. Within a half hour of installation we both had roaring headaches. The beautiful, brighter light was too bright. We couldn’t trade out bulbs fast enough.

Another experiment last year with my Kindle Fire has led me once again to the ‘cool’ versus ‘warm’ light conclusion. I didn’t buy my Fire with the intention of doing any long term reading on it simply because of its light display. Too much like my laptop’s and not comfortable for long periods of time. But the days at the gym when I have read on my Fire I turn to the background to a gorgeous soft cream color with black text. I realized last night that reading for an hour on my Fire is much more eye friendly than reading even 15 minutes on my KPW at any light setting.

So the perfect lighted e-reader for me would be a cream colored background (think Kindle Fire) with ‘warm’ based light. If Amazon ever goes that route I’ll be first in line, again. I still want a lighted e-reader just not the current KPW.

~ Marcia

Kindle Fire screen shot taken with phone camera
As you can tell from the picture the ‘page’ isn’t white when compared to the chapter number
It really is a cream color which doesn’t show very good in this particular picture
Kindle Fire screen shot taken with phone camera/ you can tell by lookingt the chapter number that the basic reading screen isn't white.

Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Paperwhite side x side
Screen color comparison picture
Kindle keyboard and Kindle Paperwhite screen shot taken with phone camera

Picture shows a Kindle Fire screen on left with a cream colored screen and KPW on the right with it’s white screen.

Granted the KPW is turned to the highest setting to show off the contrast between the screen and the text. But even the print edition book’s pages aren’t ‘white’. They are closer to the cream color of the Fire’s background. When you turn down the light on the KWP the pages ‘gray’ out appearing much like the other Kindle e-readers backgrounds.

Welcome Kathy to Mailbox Monday

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I’m excited to welcome Kathy of BermudaOnion’s Weblog as the permanent backup host for Mailbox Monday. Kathy joined the Mailbox Monday MEME before it was a MEME.

As we’ve had two hosts this year not make an appearance I thought it time for a permanent backup host. One of the many great things about having Kathy as the backup host is she lives on the east coast whereas I live out west. This two-hour difference in time zones is a big deal when you’re looking to post and I’m not even out bed yet. I work the late shift – I go bed late, I get up late. Also Kathy has large blog and twitter following so she’ll be able to get the word out quickly if she’s hosting for the month. Plus if we do have another host miss you’ll have a place to go instead of wondering what’s up.

Here’s the plan: If I know ahead time that a host won’t be participating I’ll post here and tweet that everyone should head over to Kathy’s blog for leaving links. When Monday morning comes and for some reason the current host hasn’t posted Kathy will include Mr. Linky in her MM posts for the month and she’ll be our meet up spot. ** Kathy won’t be putting up Mr. Linky on Sundays as some hosts don’t post until Monday.

~ Marcia