Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

I was fortunate enough to spend the summer doing what I love most to do: read! I had plenty of time and also a need to break away from the intense year of academic reading and writing (thank you, grad school!). I have a pretty extensive reading list that I started tackling, and I got my reading on all….summer…long!

I must admit that I’ve been doing a lot of reading with my Kindle. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having actual books to hold, make notes in, and smell (yes…I love the way books smell). However, having moved across the Atlantic made me realise how useful a Kindle could be for a book nerd like me (thanks mom for such a wonderful gift!).

My intense reading holiday was a mix of books I had acquired and books I purchased on my Kindle. Slowly but surely, the tab on my Kindle went up and I started looking for more economic options to continue reading. One of those options was Amazon’s latest venture Kindle Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription available for Amazon customers with U.S. accounts. For $9.99 a month, members enjoy unlimited access to a selection of books. Unlike Prime, with Kindle Unlimited, you can have access to the book as long as you want. Once I subscribed, I was very excited to see how many of my wish list books were available on Kindle Unlimited.

To my disappointment, less than 5 books on my very extensive wish list were available. I did, however, find other good reads such as “The Storied Life of A. J. Firky” by Gabrielle Zevin, “Three Daughters” by Consuelo Saah Baehr, and “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make us Human” by Jonathan Gottscall.

In short, I wouldn’t recommend Kindle Unlimited right now. I am hopeful that Amazon will eventually release more books for members, and when they do, I will be anxious to try it again!

My Kindle with its Awesome Moleskin Kindle cover!

My Kindle with its Awesome Moleskin Kindle cover!

Blogging Etiquette

For the past year, I have been writing for a commercial blog and I have found the experience to be very rewarding (and not just for the pay). The blog has provided a platform for a community of readers to share ideas and feelings that are relevant to the blog’s purpose. There is a fair share of comments and discussions, and this experience has provided me with a different outlook on blogging because this blog as well as my previous blog have never received the amount of feedback the commercial blog does.

One issue my collaboration with this blog has raised is the two-sided sword of being able to have discussions and comments. While I will always always ALWAYS accept and encourage comments because it is a way to share ideas, learn, grow, discuss and debate, I am a bit baffled by the thin line between discussing and criticising. When are we being critical and when are we being simply plain rude? When are we enriching a discussion and when are we simply trolling the internet? Is the mask of a computer making us rude?

Because of this dilemma, I would like to open up this space for ideas about this. What behaviour should we expect from ourselves and others when blogging (both as writers and readers)? How can writers handle pesky situations?