Saturday, December 29, 2012

E-Reader Resources, or Where To Find Free Kindle Books

Maybe you're one of the multitudes who received an e-reader or tablet for Christmas. Or maybe Santa brought one for your child this year. Now you're wondering how to load it up with reading material.

I received a Kindle 3G with keyboard for Mother's Day in 2011 and for my birthday this year, I picked out an Android phone which of course I promptly loaded with a Kindle app.

Did you know you don't have to have a Kindle to read e-books? Of course there are lots of e-readers, one of the most popular being the Nook from Barnes and Noble, but you can also download apps for iOS or Android as well as for your PC or Mac.
At first I downloaded everything free I could see, but I soon realized I'd never be able to read all those books! So now, I always check the reviews before I download a freebie. I've only paid for a handful of books and I have hundreds now.

So, how does one find free e-books? Here are my tips for finding free books for your Kindle or Kindle app.

If you go to the Kindle store and look down on the right hand side, you'll see a link to the bestsellers - the tab showing is "Top 100 Paid" books - see my screenshot. Click the other tab, the one labeled "Top 100 Free." (red arrow in illustration) You'll get exactly that - a list of the 100 best "selling" free Kindle books. If you click on the Kindle store link there, you can poke around more and get lists of top 100 within each category. (orange arrow in illustration)  One caveat: Many authors self-publish on Kindle nowadays, which is a good thing. However, many poorly-written, self-published books show up as freebies. That's why reading the reviews is important. Also, be warned there are lots of romance novels with varying degrees of steam.

Just about every classic book (not copyrighted) is available for free on Kindle.

Other Kindle freebies are often short-lived - sometimes just one day. So don't wait! Click the links when you see them and download them immediately. Otherwise the price may go back up before you make time to look.

I've found a couple websites that send out emails with links to Kindle freebies. Here they are:

With eBookFling, swap unlimited ebooks with thousands of readers nationwide. Just fling an eBook to others and catch the eBook of your choice - choose from the hottest New York Times Bestsellers, timeless classics and even rare, eclectic titles, textbooks and tech manuals! Trade Kindle™ and Nook™ books using your e-reader device, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry™ or Android™ smartphone. Best of all, it’s free to join!

eBookDaily (referral link) alerts you to the best one-day 0.00 kindle deals We search Amazon high and low for kindle books in your selected genres that have recently dropped to no cost. Scoop them up today before they return to full price tomorrow.

Lots of freebie websites list Kindle freebies. Here is one:
The section “Free Kindle Books” on Pixel of Ink includes Limited Time Offers and often forgotten but Popular Classics. Grab these books while you can – most of these books are available for a Limited Time only!

Here is one specifically directed at homeschoolers:
Free Homeschool Deals created this page to feature a gigantic list of currently free books for Kindle – books that have at least been free for some time.  She also updates a list of daily Kindle freebies that you can find HERE.

Also, many libraries offer Kindle or e-reader books for borrowing. Ask your librarian. My library has a limited selection of e-reader books and MP3 downloads of audiobooks.

I picked out three more Kindle freebies just while researching this post! I'll never catch up with all my reading!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 Report

Things I learned from NaNoWriMo this year
1 - I should have a plot outline before November 1st.
2 - I work better under pressure.
3 - I can write 10,000 words in one day.
4 - I should really try harder to let other commitments go during November.
5 - I love write-ins but they are often more social than productive. 

November 30, 2012 marks my sixth win for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). My oldest child, a high school senior, has participated for five years and my other three children have four years under their belts. 

Children can participate in the Young Writer's Program which allows them to set their own goals. My two youngest did that this year. My ten-year-old wrote 5,000 words - maybe about 2/3 of that was on her own and maybe 1/3 of it was dictated - a HUGE accomplishment for her! My twelve-year-old (who turned 13 the day after NaNo ended) wrote 20,000 words. The two oldest, both in high school, managed the entire 50,000 to win as adults.

To make that happen, I make novel-writing the bulk of their language arts curriculum during November. I did assign more language arts this year than I have in the past for various reasons. Prizes measure the progress for the kids, ranging from candy to a large prize for "winning".

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lisa's Logbook - December 2

One place we visited: Suzy and I went to Port Huron today to see The Nutcracker. A friend of ours danced in the production. We had a lovely time attending with some good friends - lunch beforehand and ice cream (or coffee) afterwards. 

We are reading: David and Emily will be reading a couple O. Henry short stories for American Lit and then getting a head-start on Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Emily will be picking up an abridged version of Les Miserables to read for book club. I am now 1/3 done with the UNabridged Les Miserables; that is a HUMONGOUS book! James and Suzy both need new books and I haven't chosen them yet! Emily and I also are both reading The Hobbit in the next couple weeks to get ready for our book club going to see the movie together!

I'm grateful for: my Android phone I got for my birthday - love it! I can stay in touch so much easier now. And my kids can use it too for fun and educational apps. Very very pleased. (It's the HTC One V from Virgin mobile.)
Red Belt Promotion - PKSA Karate

My favorite thing this week: Getting promoted to red belt in karate! Halfway to black belt now....

Favorite Resource this Week: the boxes of Christmas stuff! Lots of crafty odds and ends in there that the kids are excited about.

Homeschooling advice to share: Don't do too much too soon with your younger kids. Let them discover the joy of learning.

A challenge we face: Getting everyone up and ready in the morning takes a lot of energy from me. Still! Wouldn't you think that kids this age could manage to get up on their own and get ready?

A link to share: Ditch Your Office Chair for a New ‘Standing Desk’ (We sit too much, meaning we as Americans, or maybe just first world civilization.)

I am inspired by: reading great literature

A homeschool debate we are living: Do I let the teens sleep in? And that usually means letting the elementary schooler sleep in too....

Coming up this week: Christmas School! Stay tuned! Also a Christmas party with our homeschool group, featuring rollerskating and cookies!