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30 Days With: Amazon Kindle 4

30 Days With: Amazon Kindle 4


    I’ve always loved reading but the thought of holding a book was a barrier to entry for some reason. Then when I would delve into a book I would always lose my place in the book constantly. I’m not sure why the act of reading a physical book was a challenge to me but it was.

    When Amazon released the Kindle I was very much uninterested at first. Why would I want a device that does one thing? The iPhone does almost everything I need it to do — and then some. Working at a library for nearly 5 years has made my passion for books much more intense. It is really easy to want to read when you’re surrounded by books all day. I found myself reading a little bit of a book and then returning it because the book as a form factor simply did not work for me.

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    What Kindle to Buy?

    First of all let me back up, the very first thing I had to do was decide that I want a Kindle. We’ve given you a guide in the past about what options you have for e-readers. I decided the Kindle had the best online store integration and the best reviews.

    When I started my hunt for a Kindle I had to decide which one I wanted to buy. There are quite a few different “flavors”, so I had to go through and decide what was important to me:

    •  I’m always near wifi, so I did not need the 3G version.
    • I did not really think I was going annotate anything so the keyboard was not an issue for me.
    • I did a little research to figure out if the special offers would bother me. Then I found out that if they did, I could buy my way out of them if they did end up bothering me. I decided to give special offers a go.
    • The Kindle Fire was a non -tarter for me, I want an e-reader, not a tablet.

    So, I finally settled on the Kindle 4 Wifi with Special Offers.

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    Setup

    Unboxing the Kindle gave me the same warm and cozy feeling that unboxing an Apple product does. Much like Apple, it was very clear that Amazon was thinking when they designed the packaging. Instructions for setup were clear and easy to understand. But I still couldn’t help but think that I would need to sync this to a computer.

    (I think I have to work on my “post-PC era” way of thinking.)

    Once I turned on the Kindle I ran into the “I really wish I would have bought the keyboard version” syndrome because typing my wifi password was a real hassle. Also, typing my Amazon account and password was about the five worst minutes I’ve had with my Kindle. After typing all the information in I decided that the buying of content would happen on my computer and not on the Kindle.

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    Uses

    Of course, buying and reading books was the main thing I bought the Kindle for. The day I bought the Kindle I went through the free public domain books that Amazon has created for the Kindle. I picked up a few Sherlock Holmes stories and started reading them right away. One thing the Kindle does well is allow you to save highlighted portions of text from books and then upload them to kindle.amazon.com. You can choose to make those portions public or private, and you can even share them on your social network of choice.

    Amazon has gotten the buying of books down to a “search and buy” process. To buy a book, I simply had to search for the book and “Buy and Send to Kindle”, and it would be there in a matter of seconds. There was no lead time waiting for a book to show up, no more tracking numbers, no more finding a more interesting book while I waited for the first one to arrive.

    Sample chapters are also a great way to figure out if you want to buy the book or not. When I delved into purchasing content on the Kindle, I decided to read the sample chapter(s) before actually buying the book. I have been burned by a really good sample chapter and a not-so-good book a few times, but for the most part I’ve done well finding books that are good for me.

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    Long-form internet articles have always been something that I would lose my concentration on when trying to read. Kindle It from Five Filters is a great tool to capture long-form articles to send to my Kindle for later reading.

    In Conclusion

    The Kindle 4 has reignited my love of reading. In just 30 days I’ve been able to read more than 4 books.  That is something that would have never happened before I got my Kindle.

    Photo credit: Roberto Ventre (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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    Last Updated on June 18, 2019

    15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain

    15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain

    Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

    But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

    Here are some tips for installing the habit of contiuous learning:

    1. Always have a book

    It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

    Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

    2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

    We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

    Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

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    3. Get More Intellectual Friends

    Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

    Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

    4. Guided Thinking

    Albert Einstein once said,

    “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

    Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

    5. Put it Into Practice

    Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

    If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

    In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

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    6. Teach Others

    You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

    Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

    7. Clean Your Input

    Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

    I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

    Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

    8. Learn in Groups

    Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

    Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

    9. Unlearn Assumptions

    You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

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    Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

    Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

    10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

    Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

    Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

    11. Start a Project

    Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

    If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

    12. Follow Your Intuition

    Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

    Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

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    13. The Morning Fifteen

    Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

    If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

    14. Reap the Rewards

    Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

    15 .Make Learning a Priority

    Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

    In fact, you can train your brain to crave lifelong learning! Here’s how to become a lifelong learner:

    How to Train Your Brain to Crave Lifelong Learning (And Why It’s Good)

    More Resources About Continuous Learning

    Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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