26 November 2011

We are going to see Hugo today!

The film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret has recently hit cinemas. It's titled as simply as "Hugo".

We are excited to see whether they capture the true magic of this book on film. We'll go to dinner and then the show...or the show and then a late dinner. It's a family day. My husband and I will be joined by our five kids and our oldest son's girlfriend. Phooey. I just realized we should have invited the girlfriend of another of our sons but our van is already at capacity...

Read my review of the book here:

25 November 2011

Black Friday sale on NOOK Simple Touch today only for $79.

If you haven't bought a basic eReader yet but want one, this deal should catch your attention.

The NOOK Simple Touch is a basic eReader. It's an update from the previous, original NOOK eReader. It has only one screen; a touchscreen. The extended two-year warranty is only $19.99 for full protection from nearly anything except loss or theft.

I already purchased mine, a week ago. I took my receipt into the store after I figured all of today's crowds had passed. At the register the clerk refunded my original purchase price and re-rang it for the reduced sale price. I saved a nice twenty bucks!

21 November 2011

I made up my mind about eReaders for our kids for Christmas.

My two little guys don't tune into my blog so I'm safe to say that when I visited Barnes and Noble on the 17th to check out the NOOK Tablet I decided it was the right fit for both of them.

Our boys are turning 10 and 11 in the next few weeks. Both really enjoy reading. 

I chose the NOOK Tablet and not the Kindle Fire because:
I have already purchased B&N ebooks.
I love Netflix.
I like Barnes & Noble's business philosophy.

I think the Kindle Fire would be a completely acceptable alternative and it can be had for $50 less. Amazon is a great company; we do a lot of business with them since we have five kids. I could also stream movies for free as part of the pre-paid shipping package (Prime) membership that we purchased. Amazon treats the Kindle products as more of a vending machine of sorts than it appears B&N does.

For one son I purchased this: Tasume in Carbon.
It's a cover and a stand, all in one. The red Tasume looks a bit feminine; that wouldn't do. The white, I think, would become incredibly dirty. I went with carbon.

For the other I purchased this: Travel Stand for NOOK Color or NOOK Tablet.
I purchased this cover for him: Franklin Sleeve.
The Franklin Sleeve is attractive Italian synthetic leather with a nylon interior. The corner tab can be secured through the device's corner slot to prevent the cover from coming off when being transported.

Of course they'll be able to trade if they wish, as the NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet are the same dimensions. 

I purchased anti-glare screen protectors for both, to prevent screen scratches.

I know they are going to be so excited about receiving these!

20 November 2011

Plainfield Library to host an eReader showcase Nov 30 7-8:30 pm.

Representatives from Best Buy and Barnes and Noble will be at the library to answer questions and demonstrate eReaders.

Learn how to borrow eBooks from the library.

They are also holding a raffle.

November 30
7-8:30 PM
15025 S Illinois St
Plainfield, IL 60544

Plainfield Library eReader Showcase 2011

19 November 2011

NOOK Tablet Available in Stores

The new NOOK Tablet hit stores a day earlier than expected!

Our daughter and I popped into a B&N store today to check it out. The store is busy. I spent some time with one of the managers who told me that they have already received a second shipment. Still, buying early is always a good idea with Christmas around the corner. You wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to get your hands on one of these if it's in the wish list of someone you love.

The Christian Science Monitor feels the NOOK Tablet comes out ahead of the Kindle Fire.

The manager was also telling me about how to change the digital format of films that have already been purchased, so that they can be made viewable on NOOK devices that support video. I'll report back with more on that when I have the information in front of me.

For now, happy shopping.

17 November 2011

Oxford English Dictionary to follow the times...

In a smart move, the English Oxford Dictionary is going to approve some modern-day abbreviations.

Brand Champions (source)

In general, I am a full-supporter of good, old English. 
I capitalize sentences; and proper names. I also punctuate. 
I don't use text-type when typing texts. 
I don't substitute "U" for "You" or "2" for "to/too" or "UR" for "Your/You're".

If you receive a text or see a Facebook posting from me that utilizes such things you can pretty much figure there's a real emergency going on in my life.

I do, however, utilize only a handful of frequently used acronyms that I learned from other forum-using homeschool mommies over the years. 
Typing a well-known acronym in place of a few or several words saves time.

Are you familiar with these?


Need some help with learning acronyms or text-type?
Webopedia ~ scroll down the page

Do you use acronyms when texting or posting online? Do you use test-type?

15 November 2011

Are you shopping for an eReader this Christmas season?

I just came across a great article that compares the differences between the two new tablets on the market that will appeal to people who want something to use as an eReader.

Specs Appeal: NOOK Tablet vs. Kindle Fire

If you are stuck trying to make your decision between the above two models, the article should help.

If you are looking for something more basic, consider the NOOK Simple Touch or the Kindle Touch.

New eBook Reader Reviews

When it comes to the "Touch" eReaders I think the biggest draw is going to be whether the purchaser has already purchased a significant amount of content from Barnes and Noble or from Amazon. If neither, then I think it is probably a draw between those two. 

There is one thing that I think might draw me to Amazon/Kindle if I were new to the eReader scene... 

ZDNet explanation of Kindle library borrowing
  • If a book is purchased, its notes and bookmarks will be preserved.
  • Amazon’s Whispersync will enable margin notes and highlights on library books. These notes disappear when another person checks out a book. If you check the book out again your notes reappear.   "
I can't say how eager I am for Barnes and Noble to follow suit with regard to the preservation of notes. I take a lot of notes.

Visiting a store and getting your hands on a demo model, or better yet, borrowing one from a friend, will really give you an idea of the feel and functionality of a particular eReader. It's still the best way to make a decision before purchasing. 

Remember, some libraries loan eReaders to their patrons to allow them to get a real feel about eReaders before making a purchase. Our local library allows patrons to checkout: Sony Reader PRS-350 Pocket Edition or B&N NOOK. 

Plainfield IL Library eReader info

12 November 2011

Edward Eager's juvenile fiction books are favorites around here!

It just so happens that Edward Eager was born in Toledo.                                    My husband grew up in the Toledo area and we lived there for the first decade of our marriage. (We're about to celebrate the second decade!) Eager was inspired to write these books for his son when he couldn't find books he wanted to read to him. He credits E. Nesbit as being the best children's author of all time. I've since read some of her titles and have to say that I prefer Eager to Nesbit personally.

When I was homeschooling our children Eager's books came to my attention on the recommendation of other homeschool moms. (I used the curriculum company's online forums occasionally even before we began using their curriculum in 2003.)

I was looking for fun books to read as read-alouds for our kids.

I was immediately charmed! The first book we picked up was                  Magic By the Lake which was set in the Toledo area. In the book, the children are going on a summer-long vacation at the lake. Not knowing anything about the particular theme of the book I packed it to read to our children on our lake vacation with friends. What a lovely little blessing from God to have our pleasure reading line up so perfectly with our circumstances! There is a pivotal  character in this book, a magic turtle; our daughter even went fishing and the only thing she landed was a rather nicely sized snapper!

After we finished Magic by the Lake I looked for other titles. After that we read them in order of pulish date which allows you to read, sequentially, the books that have the same characters.

Half Magic (1954)
Knight's Castle (1956)
Magic by the Lake (1957)
The Time Garden (1958)
Magic or Not? (1959)
The Well-Wishers (1960)
Seven-Day Magic (1962)

These books are appropriate for any child who can snuggle in and listen to chapter books. I would recommend them for any age. The type of magic in the books, you find, is really more a manifestation of the wonderful imaginations of the characters in the books than any true magic. 

11 November 2011

NOOK Tablet release date

I've been wondering when the actual release date for the NOOK Tablet would be. I stopped into B&N the other day and was told that it was in a matter of days and not weeks as I had expected. In fact, it is a week from today.

"The Nook Tablet release date is November 17th, two days after the launch of the Kindle Fire."

Our local store is already taking pre-order reservations. I wonder if I should get in on some of that action. I am expecting that the only Black Friday doorbusters for eReaders will be on older models of eReaders and not on these new, nicely-priced tablet/readers being released by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Our two youngest boys both believe this is the product that will best fit them. I agree.


Edited to add: 
NOOK Tablet announced, comparisons, specs

09 November 2011

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 By Stephen Puleo

What an interesting book about a topic that at first seems odd and comical but turns out to cover a very real and serious disaster.

The setting is Boston, 1919. The American economy was fueled by those industries which thrived due to WWII. Molasses was a necessary component in the manufacture of things necessary for the war effort.

Boston was the site where a 2.3 million gallon molasses holding tank was built. It was built in a rush and without adherence to industry standards. It was an accident waiting to happen.

The flood of molasses that rolled forth from the compromised tank left death and destruction in its wake. Puleo writes with a remarkable voice that takes you to the scene of wild devastation. He wrote a wonderful piece at the end of the book that details his sources of informatio; sources that had gone ignored for decades before he consulted their knowledge.

I am not typically one to read about disasters. I don't like turmoil. I love movies but don't even enjoy dramas because they often leave me feeling manipulated. I love memoirs, however, and this felt more like a very important memoir about a very serious topic. Much was learned from this disaster. I am glad I read this book. Thank you, Lisa, for the recommendation.

07 November 2011

NOOK Tablet announced!

Welcome to the newest Barnes and Noble NOOK product!
NOOK Tablet

This NOOK product will act as a color eReader as well as a tablet. The price is significantly less than most tablets while being a little pricier than Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet. Kindle Fire weighs in at $199.00. NOOK Tablet lists at $249.00.  More on the price difference in a bit...

This article ZDNet compares Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet. They seem to believe that people making a purchase of products in this price range are really only going to look at price to determine what they'll purchase.
I guess I'm not part of their demographic... I guess I'm a bit serious about technology and, specifically, eReaders. I want to be sure that the best product is purchased for the buyer's needs.

The article points out some things that I find significant for our needs:
Kindle Fire Ram is 512 MB
NOOK Tablet Ram is 1 GB

Kindle Fire storage is 8 GB
NOOK Tablet storage is 16 GB + up to 32 GB MicroSD

Kindle Fire battery provides 8.5 hrs reading/7.5 hrs video
NOOK Tablet battery provides 11.5 hrs reading/9 hrs video

There's more...NOOK Tablet weighs 10% less than Kindle Fire and the iPad2 weighs a whopping
21.28 oz.

GEEK has some really great side-to-side comparisons here, click on "Geek".

What I feel is some of the biggest news about this new tablet/eReader is that it will support both Hulu and my favorite streaming site, Netflix!!

One of the biggest determiners for purchasers trying to make a decision about the Kindle Fire and the NOOK Color is if they have already purchased electronic content from one or the other of the stores, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I have already purchased many things from B&N since my purchase of the NOOK original in July of 2010. I am super excited about this. The announcement makes me think that for our family the NOOK Tablet will be the color eReader/tablet of choice for any of our children wishing for one for Christmas.

NOOK Tablet Release Date

04 November 2011

Is a NEW Nook Color in the works for this Christmas 2011?

I really wonder what the announcement on 7 Nov will be. I can't wait to hear. I need to make a decision as to what I am going to purchase for any of our children who want an eReader this Christmas.

I am intrigued by the fact that there is wonder about the possibility of B&N cooperating with NETFLIX! That would be a truly fortuitous relationship as far as I can reckon.

CSMonitor ~ Updated Nook Color for Christmas 2011?

01 November 2011

The Phantom Tollbooth celebrates fifty years!

This is a favorite of mine. I have mentioned before that I wasn't a reader as a child. I came across this excellent book as a homeschool mom when I saw it on a library display table.

If you love words and their creative uses you will love this book. Read it.

Here is a video about the book and the love of it:
The Phantom Tollbooth Turns 50

Juster explains that this was his first attempt at writing for children and that the thinking at the time was that fantasy was bad for children. I'm glad he ignored that and wrote the book!

I love this book! I read this to our children in 2003. I read it again, to our middle child this year, in February.

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