Author Archives: ari

Do you have to change your entire life to become a writer?

2017-08-17

Becoming a writer tends to be a gradual process. Usually, it takes time to learn the craft, decide what kind of writing is the most attractive, find a way to publish the works, and see if writing can be the one and only work to make a living. Because it is a gradual process, the method of working, the tools, and the working environment are typically discovered along the way.
Woman leaning on pile of books
An excellent article by Ayodeji Awosika suggests that aspiring writers must give up 7 things in order to become published and successful.

He makes valid points on what it generally requires from an aspiring writer to develop into a published writer. Here are the 7 points Awosika makes.

You have to give up your:
1. Entitlement. Especially, in the beginning, you are not entitled to anything. You have to fight for everything.
2. Romanticism. There are plenty of romantic stories of authors and how they have achieved their success, but they are never the full story.
3. Fear of marketing. No matter which publishing path you choose, you will have to market yourself and your work.
4. Time. Becoming a writer can take years.
5. Need for approval. In the beginning, genuine approval is difficult to get.
6. Laziness. Writing means a lot of work.
7. Excuses. If you want to become a writer, there are no excuses for doing something else.

If I had to list only 3 things that are required to developing into a writer, they would be the following:

Time. You have to allocate plenty of time for writing. It means you must give up something else, like watching television, playing video games, hanging out at cafés, shopping, or anything else that doesn’t add value to writing.
Perseverance. Writing is a long-term decision. Learning the craft, getting a work published, achieving sales never happens overnight. It is really amazing how disciplined most writers are when it comes to their work.
Continuous learning. No one can say that he or she completely masters the craft and business of writing. It is not only the techniques of writing that require continuous learning, but also work methods, processes, marketing, business, and tools.

So, many things in an aspiring writer’s lifestyle should change in order to make room for everything that writing requires.

A fridge library at a tiny village at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains

2017-08-08

I have seen many kinds of street-side libraries where book lovers let passersby and neighbors take a book from the selection. If these readers have books they can donate, they may return a title into the selection. A Bookcrossing box in a city park, a stylish birdhouse filled with books on a wall of an artshop, or a bookshelf at the gate of a fruit farm are a few examples of street-side libraries.

But this one in Luzenac-Pouech, France was quite innovative. The tiny village of Luzenac is located at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. The lush environment indicates it rains pretty regularly in the region. A river flowing five meters from the library was filled with water in the middle of summer.
Luzenac, St Girons, France
If you want to establish an outdoor library in an environment where it rains, cows eat grass next to the books, horses may check out the place from time to time, and fishermen walk up and down the riverside, books have to be protected from water and other risks.
Luzenac, Arege, France, outdoor library
What is better protection for books than an old fridge? Well, old desk is another place to have books, but the desk won’t last long outdoors. This one has metal drawers, but still. I have to visit this library in a year or two to see how it is doing.

Luzenac village seen from PouechLuzenac village as seen from Pouech.

Choosing the right ereader device for reading ebooks is also a matter of size

2017-08-06

The most popular ereader, the Amazon Kindle, is available in one size – the screen is six inches, but many other vendors are marketing larger ereaders as well. Is larger better? What are the benefits of an eight-inch, or even a 13-inch ereader?
Kobo ereader: reading on a hammock
Let’s compare three ereaders – Sony DPT-RP1, Kobo Aura One and Kindle Paperwhite – that come with different screen sizes. The size differences between these three ereaders are considerable.

The dimensions of the Kindle Paperwhite are: 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ (169 x 117 x 9.1 mm). It comes with 6-inch display.
The dimensions of the Kobo Aura One are: 195,1 x 138,5 x 6,9 mm. The screen size is 7.8 inches.
The dimensions of the Sony DPT-RP1 are: 8.82″ x 11.9″ x 0.23″ (224 mm x 302.6 mm x 5.9 mm) . Larger than tablets, the screen size is 13 inches.

Somy DPT-RP1 ereader: reading and making notes
So, the first big difference is portability. Are you going to carry the ereader with you? The second difference is the type of ebooks or documents you are going to read on the device. If it is PDF books and PDF documents, or ebooks and magazines with pictures, tables, graphs, the larger the screen is, the better the reading experience will be.

All this and much more is explained and showed in a video by The Ebook Reader. Take a look. Here is the video that shows the 13-inch Sony DPT-RP1, Kobo Aura One and Kindle Paperwhite ereader.

Those ebook lovers who want color displays can get a tablet, but also then, it is a question of size. Personally, I like my 10-inch tablet for ebooks, but most people who read ebooks seem to choose an 8-inch or 7-inch model.

Amazon Kindle ereader fits into a coat pocket

The trends in remote work in 2017

2017-08-04

Most writers are, in practice, remote workers or location independent professionals because many work from home or from a peaceful location somewhere that is not home. Writers may also travel, or even call themselves digital nomads, if they spend some time on the road and stop somewhere to continue a writing project that is being processed at the back of the mind all time, anyhow.

Workfrom is a source of information for finding spaces to work, stay or perhaps getting a job that lets you work remotely. Workfrom conducted a survey with more than 1000 mobile professionals in order to understand what the trends and facts are among remote workers in 2017.

Here are some highlights from the survey:

7 out of 10 respondents said that the tools, such as laptop bags and standing desks are a top priority to ensure productivity in their work. Video conferencing tools such as Skype and WebEx were second, with project management apps like Asana and Trello third.

About half of the remote workers work on their own, without a support of a team. That’s a plenty of freelancers out there.

The majority of respondents (57%) who work on remote teams have colleagues in multiple time zones and countries. Remote employees, entrepreneurs and consultants/contractors were likely to be part of a global team.

Most remote workers indicated that they don’t have to work at an office at all, but 42% are working five or more days per week from their home offices.

Remote workers are interested in traveling. However, most prefer to see the world through coworking or coliving programs like Nomad House, Unsettled or We Roam—a short-term, flexible arrangement where they can meet like-minded professionals. These programs scored higher than volunteer/pro-bono opportunities, overseas retreats, ecotourism, and longer, structured travel cohort programs like Remote Year.

The infographics by Workfrom:

Trends in remote work 2017, infographic by Workfrom.co

Jeff Bezos’ reading list: the books that Amazon employees are expected to read

2017-07-28

Recently, the big news was that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon online store, had become the richest person in the world. The ranking, however, can quickly change because it largely depends on the stock prices of companies the richest people own, which is why Bill Gates or Warren Buffet can take the number one position any day.

Amazon started its business as an online bookstore. Even now, when the company enters a new market, it often starts business in the country with books.
jeff bezos reading list; 3 book covers
Books, reading, and learning mean a lot to Jeff Bezos who established Amazon 22 year ago. He has led the company from the beginning, and has always been regarded as a visionary. He took over the Washington Post newspaper that was on the brink a year ago. He is investing his personal money in the Washington Post, not Amazon’s corporate assets.

Amazon has invested in the creation of the ebook market probably more than any enterprise. The Kindle ereader, and the worldwide marketplace for ebooks on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and on other country-specific markets have the biggest market share of ebooks. The company is also running many other book-related business programs, such translating titles, print-on-demand, and even its own publishing imprint.

Jeff Bezos is known as an authoritarian leader. He has established rules, processes and methods that are strictly followed. Jeff’s Reading List is a list of 12 books Bezos expects Amazon employees to read. Many are related to business, but there are other themes as well.

Author Brad Stone who wrote the Bezos biography The Everything Store lists those 12 books. The author says the books have shaped Bezos’ leadership style and way of thinking. Here is the Jeff’s Reading List.

– The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: a fictional story about the First World War.
– Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins: advice from business management guru.
– Creation: Life and How to Make It by Steve Grand: building intelligent technology systems.
– Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim Collins: the author of the book has consulted Amazon as well.
– The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: how new technologies disrupt existing businesses.
– Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton: Walmart founder’s biography.
– Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James Womack and Daniel Jones: lean thinking method.
– Memos from the Chairman by Alan Greenberg: a collection of memos from the Bear Stearns Chairman to the employees. (Bezos worked for an investment bank before starting Amazon.)
– The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.: small groups of engineers can be more effective than large groups.
– The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvements by Eliyahu Goldratt: lessons for manufacturing.
– Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know by Mark Jeffery: how to measure everything – has become a must at Amazon.
– The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb: the power of events with massive consequences.

Via CNBC.

Here are the countries where you have plenty of colleagues who also provide professional services online

2017-07-27

If you are a writer or a freelancer providing writing-related services, like translation, editing, or proofreading, and you manage your assignments through online services, you know how global the business is. Many other professionals, such as programmers, graphic designers, and photographers also sell their services on global online freelance platforms. If you have ever wondered where these different types of professionals are located, now there is a map for that.

Vili Lehdonvirta at the Oxford Internet Institute has collected data from various online freelancing services, and put together graphs that show where professionals are participating in remote work processes and projects, and in which countries specific type of work is performed.
Online Labour Index, Oxford University, Vili Lehdonvirta
The statistics, titled Online Labour Index, shows which skills regions and countries are providing to the global market. For instance, the most common type of remote work in the United States is writing and translation. Indian subcontinent is a major supplier of software development and technology skills. Europe is divided in north, south and central regions that provide different types of services.

The largest supplier of online labour is the traditional outsourcing destination India, which is home to 24 percent of all the workers observed. India is followed by Bangladesh (16 %) and United States (12 %).

The software development and technology work category is dominated by workers in the Indian subcontinent, who command a 55 percent market share. The professional services category, which consists of services such as accounting, legal services, and business consulting, is led by professionals based in the UK with a 22 percent market share.
Online Labour Index, Oxford University, Vili Lehdonvirta
The data for the statistics was collected from four large online professional service trading platforms, also known as online freelancing or online outsourcing platforms: Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, and PeoplePerHour. They are English-language platforms, meaning that non-English-speaking countries are likely to be underrepresented in the figures. Many freelance service platforms exist in other languages, but English-language platforms are the primary ones in international trade. Internet traffic statistics indicate that the four mentioned sites represent at least 40 percent of the global market for platform-based online work. The figures are likely to give a good indication of the overall market, and particularly which skills regions and countries provide to the global market.

Find out more graphs and data from Vili Lehdonvirta’s article at the Unversity of Oxford web site.

53 nonfiction books about reading, bookstores, libraries, and about other books

2017-07-20

For some readers, books are objects that they care for more than any other products they have used or purchased. Other readers love to collect books and show them on bookshelves at their homes. Then, there are readers who happen to be writers as well, and tend to read in a different way than ordinary book readers.

If you are one of those book lovers who appreciate the published word so much that you are willing to read a book about books, here are some recommendations for you. Bookriot has put together a list of 53 nonfiction books about reading, libraries, bookshops, collecting, and about other books. These books are not about writing, although some of them have been written by famous authors.
Finland's National Library in Helsinki
Here are 53 nonficiton books on books according to Bookriot.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Great Ones) Saved My Life by Andy Miller
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett
My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop by Ronald Rice
The Pleasure of Reading: 43 Writers on the Discovery of Reading and the Books that Inspired Them by Antonia Fraser
The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man’s Struggle with the Monthly Tide of the Books He’s Bought and the Books He’s Been Meaning to Read by Nick Hornby
Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books by Nick Hornby
The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan
Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall
At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis
Bibliotopia: Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-All of Literary Facts & Curiosities by Steven Gilbar
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
The Book by Julius Friedman
Book Crush: For Kids and Teens – Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest by Nancy Pearl
Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl
The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You’ll Never Read by Stuart Kelly
Where I’m Reading From: The Changing World of Books by Tim Parks
The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski
Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry
The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books by Michael Dirda
Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes
A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel
The House of Twenty Thousand Books by Sasha Abramsky
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home by Susan Hill
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David L. Ulin
My Ideal Bookshelf by Thessaly La Force
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You by Ella Berthoud
A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz
Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places by Rebecca Rego Barry
Read This! Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores by Hans Weyandt
A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
Ruined by Reading: A Life in Books by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee

If you want to read an ebook that is a collection of stories published in other books, download Traveling in Scandinavia for free.

Bookriot collected a list of 47 fiction books about books as well. You may view those recommendations here.

It takes 5 drafts before a writer can tell the manuscript for a book is ready

2017-07-11

Writing a book is hard work that takes time, requires patience, and persistence. The process of writing is individual, and continuously develops as experience and the number of published books grows. For instance, my own process has always been to write multiple drafts, and edit them until the outcome is what I had envisioned.
a writer stares at her computer screen with a pen in hand
That’s why it is so inspiring to find out that author Jeff Goins has identified five stages in the writing process that each represent a draft for a manuscript that is continuously being improved. The number is very close to the number of drafts I tend to write. Another inspiring thing is that Goins is refreshingly brutal when it comes to describing how the process of writing a book really works.

Here is the summary of Goins’ five-draft book writing process.

Draft 1:
Ideas. Often unstructured, and may only make sense to the writer.

Draft 2:
Structure. The manuscript begins to take shape. If it doesn’t, something is terribly wrong.

Draft 3:
The rough draft. At this point, the text is readable and can be edited. The whole work can be reviewed if something is missing.

Draft 4:
Cut. It is time to make it simple and easy to read which means cutting all the excess words and paragraphs.

Draft 5:
Finetune. Final edits, and the last chance to show it to reviewers for improvements.

The good news for writers who have never had the courage to even begin writing a book is that the threshold is actually low. You are not going to write that book at one go, but it is a step-by-step process where you continue improving your text until the whole work becomes a finished manuscript.

The next step after the five stages of drafts is to work with a publisher’s editor who may have ideas how to further improve the manuscript. A good editor knows that he or she is not always right, and that it is a collaborative process to get the book finished. It means respecting the author’s opinion and voice.

If a writer is not working with a publisher, it is beneficial to get a professional editor to review the manuscript before publishing it.

Tour de France in Europe is the world’s biggest cycling race, but which cities are the most bicycle-friendly in the world?

2017-07-01

The Tour de France is regarded as the world’s biggest sports event when measured by the number of spectators who are watching the race live where it happens. Professional road cyclists race for three weeks in July along a route that mostly zigzags in France, but also in neighboring countries. In 2017, the race starts in Germany. Spectators have free access to follow the race at any point of the route. The best spots have thousands of enthusiastic fans cheering the riders, and since the race is 3540 km / 2200 miles long (in 2017), it adds up to millions of spectators.

The Tour de France is more than 100 years old event, but also the Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy) and the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) are traditional three week stage races with long history where the world’s best professional road cyclists compete in teams against one another. Can there be any relation to the popularity of cycling in daily life of ordinary citizens because cycling as a sport is so popular in Europe?
Copenhagen, Denmark: cyclists in front of bicycle rental shop in the city center
Let’s look at a list of the world’s 20 most bicycle-friendly cities in 2017. The ranking has been prepared by the Copenhagenize Design Co. that selected 136 global cities, assessed each one against a set of 14 parameters, and arranged 20 top cities in order. The common denominators that defined the best cities are quite straightforward: cycling is understood as a serious transport method, cities have invested in infrastructure, and they have a desire to make cities better.

Here is the 2017 ranking for the best cities for cyclists as compiled by Wired.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Utrecht, Netherlands
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
4. Strasbourg, France
5. Malmö, Sweden
6. Bordeaux, France
7. Antwerp, Belgium
8. Ljubljana, Slovenia
9. Tokyo, Japan
10. Berlin, Germany
11. Barcelona, Spain
12. Vienna, Austria
13. Paris, France
14. Seville, Spain
15. Munich, Germany
16. Nantes, France
17. Hamburg, Germany
18, Helsinki, Finland
19. Oslo, Norway
20. Montreal, Canada

What do you know, France gets the biggest number of cities into the top 20. Germany, Netherlands, and Spain – all very successful nations in bicycle racing – follow France. Only two cities outside Europe made it to the top 20: Tokyo and Montreal.

If you want to follow Tour de France, the official web site of the race is Le Tour, and here you can see which television channels are broadcasting the race live.

For travel information on France, here is a travel guidebook for download.

Vuelta a Valencia 2017

This is why the Apple MacBook sucks, but a Windows 10 laptop doesn’t

2017-06-25

Here is the nasty truth: the user interface software Apple uses in its MacBook laptops and iMac computers is seriously outdated.

In other words, Apple computers suck. Compare a Mac’s user interface to a modern user interface, like Windows 10, and you have to admit that someone has mastered her homework while the other one has lost her vision and only enjoyed success that once seemed never-ending. I claim that the user interface of macOS is 10 years behind Windows 10, at least.

I am talking about Apple’s line of computers, MacBooks and iMacs, that are running the macOS operating system (I am currently running Sierra version 10.12.5). This operating system is based on Unix software. Apple has developed its own graphical user interface on top of Unix.

In fact, Unix is the best thing in Apple’s macOS software. The Open Group has certified that it really is Unix. For anyone who codes anything – web pages, enterprise applications, php scripts – having a full Unix under the graphical user interface is a great time saver and testbed.
Apple MacBook desktop, macOS user interface
Apple introduced the OS X operating system software in 2000, and shipped it in 2001. MacOS is the same as OS X, Tim Cook just recently updated the name. When Steve Jobs introduced the brand new software 17 years ago, it was specifically the user interface that got people excited. It was simply amazing at the time.

Plenty of development has happened in OS X/macOS during the past 17 years, but in essence, the user interface is still the same. Yes, the dock icons are cute, but so what?

The worst thing is the windowing and the menu system of the macOS user interface software. Look at the user interface of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS. It is consistent. Or Android, or Windows 10. Consistent and intuitive. The windows and menus behave rationally and you find them in the same places wher you found them the last time.

The windows and menus in macOS live in parallel universes that are not quite sure how to interact with each other, if at all. An application window at the bottom of the screen has its menu at the top of the screen. An application window has problems of remembering all the other windows opened in the same application. Copying, moving and working with files in Finder is nearly impossible unless you open multiple Finder windows. The installation process of applications from outside the App Store occasionally reminds me of apt-get, a Linux command prompt installation program.

I understand that many Mac users open one application, fill the whole screen with it and are happy that it works the way it does. Because computers are very efficient multitasking machines, I want to exploit that feature and run several applications and windows simultaneously. On a computer, it must be easy and quick to switch between application windows.

I use both Mac and Windows computers at my work. Sometimes, I use both of them during the same day, but usually, I may work two weeks on a MacBook and then, two weeks on a Windows laptop. I also use smartphones, tablets, ereaders and perhaps a camera during a day. Experiencing many different user interfaces during an hour of work is normal. There is only one user interface that constantly bugs me: macOS on my MacBook laptop. It just doesn’t fit in today’s world. It lives in the past and is burying itself deeper in the past every day.

Microsoft has taken multiple courageous steps in order to keep Windows operating system’s user interface relevant. If we look back at the last 17 years of Microsoft’s PC operating system, Windows XP and Windows 7 were successful, although both included major changes in their user interfaces. Windows Vista and Windows 8 were less successful, many people hated them and switched back to the old version. Windows 10 development team could take all the learnings from the previous version that wasn’t popular, and created a really solid user interface for Windows 10.

Microsoft Windows is 10 years ahead of Apple macOS user interface, at least. Windows 10 fits right in to today’s world of tablets, smartphones, ereaders, cameras, and other devices we daily use.

MacOS was designed at a time when we purchased mobile phones for making phone calls and for sending text messages from a black-and-white screen of four rows of forty characters, two megapixel digital cameras were a novelty, Facebook didn’t exist, tablets only cured diseases, home automation meant buying a dishwasher, and being online all the time was impossible because of ultra-high mobile network costs.

One piece of software – in addition to the underlying Unix – on Mac computers is brilliant. It is the iBooks Author application used for creating ebooks. The books laid out in the iBooks Author may have video, audio and animation elements as well as interaction with a (human) reader. It is possible to create smart, useful and beautiful ebooks, like text books, travel guidebooks and other nonfiction works in iBooks Author. This Apple application compared to its competitive products reminds me of times when Apple computers were number one machines in everything that involved graphics and laying out publications.

Perhaps my only option is to wait and hope Apple does something about its software that is powering its computers. But I won’t wait for long. There are always other choices.
Windows 10 PC desktop user interface

Hands-on video: comparison of an ereader and a tablet as ebook reading devices

2017-06-18

Recently, we studied the Kindle ereader and the Fire tablet in order to discover their differences as ebook reading devices. We concluded that – in addition to the price – the biggest differences were display, multipurpose vs single-purpose product and battery life.
kobo aura one ereader
The Ebook Reader blog recorded a video that lets you view a comparison of the Kobo Aura One ereader and the Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet. Both products have about 8 inch screen: the Aura One has 7.8 inches and the Fire tablet 8 inches. The dimensions of the screens are different, so it looks like they are not the same size, but they are very close.

In any case, the video shows one more key difference between ereaders and tablets: weight. Tablets are heavier than ereaders. It may not matter to you, because it depends on how you usually hold your reading device. If you are holding the reading device so that your arm tires, then the weight can be a factor for you.

View the video by The Ebook Reader below:

Why tablets are heavier than ereaders although they have roughly the same screen size? There are more parts inside the tablet than inside an ereader. The processor is usually more efficient on a tablet, it has more memory, perhaps larger speakers, and above all, a bigger battery. Batteries are surprisingly heavy, and the color screen of a tablet is power-hungry, whereas an ereader’s E ink screen is very power-efficient.

The current price gap is wide between the products seen on the video: the Kobo Aura One is $229 and the Fire HD 8 tablet $79.

Now, we have five factors that influence the decision which one is the right product to choose: display, multipurpose/single-purpose, battery life, weight and price. Everyone has his or her own priorities that specify which factors rise on top, and it makes the decision easier.
Amazon FIre HD 8 tablet, 2017 model

Travelers rejoice, EU has removed roaming charges! But what about visitors from non-European countries?

2017-06-15

European Union has reached a crucial milestone in its effort to create a truly single market for its member countries. Telecommunication service providers whose networks we use when we make phone calls and connect to the Internet are not allowed to charge extra if you take your mobile phone to another EU country and let it connect to a local network. You can make phone calls and use Internet services for the same price as in your home EU country.

woman talking on cell phone
All EU citizens who travel are certainly happy about the decision that was inaugurated on June 15, 2017. If you have a prepaid SIM card, doublecheck your operator’s policy. For instance Vodafone still charges extra if you use your prepaid SIM card in another EU country, but it was the only one I could find. Others are following the new EU policy.

What if you arrive in Europe but don’t have a SIM card from a EU country? Usually, you would purchase a prepaid SIM card in the country where you landed, right? Well, that’s what you still can do. Here is the best part: choose wisely, and you can roam in EU countries with that SIM card and only pay the charges of the card’s home country. If you buy your prepaid SIM card in Germany, and travel to France and Italy, you consume your voice and data plan according to the German operator’s home plan.

The initial period for free roaming is two weeks. If you roam longer than two weeks (14 days), your operator has the right to contact you and perhaps apply extra charges.

So, the thing is to doublecheck that the prepaid SIM card operator doesn’t have extra charges for roaming, and you want to have a SIM that can be topped up via the Internet or via phone. In some countries, you must walk into the operator’s shop to top up, but that’s not going work if you travel.

Thank you, EU! Here is the statement concerning free roaming from the EU office that includes an extensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) as well.
prepaid SIM cards for internet access