Kindle Fire Obsession Update

A Tropical Drink to Chase Away Winter Blahs

Happy Margarita Moment, everyone! I’m excited to share a couple of fun travel posts, pics/music, and news I discovered on the web this week. But first, here’s that update I promised.

It’s been two months since I purchased a Kindle Fire. In that time, my crush has become a full-fledged obsession. In fact, it’s hard to imagine life without it–or at least my late evenings, weekends, waiting rooms, and car rides. Amazon Prime’s promotional month of free movies and tv shows was a nice perk. As I shared in my initial post about the Fire, I was hesitant to pay the $79 annual fee until I knew how often I’d actually use the service.

Here’s my Fire money breakdown for the past month:

$11 on movie downloads

$30 on ebook/music downloads

If I were a Prime member, I would have had unlimited streaming access for three of the four movies as opposed to a 48 hour rental window, saving $8. At that rate, I’d save $96 for the year, coming out $15 ahead. Not a huge difference, but I know I would have watched 3-4 more movies had they been “free.”


The exciting news for parents of kids with Kindle Fires came on February eighth. Amazon announced a deal with Viacom that brings a number of Nickelodeon, MTV, TVLand, and Comedy Central shows as part of Prime’s package. Considering my son spent $41 of his Christmas gift card to own a complete season of a favorite Nick show, a $79 investment can very well save money in the long run–in addition to more viewing options.

Be cautioned:  Unlimited streaming only works when the Fire has Wi-Fi connection. You still need to purchase and download tv shows and movies to view them offline. Let’s say you want to watch The Bodyguard, one of Amazon Prime’s new listings. As a member, you can watch this Whitney Houston/Kevin Costner flick via Wi-Fi as often as you wish until the movie is removed from the Prime listing. (I’ve only owned the Fire for three months, but I haven’t noticed any movies taken off the roster yet.) If you aren’t a member, you can download it or watch via wi-fi for $2.99 in a 48 hour rental period.

Fire Text Customization Features

Let’s talk ebooks.

I’m so excited to finally have an ereader and instant access to my favorite authors’ work. As you may remember, I discovered a new contemporary romance author, Abigail Strom, and consumed all four of her delicious titles. Since then, I’ve read Jan Rome’s ONE SMALL FIB romantic comedy and began THE CHASE IS ON by Maggie Van Well.  I haven’t had an issue with eyestrain or awkwardness holding the Fire. I actually prefer the backlighting for reading at night, and I figured out how to customize the ebook by background color, font, letter size, line spacing, and margins. Just click on bottom of screen and a pop-up menu appears. (Not all custom features are available with all ebooks, however.) As long as the Kindle Fire is indoors or in shade, visibility is excellent.

Now, for your Margarita Moment Mini-Mashup…

I follow Nicole Basaraba’s blog faithfully, not only because she’s a kindred writer spirit, but because of her awesome European travel posts. Check out her recent trek to Alicante, Spain. You won’t be sorry!

In the same vein as my recent youtube video, Livin’ on Key West Time, is this relaxing slideshow of Mexican vistas by Adinasadventures.

Last, but not least, is this article about a Long Island couple who recently won a $3 million scratch-off jackpot. After paying off their bills and taking care of two children’s weddings, guess where they’re taking a little trip? In their words, they’re going “heaven on Earth…Key West.” I couldn’t agree more, and I wish them all the best.

Until next time, I wish you all the best too. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a little slice of heaven on Earth wherever you are this week.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicole Basaraba
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 07:54:24

    Ok you’ve made me start wanting to read e-books sooo bad. I got a tablet for Christmas and I’ve been holding off on loading it up with e-books because I told myself that I have to read my printed books first. I think I have 4 more to go. Then its e-book mania time. 🙂 And thanks so much for the blog love. Alicante was so fun. I want to go again.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Feb 28, 2012 @ 17:43:48

      Hi Nicole! If I waited until my TBR pile were gone (much less waist high), I would probably NEVER buy an e-reader. Go for it! You won’t be sorry, I promise. (Those hardcovers and paperbacks will still be there for you when you’re in the mood.)

      I love your travel posts. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Patricia Yager Delagrange
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 10:36:51

    Thank you for this post. I received a Nook for Xmas and I really am okay with it but not “over the moon” by any means. I have to hook up my book light to it every night when I read in bed which makes it unwieldy since the book light weighs more than the Nook! There’s no back light. How stupid is THAT? But, I didn’t want all the frills with my e-reader because I don’t need it and have a MacBook for that sort of thing. But the Nook was only $99 so I wanted to start with that. Now, I’m wondering whether I should go out and get a Fire!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Feb 28, 2012 @ 17:47:31

      Thanks for stopping by! I don’t know much about the Nook, but you may want to see if there’s a lighted case that you can purchase for it. My husband has the KindleTouch with a lighted case, and he says the weight is insignificant.

      I’m on the fence about whether to purchase a Nook or KindleTouch when summer arrives. I want to be able to buy ebooks through Smashwords in addition to Amazon. Your thoughts?

  3. Marcia
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 21:23:58

    Gorgeous photos of KW! I’m so dying to go!

    I keep teetering on the edge of buying a Fire or sticking with my regular Kindle. I’m glad you’re lovin it!Buying ebooks is so addictive but I get so many free, so it balances out. 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Feb 28, 2012 @ 17:55:25

      Hi Marcia!

      I definitely want to purchase either a KindleTouch or a Nook before summer as well. I like to sit by the pool and read.But I can imagine still preferring the Fire for reading in bed. And the movie selections feeds my cinema addition. 🙂

  4. Julie Glover
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 21:38:14

    My husband has a Kindle Fire, and I recently read a book on it because the Amazon deal was better. I found it fairly easy to work with and appreciated being able to change the background brightness and font size to my taste. I’m still a little partial to my Nook because I like things that have a tangible click more than the touchscreen gadgets. It has been cool for my hubby to watch shows and movies on the Fire too. We have the Amazon Prime membership — worth it in our opinion. Thanks for the update!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Feb 28, 2012 @ 17:57:59

      Hi Julie! Thanks for your input on the Amazon Prime membership. I definitely am going to purchase it for my son, but unsure whether to get it for mine. I’ll track my purchases for a month or two more before I make a decision for myself, since I spend so much more on my ebooks than anything else.

  5. Tuere Morton
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 05:42:06

    Hmm, one of the best arguments yet for the Kindle…still debating. Oddly there was a book I wanted that costed more on Amazon on both Kindle and print. I ended up ordering the print copy for dollars less on Ebay. Go figure. 😛 Btw, I LOVE hearing about random Long Islanders winning lotteries! You never know 😉

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Feb 28, 2012 @ 18:04:36

      Thanks for the reality check. I’ll be sure to compare costs of ebooks to print in the future. As for the random lottery winner, I’m only a teensy bit jealous! You’re right. You never know…

  6. Catie Rhodes
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 11:40:41

    Thanks for the Kindle Fire review! I think they look really neat. Since I have an iPad, I won’t be getting one, which–as a fellow tightwad–I know you understand.

    I especially like that you mentioned the Amazon Prime membership. My husband and I both own basic Kindles (just for reading), and we have both noticed how many books you can “borrow” for “free” through Amazon Prime. We have a Roku (which is a streaming video box for our TV) where we could watch Amazon Prime “free” movies. Anyway, we have been discussing the pros and cons of Prime, so I was glad to see you do the same.

    Something about the Kindle Fire I have recently discovered: many graphic novels are being formatted for e-book sale…and the files only work on Kindle Fire. So if you’re interested in reading graphic novels, there’s a good use for your Kindle Fire.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Feb 29, 2012 @ 16:52:42

      Hello, my frugal friend. 🙂

      The Fire’s definitely all about HD color…picture books, glossy magazines, news journals, games, tv shows, movies, and graphic novels. The fact I enjoy reading my ebooks on it, too, is a personal perk.

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