5 reasons to get an Amazon Kindle e-reader

Amazon Kindle

I’ve barely put my Amazon Kindle e-reader down since I got it.

Amazon released an all-new version of its Kindle e-reader recently that features a 6-inch glare-free display with E Ink Pearl technology, 4GB of storage, built-in WiFi and a battery that lasts for weeks. Amazon sent me one to test and I have barely put it down since I got it. After using it for two weeks, here are the top five reasons I recommend getting an Amazon Kindle for yourself.

No more clutter on your nightstand

With 4GB of storage (plus free cloud storage from Amazon), the paperback-sized Kindle is perfect for keeping a massive library on your nightstand without a stack of books cluttering up the place. This is a huge bonus if you have at least six books on the go at once, like I do, or if you just hate having a mess beside your head when you sleep.

It’s not distracting to read on

Besides cutting down on clutter, the best reason to get a Kindle is because it won’t distract you while you read. It’s got built-in WiFi for downloading books, articles and documents, but there’s no web browser, messaging app, Facebook, Twitter or sound of any kind. The anti-glare screen and digital ink are also very much like a real book and don’t affect your eyes like an iPad or iPhone screen does (there’s also no backlight on the regular Kindle so you can’t read in the dark, just like a real book).

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The Send to Kindle feature

No question, Amazon knows online shopping and delivers a wonderful experience when it comes to buying ebooks. But there are things you want to read besides books. Online articles, PDF manuals, short stories and blog posts can all be formatted and read on a Kindle. Every Kindle has a unique email address you can send document files to and it will automatically download and add them to your library. You can also use the Send to Kindle app for Mac, PC or Android to push documents to your Kindle. For online articles, like Andrew Sullivan’s lengthy I Used to Be a Human Being, you can use the Send to Kindle extension for Chrome and FireFox.

You’ll read more

Because of its portable size, ability to store a ton of books and articles, Amazon’s intuitive store behind it (yes, I would like a sample of Judd Apatow’s Sick in the Head based on my interest in Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo) and no distractions while using it, I have found myself reading a lot more since I received the Kindle (my kids have also been reading on it and want to read now). The anti-glare screen is great for using it outside on lunch breaks and because the battery lasts so long I never have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of an exciting chapter (I’ve only charged it once since I got it).

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It’s only $79

Amazon offers a few different Kindle models ranging in price and features. The base Kindle e-reader I received is only $79.99 though and is well worth every penny. It’s such a reasonable price I plan to buy one for a few people on my Christmas list this year and honestly don’t know why I didn’t buy one for myself sooner.

For more information on the Amazon Kindle e-reader, visit amazon.ca.

Do you use a Kindle or other e-reader? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

Indigo celebrates release of new Harry Potter book with ‘midnight magic’ events

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two’ hits shelves July 31 and Indigo is having a special event to celebrate.

Indigo is hosting special “midnight magic” events Saturday night to celebrate the release of the new book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two.

Scheduled at locations across the country, the “midnight magic” events begin at 10 p.m. on July 30 and will allow eager readers to get a copy of the book or pick-up their pre-order right at 12:01 a.m. on July 31.

“We are huge Harry Potter fans at Indigo and are counting down the days until we can dive back into J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World,” Kirsten Chapman, EVP, Digital and Chief Marketing Officer for Indigo, said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating at our stores with fans from coast-to-coast as the Harry Potter headquarters in Canada once again.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two is a special script book of the play by Jack Thorne. It’s based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany and tells the story of an older Harry Potter, who is now an employee at the Ministry of Magic and father to three school-age children. The release of the book coincides with the world premiere of the play in London’s West End on July 30.

Indigo has many activities planned at the “midnight magic” events, including Harry Potter trivia and the chance to send a birthday wish to author J.K. Rowling (Rowling’s birthday is on July 31, the same day as Harry Potter). Indigo is also encouraging Harry Potter fans to dress up as their favourite characters for the events and will be handing out colouring sheets and washable tattoos, among other things.

Indigo says their stores will stay open until the last customer has been served. For more information and a complete list of participating stores, visit indigo.ca.

Are you excited for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.

5 books for the DIYer on your list

DIY books

I’m a DIY addict! I love building things, changing things, designing things and I especially love learning how to do new things (I really should have taken up a trade).

When I’m not puttering around my house I can usually be found watching shows like Ask This Old House, Disaster DIY and Rehab Addict or reading up on subjects like flooring, electrical and plumbing at my local library.

Over the last year I have probably spent way too much reading technical and DIY books as I prepare to take on a basement and kitchen reno in 2016. While most of the books I just put back on the shelf after reading and never think about again, there have been a few that I reference often.

If you have someone on your shopping list who is always doing something (or planning to do something) to their house, here are five books I highly recommend picking up for them.

Please note all links to Amazon.ca below are affiliate links (gotta try to pay for my DIY addiction somehow).

The Backyard Homestead

If you enjoy growing your own food or like the idea of raising backyard chickens, The Backyard Homestead is a must-have book. With tips on everything from laying out a vegetable garden and building raised garden boxes, to preserving and proper butchering techniques, it’s a book I find myself constantly learning from and getting ideas for projects from.

The Backyard Homestead retails for $19.95 at Amazon.ca.

Measure Twice

In his book Measure Twice, contractor and HGTV host Bryan Baeumler uses photos and detailed examples to cover everything from flooring to caulking to laying a patio properly. His book is very DIY-friendly and meant to be read by people who might not get everything that goes into certain tasks around the home. His lists in each chapter of mistakes people make are all excellent points that should not be skipped.

Measure Twice retails for $22.49 at Amazon.ca.

At Home: Sarah Style

If you’re looking for inspiration of what you can do around your home, Sarah Richardson’s At Home: Sarah Style is a great read. The designer and TV personality opens up in the book, sharing photos, stories and even recipes from her personal life. Seeing how her design techniques have changed over the years and reading how she came to do certain things is really quite interesting and makes you want to read more. I pick this book up often just to flip through it to get ideas for paint colours, furniture placement and room accents.

At Home: Sarah Style retails for $25 at Amazon.ca.

The Holmes Manual

It’s really tough to say anything bad about Mike Holmes. He likes to do things right and strives to ensure the average homeowner knows enough to either do things around the house themselves or not get ripped off when hiring someone to do work on their home. The Holmes Manual answers many questions homeowners have asked him over the years and he answers in easy-to-understand terms while using great photos and examples to get his point across. If you like him on TV, you’ll enjoy reading his book.

The Holmes Manual retails for $31.49 at Amazon.ca.

How Your House Works

A more technical book than the others on the list, Charlie Wing’s How Your House Works uses diagrams and informative descriptions to cover every function of a house. It’s an excellent book for new homeowners or for people interested in understanding the ins and out of how their house was built and how to properly maintain it.

How Your House Works retails for $22.45 at Amazon.ca.

Have a DIY book you recommend not on this list? Share it in the comments below.