eBook Readers

Why Won't My Old Kindle Work!?


Episode 1815

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

Dave has an older 1st generation Kindle that won't work anymore on cellular. What gives? Leo says that it isn't Amazon's fault, actually. Phone companies are shutting down the old 3G towers now, to make room for 5G. As such, any Kindle made before 2017 will not work on the cellular network. But it does still support WiFi. So look in the settings for your WiFi and connect up. If it doesn't, he may be out of luck. But he can connect it via USB and copy all books onto it from a computer. It's clunky, but it will work.

How can I use an old Nook tablet to watch movies?

Barnes and Noble NOOK Tablet 7"

Episode 1459

Steve from Denver, CO

Steve was given a Barnes and Noble Nook reader. Can he watch movies on it? Leo says that the Nook had very limited space and used a proprietary format, but he may be able to hack it to give it more options, including watching the movies he wants. He should head over to XDA-Developers to see how to "root" the Nook. His real problem, though, is copy protection. The Nook only supports movies with Cinema Now DRM. But that's part of the fun of hacking old technology like a Nook.

What iPad should I buy?


Episode 1380

Dean from San Diego, CA

Dean gets eBooks from the county library and his city library is changing formats to cloud reader, which isn't compatible with the Barnes and Noble Nook. Leo says that the Nook was a failure and the library is moving towards a platform that is supported through Kindle. iPads are also available because he can use the Kindle app.

What iPad should he get? Leo says that Apple has a new low cost 9.7" iPad that starts at $329. 32 GB. For $100 more he can get 128GB. That's the one to buy.

How can I read comics digitally?


Episode 1348

Mike from Santa Monica, CA

Mike wants to use his Kindle to read comic books. Leo says there's a far better option, and it's owned by Amazon as well. It's called ComiXology. It's designed exactly for reading comics, while the Kindle is really made for the written world.

ComiXology will enable him to zoom in and out, and it also works with all comics. He can use it on his laptop too. The Marvel Unlimited app has an all you can eat monthly subscription, so if he's a Marvel fan, it's the way to go.

How long does the battery last on my tablet?

Episode 1250

Richard from West LA, CA

Richard has a Barnes and Noble Nook reader and he wants to know how many full recharges he gets. Leo says that he'll get about 500 full recharges as any given lithium ion battery will. But Richard hasn't ever run down his phone, keeping it plugged in most of the time. Now he can't recharge it. Leo says that a battery is always going down/up and it could just be worn out.

What eBook reader will read aloud to me?

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Episode 1246

Gail from Covina, CA

Gail is looking to get a Kindle eBook reader and she wants one that can read to her. Leo says that the Kindle is good, but she doesn't really have to buy a separate eBook reader for that. The Kindle App can read to her as well, because it has something called Whisper Sync. She'll just have to be sure she buys the eBook that has an audio book option, and not all do. But Leo says that the Kindle Paperwhite is a great option.

Should I buy a Kindle?

Amazon Kindle

Episode 1243

Karen from Huntington Beach, CA

Karen is thinking about getting an eBook reader like a Kindle. Leo says he has a Kindle and it's a great idea. She can annotate books, read what others have annotated, and have an eBook read to her. The eInk display is a lot more like paper than a typical tablet display, which has a brighter, reflective image that can make your eyes tired. The top of the line Kindle is the Paperwhite, which costs $119, but Leo recommends just getting the regular Kindle for $80.

What's a good alternative to the Stanza, the reader app that was pulled?

Episode 1063

Rusty from Chatsworth, CA

Rusty got a new iPad, but his favorite reader, Stanza, has been pulled. Leo says that's too bad because Stanza was a great reader. Rusty is also annoyed because he bought it. Leo says that there's a Wikipedia article that compares all the eBook reader software. Leo does like the Kindle reader. KYBook Reader is good. It supports just about everything.

FAA Allows Use of Tablets and Smartphones From Gate to Gate

Episode 1028

The FAA has made a rule change that will enable users of smart devices like eBook readers, tablets and smartphones, as long as they're put into airplane mode below 10,000 feet. Users can still use the in-flight Wi-Fi (at a cost, of course), but they will not be able to make cell phone calls or use cellular data. Watching movies, reading e-books, and playing games are all fair game.