How to spend less on ebooks

Suppose you like to buy Amazon Kindle ebooks, but also like making your money go as far as possible. Then here’s a trick you’ll appreciate.

  1. Log in to your Amazon account, and create a new wishlist strictly for Kindle books.
  2. Add all the Kindle ebooks you are interested in to that new wishlist.
  3. Change the “Sort By” gadget for your new wishlist, so it sorts by price from low to high.
  4. Add the URL for your new wishlist as the first tab in your web browser’s home pages. This way, every time you start/restart your web browser, you’ll see the wishlist and know if there’s been a price break on one of your kindle books.

Strictly speaking, you can do this with any wishlist. But since ebook authors/publishers often run experiments with their pricing structure to see what gets the biggest number of purchases, you’ll see and benefit the most from price fluctuations with ebooks. For example, the week after Insurgent came out in movie theaters, I picked up the Allegiant ebook for half-price.

Fixed Width Text File Toolkit Update

Just a quick note to let you know I’ve made a minor update to my “Fixed Width Text File Toolkit” repo on GitHub.

If someone combined a bunch of fixed width text files (e.g. jan2010.txt, feb2010.txt, etc.) together into one big file (e.g. 2010.txt), that big file would have a series of header rows repeating throughout the data.  Granted, it’s an edge case, but it isn’t completely impossible.

This update makes the FWTF Toolkit “smart enough” to recognize a header row when it is repeated in the middle of the data, and ignore it automatically behind the scenes.  No configuration required, and it has surprisingly little impact on peformance.