Sam Bauman: Carson library has e-books to lend to readers

Seniors who have wanted to try the new e-book readers, but have been reluctant to lay out the money to buy one, can give e-books a try thanks to the Carson City library which continues to march boldly into the 21st century.

The library has a limited number of Kindle e-book readers for loan. It also has a collection of e-books, available at the library or over the Internet. The library has written directions for using the Kindles as well as a handout on how to download books.

I’ve been laggard myself in getting into e-books, although both of my novels are on sale in e-book format through Amazon.

Several months ago a friend passed on an iPhone and a Kindle after he bought an iPad and didn’t need them. I tucked them both away and forgot about them until he called and suggested I read book by Jesse Ventura on the Kennedy assassination. He said I should have on my Kindle.

Well, it wasn’t, and we discovered that the software on the Kindle was outdated and the books didn’t automatically share. After finding a Kindle USB cord (Radio Shack sneered at me, saying they didn’t stock such things anymore) I finally got one and hooked the Kindle up to my laptop. Several contortions later, I got the new software on the Kindle and now have more than 60 books awaiting my attention.

I have found the Kindle easy to use, lightweight and fun. Saves a trip to the library.


Shortly after my recent column about the VA and seniors appeared, I got a call from a vet asking to meet me. His problem was not an uncommon one among WWII veterans: money.

He and his wife are in an assisted-living facility in Carson City. I knew the place well; I had written about it in the past, mostly positively. “Bill” had fought in the invasions of Guam and Okinawa, both bloody affairs. He spent 35 years with Pacific Bell before retiring. His Social Security and PacBell pension totaled $2,900 a month, but his monthly cost at the facility was $4,942. He had made up the difference with savings, which were now down to $15,000. He had checked with the VA once before about a supplemental allowance but was told he had too large an income to qualify for wartime-WWII help.

Was there anything I could do? He was 94 and worried about the future.

I was heading to the Reno VA the next day and told him I would ask about his case. There I waited through a long line of vets seeking similar information. After two hours I talked with a VA assistant and described Bill’s plight.

I got a good hearing, considering that I was not related to Bill, but the upshot was Bill would have to come in with his discharge papers and the VA would see. Off the record, the clerk doubted that the VA would be able to find a pension plan for Bill.

Bill is making plans to take the VA shuttle to Reno in hopes of finding help. I wish him luck. He obviously prepared for retirement but didn’t anticipate the cost of assisted-living facility. Health costs are almost always a problem for seniors. One wishes the country could help those such as Bill. More when he returns from the VA.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.


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