So many books, so little time

I have a Kindle. I still love real books, but there are some ways in which the Kindle is better.

  1. If you’re traveling, the Kindle is much easier to carry than a stack of books. However, there are two issues with traveling with a Kindle:
  • Concern about the Kindle getting stolen
  • If you carry it around with you to keep it from getting stolen, the thing is heavy. Not as heavy as an iPad, but heavy to stuff in a bag with everything else you need on a trip/hike/whatever.
  • How many books are you going to read, really? On most trips, I’ve been so busy during the day and into the evening that I didn’t have a lot of time to read. When I went to England this summer, I took one thick paperback book instead of the Kindle. I wasn’t afraid of it getting stolen, so I didn’t feel the need to carry it around with me all day, and I didn’t finish it before I got home. So I wouldn’t have been starting a second book even if I had the Kindle with me.

2. There are quite a few books available on Kindle that aren’t in print, especially from small independent         publishers. Some of them only publish e-books.

3.  There are a LOT of free books for Kindle. Of course you can get free print books too, at a place called a library. 🙂 But with the Kindle they’re delivered right to you, and they’re yours to keep, and they’re never overdue.

But all those free books have become a problem for me.

I have over 1000 books on my Kindle. I think it’s close to 1050. And I would venture to guess that most of those were free. I may have bought as many as 200 of them, but I’m not even sure it’s that many.

Kindle is kind enough to publish a list of the Top 100 Free Kindle Books (best “selling”) on the Amazon site. Last year I usually checked it a couple of times a week. More often than not, I’d “buy” a couple of the free books. Sometimes, it would be more like 10 or 12.

Those numbers add up. Before you know it, you’re up to 1000 books on your Kindle.

Some of those are short stories, some are novellas. They don’t take long to read. But some of them are full-length, LONG books.

At the rate I’ve been clearing them, I may never finish.

So, one of my goals for the year is to become MUCH more discriminating about the free Kindle books I choose. Just because something looks like I might like it is not a reason to “buy” it. It had better be COMPELLING.

And another goal is to clear (read) as many of those books as I can. You can create categories on your Kindle and move books there, rather than having a long list of just book titles. As soon as I finish a book, I move it to its category. Right now I have 70 pages of books. By the end of the year I’d like to halve that.

But that’s going to take a lot of reading.

Better get started!


2 responses to “So many books, so little time

  1. Are you more likely to take a chance on authors you might not have heard of, on the Kindle? Or at the bookstore? I’m a best-selling author, with two books published the old fashioned way, with Simon and Schuster. Recently I decided to self-publish a mystery I wrote and I’m researching how people decide what to buy for their Kindles and eReaders.

  2. Hi, Brad – Good question! If I’m going to try a new author, I think I would rather be able to examine the book in person. I try more new authors from browsing the new book section at the library than I do through Amazon. Amazon’s recommendations seem to be more related to genre than author, and if an author is writing in a genre that I don’t usually read, I’m not sure I’d come across the book on Amazon. Having said that, if I do find the book at Amazon, I will definitely try it in the Kindle if it has a bunch of good reviews already. The strongest incentive for me to buy a book is the recommendation of a friend who has already read it, whether that’s in print or e-book format. And, if I do come across a new-to-me author I really like on the Kindle, I have been known to buy the book in print format as well. Hope that helps! And good luck with the self-publishing.

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