Our Survey SAID…

I received a Kindle for Father’s Day 2010. I loved it. I still do. It is the junkie’s dream come true, instant gratification in a tool that will fit in Captain Kangaroo‘s pocket. On Father’s Day night, I looked at the stacks (yes, stacks) of books next to my bed that await my terminal illness (I figure I’ll have lots of time to read everything if I’m too ill to do anything else. Well, maybe not lots of time…) and told myself that there was no longer need for me to grab a book off of a store shelf that I didn’t have time to read, just so I’d have it when I wanted to read it. Since I could have a book when I wanted it just by pressing a couple of buttons, I didn’t need to create a backlog. I would load a book, read it, and then buy another. Never again, I told myself, would I need to hoard books. Right.

At last count, one year later, I have thirty or so books that have accumulated on my Kindle. I mean, why would I pass up the complete works of Sax Rohmer for a couple of bucks? Or a new Marcus Wynne novel for ninety-nine cents? I drop ninety-nine cents in change on the floor of my car when I’m exchanging bucks for ambrosia in the Sonic Drive-through. I’m going to resist buying Lawrence Block books, which have been out of print for decades, for less than the cost of a Venti espresso that I will purge within an hour? I’m going to pass that up?

So I ask…how many of you out there have an accumulation of unread books on your Kindle? If you have such an accumulation, how many do you have? And do you have any idea why you are doing it, since, well, it’s not like Amazon is going to run out of a particular title? Is there something really, really wrong with us? Or are we okay and it’s just the guy who collects virtual beer cans who needs an intervention? You tell me.


25 thoughts on “Our Survey SAID…

  1. I figure at present I have about 20 years’ worth of reading on my Kindle.

    58 novels to be read, which contains several downloads of classic books (I’ve been trying to read a Tale of Two Cities for months now), about 17 of Zane Grey’s novels (though perhaps they don’t count as unread since I’ve read the paper versions years ago).

    80 nonfiction titles to be read.

    Plus 4 samples I haven’t gotten to.

    And I wouldn’t trade my Kindle for anything. After recently moving, I have decided that all my book purchases will be e-book from now on. I love the convenience, shop on the go, and the fact that I won’t have to break my back packing it in a box. My only exception to the “No paper purchases” rule will be nonfic books I use intensively for research where I need to be able to search through and flip through pages.

    I just love the convenience. While being at the car dealership for the 2nd time this morning, I was able to download a novel someone recommended to me (and much more cheaply). If paper was still my only option, I’d have to wait months before I saved the paperback price plus wait till I had time to get to a bookstore.

    Yep, it’s making me download way more than I can read, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    Maybe they need to do a “Kindle Hoarders” episode…

    BK Jackson

  2. P.S. The book I just bought this morning, I bought because the cover was fantastic! But when I bought the book, Kindle doesn’t even have the cover available for viewing!

    Does this happen a lot with current fiction? I feel cheated somehow…

    BK Jackson

  3. Joe, I have a Kindle and love it, too. But I don’t accumulate books, I accumulate samples. I usually download 10-12 at a time, and whip through them until I find one that I like. Then I purchase and read before going on to the next sample. Because of the Kindle, I’ve read more books since I got it a Christmas than all of last year.

    BK, the covers should all be there. When you first open the ebook on the Kindle, it will take you to the start of the text. Start tapping “back” and it should move you through the title and copyright pages until you wind up on the cover.

  4. Current count on the ipad is 65 kindle books, 56 iBooks and 38 nook books. I also can’t resist a freebie so a few of these are books I will probably never read. It’s all way too convenient, I can see me needing an intervention pretty soon!

  5. My wife discovered my Kindle, (which she bought me) and she reads more on it than I do. I downloaded THE GIRL WITH THE TATTOO WHO KICKED A FOOTBALL IN THE SNOW but she is reading it. Can two people read the same book and be on different pages? Yeah, I don’t know either.

  6. I am loving this!

    BK and Joe, I should have touched on the sample issue. I do a bit better with the samples, as I tend to delete them after reading them, but they still accumulate. I sometimes find one and think, “Why did I download THAT?”

    John, Lisa asked me the same question. I think the answer is no.

  7. Clare, that’s fabulous. I never even thought about having more than one type of e-reader. Now…for those who have more than one type of e-reader…do you have the same book on different readers? You can respond anonymously to that question, btw.

  8. Like Joe, I’ve started accumulating samples instead of books, too. They’re sort of like reminders, next time I want to read something, I can skim thru them and say, “Oh yeah, I forgot, that looks great…”

    But I’ve still got a dozen or so unread books on the Kindle. I’ll get to them… I will…

  9. no I just download one at a time. It’s cool being able to say that you’ve read every book on your kindle

  10. Joe, yeah, I paged backwards but the cover simply isn’t there. I’m going to write the author and let them know, just in case they don’t. I mean I know it’s not critical in the grand scheme of things–it’s not like I’m going to be paging back to the cover constantly, but the e-book feels undone without the cover.

    RE: Two people using the same Kindle—I haven’t found a way for two people to read the same thing and keep my page marked. It would be nice if they found a solution for that because it actually prevents me from promoting the Kindle because if I hand it to someone and start talking the Kindle up, I don’t want them flipping around in my books messing up my pages.

    It would behoove Kindle to find a fix so I can promote it without having to worry about someone losing my place.

    BK Jackson

  11. Oh wow, this rings so many bells for me.

    I was given a fabulous ipad by Santa last Christmas and immediately downloaded the Kindle app.

    I have 25 books waiting to be read as well as the same again in hold in your hand books. You’re right, they’re not going to suddenly drop off the kindle book shelf should I not get it then and there, but…. if I don’t get it then and there, I may forget it as, like a child in a sweet store, I keep browsing and seeing other books I want. If I get it when I see it, then it’s not going to be forgotten and it’s not like I have anything heavy to carry around with me. I love it!

  12. This whole issue about different people using one Kindle and reading the same book got me thinking so I checked and found that from the menu one can add a bookmark which can also be accessed from the menu. If everyone reading the same book is thoughtful and plays nice its one (imperfect) solution. The book will still open where the last person read it, but the next person who returns to reading the same book can pick up where they left off pretty easily.And you can have multiple bookmarks in the same book at once.

    Taylor, you have incredible self-control.

    Rebecca, you bring up a great point. When I travel I never seem to have the book I want to read and the Kindle goes a long way toward resolving this. I had a similar problem with music; I would have 100 CDs in the car and be in the mood for one a didn’t have. I got an iPod. Problem solved.

  13. I have half a dozen stacked up, and I have no idea why. Habit, I guess. Get the book you might want later now so you don’t have to find it, or forget about it. It doesn’t matter the book will always be available. Those of us who have reached a certain age are wired that way now.

  14. Joe, in answer to your question, no, i don’t have the same book on the various e-reader apps…at least I don’t think so:) I have lost track!

  15. I’m a cheapskate and even though I have given away Kindles to my readers, I don’t have one myself. I just use the Kindle reader app for my Android. I really filled that puppy up fast too with several classics, a few of my favourite modern authors and a bunch of samples. Until the latest update which allows apps to be loaded on a SD card, my phone was constantly out of memory. Now it’s my SD card that gets full.

    One of these days I will buy a real Kindle myself, ‘cuz they really seem to be catching on.


  16. I think a lot of people are doing that. I’ve got a Kindle, plus three computers and three smartphones with the app loaded.

    From all indications sooner rather than later we will have a low price Kindle which is in part ad-supported (that is out already) and a high-end tablet from amazon which will give you books, movies, and music (which I kind of predicted on one of my early blogs here, at least as to the music end), with nothing in between. I think Amazon will still make the app available no matter what you own. They will still be selling books.

  17. I have about 50 samples that I downloaded over time. Samples are like Amazon saying, “Your first hit is free…”. I also have about 7 unread complete works. I’m on the road this week, so I’m doing books on tape for now, will catch up on Kindle later.

  18. My crit group met today and I mentioned the book cover thing. Someone told me if you select: “Menu” then “Go To” you can choose cover.

    Only I couldn’t. For this particular book, cover was a grayed out option. Sigh.

    RE: A High end Kindle–I’ll look forward to learning more about that. I used Christmas money I got to buy the basic Kindle, but I would definitely buy a new one too (well, assuming I could afford it).

    BK Jackson

  19. I’ve had my Kindle for nine months and have about 25 books on it. I’ve probably read a little over half of them. I love my Kindle and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

  20. Carol, they’ll have to pry mine from my cold, dead fingers.

    My wife’s line is that I’m having an affair with a woman named Dot Com.

  21. When you are established, the most important and largest graphic on your jacket is your name and the name of the book, in smaller type. When you are less established, the most important thing is the graphic image followed by the name of the book, which better be a grabber. Unfortunately I know more about attention-grabbing graphics than marketing. The only cover of mine I ever liked was my last. I thought the others sucked big time.

  22. I have 19 books waiting to be read on my Kindle. I too thought this would not happen with my Kindle, that I’d only buy what I was going to read immediately but it hasn’t worked out that way. I have six samples I haven’t read too. I got the complete works of George Eliot for 99 cents for Godssake. I can’t help myself.

  23. I have all 15 books in Baum’s OZ series for when I am in a whimsical mood.

    About a dozen novels and a couple of anthologies. Just a few samples.

    I might be reading 2 – 3 at once. I like P.N. Elrod’s short story anthology at lunch, the tales are just meal length.

    I always have a novel going for bedtime reading. I like that I can have all my books with me wherever I go. Call me Kindleized.


  24. This makes me wonder if there is a connection of some sort between love of reading and hoarding. Though when I watch those television shows about people who hoard I rarely see any books laying around.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could hoard in the cloud? Actually, I guess you can now.

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