Kindle Dementia

Let’s talk about “Kindle Dementia.” I have it. Do you? Kindle Dementia is manifested when the owner of a Kindle finds a book to purchase, often at a reduced price, and utilize Amazon’s “buy now with one click” feature only to be informed that they have purchased the book previously. Amazon — in the event that the purchaser doesn’t already feel foolish enough — also advises the date that the book was previously purchased, said date being a year, or a few months, or even a few days prior to the current effort to purchase the same book twice. There is no doubt in my mind that at some point in the future the software or algorithm or whatever in heck it is called will be able to tell you what you were doing when you first bought the book and what other books you’ve bought and read instead of the one which you want to read so much that you’re trying to buy it again just so you don’t forget. What bothers me is that this has happened to me twice in the last three weeks, with different books. I think. Obviously, this isn’t just happening to me; I say “obviously” because although I have been known to think highly of myself (ask my family) my narcissism hasn’t progressed so far that I think that Amazon devised this feature just for me, or a few other people of my age and station. So I ask: has the heartbreak of Kindle Dementia manifested itself in your world? Have you accidentally tried to purchase a book for your Kindle twice? Have you done it often?      

39 thoughts on “Kindle Dementia

  1. This has happened to me quite often. I tend to download more non-fic then I can possibly read, especially material I’ll eventually use for research. So I’ve probably gotten the dementia message a dozen times already. 😎

    • I notice, BK, that I do it quite a bit with the Blasted Heath books. Great publishing company, btw; I don’t think they’ve published a bad book, which is why I keep trying to buy them.

  2. Kind of. I have the dementia part down pat, but in reverse. I’ll look in my Nook library and find books I don’t remember ordering. Never heard of them. I like to buy new writers (check out the competition) and then do not get around to reading them.

    I might have received that warning you mention, Joe, but if I have, I’ve forgotten.

    • Actually, Amanda, I have that reverse thing going on as well, though the manifestation on my iPod is much more advanced. Just yesterday I was looking to purchase “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by The Silkie and at the last second discovered that, uh, I already had it. I have no idea where it came from.

  3. Joe, I’ve suffered through the embarrassment of Kindle dementia on more than one occasion. However, the Amazon server promises me that it will be our secret.

  4. Oh yes, most definitely. I can’t remember all the books I have on my Kindle. It’s over a hundred. Makes you wonder how readers who do the same will ever get to read your book among so many.

    • You have touched on the 800 pound bear in the middle of the living room that nobody wants to mention, Nancy. I had a friend confess to me recently that she hadn’t read a story of mine that was in a collection that she purchased simply because I was in it. I told her, “I don’t care, so long as you bought the book” and we had a good laugh. Sort of.

  5. Joe, so with each new e-device (or i-device) comes one or more new disorders? Have we shifted from buying steak knives with zirconium-studded handles on the Shopping Channel to building huge electronic libraries? A move in the right direction, I’d say.

    • Lance, I would agree. I would much rather have duplicates — electronic or otherwise — of novels than succumb to a pitch to buy cat toys or slicers or anything while there are only five hundred left, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. But yes, I fear that with each new device we’ll have new disorders. I also am afflicted with internet ADD: I start off researching the coming age demographic crunch in China, and somehow find myself looking at old comic book covers, wondering how that happened.

  6. Terri, if you’re going to have seconds of something, there’s none better than what you’re coughing up and I could think of far worse things.

  7. Happened to me four or five times in four years. I then think ‘Oh, really?’, and the next step is digging it out on my Kindle. If not another book on offer is getting in my path, that is. *lol*

    • LB, I do so get that “digging it out” comment. The Kindle on the headboard has replaced the pile next to my bed. Books, however are easily lost in both.

  8. Haven’t succumbed to this yet. But I do have duplicate paperbacks on my shelves. Once got halfway through a Minettte Walters book before I realized I had read it before. Don’t know if that’s a comment on me or her. 🙂 Maybe both?

    • Kris, I hate to admit it but the same thing has happened to me with, uh, a different author. And I hit the halfway point, too, before it dawned on me that maybe I had been there before…

  9. Guilty. And to lick my wounds, I ran to the my local independent book store and, unknowingly, bought my third copy of LeCarre’s Smiley’s People. Of course the bookstore failed to remind me that I’d bought it before. I guess there is a bright spot to Kindle Madness.

    • Ouch, Brian. At least you can console yourself with the knowledge that you have excellent taste. At least with LeCarre you can gift the extraneous physical purchase to someone and be reasonably secure in the knowledge that they will enjoy it.

  10. The “one click buy button” on Amazon scares me so I tend to check carefully the buying process for every book I purchase from them. I suppose the title gets embedded in my mind so maybe that’s why the Kindle Dementia hasn’t hit me … yet.

    • Frances, I think that with most of the Kindle purchases there is a short grace period for returning it, even with the one-click buy option. A tip of the lid to Jordan Dane for pointing that out to me several months ago, as it’s saved me more than once when the cursor was a little closer to “buy” than the intended “sample” button.

  11. It’s not just with Kindle. I’ve had trouble remembering titles of series books for years. About ten years ago I went to the local library looking for an Ed McBain to read. I found one didn’t recognize, opened it, and one of my old bookmarks fell out.

    I kept the bookmark, left the book.

  12. Maybe I should put my head in the cloud occasionally so I could be reminded what I already have… this could almost end up having spiritual implications….just sayin…

    • Tina, I’m afraid that the nuns at my old high school would tell you that 1) my mind has been there for years and 2) it doesn’t work. Good thought, though!

  13. My Kindles have all kinds of books I ordered then almost immediately forgot I bought. This happens with many other things as well. Why, just yesterday I nearly fainted when I walked into the bathroom to take a shower and saw myself getting out of the shower.

    I looked at me with wide eyed astonishment.

    “You’re done already,” showered me said.

    I stuttered momentarily then replied, “You missed a spot of shave cream.”


    “No problem.”

  14. HA! HA! HA! Fantastic. Yeah. They got me once. Or I should say I got myself. Fortunately, eh?

    I went to Goodwill and almost re-purchased a shirt I had donated. When I checked for the size, I saw my own name (that’s when Mother sewed nametags into shirts) staring back at me. It was like a Ground Hog Day experience.

    Of course, as we–AHH-HEEM–“age” (I’ve passed 70 with the pedal still down) this stuff happens all the time. Sit back and enjoy!

  15. This has happened to me a lot! I must confess to being an junkie. I have been thinking of starting a support group. Coffee and stories afterword. Whenever I see a free or discounted book, and I am on several sites that inform me of them, such as Book Bub and E-Reader Today, I will think, oh yeah, sounds great! I’ll want to download it while it free or at a great discount..and when I go to it, I will get the yellow bar that says I have already purchased it. Luckily, it tells me that prior to buying the book again. I have some games in my Kindle, but the majority are books..over 800 of them to be exact and most I haven’t read yet..Yes, I have a problem. Amazon loves me though. They have put me up for an award for the most gullible downloader. 🙂

  16. Amazon loves YOU, Rebecca?! I thought it loved me! This reminds me of that country song, “Your Wife’s Been Cheating On Us.”

    I used to check those websites you mentioned, but I had to stop. It was getting ridiculous for me. I’m glad you mentioned them, however, as it’s giving me an idea for a future blogpost…thanks!

  17. Amazon loves YOU, Rebecca?! I thought it loved me! This reminds me of that country song, “Your Wife’s Been Cheating On Us.”

    I used to check those websites you mentioned, but I had to stop. It was getting ridiculous for me. I’m glad you mentioned them, however, as it’s giving me an idea for a future blogpost…thanks!

  18. All.The.Time. But I do believe this is not simply a function of the Kindle. I remember that I used to buy paperback books and get halfway through them before realizing I’d already read them once. At least this way I am not–literally–paying for my mistakes!

    • In your defense, Laura, I would point out with respect to the paperback re-purchases that it might be a reflection of the quality of the story! Just sayin’.

  19. Kindle Dementia. I like that. Yes, it’s struck me at least twice that I can remember. I’m very thankful Amazon tells me rather than allowing me to pay for something twice (or more!).

    • That’s one advantage of technology that we can all agree upon, Jean. I’d love to know who thought that up,and who thought it might be necessary. Judging from the comments they were on the right track, for sure.

  20. Michelle, that’s an “ouch” for sure. Here’s one for you: I know a guy who has bought back books he’s sold to second-hand stores, and not realized it until later.

  21. I have reordered books online any number of times for both Kindle and Nook. It is really much worse when you buy a hard copy multiple times. I regularly do this at used book stores. No friendly warning stops you.

Comments are closed.