I am frequently asked if I keep copies of the books I have completed on my Kindle or if I delete them and, if I delete them, why?
The short answer is I delete them, and it’s not to save space on the Kindle. While I am certain it has happened, I have not heard of anyone running out of capacity on their Kindles. Of course, each Kindle has a finite amount of storage on it, including the capacity of a K1 which allowed you to put an SD card in it to increase storage, so of course I am sure someone, somewhere, has run out of capacity. I would imagine if you load up your Kindle with mp3’s to listen to while you read, etc. that could happen. On the other hand, if you are running up against the capacity limits, why not just delete the book from your Kindle after you have read it? That’s what I do, as after I finish a book I rarely re-read something for at least several years.
There are third-party programs such as Calibre which will assist you in storing your Kindle content on your computer, and Amazon also stores an electronic copy of your purchases (for free), and will re-download them for free to your Kindle anytime you want. The only thing I don’t like about Amazon doing that is when an author makes an update to a book – either a slightly different version, corrected some typos, formatting, etc. – Amazon will re-download the exact same copy you purchased previously and not the updated copy. That’s a small problem with some of the independent author books as they go back and do the proofing they should have done in the first place (I’m guilty of that as an author, too) and, rather than having a brand new book they just update a revised / corrected copy.
Anyway, enough of my side rant about the corrected copies….
My personal opinion is you should delete a book from your Kindle after you have read it. Why? Your Kindle is a mini-computer, and when a computer’s hard drive fills up it starts to run slower. Your pages will start turning slightly slower, which is happening to me as I have a lot of books in the electronic “to be read” pile – plus I’ve dropped the darn thing way too many times over the past few years.
With a lot of books on it your Kindle is also indexing the pages, which bogs down the computer’s processing speed until all of the books are indexed. What is indexing? To me, the layman’s version is it is memorizing the location of every word so that when you want to perform a search of a particular word or phrase – and you can’t remember what book, magazine / newspaper article you have on your Kindle is – you can type in the word(s) or phrase(s) and it will find them. Some people use this feature a lot (i.e., students searching textbooks and articles), while others rarely or never use it (yours truly).
However, my #1 reason for deleting books off of my Kindle after I have read them is this: my digital “to be read” pile at any one point in time is 150 – 200 books. I only want to focus in on the ones I have not read. If you think of digital books in relation to paper books, deleting an electronic book after reading it is like moving the paper book from the “to be read” stack to a formal bookshelf (paper books I like I keep, books I didn’t like I send off to Half Price Books or sell online). With the books stored electronically on Amazon’s servers, it is like my bookshelf at home – I can still “see” them on my Kindle, and can pull them off of the shelf, “dust” them off, and start reading immediately. The better thing with an electronic book is I can literally be anywhere in the world with my trusty yet dented Kindle Keyboard and dust off that book and start reading it again vs. an out-of-town scenario, stuck in a hotel room, and wanting to re-read Stephen King’s Under the Dome (a very good book) or something similar – which would be a very bulky book to lug around in the suitcase or laptop bag.
There are several ways to re-download a book to your Kindle, and I am not going to cover them all here, but here is how primarily I do it on my Kindle Keyboard and Kindle DX:
- Press the “Home” button.
- I have my books organized by collections (which means I only have three to four pages to scroll through at any one time). I will push the next page button until I reach the last page.
- The last line-item on my display, as sorted by collections, is a line-item called “Archived Items” followed by a number in parentheses. That number is the total number of books archived on the Amazon website: consider that your digital bookshelf. Scroll down and highlight this line item and select it: with my Kindle Keyboard, I can select it by pushing the middle button of the five-way controller.
- You now will have a list of all of your digital bookshelf. You can scroll down or page turn until you find the book. My Archived Items are sorted by title, and in the example I gave you above of Stephen King’s Under the Dome, that would be toward the end of the list. I have over 100 pages of archived content, and I don’t want to push the next page button that many times, so I will search for it in the next couple of steps.
- To search for it, from this same screen, I just type in a few letters of the title. In this case, I will type in the word “Under” (without the quotes around it) then press the enter button.
- That wasn’t a good search topic as it returned a few pages of books and clippings with the word “Under” in it or the description. I can either scroll along until I find it, or type in a different term. I am going to search by the author’s name, so I will type in “Stephen King” (without the quotes around it) followed by the enter key.
- I have eight books by Stephen King in my Archived Items / digital bookshelf. I will then scroll down and highlight Under the Dome with my five-way controller, then press the middle button of my five-way controller to initiate the download process.
- I received a message saying the download would complete, and the book would appear on my home page when the download is complete.
I just walked through that step with my Kindle Keyboard in front of me. I thought this was extremely fast: my wireless router is upstairs on the opposite end of the house in a closet, and I am using a WiFi connection – it took eight seconds for the book to download and appear on the home page.
Anyway, enough rambling for now!
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Posted in: Kindle Tips