Once again, and as usual, I am way behind on answering email. While I am catching up, I thought I would continue the tradition of answering on the main blog page those questions I received multiple times from different people: if more than one of you has the same question, it’s very likely a lot of you have the same unanswered questions.
I will preface this post with this: if I don’t know the answer of a question I have received multiple times and post here on the blog, I’m not going to try and snow you. I consider this an interactive community, so if you know the answer, why not send me a note to kindle at gagler dot com so I can pass it on to the rest of the group (I write my email address that way in a small effort to thwart the spam collector robots)?
Irene asked this question as did about half a dozen others: Hi Michael, Thanks for all the freebies yesterday, and starting off again today. I have a question about Kindle capacity. I have a K2, and if it should ever reach its capacity, what do I do then? Would archiving them work, then I would just go get one when I wanted it? Or what?
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 happened on my K2 after I loaded up a lot of music on it as an experiment.
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.
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 75 – 100 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 (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 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 I do it one of two ways (this also works if you have more than one Kindle on your account, and want to have your spouse, for example, also read a book you are reading or have read on your Kindle).
The first method is using your Kindle, or the Kindle you want to transfer the book to (assuming the other Kindle is on your account). There are also several ways to do this on your Kindle, but here is how I do it:
- Press the “Home” button.
- I have my books organized by collections (which means I only have two to three 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 K3, 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 50 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 14 pages of books with the word “Under” in it. 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 six 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 K3 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 nine seconds for the book to download and appear on the home page.
As I mentioned above, I re-download books to my Kindle two different ways. The other way is using my computer and being on the Amazon website. I usually do it on the Amazon website when I can’t remember the exact title of a book and want to use the faster Internet connection, or when my wife calls me at work or while out of town and wants me to send a book to her Kindle (I don’t know why she can’t do it herself, but that’s a conversation for another day and probably best not to be discussed in a blog posting!).
While there are several ways to re-download a book to your Kindle using your computer, here is how I do it as it works best for me:
- Using your computer’s web browser, go to the Kindle store section of the Amazon web page. You can Click Here to get there.
- Look on the top area of the web page, on the right-hand side of the page, and you will see an item called “Manage Your Kindle.” Click that item. On my computer’s monitor, it is right under the shopping cart icon, yours may be slightly to the left or right of the shopping cart icon.
- Scroll down about two-thirds of the way on this web page, and you will see a section called “Your Orders.” This shows a listing of everything you have purchased in the Kindle store (scary for some, isn’t it?). This is where you will find your book, and I’ll continue with the Under the Dome example as it is a little easier to find using the computer.
- Just below the section title of “Your Orders” there is a search box that has “Find by authors or title…” put your cursor in this search box.
- Remember how I told you above the search term “Under” returned way to many results, and I then did a search using Stephen King as my query? Start typing the word “Under” in this search box on your computer (again, without the quotes).
- You’ll notice the screen starts returning results with each letter you type. In my case, Under the Dome showed up real fast. Select this with your mouse.
- On the right-hand side of the screen, you have several choices of what you want to do with this title. I want to send it to a specific Kindle on my account, so I will select my Kindle using the drop down menu, then press the “Go” button.
- The Amazon servers will start the process of sending it to your Kindle.
I also did that step for my K3 with the WiFi on and the Kindle awake. It took six seconds to download and appear on my Kindle’s home page.
One important note!
While you were at that section of the “Your Orders” page under the Manage Your Kindle section of the Amazon website, you may have noticed an option to “Delete this title.” Do not select that unless you really want to delete it – it’s similar to throwing a book away or selling it to Half Price Books – it will be gone forever, and to quote Prince forever is a mighty long time. If you do press the “Delete this title” option and you want to eventually read this title again, you will have to purchase another copy.
Hope that helps!
Have a great weekend-
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