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 do not know of anyone running out of capacity on their Kindles. Of course, each Kindle has a finite amount of storage on it so I am sure someone, somewhere, has run out of capacity. I would imagine if you load up your Fire tablet with movies and music it 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 while I do re-read them I rarely do so for at least several years.
There are third-party programs 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 most times will re-download the exact same copy you purchased previously and not the updated copy unless you find the correct icon in the “Manage My Content and Devices” section next to each updated book. 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.
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, blog, 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). Indexing also chews up your stored battery as the computer is running away indexing each new book.
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 400 or more 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 on your desk or nightstand to a formal bookshelf (paper books I like, I keep; books I didn’t like I send off to Half Price Books or put in the recycle bin). 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 dented yet trusty Kindle Paperwhite 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 something – which could 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 Paperwhite:
- Press / tap the “Home” icon.
- Press / tap the “My Library” menu item in the top left-hand side of the page.
- I tap the “All” menu item in the top left-hand side of the page
- I have my books organized by collections which means I only have ten pages to scroll through at any one time (I have a lot of detailed categories – you can read how to organize your books into collections if you click here). I will push the next page button until I reach the last page.
- I tap the category for the genre I am interested in reading at the moment.
- I now have a list of all items in my digital bookshelf in that particular category. I then scroll down or page turn until I find “the” book to start reading. I’ve sorted the books by title within each category (you can change that by tapping the meu item in the top right-hand section of these pages by Recent, Title, or Author).
- To search for a specific title from any page, press / tap the search icon and start typing in the first few letters of the title then press / tap the arrow enter button next to the search input bar.
- You can also search by the author’s name, so if I were looking for books by author Stephen King I will type in “Stephen King” (without the quotes around it) followed by the enter icon.
- I have eight books by Stephen King in my digital bookshelf. I will then scroll down and tap the name of the book I want to initiate the download process.
- I received a message saying the book is queued, watched the progress bar on the download, and the book’s icon appeared once complete.
- I then tap the book’s icon to start reading.
I just walked through that step with my Kindle Paperwhite 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 six seconds for the book I selected to download and appear on the home page.
Anyway, enough rambling for now!
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