This is the first in a three-part series. Most of the information in this series of posts is specific to the Kindle line of e-readers and the Amazon bookstore.
A while back, I did a post on where to find free books for your Kindle. A few more are listed in this article on tips for the new Kindle Owner. When I bought my first Kindle in 2008, free books were very few and generally, offered by major publishers or their imprints. Back then, with few freebies and books going for an average of $9.99, it made sense to grab every free book that was available. And there were some good ones: I got Tess Gerritsen’s The Surgeon (the first book in the Rizzoli and Isles series) and Julia Spencer-Fleming’s In the Bleak Midwinter as just a couple of my early free books.
Now, it’s a different landscape. With Amazon’s KDP Select publishing, literally hundreds of free indie books are offered daily. The number of blogs, websites and newsletters letting you know the daily free books has multiplied exponentially. Even Amazon has made it easy with a list of the top 100 bestsellers, free and paid, on their website.
So now, the TBR pile (your stash of To-Be-Read books) has become a problem of its own.
This is where the difference between digital and physical books becomes quite clear. For a print book reader, the TBR pile was self-limiting. As some point you literally run out of room, your books fall off the nightstand, or the bookshelf simply will not hold anymore.
For book lovers, digital books didn’t have that problem. No cluttered piles of books. Promises of storage for 2000 to 3000 books on your Kindle. And, with e-readers that had expandable storage options like the first generation Kindle, you could just keep adding more and more books.
Or so it seemed. Try finding a particular book when you can’t exactly remember the name of the title. What happens when you can’t even see all your books in your archives? What happens when your battery won’t last through a book because it is constantly indexing? What if your Kindle starts to malfunction because it is too full? (And yes, that actually happens!)
So now, it seems, the problem has reversed itself: Instead of asking where do I find free books, people are asking where do I find good free books and, more importantly, how do I organize them all? Who would have ever thought that managing free books for the Kindle could actually be considered a problem?
Are you tired of sorting through lists to find free books that are actually worth your time? Maybe you are one of those people who like an uncluttered Kindle home page. Maybe you have so many books on your Kindle that you can’t find or organize them all. Maybe you are tired of books that are badly written, unedited or badly formatted. Or, perhaps, your Kindle is actually starting to slow down or malfunction because of the sheer volume of books you own.
Over the next few blog entries, we will try to address solutions to some of those problems.
Next time in Part Two: Choosing more wisely and finding sites that will help you do just that.
And in Part Three: Organizing your Digital TBR Pile. Note: Due to a family emergency, part 3 was never written.