Monday, January 19, 2015

Kindle Maintenance

I had a mini-crisis last week when my Kindle officially reached overload. My son had eye surgery last Thursday to correct his exotropia. (He seems to be recovering well, but we'll have a better sense of how successful the surgery was at his follow-up appointment.) During post-op recovery, I needed to read his favorite book (Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan) out loud to distract him, but I'd forgotten to bring the paper version along and had to buy the eBook on the spot. However, it got stuck downloading onto my Kindle. Luckily, I was able to download it through the Kindle app on my smartphone, and I ended up reading the entire book to Alex that afternoon/evening. Tonight, after deleting several books off of my Kindle, I finally managed to get the book downloaded onto my Kindle, well after I'd downloaded other books. This particular book is graphic-heavy, so that's not surprising it would be so difficult to download.

Anyway, I had over 1600 items crammed onto my Kindle at one point, but by deleting many of the books I've already read, I'm down to 1340. It feels a little strange deleting them, but most of them are backed up to the Cloud anyway, so I can download them again if necessary. Hopefully reducing the load will make my Kindle more responsive as well. (It can "hang" while I'm trying to access or leave collections.)

The most difficult part of Kindle maintenance is sorting unread samples and books into the appropriate To Read collections. (I have four of these collections broken down by genre.) The current software on my Paperwhite doesn't allow me to see collections and unsorted items simultaneously. (I was able to do that until an upgrade last May, and I'm still annoyed at losing that feature.) I would really love a feature that would allow you to send a sample or book directly to a specific collection, not just a particular device.

As I was going through my collections, I came across several authors I had read but forgotten about. I know it's possible to sign up for notices from Amazon when favorite authors release new books, but it would be helpful to make this process easier, as it doesn't always seem to work. 

If you use a eReader, what features do you wish it had? Are there any quirks about it that you think could be improved?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

With a 128GB of space on my iPad, I've not come close to using up all of its room. Although I do sort off books or PDFs I've read. They're on my computer if I need them.

Maria Zannini said...

My problem is more human based than machine based.

Although I've started putting my books into categories, a few slip through. Unless I catch them all, I end up searching the entire list for a half remembered name or title.

Sandra Almazan said...

Alex, you bring up a good point. I should back up some of my favorite books to my computer in case there's ever a problem with the Cloud.

Maria, yes, it's hard to catch them all.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...


I thought I had a lot of books on my tablet. The management tool on the Kindle app sucks soooo bad, it's worse than worthless. I could offer them some pointers (said the one-time sw pro *smile*)

Stephanie Faris said...

I didn't realize Kindles had such small capacity! I know that's a lot of books, but it doesn't seem like much over the lifetime of a device's ownership.

Pat Dilloway said...

Wow. I have less than a hundred on mine. I did have to delete a bunch of comics on my kindle fire.

Andrew Leon said...

I try to only keep on my Kindle what I'm actually using at any given moment. If I'm not using it, I remove it from the device.

Sandra Almazan said...

Mac, the Kindle itself is easier to work with than the app.

Stephanie, I have a Paperwhite. I think its capacity is smaller than both the Keyboard and the Voyager models.

Pat and Andrew, the bulk of my books/samples on my Kindle I haven't read yet. I download items when I hear about them, but I don't read them until I've read the sample and decided to continue. Sadly, I can download a lot faster than I can read.

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