What To Do After You Have Read a Kindle Book

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 happened on my old 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 100 – 150 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 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 (now known as the 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 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 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 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.

Anyway, enough rambling for now!



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Filed under Kindle Tips

3 responses to “What To Do After You Have Read a Kindle Book

  1. I have a “Read” collection into which I place books as soon as I’ve finished one. Not because they’re always something I think I might re-read, but as a reminder to write reviews. Once the review is written, then I’ll delete. (I just started reviewing, after reading two books on vacation…one I had to struggle to make myself finish, the other I hated to see end.)

  2. Christine

    This is exactly how I manage my Kindle! But my question has to do with archived books. Currently, I have over 400 titles. My husband and I share the account and I would like to be able to put the archived books into categories just as I am able to do with books on the Kindle itself. With so many books, if he asks me to recommend a book I have a hard time remembering what’s what. It would be great to have to books arranged by category for easy browsing. As far as I can tell, the only options are the default to arrange by author or title. True?

    • Michael Gallagher

      You can’t put the archived books into categories, but what about setting up a new cateogry called “For Hubby” or something descriptive?

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