Five words I never thought I’d say: “I have enough to read”

Five words I never thought I’d say: “I have enough to read”

When my kid was little, I remember a statement of a lifelong ambition…to have more books than me. 🙂

I smiled broadly…both because it was a wonderful goal, and because it seemed pretty unlikely. 🙂

After all, I’m a former bookstore manager…I have a lot of books. Since we’ve been able to afford it, we’ve always had a room that was dedicated to being a floor to ceiling library…in addition to shelves all over the house, boxes in the garage, and books heaped haphazardly here and there.

Even so, I never felt like I had enough to read.

It was, perhaps, intellectually gluttonous. Certainly, I had hundreds of books I hadn’t read. I was getting magazines every month.

Still, if I went completely broke, if they stopped making books, if we were in the post-apocalyptic world, I felt like there was a risk that I would read everything I had and have no more to read.

Like Alexander, I would weep.

It hit me the other day that I don’t feel that way now.

It’s more like I can’t keep up.

Am I reading less?

Than my peak? Sure. My record is reading three and a half books in a day. I’m lucky now if I read three and a half chapters.

Part of that is writing as much as I do. I average over a thousand words a day, just on this blog. I don’t think it counts as reading if you just wrote it. 😉

Another issue is that I read things, like online forums, that I don’t really count in my reading. That’s a common calculational error, I think. I’ve seen suggestions that people are reading more now than they used to read…fewer books, but more actual reading, partly because of the internet and texting.

However, while those two factors contribute, I don’t think that’s really it.

I think that e-publishing has genuinely made literature so available to me that I don’t think there is a risk of ever running out.

There are books I want to read, tens of thousands of books, that I expect to be available for free to me for the rest of my life.

Oh, sure, that doesn’t get me through an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) event, but I think that’s reasonably unlikely. 🙂

We’re talking about emotions here, not logic.

I also suffer a bit from a parallel to the “tyranny of Tivo”. You know that feeling: you’ve recorded shows that you sort of like, but you need to watch them before they get automatically deleted to make room for something else…and then the cycle starts over. It’s like literary laundry…you can never be finished. 😉

I have e-subscriptions…Fortean Times (through Zinio), National Geographic, Entertainment Weekly, Fate, and others. I’m not finishing them all before the next one arrives.

There’s also the weird thing about the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library).  Eligible Prime members can borrow up to a book a calendar month…and I do want to do that. That helps us get our money’s worth for Prime. It means I need to finish one in time to borrow the next one. It’s not at an issue for me to read a book in a month…but I’m used to reading several at the same time. Since this is how the system is structured, I’m much more likely to read the book from beginning to end…just to make sure.

The same thing applies to public library books I get through Overdrive. I’m reading The Dragon’s Tooth: Ashtown Burials #1 by N.D. Wilson (in EPUB, by the way), and I’m finding it well-written so far. It shocked me, though, when I didn’t get it finished in the first fourteen day loan I had…and it was gone! As an adult, I really haven’t been a big borrower from public libraries. I’ve used them, certainly, but mostly for research items I couldn’t get myself easily. Now that I got the Overdrive app just to test something out, I’m using it for EPUB books from my public library. I sort of picked this book at random (within certain parameters), but now I feel obligated to finish it so someone else can borrow it. I can’t read it concurrently with five other books and have it take more than two weeks to complete it.

So, I can say it: right now, right here, I have enough to read.

Does that mean I’ll stop getting books?

Perish the thought!

What it means is that I don’t feel driven to get more books constantly, for fear of having nothing to read at some point.

I think I’m always going to see something new that I want to read. I guess I feel now like I’ve eaten a good meal…I feel like I’m not worrying about from where my next book is coming.

Now, I’ve learned over my life not to extrapolate how I feel about things to the general public. 🙂 This may not be something that a lot of other people are feeling.

I’m curious, though…

Have you felt that shift? Not that you are reading fewer books, but that you don’t feel the same insatiable need (propelled by fear, really) to get more. My guess is that people are tending to read more than they were before the Kindle was released. Books are more available, and that only makes sense to me…especially for people who didn’t always carry two books with them.

I guess I’m asking if your feeling about your reading options has changed with e-books (and e-subscriptions).

I’m wondering, if it has, how that might affect publishing. If a significant part of the market feels like it already has enough to read, does that mean traditional publishers will have to make their books more attractive somehow? If we can get free books every day, thousands of them from multiple sources, while sitting at home on the couch, does that change the marketing from when we had to go to the bookstore to browse and find something new?

What do you think?

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

41 Responses to “Five words I never thought I’d say: “I have enough to read””

  1. alan Says:

    yes, i’m reading more with my kindles iPad mac etc but am appalled at the amount of trash published in ebook form. I’m a bit of a literary snob since i joined a book club 20 yrs ago and have been leading it for 10-mostly literary fiction,lots of classics, but i enjoy good sf, and crime novels by the better writers but find the most popular ebook titles just not good enough. konrath,ugh. love john sandford, michael conneley. my taste in books was much elevated after joining this group. the trash i read now is much better trash. after reading faulkner,austin, fowles,and lit.crit., and auditing graduate seminars in Eng. one needs a better class of writing.
    BTW,I’ve noticed this before in your writing, an apparent belief in the paranormal and supernatural. I suggest as an antidote to FATE and Fortean times the mags Skepical Inquirer and Skeptic Magazine for a view from the rational,scientific world. Also There is no credible evidence for anything paranormal. I enjoyed reading some of that stuff in my 30’s even after a PH.D. in a science-the anecdotes seemed persuasive but the above mentioned sources show the lack of evidence.
    BTW, I think there are studies which show kindlers read more than they did before.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, alan!

      I’m not at all a literary snob…I find value in pretty much everything and everybody. 🙂 Naturally, I prefer a well-written book,but I find poorly-written ones interesting as well.

      As to the “paranormal”, you might find some of my writing on that topic interesting…although you probably wouldn’t read it, since you reject the sources. 🙂 I write about why people believe certain things, and I’m not an advocate for or against those beliefs. I’ve been called a Skeptic on the one side and a true believer on the other, and neither is accurate. I’ve certainly corresponded with people you’ve read, if you read the magazines you list. I’ve used a positive quotation from James Oberg about my writing, for example, although he expressed concern that it might hurt me with some of my audience.

      How could one scientifically judge that there is a lack of evidence without reading the claimed evidence? I wouldn’t expect anyone who followed the scientific method to make a claim about the level of possible evidence without examining those specific claims…to do so isn’t science, but faith.

      I recommend that interested people read both the Skeptical Inquirer and Fate, of course…and everything else in the world, of course. 🙂

      • alan Says:

        you reply:
        “How could one scientifically judge that there is a lack of evidence without reading the claimed evidence? I wouldn’t expect anyone who followed the scientific method to make a claim about the level of possible evidence without examining those specific claims…to do so isn’t science, but faith”

        I don’t need to read all of the claims of the creationists and intelligent designers to claim that there is no credible evidence against evolution. There are plenty of experts in various field to do that and I read them. The same applies to the area of the paranormal, etc.

        I’ve read a great deal by those who examine the claimed “evidence” and am willing to let the experts examine it, like James Randi and Joe Nickell at SI. Those who have investigated have to date found no evidence of the paranormal. And some, like Susan Blackmore, who got a Ph. D. in paranormal psychology in England(you can’t get one in the US)have looked pretty hard. She was convinced the out of body experience she had in college was real and looked for 20 years for evidence of the paranormal,failed to find it and gave up.
        I am not interested in anecdotes- they are not scientific evidence- or obvious nonsense, which most of this seems to be. Until a claim is investigated and validated I am not a believer. The burden is on those who make claims. I don’t believe without evidence. Faith doesn’t come into it. Faith is believing without evidence. Like believing in gods. As Bertrand Russell argued against believing in God, “I can’t prove there isn’t a tiny, perfectly formed teapot orbiting between Mars and Earth but the probability is so low that’s it’s true that I believe it is not true.”

        As you say it’s interesting why people believe and there are lots of good books on that, likeMichael Schermer’s latest, THE BELIEVING BRAIN.
        People will believe anything-in ghosts, esp,etc.
        Few are taught to think critically or even know where to look for help. I applaud the Skeptics and their efforts and read them daily. But I know that it’s a hard battle. The mind is programmed to believe nonsense. thanks to evolution. and our culture. and shows like Ghosthunters.

        Here is the beginning of the lead article from the latest issue of Fate Mag.:
        Really? Any mag which carries this is sure to lack credibility. How does one examine this “evidence”. There is no evidence here.

        The Human Ladder
        THE HUMAN LADDER –Judy Carroll, author of The Zeta Message
        Presented by Eileen Duhné

        The Human Ladder is a term used by the Zetas for the cycle of human evolution upwards through the vibrational energy frequencies that comprise the universe. It has ten “galactic levels” (another Zeta term), which are not physical localities as such, but rather a series of gradually ascending, broadening and deepening levels of self-realization and conscious awareness.
        All of creation, from a universe down to an atom, has its source in the energy of thought/mind. This….


        there is no evidence here, just claims.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, alan!

        I’d be interested in continuing this conversation with you, but I wonder if you would mind doing it over at


        That’s my much more eclectic blog (you may recognize the inspiration for the title), and I don’t want to drag this one too far off track. You could comment the About page there, and with your permission, I’d copy our comments from here to there.

        I’ll say a couple of things here:

        You are absolutely right that you “…don’t need to read all of the claims of the creationists and intelligent designers to claim that there is no credible evidence against evolution.” You can certainly choose to take the word of people in whom you place credibility, and accept what they state is the evidence that supports their position.

        This statement of yours

        “…in science we can never know anything for sure”

        mirrors precisely what I would consider to be the core belief of “true Forteans”. The term “Fortean” has been commandeered by a lot of advocates for specific positions (an attitude which I consider to be neither scientific nor Fortean), but John A. Keel (a noted Fortean) said, “Belief is the enemy.”

        I like the scientific method:

        Observation leads one to make a prediction about future results. That prediction is then tested by other people, as well (often) as the proposer. If the results of the testing tend to support the prediction, we then think it is more likely (but not certain) that we will get the same results in the future.

        That hasn’t been the only belief system over time, but it has been very good at producing practical applications.

      • alan Says:

        One more thing-in science we can never know anything for sure. Nor can we say for sure that something doesn’t exist-absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So one keeps an open mind. But doesn’t believe in the absence of evidence.
        I’m sure you would dislike p.z. myers’s blog,pharyngula,by far the most popular atheist blog. .because of the language and the tone and the swearing. one of the more strident atheists. he examines and rebuts the creationists and others with great dispatch.
        BTW, your main point in the post-yes I feel I have enough to read. I’ll never run out. great point.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I think I’m still at the addict’s stage where one books is too many and a thousand aren’t enough. I know I’ve downloaded way more free books than I’ll probably ever read, but I still find myself searching every day to make sure I’m not missing a bargain.

    Like most kids of my age, I learned to spell encyclopedia from Jimminy Cricket singing it on the original Mickey Mouse Club. Unlike most children, I didn’t just use the encyclopedias for research. I read them cover to cover. So it was with much sadness when I read today that the Encyclopedia Brittanica is ceasing publication. I’m sure this is more due to the internet in general rather than the Kindle. That was always something on my “wish list,” but always out of my price range. I had a set of children’s encyclopedias when I was a kid, but it was the kind you bought volume one a week on special at the grocery store. My dad also bought a used set of encyclopedias, but I can’t remember which one they were now.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I heard that about the EB! I need to read the articles on it. I’m back home tomorrow, and I’ll probably do a round up to catch up on those stories. I read a huge dictionary cover to cover as a kid, and certainly read through encyclopedias (the World Book, for one). I have an EB set.

      I’ll be interested to see what they say about the decision…

  3. Mary Says:

    I, too, have enough to read. I no longer concern myself with the price drops; I put the high-priced books on ereaderiq and if they drop low enough, maybe I will buy them. And maybe not, because I have enough to read. Some gem always comes along, though, and I add it to the growing pile. Yes, I also know the Tivo phenomenon and deal with that by watching first the things I like the most. If the others drop off, then they do. At least the books don’t disappear if I don’t read them fast enough. Life is good and I’m dancing as fast as I can.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Mary!

      I can completely appreciate that. I don’t watch the TV shows I like best first, because I do watch them all (unless Tivo recorded them on its own…that’s another whole story).

      There’s another old saying: “Sleep faster, we need the pillows.” 😉

  4. Pam Says:

    I think I could have written this article! Glad it’s not just me! I have 3 huge plastic containers full of magazines. Will I ever read them? No. My rationale is that Better Homes and Gardens will still be good 10 years from now! Cannot throw or give books away either. That’s why I love my Kindle because this way it’s not obvious! And when I get free book emails from various places, I just groan and oftentimes don’t even look at them. I don’t even have time to look at free books offered that I don’t have time to read! :~>

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pam!

      On BH&G…absolutely! You’ll always need to know how to make your 8-track look good in your smoking room. 😉

      Just kidding…I know what you mean. Having Amazon store my books for me? It’s like having a magic cave guarded by a dragon, and a genie that gets me what I want. You know, after I’ve paid for it… 😉

  5. Cheryl Says:

    THIS is why I subscribe to your blog! Only a reader could come up with this insight. Until you verbalized it, I hadn’t realized that the shift had occurred. I no longer have that disquieting feeling that — any minute now! — I’m going to run out of something to read……My Kindles can not only hold as many books as I want but they can magically summon MORE books to satisfy that I-need-something-new-to-read itch instantly! Yaaaay Kindles! !!!!!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Cheryl!

      Thank you so much! I did have someone refer to my blog to me, somewhat dismissively, as a “reader’s blog”. I didn’t see that as a bad thing. 🙂

  6. Tuxgirl Says:

    Given the current rate that I read books, I have enough that unless there are some amazing advances in science, I will die of old age before I get through my stash. That has changed my buying preferences a bit. I only pay for books if they are a good price and I plan to read them now. The exception is a few daily deals that I really want to read, but not immediately. Since I know the price is going back up, I will sometimes grab those when I’m not yet ready to read. I rarely ever buy agency books. Why would I pay 15$ or even 12$ for a book when I have so many books already, and more books released for free every day?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tuxgirl!

      Yes, I think the freebie situation may be seriously changing publishing.

      Take a look at this post by Talli Roland in The Writer’s Guide to E-publishing:

      The post, and the comments, show how independent authors are worried about the impact of making their own books free on their sales…as well as the presence of other freebies.

      I’m a contributing columnist (once a month) to that blog, just for complete disclosure.

  7. Common Sense Says:

    I’m like you, always a bookworm, but have far more ebooks now than I’ve ever had unread physical books.

    Before my Kindle, I was always on the prowl for new books. I checked the racks at the grocery and retail stores, kept up with store ads for new books coming out on Tuesdays, and visited B&N at least twice a month.

    Now, I subscribe to 23 books blogs, most of which list free and low cost ebooks. I also monitor the Authors forum and get several emails from book blogs, including the free books list. I download an average of a couple of dozen ebooks every day and now have over 5,000. So no, I don’t need anything else to read – ever.

    That doesn’t keep me from checking for new books every day though. Part of it is the thrill of the hunt, part is the fear of missing out on something good. Then there’s finishing a book from an author new to me, loving it, then immediately purchasing the rest of the series or everything by that author. I just finished a series of 6 backlist books. I read the first one, then got the next 3, but the last two weren’t yet available as ebooks. I contacted the author (one of the great things about self-publishing) and was told they would be available in March. I added them to my watch list at and only had to wait a couple of weeks, they came out this past week and I got them immediately and finished them in two days.

    I definitely feel like I can’t read fast enough to keep up. I usually only read books for a couple of hours each night. I have many magazine subscriptions, mostly physical but also on my Kindle Fire. I have Reader’s Digest on my K3 too. In addition to all that, I have a long list of blogs in my RSS reader that I keep up with every day. I’m definitely reading more than I used to because I read all day. I’m online all day as part of my job, so read in between running tests, at lunch, and to take a break.

    I guess what makes this possible is that I don’t watch TV at all and not many movies.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Common!

      Definitely a kindred spirit!

      The one exception I’d make is the idea that watching TV or movies would impact the amount that you read. I do both at the same time, often.

      I do talk about TV quite a bit (and the recent Beaver and the Kindle and other parodies I’ve done hopefully show my respect), and I’ve had people say to me that I’d get more done if I didn’t watch TV.

      Well, I can tell them I tested it. 🙂

      I took a year and watched no TV…and got nothing more done. I always want to say to them that I’ve performed the experiment: before they make the statement, they should do the same thing…watch more TV every day and see how it impacts their productivity. 😉 Part of that, though, is going to be individual. When I teach, I find that something like fifteen percent of the adult students (and I would fall into this group) can’t learn the material unless they are also doing something else (like e-mail). The 85% group, though, can’t learn it if a bird flies by the window. 🙂 It just isn’t the same for everybody.

  8. 1quietlady Says:

    I loved your post. I own a Kindle2 and a Fire. I store them in a shoulder strap bag. You could bet a rather large sum of money and be safe – that if my house was on fire – that bag would be with me!!!

    I am sure that there will always be people that need that book feel in their hands. People who want to turn pages.

    Not me.

    As for the Publishing companies. Well, for the most part, they have lost me as a customer. I watch the prices and can’t believe that an ebook will sometimes cost the same or MORE than it’s paperback counterpart. In my mind, there is absolutely no way that an ebook costs as much to produce and market as a hardcover novel. For the companies to even try to justify the inflated prices – is stupidity.

    So I fill my life with the “freebies” and if something is published that is “special” – my name will be on the libraries waiting list!

    I will be curious to see how many more of “me” there will be.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, 1quietlady!

      Welcome to the commenters…I hope to hear more from you in the future. 🙂

      A few things:

      While saving that bag is great, it wouldn’t mean you would lose your Kindle store books if you didn’t. I’ve had several Kindles…never lost a book. I did know a family when I was a kid whose house burned, and literature was lost they couldn’t recover. If your Kindle burned, you could simply download the books again to a new one (or use a free reader app, for that more).

      I think my Significant Other had the best line. Someone said to my SO, “I like the feel of a book in my hand.” My SO said, “I like the feel of a hundred in mine.” 😉

      On the price thing, it’s a lot more complicated than that. First, the price of something has very little to do with the production cost. Oh, the price won’t generally be below the production cost, but it’s often way above it, for a variety of reasons (many of them legitimate).

      In the case of comparing e-books and p-books (paperbooks), I think that you’ll find that when one entity sets both prices, the e-book is cheaper. A publisher sets the list price for the p-book. Amazon often discounts that. The publisher (if they use what is called the Agency Model) sets the Kindle store price…and Amazon is unable to discount that.

      Let’s say it goes like this:

      Hardback list price, set by the publisher: $25

      Amazon discounted price for that hardback: $15 (40% discount…not that unusual on popular books)

      Kindle store price, set by the publisher: $20

      in that case, the consumer could get the e-book more cheaply, but the publisher would also have priced it lower than the p-book.

      That sort of structure happens a lot.

  9. susan Says:

    I find myself reading a larger variety of subjects since I have a kindle and there are so many ebooks available for free. If I see something that even slightly interests me I feel I have to get it because it may not be free later. So, I have been reading more nonfiction than ever, and finding many truly good independent writers I probably would have never come across. I do indeed Love my kindle!!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Susan!

      Yes, I have also found greater discovery through e-books, and free e-books in particular. I’m an eclectic reader, but there are books marketed outside my demographic group that I’ve read where I probably wouldn’t have done so had I not gotten them as a free e-book…

  10. Man in the Middle Says:

    Yep, me too. I’m starting to be concerned I might fill my Kindle with unread books, even though I archive off it each one I finish.

    Each day as I am offered more free interesting-looking books than I can read that day, I wonder where it will all end.

    One place I’m sure it won’t end though, especially in today’s hard times, is with bestselling Kindle books continuing to cost over $3.

    I have samples of books about Photoshop Elements 10 on my Kindle, but because their current prices range from $13-22, I’m just figuring the program out on my own rather than even looking at the samples. When the program together with Premiere only cost $70 total, I’m having trouble imagining a manual worth even $13, let alone $22, unless I really needed to become an expert at using it soon..

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      I don’t worry about filling my Kindle…I only keep about ten Kindle store books on my Kindle at any given time. When I get books, I have them sent to my Cloud Reader, so they don’t take up memory on my device. Then, I just download the books I want with me now.

      • Pam Says:

        Bufo, how do you clean out your Kindle and only put books that are currently being read? I have too many on it and it’s getting sluggish. Thanks!

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Pam!

        Well, that’s going to depend on a couple of factors…as most things do. 😉

        Since you have a lot of books on there, it’s probably going to seem inefficient to remove them one at a time. On RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles…anything but a Kindle Fire), it’s generally right-flick, remove from device (it’s different on a Kindle 1). With a Fire, it’s long press (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second), then remove from device.

        Presuming you don’t want to do that for each title, you can do other things…but they will also affect other things.

        On a Fire, you can deregister it…that removes (or at least makes unavailable, but I think it actually removes them) local copies of the books. You would then need to re-register.

        On an RSK, you can reset to factory defaults. That will wipe out all of the personalization you’ve done to that device: wi-fi networks; internet bookmarks; personal documents you’ve put on there; and so on. That’s generally Home-Menu-Settings-Menu. If you don’t use your Kindle for a lot of internet, that could work reasonably well.

        In the future, I’d send the books you buy to the Cloud Reader (you can get that free from Amazon).

        Then, just download the books you want on the device from the archives

        or the Archived Items list on your device (called the Cloud on the Fire).

      • Pam Says:

        Thanks, Bufo – that’s what I thought but didn’t want to do something radical and then regret it. At this point on my K3, I don’t care about collections or anything else, so I’ll just reset to factory defaults, input my wireless password and be good to go! I wish when you buy books that you could put in the Cloud Reader in collections. That would be ideal! But for now, I’m just greatful Amazon stores for free! 🙂

  11. Lynn Says:

    I have found just the opposite. I have so many unread books in my library that it isn’t going to be possible to read all of them before the end of this year. If the genre is one I enjoy, I can’t help downloading free books. It just seems to me that if I don’t get it when it’s, I’m being wasteful(???). I read more books than ever and always have three going at once nowadays. My Kindles overfloweth!! (:

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lynn!

      I’m not sure that’s the opposite. 🙂 I suppose, since you seem to feel ravenous and I satisfied, that is the case…

  12. Rick Askenase Says:

    Great comments here. I am one of the few DX owners and love the large screen. I have always read about 2 books a week since high school (with some time off for comic book reading- now, not very often). I watch very little TV (though I will watch some of my concert and opera dvd’s), so there is plenty of time for reading. Also, my sleep pattern is such that most nights I wake up about 2 AM. read for a while, and then drift off to sleep again.

    Too many books? is there really such a thing? well, yes. I’ve got several hundred on my DX, more backed up at Amazon and on a dvd, so I’ll never lack for reading material. I “buy” a few freebees from Amazon that look interesting to me, and have bought more in the past (including some childrens books) with an expectation that my grown children and, someday, grandchildren, will want them on their kindles- but that is really a long shot hope, in truth.

    meanwhile, I am reading a little more than before. One thing I do notice- I am reading more LOOONNNG books on my kindle than ever before. I’v always loved big books- just getting lost in a story/characters that run for hundreds of pages is a real pleasure. so this is nothing new to me. But the Kindle is so perfect for long books, that I’m reading more of them than ever. (Right now I’m abolut 30% of the way through “Winds of Wat” and will read the sequel right after.) Reading some series with many books also attractsme and I’m doing some of that as well (Game of Thrones, Outlander)

    In short, I’m reading more than ever, NEVER touch a physical book (though I look through two newspapers a day), and keep on, keeping on.

    Love your blog. Rick

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Rick!

      I’ve also noticed that thing about long books…but I often don’t even realize they are going to be long before I start them. 🙂 It would have been difficult to carry around, say, two of the Harry Potter books, and it’s especially true for reference non-fiction. Oh, and that’s not to mention when I have an omnibus with ten or even one hundred books in it!

      I don’t read physical books any more either, unless I already own them and I’m basically picking them up for reference. A lot of that has to do with the text size, honestly…

  13. Edward Boyhan Says:

    You start an interesting chain of thought. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and like you I’ve always had to ensure that my living spaces had room for all the books (movers used to run away when they saw me coming:D). I took to buying 84″ high metal shelves to hold them all. When I moved from NH to FL I packed them all up and put them in storage.

    When I got to FL (mid 2004), my book buying “habit” (some smoke, some do drugs, others drink — I buy books 🙂 ) continued. By the time I got my first kindle DX (end 2009), I had amassed over 1000 print titles — God knows (maybe he doesn’t?) how many are in storage up in NH — must be well over 10,000.

    When I got my KDX, I went cold turkey — I’ve not bought a single print book since, and rarely even visit bookstores (I did wander around the local Borders a bit as they were shutting down, but nothing appealed). I have about 1000 titles spread over my 3 kindles (a management problem that) split equally between pleasure and technical/professional.

    I rarely read in parallel: one after the other is the modus operandi for me. Even in the print days I always kept a pile of 10-15 books in a pile on my bed “to be read” (always a problem for the significant other of the moment 😀 ). Now I keep 10-15 titles in a kindle “TBR” collection. After it’s read I move it to an “Already Read” collection (for the mass market stuff — the technical/professional books are for reference, and they are put in topic-oriented collections). One other thing: I have converted all my print periodicals to digital, and where possible to kindle accessible formats.

    One other change has come with the advent of eBooks: I’ve become much more sensitive to price. In the print era I thought nothing of dropping $20 for the hardback version of the latest from a favored author (I would say half of the mass market print titles I have here in FL are hardbacks). The big6 are trying to adopt a hardback “elevated” price for eBooks at initial release, and then drop it to a “paperback” level (which is usually $9.99 — actually $1-2 over prevailing paperback prices) about a year after initial publication. I find myself unwilling to pay the “elevated” price at all, and I find myself buying much more from indie sources. This isn’t in any sense driven by economic concerns — more from a distaste with big6 business actions (non-actions?).

    It isn’t a boycott or anything — I’ll still buy favorite authors’ stuff from the big6 — only now I’ll wait the year.

    One last thing: I just got the third installment in Robert Charles Wilson’s “Spin” trilogy as an eBook. I had the first two in the series in print. As I started to read the third (“Vortex”), I realized that I couldn’t remember what had gone before — so I went and got the first two titles off the bookshelves, and started to read the whole thing from the beginning. I’m about half way through the first book, and I find myself thinking: “Why not just go ahead and buy the kindle versions of the first two books — turning pages on print books is such a drag — so twentieth century”! — and when you fall asleep and drop the book, you lose your place! 😉

  14. Zebras Says:

    Yes, I too no longer fear the availability of reading material. There is no way me plus family on the account could possibly read the archive in our lifetimes at this point. I actually made a shift this week to practically ignoring the free offerings because the archive size is overwhelming the Mindle and Touch’s programming. Hoping Amazon will redesign the software to eliminate these problems. I love that the availability of cheap and free books makes me more willing to try new genres. When I was spending 4 plus dollars on a paperback, I would stick to the tried and true so as not waste money.

  15. Maire Says:

    Had to laugh at your EMP comment. It would be my worst nightmare after TEOTWAWKI! Think Faraday Cage…

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Maire!

      “…and I feel fine…” 😉

    • elaine Says:

      i have seriously thought about buying a mindle and keeping it in a homemade- think broken microwave- faraday cage just in case….lol

      love the article- i too have noticed a shift in my thinking- i have loaded up with so many free books and still keep up easily with my favorite authors that i now delete the emails i get listing free books some days

      keep up teh thinking bufo

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, elaine!

        Unfortunately, I think the EMP might also knock out your solar charger,a nd then I”m not quite sure where you’d be…hmm…maybe you should keep your Solio in your Amana. 😉

  16. Jennifer J. Martin (Gran Jen) Says:

    I, too, no longer fear running out of books. And the advent of so many good “freebies” has really changed my reading habits. Living on social security made my book buying a little cramped, but now I have books I won’t live long enough to read. I’m reading more than ever, and reading things I would never have bought in the old days. So I’m basically a happy camper. Happy reading, everyone!

  17. watch Says:


    […]Five words I never thought I’d say: “I have enough to read” « I Love My Kindle[…]…

  18. Ewan Morrison: “…epublishing is another tech bubble” « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Five words I never thought I’d say: “I have enough to read” […]

  19. Jim Ferry Says:

    Good luck to you and return soon. You are definitely appreciated!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jim!

      Aw, shucks! Thanks for the kind words! If I can make things better for others, even if that’s just a smile at a silly pun, I feel like I’m earning my place in the world…

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