On our guest Kindle

On our guest Kindle

Back in November, I wrote

A Kindle for the guest room

We did have a guest stay here, and that worked very well!

Having gotten the

Massive new update for 1st generation Paperwhite

which I think has greatly improved the Cloud Collections, I thought it might make sense to create a “Guest Bookshelf”.

I can manage that from my Kindle Fire HDX. I find it’s easier to manage Collections on a Kindle Fire than on a Paperwhite, although since these are now synchronized, I could do it in either place.

After I created the Collection, I did download the books to the guest Paperwhite. I did about one page at a time, and gave the Kindle some time to index them (leaving it plugged in). It used to be a real risk to download a whole bunch of books to a Kindle at once (and probably even worse to transfer a slew of them by USB), and I suspect that’s not so much the case now (the processors have improved). Still, no reason not to take it slow…we aren’t expecting any guests for a while. 😉

The next thing was to go through and pick some books! Woo hoo!

We currently have over 3,000 in our Kindle account. I wanted to pick a variety…the eclectic sort of mix you might find staying on a tropical island, or in a lodge in Alaska.

I was also driven by the idea of having some of the books be ones that someone has been meaning to read, but never got around to doing so. 🙂

These are the ones I have there now. I’m sure I’ll change it around from time to time.

    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
    • The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (at AmazonSmile) by Carson McCullers)
    • The Book of the D*mned by Charles Fort
    • Brain Rules (at AmazonSmile) by John Medina (Review: Brain Rules)
    • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick
    • Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
    • The Classic Mystery Collection (this have over 100 titles, including all of the public domain Holmes titles)
    • The Complete Wizard of Oz Series by L. Frank Baum (and the first book by Ruth Plumly Thompson)
    • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    • A Dark-Adapted Eye by Ruth Rendell
    • Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison


    • Dracula by Bram Stoker
    • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
    • The Fifties by David Halberstram
    • Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker


    • Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco
    • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
    • From Here to Eternity by James Jones
    • A Game of Thrones 4-Book Bundle by George R.R. Martin
    • Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond by Hans Holzer
    • The Giver by Lois Lowry
    • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    • The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzch
    • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
    • History of Rock and Roll (Vook)
    • Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
    • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
    • In Her Name by Michael R. Hicks
    • A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton
    • Jaws by Peter Benchley
    • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
    • The Kindle Kollection: Three Early Books about the Kindle (by me)
    • Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs
    • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    • Lost Horizon by James Hilton
    • The Man Who Lied to His Laptop by Clifford Nass and Corina Yen
    • Mary Poppins by P.O. Travers
    • The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
    • The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (by me)
    • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
    • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
    • Native Sun by Richard Wright
    • On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
    • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
    • Penguin Island by Anatole France
    • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
    • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    • The Poems of Walt Whitman
    • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
    • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


    • The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
    • A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
    • Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
    • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi


    • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    • Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
    • The Scarlet Pimpernel  by Baronness Emmuska Orczy
    • The Science Fiction Megapack
    • Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
    • The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson
    • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
    • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
    • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
    • Swim: Why We Love the Water by Lynn Sherr


    • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
    • Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes edited by Timothy Callahan


    • The Ten-Cent Plague by David Hajdu
    • This Perfect Day by Ira Levin


    • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
    • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
    • To Sir, With Love by Karyn Mitchell and Peter Dawes
    • The Transparent Society by David Brin


  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
  • White Fang by Jack London
  •  Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell
  • Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
  • Works of Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I also give them access to the Cloud (but not to the Kindle store, just to avoid accidents)…which gives them about 3,000 more titles.

What do you think? If you were staying at our house for a week or two, would you be able to find something to read in that bunch? I know it might be a big heavy on geek titles, but there are other options. 😉 Do you have suggestions for books I should add? I’d be willing to hear them, although this is going to always be pretty subjective. It’s not a list of the best books ever, or the books I think you should read. It’s partially about giving people the serendipitous discovery of something they enjoy which they haven’t read before…or want to re-read.

If you have any questions about why I selected any of them, of suggestions, feel free to comment on this post.

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

20 Responses to “On our guest Kindle”

  1. Phink Says:

    Good idea I guess but the few guest I have and the few times I’m a guest all we want to do is converse till we have to go to bed. Only one thing I love more than reading is conversation. I have never had a guest that spent any significant time alone in the bedroom except to sleep. Great idea though you had. Its awesome you go out of your way to make them feel at home. If I were your guest though I’d just talk your ear off instead of reading until you got tired of it and ran me off LOL.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      I love conversation as well, and may chat for hours. However, when it is time for bed, I’m going to read first…it’s part of my transition to sleep. 🙂 We also aren’t all awake at the same time (my Significant Other and I often get up earlier than our guests…it’s not uncommon that I’m up well before 5:00 AM), and it can be difficult to converse freely on some of our public transit. Then, we might separate somewhere, and be waiting for somebody…the possibilities for reading time are broad! 🙂

      I don’t think you could talk my ear off, by the way…although I have joked with people that I was once treated for a sun-burned tongue. 😉

  2. Harold Delk Says:

    Love your collection; if you ever decide to open a B&B I’d like to be your second guest. Work out the kinks then call me.

    Updated our PW2s today … amazingly better experience now especially with collections. Very easy to manage and customize now. I consider it fixed; case closed … first call resolution perfect.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Yes, I think the new update is great!

      When I mention the idea of a B&B (Bed & Breakfast) to my Significant Other on our walk this morning, there will be hearty laughter. 🙂 We do not keep our house in good physical shape…intellectual and emotional, sure, but, just to mention one thing, there are shredded dog toys (and the remains of some things not intended to be dog toys) all over…

  3. Carolyn perreau Says:

    quite a nice selection. it makes me feel better about how many books I have on the cloud. but I am trying to get a collection for my sisters family when I’m no longer here

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Carolyn!

      That’s always on my mind getting books…future generations. Nice of you to do that!

  4. Zebras Says:

    I’m imagining that you will need to bribe guests with a kindle of their own to get them to go home, especially if they start Game of Thrones. I think you are the nicest host ever!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      Well, they could always just buy the e-book…they don’t even need to buy a Kindle to continue it. 🙂 We like to make people feel happy and comfortable…and not just when they are our guests. 🙂

  5. Brad Says:

    Have you read all these? What an eclectic collection. Love your blog it has helped me out so many times with all our e-readers and Fires.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Brad!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Not quite all of them, but the majority. 🙂 Let’s see…

      I haven’t read:

      A Confederacy of Dunces
      A Dark-Adapted Eye
      Foucault’s Pendulum
      From Here to Eternity
      The Giver
      The Handmaid’s Tale
      The Hangman’s Daughter
      Julie of the Wolves
      Native Son
      The Prince of Tides
      Red Mars
      The Science Fiction Megapack (but I’m sure I’ve read some of the stories in it).
      Shoeless Joe
      To Sir With Love
      We Need New Names
      Wonder Boys

      I’m still reading:

      The Classic Mystery Collection
      A Game of Thrones
      Penguin Island

  6. Lady Galaxy Says:

    You know the folks you are most likely to have as guests, so perhaps you have a feel for what books they might like. I’ve read 39 of your choices, and some of them seem a bit long and heavy to read while on a visit. Is there really anyone you want staying long enough to read War and Peace? How about a few more essay and short story collections? Erma Bombeck and James Herriot come to mind.

    I know this is about books, but what about a few “active content” games for folks who might want to relax a bit before going to sleep. My favorite is “Every Word.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I did consider adding more short stories, and I think I might, partially on your suggestion. 🙂 The books are on a Kindle, so of course, they aren’t actually heavy. 😉 Have I had guests here who would read War and Peace completely during their stays? Yes, I’d say confidently I have. Part of that just depends on how much of the time they’ll spend reading, and how quickly they read. I also sort of liked the idea of having that challenge in the list. 😉

      I do have Scrabble on the device as active content. That, however, is not in that collection…I suppose it could be, but right now, I have it as a separate item outside of the Collection: makes it easier to find and to recognize as something different.

      • D. Knight Says:

        I’d agree with Lady Galaxy. Although I like your collection, I’d prefer more shorter options, too. Maybe O. Henry or some famous author’s short story collections. There’s “Twisted”-a short story collection by Jeffrey Deaver. I enjoyed reading those stories even though they’re not my usual style.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, D.!

        There are some short stories on the bookshelf now (the Father Brown stories are part of the Classic Mystery Collection), but I think you are both making a good point.

        I’ve added The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells: I think the title story is one of the best short stories.

        It’s interesting: I have somewhat of a reluctance to get books specifically for the bookshelf. Not sure why: I’ve often gotten books with the intent to have them available for other people.

        I think part of why we don’t have a lot of short stories in our Kindle Cloud already is that my Significant Other isn’t really fond of them. I have lots of them on my paper shelves, but not so many in e-book.

        Something for me to consider…thanks!

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        If you’re wanting to add some short story collections to your guest room Kindle, check out today’s Kindle daily deals. There’s a short story collection from Flannery O’Conner for the literary fiction lovers, a collection of Miss Marple short stories for the mystery lover, and a huge collection of Ray Bradburry shorts for the sci-fi lovers! There are a lot of other gems available as well. The theme is “Books that inspired our passion for reading.”

  7. tellthetruth1 Says:

    I’ve got a few of those titles myself. A very good list, Bufo. Might look some more of them up myself 🙂

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, tellthetruth1!

      In an ideal world, I would have had time to link to all of them so you didn’t have to look them up…didn’t happen that way, though. They should generally be easy to find in the Kindle store…although it’s worth noting that I get them in the USA Kindle store as a resident of the USA, so they might not be available everywhere.

  8. Elizabeth Says:

    Love the idea of a guest room Kindle. You have a nice eclectic mix of book titles. Like others I would recommend some way to identify short-stories and novellas (unless your guests stay a long time). Perhaps add a copy of your list with some description or grouping (fiction, non-fiction, short story, etc.) on the Guest Kindle. Then when the guest leaves you can also send them a copy of the list.

  9. Round up #243: 100 comics for $10, understanding the new Cloud Collections | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] my regular readers, Lady Galaxy, suggested I might buy a couple to add to our Guest Bookshelf (see On our guest Kindle for a listing of the books we have on our Guest Kindle). A few people, I think wisely, suggested […]

  10. Books on my Kindles #2 (part 4) | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] On our guest Kindle […]

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