Spot check #1: five books from my shelves

Spot check #1: five books from my shelves

The USA Kindle store is likely to hit three million titles by the end of this month or so.

I’ve been noticing more of the books on the “backlist” (not new titles, but ones which might still be purchased) showing up in the store.

In particular, I was struck by seeing some that I own.

Thinking of that, I got curious.

What would happen if I just picked five random books out of our floor to ceiling home library, and checked them in the Kindle store? Would they be there? How many would be in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

? What would they cost?

I decided to do the experiment. 🙂

The choices weren’t truly random, but I didn’t know at all which specific books I would select. That was important: I could, for example, take five Shakespeare books, and they’d all be in the store.

What I did was come up with a number. It had to be large enough so I couldn’t easily predict where it would end up (I do know my library pretty well), but small enough to be a manageable search item.

I went with thirty-four. I figured I wouldn’t do this again this year, so I added twenty to fourteen (for 2014).

Then I closed my eyes, touched a book on a shelf, and started counting until I reached the thirty-fourth book.

I started on different shelves. I could easily have gotten just science fiction and fantasy books, I didn’t want to do that.

I was a little trepidatious going into…I’ll admit, some of the books on which I landed might change your perceptions of me. 😉

Here’s what I got:

Sky Pirates of Callisto
by Lin Carter
Printing date: January 1973
Dell mass market paperback
Original price: $0.95
Not available

While I didn’t find the Callisto books, a

search for Lin Carter in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

did turn up quite a few titles, including Thongor, some Cthulhu, and some Conan. A few of the books were available through KU.

This is space opera, along the lines of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom series. Lin Carter wrote quite a bit of this type of material…not, by the way, making fun of it, but there is perhaps a tinge of meta.

When Do Fish Sleep? and other imponderables of everyday life
by David Feldman
Printing date: 1990
HarperPerennial trade paperback
Original price: $10.00
not in KU
available through Kindle Matchbook for $2.99

When Do Fish Sleep? (Imponderables Books) (at Amazon Smile*)
Price at time of writing: $8.00
published by Harper

These are fun books…the basic premise is that they are about things you can’t figure out just by thinking about them. You can’t “ponder” your way to the answer.

by Hans Holzer
Printing date: 1976
Fawcett Gold Medal mass market paperback
Original price: $1.75
not available

When you do a

search for Hans Holzer in the USA Kindle store (at AmazonSmile*)

there are about ten real results (searches often find things that mention that for which you are searching, but aren’t really matches)…and a number of those are in Kindle Unlimited. This one intrigued me: Holzer really popularized “ghost hunting”, and this was the author’s take on UFOs. It’s not unreasonable to speculate on whether the two things might be related…

Drama: Principles & Plays
edited by Theodore W. Hatlen
Copyright date: 1967
Meredith trade paperback (textbook?)
Original price: unknown (none printed on the cover)
not available

No Hatlen books in the USA Kindle store (but you can buy some of the books in paper…you’ll pay a lot). I bought this used…there is a twenty-five cent price penciled inside, so that’s probably what I paid for it. 😉

Tragic Prelude: Bleeding Kansas
by Karen Zeinert
Copyright 2001
Linnet Book hardback
Original price: unknown
not available

You can buy it a used library bound book for a penny. I don’t think I ever actually read this one. It’s a non-fiction account of the formation of the Kansas Territory in 1854.

While only one of the five books was actually available in the Kindle store, I like that there were books by three out of the five authors. Finding Lin Carter in KU was nice: I’ll add some to my KU wish list at Amazon (which makes it easier for me to pick more KU books to add when the time comes.

This was fun, and I might try it again! Let me know if you found it interesting by commenting on this post…

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

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.


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