Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have noticed I while I go I tweeted the following:
“Been staring at my Kindle TBR for about an hour. Can’t decide what to read. I wonder if it is because it’s just a list of grey writing?!”
This was then picked up by Cat Dean at Canongate and discussed a little in one of their blog posts. It has been bothering me ever since. Once upon a time, I hated eReaders… with a passion. I wrote many blog posts detailing how they were horrible items and I’d never own one. The soon changed once I saw many benefits to owning a device, but recently I have found myself shunning it for various reasons. One of the predominant causes is as listed above. Whenever I come to choose a book to read, my Kindle gets forgotten and even if I pick it up and browse it, nothing jumps out.
To me, this issue arises because my base reasoning for choosing a book is a tactile sensation. I like to stand in front of my TreeBooks and view the spines, read the synopsis on the back or inside the dust jacket. I like to feel the heft of a novel and weigh it against others and the eye is naturally a major part of this selection process. Despite sound advice, I tend to choose books by the cover, but also by how the spines catch my eye or the style of the font that is used.
When clicking through the list of books on my Kindle I lose everything single one of those things. [Now, here is where I say that I own a basic model Kindle, no flashy screens or covers art for me] So, for me, my eyes can’t be attracted by a lovely font, nor can my hands interact with the delicate embossing on a book jacket. I am given a formal, bland and grey list. Gone is the impulse inspiration that a real book gives you. However, my Kindle still means something to me. So how can I solve this issue, without needing to use my tablet or buy a Kindle Fire.
While my solution doesn’t add any of the tactility of a real bookcase, I have decided to be as ruthless with my Kindle as with my book culls. I decided the only way to get around this is to limit what I see on my Kindle. I created a new collection and decided that I will only have ten books within that folder and no more. I trawled through the 81 unread titles on the unit and selected the ten books that appeal to me the most and popped them into the new collection. Then I deleted everything else.
I know, Kindles are great because they can hold so many books, but sometimes that is an issue. We have all been spoiled for choice before and I feel that is one of the issues I have. The beauty of this technology is that I can delete everything and just redownload them in the future. My plan is to work through the ten books in the collection and then choose ten more to replace them, eliminating many from choice and cutting down on the time spent looking. Granted, it is never going to be like standing in front of bulging shelves, but something had to be done other wise I will miss out on the books I genuinely want to read but often forget about.
It isn’t a foolproof idea. I may still forget to check it and may forget to replenish the selection, but we’ll wait and see. I’ll report back to see if my Kindle reading increases with this new plan, or not. For those interested, the ten books I chose for the collection were (in no particular order):
- Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley
- Chaplin and Company by Mave Fellowes
- The Best of all Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
- The 10pm Question by Kate Di Goldi
- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- The Rest is Silence by Carla Guelfenbein
- Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan