I’m not a hoarder of free Kindle books, but I do download the occasional freebie. A title or cover may catch my eye, or a blurb may sound too good to resist. More than likely, an indie author’s name I’m familiar with crops up in my Twitter or Facebook feed, and I figure what the hell. It’s free. Fast forward two years. All of those free Kindle books sat mocking me. The sheer number lining my virtual bookshelves dulled my desire to read rather than fuel it. What to do? I hit delete last weekend. Over and over again. Title, by disappearing title, my relief grew.
Now that I’ve committed the great Kindle purge, I’m recommitting to searching for books that truly spark my interest. Back in February, I posed the question how often we quit reading a book. Believe it or not, I have gotten better about putting books aside, but still a sense of obligation lingers. No book appeals to all readers, so I will tell myself at least my clicks on those free Kindle books hopefully helped someone climb the Amazon charts.
But what of receiving free Kindle books for the reviews I post on this blog? Granted, I’ve connected with some great writers like Denise Baer, Candy Korman, SP Mount, and Larry Crane (to name just a few). Since I don’t post one- or two-star reviews for independent authors or for any book I quit reading, you’ve not been privy to some of the books that didn’t make the cut to be reviewed on this blog.
Just a few days ago, I put aside a shapeless, meandering memoir that lacked chapters. Then there was a novella with a creepy cover I liked, but the first two paragraphs read like a middle school attempt. Or what of the story of a pop star that contained an orgy of epic proportions? Even better is the slow-paced horror novel’s author who retaliated and gave my titles one-star on Goodreads.
Where am I going with this? Once again, this is my way of owning up to doing more of what I like and less of what I feel obligated to do.
I’ll still probably download free Kindle books. After all, I would hope others would do the same for me. It’s not like eBooks take up space, unless we can count the space in my head, the space that is getting tired of reading books that simply aren’t ready for the light of day.
I need to start reading the books on my wishlist, and those books reflect the reading tastes I’ve spent years cultivating: carefully crafted prose, attention to pacing and structure, not to mention marrying a great plot and characters to deeper thematic elements.
Needless to say, when I do agree to review a book here, I have made the decision to at least pay for a copy of the darn thing. At least then I am putting my money where my mouth is.
How many free Kindle books have you downloaded? As a whole, what impression have they left you with?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2013.