More to read is leading to less reading?

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As has been discussed, I am an avid reader.  Always have been. My folks used to get annoyed I’d finish all my Nancy Drew books in a day or two and be asking to go back to the bookstore to buy more.  Owning an e-reader has opened me up to an even bigger world of books.  There are free deals every.single.day.  While I don’t always get things, I have to say I “pick up” freebies or sale books several times a week. My To-Read list is huuuuuuge.  If they were physical books, I’m sure the tower of them would be teetering over right now.

Here’s are the  problems I’m having though:

1) I don’t always read them in the order I get them.  Sometimes…okay, most of the time, I’m flipping through the “pages” on my Kindle reading titles and I have completely forgotten what they’re about. I’ve forgotten what drew me to get it in the first place.  It often ends up leaving books on the list for a long time, until I’m desperate to read something new.  A lot of times when I get to something I start and think “OH! This is good! Why did I wait so long to read it?”

As an author who took part in Amazon’s KDP program, I gave away a huge amount of my first book on my free days. I want to say somewhere between 8,000 and 9,000 copies. People probably had the same mentality as me: “This looks good! It’s free. I’ll get to it someday.”  Now my book probably sits on the last “page” of their Kindles waiting for a read.  I think this because out of all those freebies, I think I’ve gotten maybe five random reviews in different places (Amazon, Goodreads, etc). I know a lot of people can’t be bothered to leave reviews or ratings but I’d like to think the percentage out of that many people would be higher. I’m hoping when people finally get around to reading it, they’ll opt to leave a couple of words. We shall see. At the rate some people are probably going with acquiring new reads, it could be years before I see those reviews.

2) I am finding, with such a long list of stuff available for me (not even including the free deals I can find that day!) I am more picky about the writing.  I’m an Indie author. I have found a great deal of fellow Indies that I follow and love to read. I have also found a bunch of so-so Indies and some who should probably not be allowed to publish again unless they go through some rigorous training…It used to be, I’d suffer through a so-so or bad book just to see if it got better and to say I finished it. I hated to start something and not complete it. I felt like I was cheating myself by not knowing the ending. Now? I end up with the mentality of “why am I suffering when I could be moving onto something that is better?”

I have a feeling I’m not alone in this sentiment. I think it’s helped me to realize I need to be able to grab my reader’s attention and try my damnedest to hold it otherwise they’re going to move onto something else, leaving my poor story half finished.

If you have an e-reader, are you finding that having more options is leading to you reading less, whether it’s actually getting to the book you purchased or completing the ones you start?

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4 responses »

  1. I totally agree, M.B.
    I gave away about 15,000 copies of Peril before Select started up. My own Kindle has about 250 titles on it (I know it’s not really a lot compared to many) and I’m never going to get to read most of them (or else I’ve started and given up, a habit I’ve also only developed since I began e-reading). There’s a great temptation to go and scoop up freebies when those lovely emails arrive with all the links.
    The reviews do continue to trickle in, though.

    • I have a hard time getting reviews to come in but hopefully when/if people get around to reading my stuff they’ll be kind enough to leave a word (good or bad). It’s a good thing ebooks don’t take up physical space because I’d probably be dubbed a hoarder these days with the amount I have! haha.

  2. I have started to build categories for my books, but that’s only good for the ones I’ve read. The ones I haven’t read, or completed yet, are either filed under “Reading” or “To Be Read.” Not very helpful. I may need to break up “To Be Read” into separate TBR categories listing the genre. Most times I can tell by the title whether or not it is a hot, steamy historical or a kinky, sexy contemporary, but not always. I really can’t say I’m buying more and reading less, since my TBR of paperbacks has taken over the house. At least, since I got my Kindle, it has stopped requiring a weekly feeding. However, my Kindle appears to be insatiable.

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