Friday, June 5, 2015

Jenny's Book 6.15: The Shining Girls


Every once in a while, I make the mistake of buying a bunch of Kindle books all at once when there is a sale. This is one of those books. I think it was some sort of special sale, because this is a pretty new-ish book, published in 2013. From what I could tell, it's about a time-traveling killer that's set in Chicago. I think the Chicago thing was probably the hook for me. I like a creepy book, but the last book I read about a time-traveling serial killer, NOS4A2, was so fucking scary, I have never finished it. I keep thinking I should finish it, but then I think about how scary it was... I don't know. Maybe I'll read The Shining Girls as a way of leveling back up to that one!

Here's the reason I say that buying a bunch of Kindle books is a mistake. Unlike pBooks, eBooks don't remind you that you exist. They just...linger there, waiting for you to remember you bought them. I guess I should spend some quality time this summer organizing my Kindle books into folders, but it's such a pain creating and making collections or whatever. However, now that I think about it, maybe that's easier to do now than it used to be. It's been a while since I fooled around with it. I think the easiest way to do it would be *from a computer* rather than the actual Kindle! Maybe I should check it out. Hmmm. Do you keep your Kindle books organized?

All right, it's summer. Time to read. Along with my planned TBR books, my book club book, I also scored a rather intimidating stash from the library. I mean, I obviously won't get through all of the 12 books I checked out, but I like to keep it aspirational!



  1. Well! This post just set me off on a research mission, Jennifer!

    First of all, I don't buy many Kindle books that I am not planning to read right away because of exactly the problem you are describing. I can't remember what I have read and what I haven't read and Kindle books that I buy and don't read right away will get lost forever.

    The only way I have really handled this at all is to immediately download purchased books to my Kindle device so at least I know that the items *on my Kindle* are unread. It was a bit of a pain when I got a new Kindle, as I had to re-add them, but, again, there aren't that many. Also, it doesn't help with the phone, which I use a lot for reading. So... imperfect.

    So you got me thinking about re-visiting library organization. When Kindle first came out, there was zero you could do about organizing, but I've seen some stuff flit past over the years and... well, you know I love to organize... so I just looked into it.

    And here's what I've found:

    1. Stupidly, you cannot organize Collections on the Amazon site (you know, where it says "Manage your *Content* and Devices") (side note -- I did take a few minutes while I was there to delete alllll of my previous iPhones that were still hanging around, as well as my old Kindle. Heh.) OR Kindle for Mac, so... there's no way to do it on your computer! (At least, not that I could find, and I just did some pretty extensive Googling to back that up.)

    2. So you can organize on the iPhone, iPad, or a Kindle device *but* those collections do *not* sync with Kindle for Mac (?!) so if you wanted to do any organizing, you have to do it on a handheld device and you can only access it on a handheld device.

    Good news, however:

    1. It's super easy to create "Collections" on the iPhone. (Home > Collections. Tap +, enter the name of the Collection, and tap to add all the books you want.) This seems like the easiest thing to do -- make a TBR folder and add new books to it immediately (or relatively soon after buying -- sort buy "recently purchased" if you've let some time lapse).

    Bummer you cannot do it as you buy the book, but the 2nd step is not too arduous. (You can also do it from the book itself -- tap and hold the book. An "Add to Collection" option appears. Boom.)

    2. It's all in the Cloud, so you don't have to download the books in order to organize them. That's helpful if you've got a space limitation on your device, or if you switch between devices (except for Kindle for Mac, which is, again, annoying. This is the point of the cloud, Amazon.)

    3. It does sync nicely between the handheld devices, at least. (If you cannot find it at first, be sure you are on "Cloud" -- then you should see the collections.)

    My equipment here: a Mac, iPhone, and a Voyage. Based on my quick experimenting, the iPhone is way easier than the Voyage. While there are many things I like about my Voyage, the touch screen isn't as good as my phone. However, if you have a Fire (can't remember -- do you?), it probably would be as easy to use that as the phone. Same for iPad. Bigger, better touch screens, of course.

    So... there ya have it. Turns out, I had about 12 unread books in my library (at least, I *think* they're unread. Again, my memory for books I've read is shit.) so I put those in a "TBR" Collection very easily on the phone. Went to my Voyage and easily found that Collection in the cloud.

    We'll see how it all goes...

  2. Also -- this book sounds interesting.

    And... I listened to the aBook of NOS4A2 and Kate Mulgrew was the narrator. She's was creepy as hell. I still cannot hear the word "Christmas" without getting chills. But perhaps completing the book would put your fears to rest? Like... closure would take care of it? Just a thought. I think I would be more scared if I stopped in the middle of a horror book -- "How the HELL does it all turn out?!"

  3. Now that I'm back from Michigan, I'm going to do some Kindle clean up and see what we're really talking about here. Thanks for researching!

    I have the Kindle Paperwhite, which is what I travel with, but will also read on my phone. I don't usually read on my iPad, so if I wanted to organize from there, it would have to add it in order to do so.

    If you create collections on one device, does it sync to the other ones? I'm about to find out!

    ALSO, I should finish NOS4A2. I think I can do it! Summer!

    1. Yes. That's #3 under "Good News" above: "It does sync nicely between the handheld devices."

      By "handheld devices," I meant "everything but an actual computer." So... your Paperwhite and phone will sync up. (Some basic instructions included up there, as well!)