Why I signed up for Kindle Unlimited, and then quit it again right away

I am trying to save money at the moment, and it occurred to me that if I read 137 books last year that meant I had paid for most of them, and that is quite a bit of money.

Now I’ve always wanted to own the books I’ve read but on the other hand I read almost everything on my Kindle, and that is more like borrowing the book anyway.

I don’t mind because I like the convenience, I love the feeling of the Kindle in my hands, it stays open and flat so I can knit while reading without a problem, and this is the only way to carry around several hundred books in my purse.

Also if I want a new book I just click – and there it is.

I don’t have to go to the bookstore, see when it’s open, convince the saleswoman that yes, the book I want does indeed exist, and that she should order it for me, and then wait for two weeks until they phone me that it’s actually there. Which is a kind of improvement because it used to be that books in English took four to six weeks when ordered. If it was possible to order them from here at all.

Plus ebooks don’t need shelves.

So I thought to myself that I was reading a whole lot of non-fiction these days and those books are way expensive, and most of them I won’t be re-reading anyway. I could save a ton of money if I got Kindle Unlimited. All the books I want for ten Euros a month.

So I signed up. The first month is free. Then I pulled out my “buy later”-list of book titles.

I looked them all up in the store. All 43 of them.

You know how many of those were on Kindle Unlimited?


Yep. Two of 43. The books on Kindle Unlimited that I wanted to read were “Tommy Black and the Staff of Light” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

So I checked those two out (and a few days later “Supercharge Your Kindle Sales”) and quit.

I still get to read those books for free (even though I later decided to actually buy the “7 Habits”-book because I’m sure I will want to re-read it at some point.) but I had the feeling that paying 10 Euros a month for tat service wouldn’t actually save me any money.

Pity. I really liked the idea.


Books I read

Books I read in April 2016

So last month I seem to have read way more fiction than non-fiction which I find surprising. But then I have been reading at least two more non-fiction books during that time, I just havn’t finished them yet. Yes, I am one of those people who have several books going on at all times. I am also trying to read through the pile of comic books I have subscribed to, and the pile of magazines. (I am actually quite proud of being just a year behind on “Green Lantern” as of this morning.)

But back to ‘real’ books, first the fiction ones:

  1. Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James: This is a cozy cat mystery. I just finished it yesterday. I have to say I’m not quite sure why I keep buying and reading these. I always wait for them to come out in paperback, though. I do like the characters somewhat, and I keep coming back to see what happens next. On the other hand I don’t particular like the author’s writing style. We seem to have completely different preference in that. The good thing is that the phrase “oaken table” didn’t appear in this one at all. Also the cat doesn’t talk which I really appreciate. I seem to have a weakness for cozy mysteries but I think I would like recommendations for a different series. One with knitting might be good but it’s not mandatory. I can totally live without pets in stories, talking or otherwise. I used to love Rita Mae Brown’s “Sneaky Pie”-series but only up to a certain point. So hit me with cozy mystery recommendations, please.
  2. Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr: I found this one through Chuck Wendig’s site, I think, got myself the sample and was intrigued enough to check it out on Kindle Unlimited. I like it but not enough to pay a lot of money for it. All in all I found the world and characters intriguing but there were passages where I felt things could have moved a little faster. I probably will read the next one in the series anyway, though.
  3. The Last Dreamkeeper by Amber Benson: I pre-ordered this right after finishing the first in the series even though I had to buckle down at times to read all the way through. And this one was the same for me. I like the story, the characters, the world-building but there were places where I found my mind wandering while reading. I still want to read the next one (I guess there will be another one) but I won’t look forward to it with eager anticipation.
  4. Sideswiped, The Drafter, and Waylaid by Kim Harrison: I only just bought these. I was a bit wary of starting a new series even if it was by Kim Harrison. I had read my way through the Rachel Morgan-series as fast as I possibly could and I would certainly have bought “The Drafter” the day it came out if it hadn’t been at hardcover price. So I waited, and waited, and almost forgot about it, until I read Winterkatze’s review of “Sideswiped”. She was not convinced but I loved the beginning so much that I bought it right away, plus “The Drafter” and pre-ordered the next book that will come out in the fall. The whole thing is intriguing, fast-paced, and – among other things – deals with how memory works, and how it defines us as persons, and how the body remembers sometimes even if the mind doesn’t, and the whole thing is utterly fascinating. Yes, the main character sometimes appears too good to be true but I didn’t mind that at all. “Waylaid” is definitely the weakest of the three. (Sideswiped and Waylaid are novellas that are probably meant to lure new readers to the series.) Harrison herself said that the things reads like fanfic. And if not taken too seriously it is actually quite fun. I have to say I can’t wait for the next one to come out.
  5. Visitor by C.J, Cherryh: The, um 17th novel in the Foreigner series. I’ve waited for this to come out all year. And I was rather frustrated when I couldn’t buy it as an ebook for two more weeks after the hardcover had been published. And I was not disappointed. I find that I read these a bit slower than other books, maybe because the writing is rather dense. Remembering Holly Lisle’s class on revision I had to chuckle at the sheer amount of scenes where the only thing happening is a character sitting around thinking. Which should be a big no-no but Cherryh is making this highly entertaining and filled with suspension. I wasn’t bored for a second while reading this, and the big twist at the end is epic. I’m basically holding my breath until the next one.
  6. One Good Dragon deserves another by Rachel Aaron: I found Rachel Aaron through Gail Carriger’s blog, I think, and through her blog post of how she went from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000. And yes, I did buy and read that book right away. And subscribed to her blog for her writing tips. Anyway, I wanted to look at her fiction as well, and started with the Heartstriker series. I absolutely love it. I devoured the first two books in record time, and am now twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next one to come out. I love the world she built with its mixture of magic and technology, and the premises of the book that one can have a really nice hero is awesome. Sadly I’m on a book-buying budget right now (well, I am on a budget for everything right now) which means I will have to wait at least a month before I can buy “Fortune’s Pawn” but I am really looking forward to reading that one too. (Don’t let the cover fool you, Rachel Aaron and Rachel Bach are the same person. Just different names for her fantasy and scifi stuff.)

I know this is really long already. But there are only two non-fiction books on the list so hold on.

  1. Supercharge Your Kindle Sales by Nick Stephenson: Obviously this one is only relevant for people who want to sell ebooks via Amazon. It does what it says on the tin, the author has two nice tips. I have no idea if they work because I don’t have a book out yet. This one is rather short and not expensive, and I actually only borrowed it on my free first month of Kindle Unlimited.
  2. IronFit – Triathlon Training for Women by Melanie Fink and Don Fink: No, I’m not training for a triathlon. But I seem to be oddly fascinated with them, and keep reading books written by people who did them, or Ultra-Marathons, and other things like that. I managed to become somewhat sporty in my ripe old age of 48, and have been looking at ways to improve my ‘training’, and at ways to do different things instead of running, running, running, and a bit of strength training. This book is really nice, it is specifically geared towards women, and has nice and easy to understand training plans. Not that I will be following any of those in the foreseeable future. I think I need to stop buying these technical books about sports. I love the idea of changing the way I exercise more than I actually like changing anything. I have started to go swimming once a week lately, though. I’m teaching myself how to swim the “Total Immersion”-way (I hope) with the help of the self-coaching kit. In this instant a book alone was not enough to help me. I actually needed the video lessons as well. Even though I don’t really like watching video tutorials but if you want to learn movements it is rather helpful to see them. So in addition to running up and down the hallway five times a week, and hanging myself from my writing desk in an attempt to master pull-ups some time this century I also go to the pool on Fridays and drift around in a Superman stance thinking about VW bumpers and mail slots. I promise, this all makes sense once you’ve watched the DVD. (And if you want to know why I want to learn something like that go and look at this video. Then imagine being able to swim like that.)

Huh. I didn’t know I would have so much to write about the books I read. And I haven’t even talked about the stories much. We’ll see how this works out in the long run, I hope you enjoyed the whole thing anyway, and I hope to be back with another post before the month has passed.

Books I read State of the Book Uncategorized

Books I read

So I used to put a list out every year with all the books I had read the year before. Over time these lists grew longer and longer because at one point I had decided I wanted to read more actual books than just things on the internet.

I still aim to read the internet empty on a regular basis but I have also gone back to old book-reading habits.

I read a bit every morning, sometimes before getting up, always around and during breakfast, and always before I go to sleep at night, and at any point in between when I find myself with some time on my hands. I read when riding trains, and when knitting, and always a minute here and there.

And while that is a very good thing for me because I love reading, and reading more is a real pleasure putting out a list of 137 titles without comment doesn’t really help anyone. I guess the only person in the world who looks at this is my old friend Winterkatze who loves reading and books maybe more than me, and who is always looking for nice new books to recommend to me. Which I appreciate very much. But all in all the list is too long. And I didn’t want to start writing in-depth reviews of the books I read either, and so I had the idea – this morning – that making a list of books I read each month might be a great thing. And I would do it here on my writing-related site.

Because right now I don’t have a book out yet, and so this here blog has been sitting unused and lonely which is sad.

So there will be a monthly list of books I read here every month, and the occasional post about other stuff concerning writing and reading starting now.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.