Kindle Technical Question

Warning: This post is a “first world problem”. If you’re currently fighting hyenas for food, in a gun battle with Al-Qaeda, enduring Ebola, or living in a mud hut… don’t even think about reading my silly American whining because you’ll hate me.

It’s no secret that my Kindle pretty much owns my ass. I read a lot. For a book fan, it’s crack!

I swore I’d never give up my beloved paper books. As the only owner of the only functioning rotary phone in the county I was holding out against technology. I insisted that overpriced hardcovers and battered cheap paperbacks were all I’d ever need. My intentions were solid. If there was anyone reading a scroll and writing with a quill pen… I’d have joined ’em.

Alas I tasted the forbidden fruit. There is no going back.

However I’ve come to a minor technical complaint about Kindles. They fill up. Really? WTF!?!

I like to keep my books on my device because I’m prickly that way. I don’t want to invoke the damn matrix every time I read a book. The great controlling interests of the universe (by this I mean our overlords at Amazon) want to nudge me away from my foolish individualism. And by “nudge” I mean “steamroll”. They thwart my intentions and smile and say “it’s all on the cloud dude”. The bastards! I suppose I might as well walk right on the cattle car too?

I was told a Kindle would hold a number of books in the “a whole shitload” category. I recall 3,000 for a plan vanilla Kindle and 6,000 for a Kindle Fire? The future had arrived! I didn’t get the flying car and homemaker robot I was promised, but at least the Russians never dropped the bomb and I could carry a library in my motorcycle’s saddlebags.

In real life capacity, I call bullshit.

I had a plain vanilla Kindle and it seemed to get buggy after several dozen books. By chance that device vanished from my life before I could really tell if it was an issue. I wound up with a Fire (the version that needs wifi in case that matters). It has no music, no videos, no docs, and only a few apps (which I cannot seem to delete). I use it only to surf the internet and read.

It does have 245 books (many of them small ones). Those are books on the device and not shortcuts that point to a book “on the cloud”. (I have many more “shortcuts”.)

Here’s my question. Is that all? Am I really out of space? Can that be?

When I surf on the Fire I get a recurring error messages that says “running out of space, click ‘ok’ to select apps to delete”. When I click “ok” I’m given the option of deleting the one game I keep on the thing; “Stupid Zombies”. It appears to occupy a mere 2 megabytes and I spent several days while seriously injured playing it. I’m sorta’ attached to that one dumb game (which I never play). I suspect it doesn’t really matter anyway. (How do I kill the other apps?)

I never have a problem while actually… you know… reading; so far.

Is it really full? That’s my question.

I expect the usual caveat that not all books are the same length but 245 +/- is not in the realm of the 6,000 +/-. I expected a room full of books, not a shelf.

I could dump all but the half dozen books I’m currently reading to the cloud but I’m a curmudgeon. As a card carrying curmudgeon I want the file to physically reside on my device, the one I’m holding in my hand, right friggin’ now. I was told 6,000 books and I’m going to be pissed with any number below… oh heck I’ll cut ’em slack… lets say 4,000. (See how nice I am?) Having a book “on the cloud” is logistically efficient for Amazon but that’s Amazon’s problem and not mine. Also it makes sense for anyone who’s neither paranoid nor a curmudgeon but guess what? I’m paranoid and curmudgeonly. Suck it, Amazon cloud!

What if there’s a grid down apocalypse? I can’t get by on only 244 books!

What if the entire planetary communications system is destroyed and I want to read H. P. Lovecraft to cheer me up? What if I’m locked in an abandoned missile silo and I want to read Wool?  What if I’m waiting in line to vote and I want to pass the time reading Animal Farm? What it the TSA is fondling my nuts and I want to read 1984? What if a politician is talking and I want to check the constitution to see where the rebels that fought the British Empire agreed to give up their muskets for free cell phones? What if I’m starving and want to read The Road? (OK, that would be just crazy… nobody could do that.)

Is there anyone out there that can help? Has anyone stored many hundreds of books locally on a Kindle Fire? Did they have issues? I can’t imagine I really filled it up. Someone tell me what I’m missing. Thanks.


P.S. It wouldn’t kill me to delete the game but if one dumb game equals 3,500 books I’ll eat my hat.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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12 Responses to Kindle Technical Question

  1. Anonymous says:

    Currently my smallest Kindle (a paperwhite) has 1282 books on it, so your Fire should hold many more than it does. Because I hate getting rid of books, even is they are supposed to be immediately accessible from the cloud I keep all of my books on my computer (makes searching for a particular book easier, too, since Amazon has such a retarded search system), and a couple of thumb drives, and have bought extra Kindles to keep as a library since I can’t fit all of my books on just one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Anyway, you might try a hard reboot of your Fire to see if that clears up your problem.

  3. Albert says:

    Well, the Kindle has about 6.5 gigs. Assuming a low-cost format, books can be less than 1 megabyte. Amazon claims that most books are in the 200-800K range. So 6K books ought to be possible. Hell, it ought to be a conservative estimate. You shouldn’t have used up more than half-a-gig(at most) with 250 books.

    That’s about 6 gigs unaccounted for. I’d say, hook it up to a computer and go explore the drive. If it’s really low in free memory, either you’re using a very inefficient format for your books, or else _something_ is on your Kindle that you don’t know about.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Per filled up Kindle. Been there etc. gave up and got a iPad with 64 gigs of memory. Works great, you can also make the print larger than my old Kindle Keyboard, & it’s backlit for your reading enjoyment in the dark. Note: got the iPad 2 back befor the Fire came out so I don’t know diddly about it, but the iPad really fills the bill plus it has most of the capability of a computer & is as addictive as HELL!
    Good Luck,

  5. Joe Mahoney says:

    On My first generation Kindle Fire I got to Setting-then Device-then Storage- and It breaks it down exactly how much space is available what is being used by books, docs, apps, and everything on a kindle. Hell just now when checking to see how to get there I found I had a 167.1MB audiobook on my Kindle Fire I never downloaded.

  6. Ruth says:

    If you go here: the 2nd discussion is how to look and see how much space is being taken up by apps etc. So you can see what is actually using how much space.

    I’d also suggest going in and clearing cookies and other internet crap:

    What format are the books in? Some formats take up more space than others.

    I find it odd that you’re having a space issue too. I’ve got an ipad, which currently holds 568 books taking up 778.4mb of space. Thats JUST the books on the device too. So SOMETHING is eating up your memory.

    I also found this: scroll down to the 3rd response by someone named Morf, he explains the difference between “ram” and “flash” memory, and its entirely possible that your problem is the “ram” memory thats short, if so you have an app thats not shutting down properly and is taking up “running space” causing you problems. Its entirely possible its the game in question unfortunately.

  7. Sofia Leo says:

    Only have the most basic Kindle, but mine has something like 2000 books on it. I downloaded Calibre to the ‘puter to use as a backup and sorting system. Works like a charm.

    • Phil B says:

      Yep – Calibre lets you read a lot of different formats (including Kindle etc.) and more importantly, export them as PDFs. You can sort the books by title, author, year published or set up your own system.

      Recommend that you store the majority of the books on Calibre and use the Kindle as a satchel for the immediate use ones.

      AND BACK UP THE HARD DRIVE otherwise you’ll be wingeing about losing the lot when it crashes and posting “How do I recover my stuff from a dead drive?” …

    • Ruth says:

      Calibre rocks, I highly recommend it to anyone who “does” ebooks!

  8. PJ says:

    I have a Fire HD, after losing my older Kindle. I can’t imagine filling one of these things up. You can get apps that are basically file managers you can use to go around looking for big space hogs. Or if you really want to get serious you can put something like this on your PC
    then mount the kindle volume on your pc and have gdmap map out your kindle storage. I am a great fan of gdmap generally, it’s great for sniffing out the hog files, usually worthless ones.

    I’m not so crazy about actually reading on the Kindle. It’s just plain not as good as reading with a regular book. Maybe the paperwhites would be better, I might try one of them. I do like them for storing a lot of reading material. And they are better than reading a book on the computer.

    BTW I always download books to my PC first, then transfer to the Kindle. Then I always have a backup, and if I ever filled it up I could get rid of some and still have it on the pc for later if I needed it. I too am not so thrilled about cloud storage. It seems a bit ephemeral to me.

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