Linda Maye Adams

Culling the eBook Herd


My Nook was giving me the evil eye—it was full! How’d that happen?

Well, yeah, we know how that happened. Books, and more books, and magazines.

So I’ve had to spend some time archiving my collection of eBooks. It was a curious thing going through it—there were a lot of them that I didn’t even remember. Those were probably the free books I got early on. I was just trying to get everything I could.

But if something is free like that, there tends to be not a good reason.

Of course, some of the paid books bit the dust, too. I have one that looked interesting, bought it for pre-release, and when I got it, I couldn’t make sense of the story. Very strange to find that.

Another was a book based on an enthusiastic recommendation of a Facebook friend (she just posted it to her wall, and I happened to see it, so no spamming involved).   It was an urban fantasy. But when I got it, the book didn’t survive the first chapter. No setting, beyond mentioning that characters were in a mine.

I was surprised at how much that bothered me, considering I’ve been doing the same thing in my stories until about three or four years ago.

Then we have the magazines. I was subscribing to Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Poets and Writers, National Geographic, Shop Smart, Alfred Hitchcock, Ellery Queen, Analog, and Asimov’s. Surprisingly, everything up through Shop Smart were quite huge.

So I started thinking about what I needed.

Poets and Writers tends to focus on getting an MFA, which is just about teaching writing not doing it professionally. It had interesting interviews with writers, but it really wasn’t doing anything for me. I wasn’t learning anything new from it.

The same thing for Writer’s Digest. It seems to be focused more on beginners starting their first novel and doesn’t have much beyond that. I wasn’t learning anything new from it.

The Writer I opted to stick with, though I’m still thinking about it. They seem focused on a broader range of writers. Besides, I’m partial to them anyway. I remember seeing them on my uncle’s coffee table. Isn’t it awesome to have an uncle with writing magazines on the coffee table?

National Geographic was a test run. I was thinking that reading it might help with stories, but it ended up not working out that way. So zap, that one’s gone.

I was learning new stuff all the time from Shop Smart, so that stayed, and I like the fiction ones. Short stories are fun to read.

I was surprised I had that many subscriptions though. The only paper magazine I get is Entertainment Weekly (I’m a charter subscriber). Once in a while I’d get Real Simple, but they start sending me renewals the first month of the subscription and keep sending them until I give up in frustration and let the subscription die.

Of course, now with all that room, it’s time to hunt for more books …

 

2 Comments

  1. It’s posts like yours that get me wondering why I haven’t jumped on the Kindle bandwagon yet. Can you believe I’ve never read a single eBook?

    “But if something is free like that, there tends to be not a good reason.” That made me laugh, especially because it’s true.

    I totally agree with your views on Writer’s Digest and Poets and Writers. I don’t know if I’ve taken a good look at The Writer. I used to be crazy about the Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen magazines, though.

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    • You should take another look at those two mystery magazines. They’ve had some good short stories. I like reading short stories because it’s often a different experience than a novel.

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