The number one reason you should be using a Kindle device might be very surprising
to you. On the other hand, the number one reason you should be using a Kindle device
shouldn’t surprise you at all. Ready?
The Number One reason you should be using a Kindle device is the HUGE amount of free
Now that might surprise some of our DDTers, that there is free stuff for the Kindle.
After all, Jeff Bezos invented the Kindle reading device to sell books; not to give
books away. But you know I like free modules; that is not a surprise at all!
As it turns out, there is a large and growing library of cheap, and even free, books
that you will enjoy reading built for Kindle. To me, the #1 reason to buy and use
a Kindle device is because of the free and inexpensive stuff that is available for
it. So let’s get to it! Allow me to give you some tips as to what I’ve done to collect
a very low cost Kindle library.
Look for Bargains at Amazon
Amazon.com actually has a lot of free books available. They have a lot more that
are available for just a buck or two. You can acquire quite a library relatively
inexpensively. Here’s the key: learn how to search for inexpensive books.
2. In the main search bar, change the category box from “All” to “Kindle Store.”
Without typing anything in the white search box, click the magnifying glass to search.
3. On the left side of the page, choose “Kindle eBooks”.
4. NOW you can see the categories of books Kindle offers. Click on “Religion & Spirituality.”
5. NOW you can see more subcategories. Click the “Religious Studies & Reference.”
6. In the upper right area, change the sort box to “Price: Low to High.”
As of July 2020, there were 400 pages of stuff to look at! And you’re starting with
the free stuff first, and working from the bottom up.
Yes, there will be a lot of drivel (and far worse than that) available; but there
is also some of the most loved, classic, Christian literature that has ever been
written. Volumes and volumes of it; and much of it is free or relatively inexpensive
It’s Time to Get A Library Card
I think I was in the 5th grade the first time I went to the public library in my
small little home town. It was walking distance from the middle school. I don’t remember
exactly what I checked out that day - but it was probably Charlie Brown....
Fast forward just a few years, and the only library I ever went to was the one on
campus where I was working on my bible degree. No Charlie Brown and Snoopy books
there. Pity. The short of it is, once I became an “adult,” I kinda stopped going
to the library. And I thought Charlie Brown was the blockhead!
Once God blessed me with sons, and they were old enough to enjoy Good Old Charlie
Brown, I got reacquainted with the joys of the public library. Yep - I had to teach
my children to be discriminating. Upon checking out for the first time, and obtaining
our brand new library cards, I was told about something called “Overdrive,” and the
ability to use it to check out Kindle books from the library. I thought, “What?!”
But yep, sure enough, with my free public library card, I could check out free books
on my Kindle. From home. Without going to the library. Someone has finally put my
tax dollars to work on a program that I could use!
Now each county’s Kindle lending library is going to be different. But let me tell
you - wow! What a wealth of stuff was there!
A dozen John Maxwell books
Dave Ramsey stuff, and non-Ramsey stuff he highly recommends
Biographies of famous Christians
Politics - both liberal and conservative
And a truckload of modern day fiction you might enjoy reading (Joel C. Rosenberg,
I was agag! I was taken aback! I was awash in joy! (How many other “a-words” should
I use?) While I didn’t find much in the way of Christian reference, I don’t use my
Kindle for Christian reference. That’s what I use theWord Bible software for. My
Kindle is a reader. So I happily loaded up to read.
My Accidental Surprise
And No, They Won’t Teach You This at the Library
Your Kindle checkouts lasts two weeks. After that, they are immediately re-called
by the library. So this is pretty cool: no going back to the library to return your
digital books; ever! AND no late fees for those times that stupid book fell into
the couch between the seats. Thanks to modern technology, at the two week mark: poof!
They magically disappear.
Or so they want you to think.
After using my Kindle for several months, I downloaded several larger works (had
they been real world books, we’re talking unabridged dictionary thicknesses). I knew
I wouldn’t be able to finish all of them within the two week window, but I wanted
to read all of them. After all, they were free. So I turned my Kindle to airplane
[NOTE: If you click your settings gear at the top of your Kindle home page, you can
enter airplane mode. If the airplane icon is whole, then you are in airplane mode.
If it looks like the airplane is broken in half, you are not in Airplane mode.]
When in airplane mode, your Kindle device doesn’t do any updating (it seriously increases
your battery life, too, but that is another blog post); no software updates, no new
book purchases, no new library checkouts, and it doesn’t return library books either.
Except they are returned; the library has it back, and is able to loan it out to
someone else. But as long as you’re in Airplane mode, you can practically keep the
book as long as you like. But when Airplane mode is turned back off, your library
book(s) that are past due (without fines!!) are disappeared.
So I actually kept my Kindle in Airplane mode for about two months. I had finally
finished all of those lengthy tomes, and I was ready to check out my next round of
books. So I turned Airplane mode off and checked out a few new books. But my last
round of library books didn’t disappear. I restarted my device a couple of times,
expecting that would clear some kind of electronic que; but no, they didn’t disappear.
OK - time to experiment. I checked out another stack of books, and went back into
Airplane mode for two more months (55-56 days, from the 7th or 8th of the month,
across two months, and not turning the device back on until the 2nd or 3rd of the
third month [Example: from May 7 until July 3]). You want to guess what happened?
Not only were all of my books from 4 months ago still on my device, but all of those
books from 2 months ago were still on my device, too. From a practical perspective,
those books are on perma-loan from the public library.
After a little more experimentation, I discovered those books couldn’t be moved from
one device to another; nor could they be removed from the device and then put back
on. If they were removed from the device, they were permanently gone. But if I left
them alone, well, they’ve lived on my device for a looooong time. (In other words:
I haven’t lost any of them yet.)
With this combination of tactics, I’ve been able to assemble 300+ Kindle books for
almost nothing out of pocket (yes, I have made a few purchases of some modern classics,
but still...). If they averaged $7.99 each, well, you do the math.
If you ask me, the #1 reason to have and use a Kindle is the opportunity to collect
a vast library of free and low cost modern resources.