A friend recently complained that her Kindle reader was full of books, and she was having to store them in her computer. I was surprised she did not realize that her Kindle need never be full, no matter how many books she buys.
Normally, your book is stored both in the reader (once the book is downloaded) and in the Amazon files (cloud). Removing the book from the device does not erase it from the cloud. It's still your book and there for you to read again at any time.
Removing a book from your Kindle device is easy. I have an old Kindle Fire HDX, but other Kindle readers follow a similar procedure.
A book that is currently being read, shows up in the Kindle Carousel. When I’m done reading a book, I long-press on the book's cover showing on the Carousel. A check mark pops over the cover, and a panel shows at the top of the screen.
The panel gives you options to “cancel, add, or remove.”
I click on “Remove.” The next options that appear are “From Carousel” and “from Device.” I choose “From Device.”
This removes the book from both the Carousel and from the Kindle itself. Your book is no longer stored in your Kindle, but it is safely kept in the Amazon cloud.
You have not lost or erased your book. Any time you want to have it on your reader again, you click on “Books,” then “Cloud,” and select the book you want. It will once again load to your Kindle reader.
You can download your book and remove it from your Kindle as often as you want, as long as you have an Internet connection, of course.
Amazon will store the books you’ve bought from them for FREE. You can have thousands of books in the cloud and keep only those you presently want to read, stored in your Kindle.
If you check the product pages of all Kindle readers and Fire tablets, under the tab “Technical Details,” you will find the following statement: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
This means that any book you buy from Amazon will be stored in your cloud whether you’ve bought extra storage or not. The same is true for pictures taken with the device.
Book files are very small, and hundreds of them can be stored in a few gigs if the books have no embedded video, numerous images, or graphics.
Google the question, "How many books can be stored in one gigabyte?" You will get myriad answers. I looked at my Kindle's storage and calculated that the average book in it takes about 3 Megs. One Gig equals 1024 Megs. Dividing 1024 into the averaged 3 Megs per book, gives me 341 books.
My very simplified method tells me that I can store 341 books in one Gig. Of course, that's a hypothetical statement that assumes I am only storing books that take up 3 Megs each. Some take less, and books with a high image content and embedded video take a whole lot more.
Four Gigs of storage space should hold approx. 1,365 hypothetical books at 3 Megs each. If your reader is also a tablet, and you are storing images, music, games, apps in your device, then the situation changes, and your device can get full very easily. The internal programs of the reader also take a big chuck out of the storage.
My Daniel's Fork novel has 270 pages and takes 2.2 Megs. One could store 465 of them in one Gig or 1,860 in 4 Gigs. At this point, I should remind you that a reader sporting 4 Gigs of internal storage really has a lot less because its own programming takes space.
My Kindle Fire is old. It doesn't have the option to add a microSD for extra memory. The newer Kindle tablets do, but not the dedicated readers. The Paperwhite has 4 Gigs capacity but no microSD slot.
If your Kindle reader is full, you can take an hour of fiddle time and start removing Amazon content and keeping it on the cloud. This frees reader space for your other content.
You also have other options such as buying cloud space from Amazon or storing in various other services such as a free Dropbox account.
If your only vice is books, and they only come from Amazon, then you need nothing else. To those readers who have thousands of books, I suggest keeping most of the Amazon-bought books in the Amazon cloud, and storing those bought or downloaded somewhere else in the Kindle itself.
For those of you also saving your library to your computer, I suggest that you keep a copy of it on a USB drive and update it often because hard drives do fail.
And yes, you can store books from other sellers in your Kindle, but that is a topic for another post. I imagine many of you know all this already, but for those of you who didn’t, I hope my post helped.