Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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So, The Death of the Necromancer —

Is kinda like if Javert joined forces with Jean Valjean to go after Thenardier — if Thenardier were a servant of the Devil.

And also, admittedly, if Valjean were a master criminal, and Javert not quite so rigid.

Plus: necromancy! Desperate flights into the sewers! Ladies with all the acting chops! In summary: this book was all kinds of fun, even though I continue to love The Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy better.

Also! I actually read this in paper, because I had a used hardcover on hand. And you know what? I actually prefer the reading experience on the Kindle, because it is lighter, and also easier to prop up so I can read during meals. Plus, since I have all of Wells’ books on Kindle except the Raksura trilogy and this one . . . well, anyway, I’m giving the hardcover away and picking up this one on Kindle.

The thing I like least about the Kindle? That I cannot give away books. I already knew I gave away a lot of books, some to the local (tiny) library and some to people who like SFF who I know can’t afford to buy a lot of books.

What I didn’t realize is that it actually kind of bothers me — not fingernails-on-the-chalkboard bothers, but it does bother me — if I can’t get rid of books I don’t really like. I mean, of course I can take them off “the device” and put them just in the archives. But . . . usually I give those books away. And now I can’t. I am forced to look at them listed in alphabetical order every time I scan through the books in the archives. And the people I might have given them to, who might have enjoyed them, don’t get a chance to find out.

And I don’t like it. Even if as a writer, I’m all for encouraging different individual readers to buy their own copies, thankyouverymuch. This isn’t necessarily a conflict, anyway, since whomever I give my hardcover of DEATH OF THE NECROMANCER to may fall in love with Martha Wells and buy her other books. So, listen, Amazon, get on that, okay?

How about you? Would you (do you?) get rid of a lot of the books you buy by giving them away? Would it (does it?) bother you to be stuck with those books forever?

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14 Comments So, The Death of the Necromancer —

  1. Kristina

    After years of resistance I have become a Kindle convert. I love the portability of it and the fact that I can download a new book minutes after finishing an old one. My long nightmare of being stuck somewhere without reading material is over! :) I also think my Kindle has encouraged me to try books I might not have ordinarily bought, precisely because I don’t have to find room on my shelves for them or cart them down to the used book store if they don’t turn out to be my taste after all. Of course, that means there are some books on my Kindle that I won’t be reading again, and even some I didn’t manage to finish. My solution was, yes, to remove them from the device and file them under “Archived Items.” But if there’s something I did enjoy and can imagine rereading, I put that in a “Collection” instead. Collections stay on your device; you can create as many as you’d like and name them as you wish. (Your Kindle User’s Guide should tell you how.) It’s not perfect, but this does solve the problem of being confronted with that alphabetical list of books you’d didn’t care for everytime you open your Archives. I’ve had my Kindle for about a year and a half and even utilizing the Collection function I still have plenty of room on my Kindle for new books. (And yes, the entire Griffin Mage trilogy is in one of my collections.)

  2. Elaine T

    Yes, I”ve noticed I don’t like seeing them and wish I could sell them used or give them away. Or at least mark them: deep archive, don’t want to see unless I ask for ‘all’.

    That puppy is very cute, in the photos above, too.

  3. Rachel

    Thanks for the tip! Maybe, given how much room my Kindle has on it, I should simply make a Collection for books I don’t really care for, and tuck them all in there. But still wish I could give them away! Maybe that will become possible eventually.

    I know I have bought books on the Kindle I would not normally buy, partly because they’re sometimes so inexpensive — hence giving away the hardcover of Death of the Necromancer and buying the Kindle version instead — and partly because I seem to have this odd and dangerous feeling that buying stuff for the Kindle doesn’t use Real Money. I’d better get over that latter issue promptly!

    And of course I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the Griffin Mage trilogy!

  4. Estara

    Living in Germany, I may actually have to throw some books away, since it simply takes too much time to list them all on Ebay or Amazon and the fulfill those used books. No one in my real life reads sf&f or romance in English – most not even in German.

    Which is why loads of books are still on my shelves although I won’t read them again. I HATE throwing books away :P. Donating them to auctions doesn’t work either because the shipping cost from here to the US is prohibitive. Ah well.

    I use Calibre to organise my library on my Sony – and that means I can actually delete books I don’t want. They don’t show up at all. I can still have a back-up file somewhere but it’s not on my reader or in my library.
    I hardly ever read paper anymore as my eye sight has gone really bad and the e-ink reads like a book to me with the advantage of upping the font size if I have a bad day. And reading 800 page epics is ever so much easier ^^. Not to mention the choice I’m carrying around with me.
    When I want to evangelize a book I do book recs OR like when And All the Stars was on sale for February gift them to various other e-reading friends ^^.
    Sartorias (Sherwood Smith) had a thought on her LJ, though (I think it was her LJ, but it could have been BVC or Goodreads) that ebook only readers can no longer visit their friends and discover new gems on their shevles (well you can do it virtually via Goodreads). Not a problem in my case, since no one has my taste here anyway, but it is a real downside, true.

    And I still want colour e-ink and real cover images for all ebooks, heh.

  5. Elaine T

    Oh, I know that feeling, that buying for the Kindle isn’t using Real Money. So, after paying for a few I really wished I hadn’t, I started using the ‘send sample’ feature. Saves me a whole lot of money. So does the occasional find that has the Borrow option for Prime members. (none of them have been very good, so far.)

    I like the Collection feature. I wish they’d let you do nested collections, though, so I could look at just my Neumiers, or Cherryhs or whoever. Sort by author within Collection gets me there, but not quite as conveniently. I’m trying to deal with it by keeping only favorites, new books and samples (in New & Samples Collection) on my device and relegating everything else to the Archive/Cloud storage. So at least the quantity to hunt through for what I may want to read is smaller. And the new stuff doesn’t get hidden forever.

    I’ve tried Calibre, but it doesn’t seem worth the effort for me.

    I make sure everything is also on my hard drive, just in case of something going wrong elsewhere.

    And I still want publishers to do what the music companies did back when, and let you get a Real Cheap ($4 or less) electronic copy of anything you could prove you’d bought new. With half or more of my book buying done via Amazon I’d save a fortune on portable copies.

    BTW, I’m really glad you enjoyed DEATH OF A NECROMANCER. it was a great start to her career.

  6. Rachel

    I definitely want color e-ink and Real Cover Images! I can see myself deciding to buy a book in paper solely because I like the cover too much to have it hidden in awful black-and-white on my Kindle. Interesting, though, the covers look much better on my phone.

    Sounds horrifying, having to throw books away. I don’t suppose students taking English in college might be interested? I think I might be, in a reverse situation.

    I have two books in a Calibre library on my laptop, but if there’s a way to get them from there to my Kindle, I haven’t discovered it. I keep forgetting about them entirely, since I don’t think of my laptop when I think of recreational reading. I sure won’t buy anything else that isn’t formated specifically for Kindle unless I figure that out.

  7. Rachel

    >BTW, I’m really glad you enjoyed DEATH OF A NECROMANCER. it was a great start to her career.

    It was! And I just finshed THE ELEMENT OF FIRE, which I think may actually have been her debut novel? I’m too lazy to check, but anyway I really enjoyed it, though I thought the very beginning was rather clunky and it took me a lot longer to get into it than into her other ones. Thomas just didn’t seem very interesting compared to Nicholas or Tremaine. Then Kade stepped on stage — literally, come to think of it — and the book took off pretty well from there, for me.

    I think I’d better start using the Send Sample feature, too. Though I bought 29 books in March, so frankly I think I’d better just quit buying books for a little while

  8. Kristina

    I hope the Collections feature makes things easier for you. I think of my Kindle Collections as a virtual bookshelf – that’s where I put the books I want to refer back to or reread someday. My Archive, on the other hand, is like a box in the basement. The books I didn’t care for are still stored there, but I don’t have to sort through them to find my favorites again.

  9. Elaine T

    AAHH! you are correct, Well’s first book was ELEMENT OF FIRE. Then DEATH. Both were very good reads.

  10. Rachel

    I’m happy you reminded me about the Collections feature — at the moment I’m just doing author collections to make it easier to scan through the lists of books on the Kindle, but I really am thinking of making a collection titled “Meh” for the ones I want to forget about.

  11. elaine t

    To move books from your laptop you can plug the USB cable into Kindle and laptop and then your OS should recognize the Kindle as another drive and you can just copy. If it’s formatting, I forget which formats the Kindle can read, but Calibre, IIRC, can reformat them for you, if they aren’t in something Kindle compatible already.

  12. Matthew

    I definitely wish I could give away Kindle books that I won’t read again and also hate seeing them in my archives! As for the not real money part… I do that too. It’s not on my overflowing bookshelves, so I didn’t really buy it, right? ;)

    Estara — there are American military bases in Germany. Perhaps there is one nearby that might benefit from your books? They pretty much all have libraries.

  13. Rachel

    Thanks; yes, once I was reminded about Calibre and went and figured out how to let it auto-convert books for my Kindle, and now I am much happier! It was very easy, naturally, once I read the user’s guide.

  14. Rachel

    I guess it’s not just me, then!

    I think I will indeed wind up making a Meh category to hide books I don’t expect to read again. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon doesn’t come up with a way to give Kindle books away. Frankly, I don’t really want to go to the trouble of selling “used” copies — I would be happy to just swoosh a bundle of books I didn’t care for onto someone else’s Kindle and out of my life.

    Good suggestion about the military base!

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