Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge

So, a few weeks ago, I audited the unread books on my bookshelves for the Mount TBR Challenge.  There were a lot.  I sat in a daze and muttered, “I think I might have too many books”, a sentiment which brought joy to the person with whom I share living quarters.  In the weeks since, I have found myself in bookshops saying insane things like, “I don’t know about getting a book today, I have so many at home”, or even actually being aware that I have three books by an author waiting to be read, so buying a fourth is perhaps not a smart move.  I realised that I just like buying books, like the way other people buy themselves a chocolate bar.  The pleasure of acquisition is entirely separate to the enjoyment of actually reading the thing.  With this in mind, I decided that I had to finally tackle the howling nightmare that has been my Kindle over the past few years and so I’ve joined the Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge.  

My godmother bought me said device some three years ago – it was among the best and worst gifts that I have ever received.  Suddenly, if I wanted a book, I could get it delivered instantly to where I was right at that moment.  Coupled with the fact that Kindle books are cheaper than their physical equivalents, things got a little nuts for a while.  Then, just as things quietened down, I joined Netgalley  On approximate calculations, around 200 of the below list have been received from them – I have tended to email approved reads to my Kindle and then try not to worry about it.  But when you’re in a bookshop and are not entirely sure whether it’s worth you buying a book even though it does look interesting since you’re fairly sure that you already have it somewhere, but somehow or other, your Kindle has gotten to be such a mess that it’s nearly impossible to find what you want anyway – something has to give.  And so here I am.  Owning up.  I have a Netgalley addiction and it’s a bad one – I know I won’t get to read this whole list in 2017 and probably not in 2018 either but I have a five year plan to reduce the list to double rather than treble figures.  Any suggestions on where I should start?


Kindle Reads:

Loving Eleanor, Susan Wittig Albert

Hospital Sketches, Louisa M Alcott

The White Cottage Mystery, Margery Allingham

Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind, Heidi Ashworth

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales, Margaret Atwood

Good Bones, Margaret Atwood

4 3 2 1, Paul Auster

The Scandal, Fredrik Backman

Empire of the Sun, J.G. Ballard

Dark Quartet: The Story of the Brontes, Lynne Reid Banks

The Life of Elves, Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

The Cauliflower, Nicola Barker

The One Memory of Flora Banks, Emily Barr

Days Without End, Sebastian Barry

Love For Lydia, H.E. Bates

The Solitary Child, Nina Bawden

The Lady in the Van, Alan Bennett

Chasing Embers, James Bennett

Under The Harrow, Flynn Berry

Passage Across The Mersey, Robert Bhatia

Apostle, Tom Bissell

A Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, Anne Blankman

The Private Lives of the Tudors, Tracy Borman

The Secret Chord, Geraldine Brooks

The Upstairs Room, Kate Murray-Browne

The New Mrs Clifton, Elizabeth Buchan

After the Crash, Michel Bussi

The Genius of Jane Austen, Paula Byrne

Rotherweird, Andrew Caldecott

Dear Amy, Helen Callaghan

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep, Joanna Cannon

The Essential Paradise Lost, John Carey

The Stolen Child, Lisa Carey

The Strangler Vine, M.J. Carter

No Virgin, Anne Cassidy

Joan of Arc, Helen Castor

Moonglow, Michael Chabon

Lady of the English, Elizabeth Chadwick

The Winter Crown, Elizabeth Chadwick

Charlotte & Leopold – The Original People’s Princess, James Chambers

Wild Swans, Jung Chang

Black Rabbit Hall, Eve Chase

At The Edge of the Orchard, Tracy Chevalier

New Boy, Tracy Chevalier

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie

A Book For Her, Bridget Christie

The Atomic Weight of Love, Elizabeth J Church

Larchfield, Polly Clark

How To Be Human, Paula Cocozza

The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

The Masked City, Genevieve Cogman

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding, Jackie Coppleton

The Lie of the Land, Amanda Craig

The Holiday, Richmal Crompton

Marriage of Hermione, Richmal Crompton

Martini Henry, Sara Crowe

Sirius, Jonathan Crown

We All Begin As Strangers, Harriet Cummings

Madness, Roald Dahl

Post-Truth, Matthew D’Ancona

Mrs Hudson and the Spirit’s Curse, Martin Davies

Consequences, E. M. Delafield

The Course of Love, Alain de Botton

A Fever of the Blood, Oscar De Muriel

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz

The House at World’s End, Monica Dickens

The Baltimore Boys, Joel Dicker

The Tourist, Robert Dickinson

The Abundance, Annie Dillard

The Marsh King’s Daughter, Karen Dionne

The Lotterys Plus One, Emma Donoghue

The Pure Gold Baby, Margaret Drabble

The Dark Flood Rises, Margaret Drabble

The Alchemist’s Apprentice, Jeremy Dronfield

Sea, Sarah Driver

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

In The Name of the Family, Sarah Dunant

Blood and Beauty, Sarah Dunant

The Companion, Sarah Dunnakey

Exposure, Helen Dunmore

The Tao of Bill Murray, Gavin Edwards

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Meg Elison

Adam Bede, George Eliot

Whispers Through A Megaphone, Rachel Elliot

Take Courage, Samantha Ellis

The Songs, Charles Elton

Miss Treadway & The Field of Stars, Miranda Emmerson

The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel

The Fourteenth Letter, Claire Evans

Your Father Sends His Love, Stuart Evers

The Empathy Problem, Gavin Extence

The Nebuly Coat, John Meade Falkner

The Whole Art of Detection, Lyndsay Faye

The Other Hoffmann Sister, Ben Fergusson

The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald

Wanting, Richard Flanagan

Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew, Susan Fletcher

Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

Charlotte, David Foenkinos

Here I Am, Jonathan Safran Foer

The Etymologicon, Mark Forsyth

The Last Days of Leda Grey, Essie Fox

The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen

Sweet Little Lies, Caz Frear

The Girl in the Glass Tower, Elizabeth Fremantle

The Hours Before Dawn, Celia Fremlin

The Skeletons of Scarborough House, Kitty French

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund

Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller

American Gods, Neil Gaiman

Stardust, Neil Gaiman

Good Omens, Neil Gaiman (and Terry Pratchett)

Notes From An Exhibition, Patrick Gale

A Perfectly Good Man, Patrick Gale

Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Timekeepers, Simon Garfield

Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell

Difficult Women, Roxane Gay

Love Or Nearest Offer, Adele Geras

Valley of the Moon, Melanie Gideon

The Ferryman Institute, Colin Gigl

Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, Mario Giordano

The Museum of Things Left Behind, Seni Glaister

The Words In My Hand, Guinevere Glasfurd

Fidelity: A Novel, Susan Glaspell

Five For Sorrow, Ten For Joy, Rumer Godden

The Early Birds, Laurie Graham

Ross Poldark, Winston Graham

The Woman Next Door, Cass Green

Tales of the Greek Heroes, Roger Lancelyn Green

Fair Helen, Andrew Greig

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, Henrik Groen

How To Stop Time, Matt Haig

Speak, Louisa Hall

Peculiar Ground, Lucy Hughes-Hallett

The Doll Funeral, Kate Hamer

Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton

Hangover Square, Patrick Hamilton

The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge

Tess of the D’Urbevilles, Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy

The Dry, Jane Harper

Rain, Melissa Harrison

The First Day, Phil Harrison

For The Winner, Emily Hauser

Before The Fall, Noah Hawley

Relativity, Antonia Hayes

Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey

The Valentine House, Emma Henderson

Mother Time, Louise Herman

The Dynamite Room, Jason Hewitt

Friday’s Child, Georgette Heyer

The Convenient Marriage, Georgette Heyer

The Marlboroughs, Christopher Hibbert

Carrying Albert Home, Homer Hickman

The House at Bishopgate, Katie Hickman

First of the Tudors, Joanna Hickson

The Woodvilles, Susan Higginbotham

Conversations with Spirits, E.O. Higgins

The Nix, Nathan Hill

The Travelling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories, Susan Hill

The Third Plantagenet, John Ashdown-Hill

The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan

I Was Jack Mortimer, Alexander Lernet-Holenia

Jack, A. M. Homes

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman

The House of Silk, Anthony Horowitz

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini

The Long View, Elizabeth Jane Howard

The Loney, Andrew Michael Hurley

The Dog Who Dared to Dream, Sun-mi Hwang

Ravenspur, Conn Iggulden

To The Bright Edge of the World, Eowyn Ivey

But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline Loridan-Ivens

Dark Tales, Shirley Jackson

The Unseen, Ray Jacobsen

Sculptor’s Daughter, Tove Jansson

The Summer Book, Tove Jansson

The Moomins and the Great Flood, Tove Jansson

Naming The Stars, Jennifer Johnston

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All, Jonas Jonasson

Fear of Dying, Erica Jong

The Mangle Street Murders, M.R.C. Kasasian

Jane Austen: The Secret Radical, Helena Kelly

Dirt Road, James Kelman

The Good People, Hannah Kent

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr

The Crew, Joseph Kessel

Nina is Not OK, Shappi Khorsandi

Himself, Jess Kidd

The Wake, Paul Kingsnorth

A Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold

Eveningland, Michael Knight

Forest Dark, Nicole Krauss

The Nothing, Hanif Kureishi

Good Me Bad Me, Ali Land

Anna and the King of Siam, Margaret Landon

Swell, Jenny Landreth

Her, Harriet Lane

The Red Notebook, Antoine Laurain

French Rhapsody, Antoine Laurain

Poems In The Manner Of, David Lehman

You Will Not Have My Hate, Antoine Leiris

The Gentleman, Forrest Leo

Sarah, JT Leroy

The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, JT Leroy

The Wolf Road, Beth Lewis

The Lubetkin Legacy, Marina Lewycka

The Immortals, S. E. Lister

Hideous Creatures, S. E. Lister

The Gracekeepers, Kirsty Logan

Jack Wolfe: Paranormal Investigator, Craig Lunnon

The Threat Level Remains Severe, Rowena Macdonald

In A Land of Paper Gods, Rebecca Mackenzie

The Seeker, S. G. MacLean

All The Beloved Ghosts, Alison MacLeod

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves, Rachel Malik

Confidence, Roland Manthorpe

The High Mountains of Portugal, Yann Martel

All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai

Behold The Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue

The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride

The Butcher Boy, Patrick McCabe

The High Places, Fiona McFarlane

The Butterfly Cabinet, Bernie McGill

The Watch House, Bernie McGill

The Handfasted Wife, Carol McGrath

Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor

The North Water, Ian McGuire

The Blood Miracles, Lisa McInerney

Season of Light, Katharine McMahon

The Beginning Woods, Malcolm McNeill

Plum, Hollie McNish

Gather The Daughters, Jennie Melamed

Margaret Rutherford: Dreadnought with Good Manners, Andy Merriman

The Burning Girl, Claire Messud

The Son, Philipp Meyer

Pure, Andrew Mller

Always Happy Hour, Mary Miller

Where Dead Men Meet, Mark Mills

The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell

Emily Starr Trilogy, Lucy Maud Montgomery

Jane of Lantern Hill, Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Sport of Kings, C E Morgan

Bretherton, W. F. Morris

The Fortunate Brother, Donna Morrissey

The Outcasts of Time, Ian Mortimer

The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton

Homesick For Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh

Night Waking Sarah Moss

Sweetgirl, Travis Mulhauser

More Than This, Patrick Ness

Adventures in Modern Marriage, William Nicholson

The Mermaid’s Sister, Carrie Anne Noble

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, Anna North

The End of the Day, Claire North

Four Princes, John Julius Norwich

Goodnight Beautiful Women, Anna Noyes

The King’s Concubine, Anne O’Brien

Devil’s Consort, Anne O’Brien

The Forbidden Queen, Anne O’Brien

The Shadow Queen, Anne O’Brien

My Husband’s Son, Deborah O’Connor

The Ballroom Cafe, Ann O’Loughlin

Minds Of Winter, Ed O’Loughlin

The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Heather O’Neill

Only Ever Yours, Louise O’Neill

The Woman Next Door, Yewande Omotoso

Baby Doll, Hollie Overton

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Helen Oyenemi

A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki

Spare Brides, Adele Parks

Commonwealth, Ann Patchett

My Life With Bob, Pamela Paul

The Ice, Laline Paull

The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry

Saint Peter’s Fair, Ellis Peters

A Rare Benedictine, Ellis Peters

Brother Cadfael’s Penance, Ellis Peters

Fierce Kingdom, Gin Phillips

The Beautiful Bureaucrat, Hannah Phillips

Everywoman, Jess Phillips

Woman on the Edge of Time, Marge Piercy

Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough

The Futures, Anna Pitoniak

A Notable Woman, Jean Lucey Pratt

Barkskins, Annie Proulx

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley

Plague Child, Peter Ransley

Magnificent Obsession, Helen Rappaport

Amy Snow, Tracy Rees

The Evenings, Gerard Reve

The Shadow Hour, Kate Riordan

The Walworth Beauty, Michele Roberts

To Be Continued, James Robertson

The Secrets She Keeps, Michael Robotham

The House at the End of the World, Julia Rochester

Get Well Soon, Marie-Sabine Roger

Jonathan Unleashed, Meg Rosoff

The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling

Across Great Divides, Monique Roy

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin

The Chilbury Ladies Choir, Jennifer Ryan

The Fractured Life of Jimmy Dice, Ronan Ryan

Inferior, Angela Saini

Indelible, Adelia Saunders

The Secrets of Wishtide, Kate Saunders

See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt

Books for Living, William Schwalbe

Les Parisiennes, Anna Sebba

Today Will Be Different, Maria Semple

The Flowering Thorn, Margery Sharp

For Renata, B Robert Sharry

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Daughter, Jane Shemilt

The Weather House, Nan Shepherd

The Stars Are Fire, Anita Shreve

A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

The Best of Adam Sharp, Graham Simsion

The Assumption of Rogues and Rascals, Elizabeth Smart

Autumn, Ali Smith

Public Library & Other Stories, Ali Smith

The Secrets of Station X, Michael Smith

Swing Time, Zadie Smith

44 Scotland Street, Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith

The Sunday Philosophy Club, Alexander McCall Smith

The Virginity of Famous Men, Christina Sneed

The Forgotten Tudor Women, Sylvia Barbara Soberton

Leaving Lucy Pear, Anna Solomon

Golden Hill, Francis Spufford

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko, Scott Stambach

Shelter, Marguerite Steen

Fish Have No Feet, Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Godblind, Anna Stephens

Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson

Girl Waits With Gun, Amy Stewart

Man At The Helm, Nina Stibbe

Paradise Lodge, Nina Stibbe

The Vacationers, Emma Straub

Modern Lovers, Emma Straub

The Bell Family, Noel Streatfeild

Anything Is Possible, Elizabeth Strout

The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

Dawn Wind, Rosemary Sutcliff

Sword at Sunset, Rosemary Sutcliff

Elephant Moon, John Sweeney

The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor

The Lauras, Sara Taylor

Subtly Worded and Other Stories, Teffi

The Suicide Shop, John Teule

Mr Eternity, Aaron Thier

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti

House of Names, Colm Toibin

A Swarming of Bees, Theresa Tomlinson

The Gustav Sonata, Rose Tremain

The Ice Twins, S K Tremayne

The Fire Child, S K Tremayne

The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief, Lisa Tuttle

A Thousand Paper Birds, Tor Udall

The Witchfinder’s Sister, Beth Underdown

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente

Spoils, Brian Van Reet

Midnight Blue, Simone van der Vlugt

Daredevils, Shawn Vestal

Cousins, Salley Vickers

Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut

Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut

Smoke, Dan Vyieta

The End of the World Running Club, Adrian J Walker

Thirst, Benjamin Warner

Foxlowe, Eleanor Wasserberg

Girls on Fire, Robin Wasserman

The Night Watch, Sarah Waters

Arthur: Prince of Roses, Alison Weir

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession, Alison Weir

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

The Storms of War, Kate Williams

The Brontes, Brian Wilks

A Talent For Murder, Andrew Wilson

Mrs Hemingway, Naomi Wood

Magruder’s Curiousity Cabinet, H. P. Wood

The One in a Million Boy, Monica Wood

Eliza Rose, Lucy Worsley

Jane Austen At Home, Lucy Worsley

The Lost Time Accidents, John Wray

Alice in Brexitland, Lucien Young

Beware of Pity, Stefan Zweig

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5 thoughts on “Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge

  1. Oh My! Do you really want our opinion on which ones you should get rid of?

    I really like your comment

    “I realised that I just like buying books, like the way other people buy themselves a chocolate bar.”

    What makes book buying so much more acceptable than buying chocolate is that they wont rot your teeth, make you fat and I’m sure many other things. They will broaden your mind, but the only way people will notice is in your conversation!

    1. Get rid of? Get rid of? Who said anything about getting rid of?! This is the audit process – I just sat down and figured out what I had that I hadn’t read – I was asking for advice on which one of this list to read! Good Lord – what kind of site do you think this is? 🙂

      1. That’s a relief! As they aren’t ‘real’ books the removing them from an e-reader doesn’t begin to compare to the trauma of disposing of books (there a number of boxes in my garage that support this!)

        (Oh, and I hope you mean ‘advice’ – well I’m sure you do!)

  2. I don’t buy e-books but I do download free classics and i have quite a load of those piling up. Then I forget about them because they are not looming over me like the piles on my bedside shelf. I should really sit down and figure out which ones I actually want to read, though!

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