Six Million Kindle Books

There are over 6 Million Kindle books.

How do I know?

Kindle Books on Amazon.ca

Today, I searched Amazon.ca’s Kindle store and found the answer on the bottom, left side of the page.  If you look closely you will discover that the page lists 1-16 of over 6,000,000 results for Kindle Store.  And I imagine that a future search will reveal that this number will continue to increase exponentially.  We are connected by words and technology, delivered in seconds over WIFI to our “devices.”   And with our evolving technologies, costs are tipping downward.

The ability to purchase a book cannot be taken lightly, for it was not long ago that only the elite could afford this luxury.  Charlotte Barrett provides an excellent overview in her article “The History of Reading,” noting that “In the early nineteenth century, it was very common for individuals to be able to read but not be able to write, although these statistics are likely influenced by economic factors as well as capability: paper was expensive, and writing with a quill time-consuming and difficult, and therefore not that common.”

Which brings me to our visit of Innerleithen, Scotland, a picturesque town in the area of Tweeddale, in the Scottish Borders.  Robert Smail’s Printing Works, situated on the main street, is a Victorian era letterpress printing works that continues to produce printing and stationery in the style used during the Industrial Revolution. The doors open to another century where words were carefully placed, letter by letter, on a composing stick, the first step in the journey to the printing press.  The care taken in each phase of the printing process is remarkable.  Kudos to the printers dedicated to preserve this century-old craft.

 

Paper was expensive in the Industrial Age.  In our age of escalating environmental concerns, paper is still expensive. Digitization has given us a way of sharing the reading experience.

Ah, just downloaded another Kindle Book.

Happy Reading

16 Comments

    1. Clanmother

      Dear Resa – I admit that I went “blog-crazy” when I first started out, but I thought that I would keep my thoughts on specific topics separated. I have been collecting material over the past months and am waiting for the winter months to bring it all together. I just came back from your thoughts on “Splendor” – you are a most excellent writer. I look forward to everyone of your posts. Hugs coming your way.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    “Paper was expensive in the Industrial Age. In our age of escalating environmental concerns, paper is still expensive.”

    This post has been in ‘pause’ mode on the screen since you published it! Every so often I peer into that doorway of Rbt. Smail’s Printing Works, and I long to ask permission first and then open each of those lovely lateral drawers and peer inside. How refreshing that the ‘Printing Works’ still clings to the old system, and that people actually use stationery – sending and receiving correspondence and invitations in old-fashioned style!

    Since I live far from any book store, and for every hundred stores, there might be one that has a large selection of books written in my native language, I always appreciate holding a real book in my hand. It’s almost as rare as that lost art of printing, especially those that were placed letter by letter!

    I often wonder if/when a double-whammy of a solar-hurled flares might take out large chunks of our electric grid, and we’re suddenly rolled back to a time where we relied on memories; the lost art of adding numbers by hand – or memorizing telephone numbers (but would those phones even work?!!!) or knowing how to make shrimp etouffe or grandmother’s chocolate cake or even know when the next new or full moon will arrive!

    It would be difficult for me to trade an actual book for all things digital; perhaps, even if both are affordable, I’d be willing to plant 100 trees for each book that I purchased!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      Your thoughts have given me much to consider. First of all, our reading activities and preferences have changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. Much of this change has been brought about by technology, but also by the arc of our society which has switched to fast read. We read the headlines, the first sentence of the paragraph, and check book reviews prior to reading to see if we can allot time to a particular book. Our careers are increasingly demanding more of our personal time. As well, much of our reading relates to additional training to keep current with our professions. We have also embraced a de-cluttering mode where we are reducing our environmental footprint. And then there is the movies, games – all excellent but again compete with time set aside for reading. In Vancouver, living space is limited so bookshelves have been reduced and restocked on Kindle digital bookshelves.

      Having said all of this, I love my personal library. I love the feeling of a book in my hand, hearing the turn of a page, sipping a cup of tea as I anticipate reading the next chapter. Reading to me takes in all of my senses. Reading gives me personal space, a time when I can reflect and gain respite. It is slowing the motion of time to accommodate savouring moments when ideas can percolate and become embedded within my soul. My long-time friend, Dr. Seuss says it best: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Books have taken me locations that defy time and space. I can be with Cleopatra or Aristotle anytime I choose. And if I want to travel to the worlds of Ursula,I K.Le Guin, I have only to open a book.

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  2. Ms Frances

    Thank you for this interesting history of the Art of Printing. And, thank you for covering the great place in our beloved Scotland. Your Aunt Mary’s husband set letters on a little printing press when we were first married for his business.. This would have been in the 1950’s. I wish I had asked him about it or asked to see the process. I am sorry for that. He had to quit his business because of the advances in the way things were being done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      How interesting. I remember visiting his printing shop in the early 1960’s – he already had upgraded his presses. And then I remember that he upgraded in the 1970’s. And now we have digital technology. Progress has been exponential. We live in interesting times!!

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  3. Gallivanta

    The history of reading (and your contribution to it on the subject of Kindle) is fascinating. It reminded me of that lovely word and ‘literary’ piece ‘the penny dreadful’ which apparently was replaced by the “‘ha’penny dreadfuller'”‘. Both very cheap and supposedly helpful in encouraging literacy. And our increasing levels of literacy worldwide mean 6 million books on Kindle is just the beginning of what is possible in reading and writing in this world.

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    1. Clanmother

      I agree wholeheartedly, Gallivanta. You may recall that last year’s International Literacy Day, Friday September 8th was about Literacy in a Digital World. https://sdg.uis.unesco.org/2017/09/05/tracking-literacy-in-an-increasingly-digital-world/. There are so many aspects – embedded culture, values, ideas, wisdom – to literacy which goes beyond squiggles on a page. Thank you for your reminder about the “penny dreadful.” Another great mini-research project for me. You always have the best ideas!

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    1. Clanmother

      You would love this place, Liz. We travelled by train and car to Innerleithen and were able to speak with the local residences. We spent a couple of hours at the local pub, waiting for the bus back to Bewick. Serendipity was with us that day for we witnessed the riding of the borders. What an adventure.

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