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I’m not going to buy your print book.

I’m not going to buy your print book.

I’m torn between supporting writers and supporting my decluttered life.

I love books. I love reading. A few years ago, I thought all of these digital reading devices were just odd. Who was going to read on a computer or a laptop or even some device that’s supposed to be for reading. That’s just silly.

Then I got a Kindle.

I had any books I wanted in my hand all the time. I only had to bring one thing on airplanes. I had books for work, books for pleasure, I could even email PDFs to my Kindle … although the formatting was often not that great. It had a built-in retractable light thing and the batter lasted weeks. Hmm, not bad.

Then I got a new Kindle. I got the Kindle Voyage.

The “front-lit” screen (there are a few layers of glass and one of the top one has the light, so it’s not back lit–back lit is bad for your eyes for extended periods. NOTE: computer screens and TVs are back lit). The light was built in, no more retractable arm.

Then I read, ahem, on my Kindle, Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”

Books and other objects in my house started looking at me, eyeing me like those old-school horror films where the eyes in the paintings follow you as you walk by. My dad and I moved a bunch of stuff around in the house a few years ago and I think he counted more than 1,000 books in our house. It didn’t seem possible. It’s OK, we then proceeded to hide many of them. Hide them from what? Marie the clutter Nazi wouldn’t approve.

A dear friend wrote a book. I like her. I like her writing. But she only had a paperback. I asked her if it was on Kindle. No. Hmm. I told her I couldn’t buy her book. Remember, I like this person and her writing and would love to read her book, but decluttering is winning out over even books. I also, frankly, prefer to read book on my Kindle.

A guy I don’t even know in a private Facebook group wrote a book and asked for a review. I don’t even know the guy, but he started his request with some helpful information so as a thank you, I bought his book and will review it when I’m done.

So I won’t buy my friend’s book, but I’ll buy a book from a complete stranger? Whoa, how things have changed.

But sorry, dear writer, I’m not going to buy your book. Decluttering wins.

Where are you on the paper vs. digital spectrum? Are you a “I want to have the feel of the paper in my hands” kind of reader or “I want to have that book and all my books always available” type?

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Sorry, I'm not going to buy your paper book.

Sorry, I’m not going to buy your paper book.



  1. kathyburgos

    Funny and brings up a valid point about technology and the transition it plays in our lives. Maybe you can buy the book, read it and then gift it to someone else?

    • Bradley Charbonneau

      Ooh, great idea! I hadn’t even thought of that, but that’s even better for the author as well–then I share their book, I give a physical book to just one person and I’ll choose that person carefully and, ideally, they’ll read it and enjoy it. Thanks for the note, Kathy!

  2. Nicole

    I totally get it. I love books. Love to have shelves full of them in my house. But…..I like the peace of mind and simplicity decluttering has brought to my life. And I love the convenience of reading books on my phone or Nook. What’s a bibliophile to do?

    • Bradley Charbonneau

      It’s a dilemma! A few of the comments on the Pat Flynn Kindle Facebook group suggested to only keep your favorite books or books that you read and LOVED. Having just finished Marie Kondo, I would add that we could / should keep books that give us joy. For example, a book I loved or a book from an author friend, signed at her book launch party. Those I’ll never get rid or … and aren’t even available on Kindle! Thanks for the note, Nicole!



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