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A Reading Old Books Strategy: Turn the Wifi Off

Book Discussion

How I’m Getting to Older Books

I think we all have the problem of new shiny things appearing faster than we can actually read them all. Whether it be eARCs, eBook deals or library downloads, it’s just so fun to download new things to your e-reader. I know I personally tend to want to download even more than normal when I don’t have as much time to read since hoarding books soothes my sadness at not being able to read them ;-). However, that puts us into a bit of a dilemma: books fall through the cracks and you don’t get to them. EBooks seem even harder than physical books to keep track of too since you can’t easily glance through the hundreds you have like you can a stack of physical books, hehe.

Recently I stumbled across a strategy for getting to those older books hiding on your eReader!

I got a bit addicted to my library’s Overdrive page when I discovered there is an Overdrive app which I can use to browse my library’s ebooks when bored at dinner parties ;-). I might have put in a lot of hold requests >.>. Only two have come in though and they are now safely nestled on my Kindle! Except that I of course didn’t get to them immediately and so they came up on their due date. However, if you turn your Wifi off on your Kindle (ie put it into Airplane mode), your Kindle won’t realize that they are overdue and they won’t disappear until you turn your Wifi back on! They’ll still become available again at your library, but you can get some extra time to get to them.

“But Anya!” I hear you say, “that just adds more books to my ereader that I haven’t gotten to!” and you are so right. My strategy isn’t actually about saving the library books completely since I still haven’t actually gotten to them >.>.

What I noticed, however, as I procrastinate reading those two library books, is that I’m taking the opportunity to read the eARCs that I was really excited aboutDeath Markedoriginally and didn’t get to before they fell off my immediate radar. Even though I’ve been approved for a couple of new eARCs, I can’t turn on my Wifi without losing those two library books, so I haven’t been lured away by the new shiny things :D. As long as my desire to keep access to two library books outweighs my excitement about a new eARC, I’ll keep procrastinating and reading things like Death Marked, which I was SO PUMPED for when it first showed
up on Edelweiss and then never got time to read it! And I’m finding that the joy of rediscovering the exciting eARCs I forgot about is proving just as much fun as getting new ones. I think I’ll be reading Crimson Bound next :D.

Crimson BoundNow, this strategy works best if you get on a hold list for a library ebook that isn’t too short, since that will be the best motivation for you to keep your copy once you finally get it ;-). I think I waited several months for both of mine, so I’m pretty motivated to read them before I let them expire! You could try just turning off your Wifi without that motivation though and perhaps the extra effort will be enough for you to turn to an older book instead of a new one?

Of course, as I write this post I know that this holding pattern isn’t going to last much longer for me. I just got approved for Girl at Midnight after being pending for a pretty long The Girl at Midnight time and sending an email with updated stats and my NetGalley email address to get a little extra nudge in (turns out that actually works!). I was kind of lying about reading Crimson Bound next up there since Girl at Midnight is just too tempting to resist and is even worth waiting another couple of months for those library books…. I might just buy the audiobooks instead though, we’ll see!

Oh, one more thing while we’re talking about library ebooks! Libraries only get to lend out an ebook a certain number of times before they have to buy a new license to lend it. This is another reason for holding on to your copy instead of re-borrowing it, since we want to stretch that download number as far as we can for our libraries. That is another reason why I’m thinking of instead buying the audiobooks of the two I had borrowed, since I don’t want to use up another download for my library :(.

Have you ever kept a loaned book around longer by turning off the Wifi? Do you have strategies for reading older books instead of being lured in by the shininess of new ones? How many older unread books do you have on your e-reader??

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. i like that trick about turning the wifi off! i usually have the wifi turned off on my kindle anyways, it helps the battery last longer.

    my trick for remembering to read e-books I’ve forgotten about is to make simulacrums of them, so I can see something physical:

  2. I don’t borrow e-books from the library much, mostly because I have so many books in my apartment and/or on my Kindle that I feel like I should read first. Generally I read one physical book and one e-book at a time. The e-book is for when I’m out and about (commuting, etc.), and the physical book is for reading in my bathtub. Occasionally I work in a third if I have some kind of deadline/blog tour/etc. coming up.

  3. Haha, I haven’t tried this strategy, but might in the future. I am also trying hard to get to my old books right now, both physical books and ebooks. I’m pretty busy with grad school and that’s helping me limit my ARC requests and also means I have more than usual to go back to because I’ve had less time to read than usual.
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…Futuristic Friday: Books We Can’t Wait To ReadMy Profile

    • I hear ya! I’ve been going through phases of not wanting to request anything because of feeling so stressed, and then requesting way too much because I want to read instead of work!

  4. Hahahha yes I have turned off my Wifi! I was almost done with Finnikin of the Rock, and the due date was coming up and I was like NOooooooo. So I tried putting my kindle on airplane mode and it worked! :) Glad to see you’re spreading the word hahahah
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: SeekerMy Profile

  5. I have that same problem of seeking out and hoarding more books when I have less time to read. It’s completely counterproductive, but we do it. :P

    Good work putting your procrastination to productive use! I’m almost exclusively a physical copy reader when it comes to library books, but I’ll keep this tip in mind. :)
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (4 stars)My Profile

  6. I live out of USA and our libraries still do not support Overdrive (bummer).
    I tried disconnecting my Kindle from WiFi once but sadly that did not stop me from requesting a lot of ebooks so when I turned it on they all piled up again…
    As for how many unread ebooks I have on my ereader… hundreds. I am always attracted by new shinies and forget about old ones… I’m like a crow from The Others, I can’t resist. Lol
    Dragana recently posted…Book Review: Written in Red by Anne BishopMy Profile

    • Oh no, that sucks! Haha, yeah, I definitely have done that too where I’ll just send NetGalley books to my Kindle knowing that they’ll show up when I finish the library book and turn it back on, sigh.

  7. I don’t have an ereader, so I can’t do that, and I haven’t used by overdrive with the library yet, but I plan to, soon people, sooooooon, BUT, I do find ways to read older books, I basically just think about what I want to read, what kind of feature (spies, or murder, or fluff) and search my shelves, pick the first and go for it, nothing like spontaneity to get myself reading. I tend to vary my books anyway, but you’re plan works for you Anya, keep it up! :)
    Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies recently posted…Weekly Recap 16-21 Mar. 2015My Profile

  8. I’ve done the turn off wi-fi (airplane mode) trick for library books :) Never unless I know I am going to read it and that it will expire before I finish. It really helps and avoids frustration if you are mid book when it expires.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Review: The Skull Throne by Peter V. BrettMy Profile

    • Exactly! I am now back to having the wifi off since I got another library book that I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get to, haha!

  9. I don’t think that strategy would work so well for what I have on my Kobo. The wifi is always off on that (I prefer USB transfer, or, when there’s no other choice, using Digital Editions), and anything that goes through Digital Editions has a time-limit on it anyway, whether or not the wifi is on. This is the biggest pain in the butt for some eARCs, since unless I time things perfectly, I don’t get a chance to read some of them before they expire, no matter what do.

    Usually then I’ll head to the library or use Overdrive to get a copy of the book I previous had an eARC of, but that’s about all I can do, really.

    The trick probably works best with Kindles, though if anyone has any tips for stopping the DRM expiry time on other devices and files, I’d love to hear ’em.

    • So there is a way to get the time limit off of DE eARCs that I know of if you want to avoid that issue >.> I’ll email you!

  10. What a great idea, I hadn’t thought of that. I tend to be good about reading my library books because I don’t want to lose them, so now I’ve just discovered a way to take the pressure down a notch. Though a lot of my overdrive books are audio, which is on my phone, which means I can’t keep that wi-fi off :/ still, neat trick. Also interesting fact – I had no idea the number of checkouts was limited before they have to pay to get more!
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 78th EditionMy Profile

  11. I wish that would work with my Kobo. I can only get eBooks from my library on that device here (we can’t lend books to our Kindles here), but it counts down even if you don’t have WiFi and just stops working eventually. That’s a neat trick though!

    • That is crazy, where are you located?? I had a Kobo but it just completely didn’t work for me, sigh, made me so sad since I didn’t want to support Amazon

  12. I have… way too many books on my Kindle. *laughs* A few months ago I had around 750-ish, and as of today I have 698. So it’s going down at least? Currently, none of them are eARCs. I’m actually pretty good about getting to those fairly quickly. It’s just the REST of the books that have sat around for years.

    My Kindle is/was a DX. The really large ones that they don’t make anymore. And as much as I love it, it would get heavy to hold after a while. Which is part of why I haven’t read more ebooks. But a few weeks ago Dad bought my grandma a small Kindle for her birthday. Which I ended up buying off him as the screen size was too small for her. So now I’m reading lots more ebooks since the new Kindle is so small and light! (We’ll see how long this lasts… *lol*)

    My current strategy for reading ebooks I already have instead of new ones, or physical books is page number. I got behind on my posting and haven’t gotten as many reviews scheduled as I’d like. (Only the current weeks worth.) So I’m going through and finding all the ebooks that say they are 250 pages or less, and if they appeal to me at the time I find them, I download up to 3 at a time from my TBR folder and read those. I haven’t looked to see if my library does ebooks. That would just add to my issue at the moment! *laughs*
    Silvara recently posted…Giveaways: When Do You Enter?My Profile

    • I’m freakishly against buying ebooks so I have probably no more than ten, haha! I do really love my little Kindle with it’s glowing screen, so convenient to bring around :D But library books at least don’t cost money ;-)

      • Ah, well you see… out of those 685 books I have left to go through, I’ve only actually PURCHASED maybe 10-ish? All the others I picked up while they were free. You’d think that would mean I had less books in my TBR pile since I only tend to get the free e-books. Apparently not. *laughs*

        If I’d been spending actual money on e-books, I’d have far fewer!
        Silvara recently posted…Do You Keep Every Book Ever?My Profile

        • That’s the way to do it! I do end up disappointed with the quality of a lot of the free books though :-/

  13. I’ve actually always wondered if that would work, or if the book would somehow be “locked” when the expiration date came long. But now I know! And that’s great! I’m usually really good about getting to library books on time, but sometimes if a bunch of holds come in at once, it gets hard to keep up! I’ll have to keep this in mind for the next time that happens. :)
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: Shadows (The Rephaim, #1) by Paula WestonMy Profile

    • I always get multiple holds in at once it seems like D: Or I’ll get a hold in when I have deadlines for several review books hanging over my head!

  14. I’ve got too many books to read to worry about getting anything from a library…. I just order my ‘to-read’ list on Goodreads, and hope I get to them all. Someday…
    Rindis recently posted…Rob RoyMy Profile

    • Haha, I totally know that feeling! Sometimes I request things from the library to resist buying more books I don’t need ;-)

  15. Anya, this is the most brilliant thing I’ve ever heard of. Mind. Blown. I have never thought to do that, but I’m totally doing that! Right now I am listening to the audiobook of The Darkest Part of the Forest but it’s due in a week and I don’t think I’ll be able to finish. So I’m going to turn the wifi off my iPad and see if it works… Lol. Either way I know with Ebooks I can stretch it. I didn’t know that libraries had that where they only could borrow few times before buying, and that renewing it counts towards the total number.
    I am trying to get to my eARCs to, and I got The Girl at Midniht and Crimson Bound ..both of which I am so excited to read! I want to start the girl at midnight but I looked at the pub date and decided I have a few to get through first, like A Wicked Thing / Monstrous / red queen.. Etc.

    Have a good weekend Anya and yay for getting to books we normally don’t get to ;)
    Diamond recently posted…Spring Cleaning Giveaway HopMy Profile

    • I’m a genius, I’ll admit it ;-)

      Apparently ebooks for libraries are really variable in what the policies are, such a crazy time we live in!

  16. This is so smart. I can’t believe I never realized this before! Ah, you learn something new each day.
    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted…Anne’s five mini reviews: February 2015My Profile

  17. Interesting trick! I’ll keep it in mind if my library ever gets any ebooks that I want to read. They don’t have many ebooks at all and my e-reader doesn’t have wifi anyway. I have… some unread e-books on the e-reader. I was about to say a few, but I doubt that the number can be considered a few anymore. My strategy is to read three before I allow myself to add one. It’s working so far. Also, not having much time to look for new books helps a lot too.
    Hellen recently posted…Top Ten Spring ListMy Profile

    • How do you resist the temptations on the internet?? I always mean to read a few before getting one and then I can’t resist >.>

  18. Haha, I love that you discovered this little trick. It’s something that we’re not really allowed to share with our patrons but I wish more people knew about it! I can’t tell you how many times someone has complained about needed extra time but not being able to recheck their ebook because of the holds list.

    As far as the library having to pay for a new ebook copy after a certain number of lends, that’s only partly true. It actually depends on the publisher! There are several different types of licenses. Sometimes we can get unlimited lends but only 1 user at a time. Sometimes we can get get unlimited lends for multiple simultaneous users but only for X number of years. Some libraries by ebooks as part of a big group with as-is packages/platforms, and some libraries select ebooks individually. And some publishers just won’t play nice with some platforms. The ebook lending market is actually kind of a mess!
    looloolooweez recently posted…OokMy Profile

    • Haha, I’m glad the librarian isn’t mad at me ;-)

      Oh cool! Hmmm, it’s probably still best if I don’t request too many times so that other readers can get them huh? ;-)

  19. I haven’t tried that strategy with my library ebooks. But I mainly download Kindle format via my library, would that still work?
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…The Friday 56: Blaze by Krista D. BallMy Profile


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