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I have about 230 books loaded onto my Kindle, most of them free or less than $5. I subscribe by email to the eReader IQ offerings and every day, in my email, I have a selection to choose from. (www.ereaderiq.com) I like the fact that I can download a book and read it months/years later, when I get around to it (except for monthly loaners, which have to be returned by the 1st of the following month).

As you can imagine, at first I was wildly excited at getting these free or low cost books (can you imagine carrying 230 books in your purse?) and I downloaded some real junk, gobbling up everything even remotely interesting.

But I've become more discriminating as I have gone along. First, I read the reviews on Amazon. I don't even bother with the 5-star reviews, since they tend to be written by over-the-top friends and family or paid hacks.

And I avoid the 1-star reviews, since they are mostly written by reviewers with an axe to grind, such as being offended by immorality or swearing or improper attitudes towards Christian values/beliefs.

I look for books with around 15 reviews (or more) and I read the middling reviews. Pretty quickly you can discern which reviewers have read the book and are giving intelligent, thoughtful reviews. Then, based on the reviews and the blurbs, I'll download the book (or not).

I've written about 70 reviews myself, over the last few months.

After reading about 10% of a book, it's usually pretty clear whether or not it's going to be worth your time. After all, if it's free, it's painless enough to delete, no harm, no foul.

A bookcase of books in your pocket. Who would have thought it possible when we were young? Who would even have imagined it, except for the science fiction writers?

Life is good.

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