So let’s look at the life of a Kindle book.
Once you buy a Kindle book, it is yours forever (if you want to keep it).
Imagine a huge bookshelf in the sky. This is your bookshelf. There is no limit to it. It will grow and grow as you add books. When you buy a Kindle book at Amazon, the book appears on your shelf-in-the-sky. Amazon calls this the “Cloud”.
If you have a Kindle Fire, or a Kindle App on an iPhone or iPad or a newer Kindle (like the Paperwhite), you will see a spot that says “Cloud/Device”.
This is how “Cloud/Device” appears on the Kindle App on the iPad. It is similar on other devices.
(On the oldest Kindles, the “Cloud” can be found by looking at your “archived items”)
Tap on “Cloud” and you will see ALL OF THE BOOKS YOU HAVE EVER BOUGHT. Touch and hold any one to download it to the device in your hand.
Tap on “Device” and you will see ONLY THE BOOKS THAT YOU HAVE DOWNLOADED to the Kindle or Kindle app in your hand.
Your purchased book can reside in many places. It can sit on your Kindle reader, or on another device that has a Kindle app (like your iPad or iPhone), or it can stay in Amazon’s ‘Cloud’.
A book can also be in several places at once. When I read a book, for example, I will typically download it to my Paperwhite AND to my iPhone Kindle app AND to my old bathtub Kindle, so I can pick up the book and continue reading wherever I am.
Any family member or anyone else sharing the same Amazon account can have the same books on their Kindle at the same time, as well. The Cloud is the source for all your content on all your Kindle-powered devices.
Now, to answer Marcia’s original question: removing the books from your Kindle or Kindle App does not ‘delete’ them from your life. It only takes the book off of the device .. but it leaves it in the Cloud, so that you can put it back on your device whenever you choose.
When you want to remove a book from your device, just tap and hold it. On a Kindle App, a bubble will pop up that says “Remove from Device”. Go ahead and tap that. The book will be gone from your reader, but it will still be in the Cloud to be downloaded again, whenever you want it.
(On the Paperwhite, if you tap and hold a book that is on the Kindle, a list of options will appear, and among them is “remove from this device”.)
So if you look at this diagram, you can now imagine your books flying back and forth from Device-to-Cloud from Cloud-to-Device, back and forth and forth and back. Move them around as you’d like.
It is possible to delete books permanently, as well. (Thank goodness for that, because I have nabbed some free ones that I quickly regretted.) I’ll make this process a separate blog post, another day.