Jul 27, 2011

To Kindle or not to Kindle

That's the question that I'm poising to you today.

I'm still not 100% comfortable with e-readers.  I'm trying, because e-books just seem to be more environmentally sound than paper books.  I say "seem" because not everyone is convinced that e-books are any greener than regular books.  That's a subject for some far more intelligent than I.

But just as my instincts shout that they "seem" to be greener, those same instincts also shout that e-books should be cheaper.  A whole lot cheaper.  And that just isn't true at all.

I've been tearing through the Jack Reacher books from Lee Child recently.  The first few I purchased from the Kindle Store on Amazon for $9.99 apiece.  Like I said, I'm still not 100% comfortable with e-readers.  We own a Kindle, an iPad and I have a Kindle application on my laptop.  The Kindle itself is the only one I kinda like, but even that doesn't feel as good as a real book in my hands.

So the next volume I went on Amazon to purchase, I wound up in their Books section rather than the Kindle department.  And you know what I found?  They were selling paperback versions of the same books for $9.99.  The SAME PRICE as the Kindle edition!!!  And I'm an Amazon Prime member, so I don't pay anything for 2-day shipping. So it really is the same price.

That makes absolutely zero sense to me.  To repeat, it should be cheaper.  A whole lot cheaper.  I don't get it. Do any of you?  Are any of you as pissed as I am about this pricing structure?  It really is infuriating.

And before any of you suggest it, I know...I could borrow the book for free from my local library.  Yes, that is the best solution of them all.  I get it.

But in the specific question of buying books new or buying the Kindle edition, where do you stand?


sybil law said...

Wow. I am more buzzed than I thought. I thought I already put a comment here.
Anyway, um.... whatever.
You're welcome. (I like actual books.)

Bruce Johnson said...

This is what I did. I have a Sony dreaded during thevday (better than a kindle) and an iPad for the evening. I use the kindle app on the iPad, and read newspapers on the Sony.

Rachel said...

I have a nook. I love it. I spent about $300 a month on books. I usually read books from favorite authors when the come out in hardcover, so the books are 30-40 dollars and only 12-15 on my nook so it's a lot less expensive. The paperbacks I buy are priced from 2.99 to 9.99 depending on when they were released so sometimes I save money, but I get the book in seconds which is convienent

Slyde said...

i love the concept of e-books. I even got a sony ereader last christmas. but in the end, i returned it for exactly the reason you mentioned. I am NOT paying the same price as a printed book for an electronic copy.

white rabbit said...

Books do decorate a room as someone once said...

As in paper ones :D

white rabbit said...

ps Now I'm going to be irritated until I find out who it was who said about books decorating a room. Anthony Powell?

pps Sybil - You are very unruly. But I like you. As the late Dick Emery (google him) didn't quite say.


Unknown said...

I haven't tried it yet, but I want to. It makes sense that e-books are the thing of the future.

Those prices do seem unfair. I had no idea what they'd be.

A few times I saw, perhaps you have too, on different blogs a sidebar item which says "I pledge to read the written word." I think these are folks who oppose the electronic and digital direction we're heading in. But isn't it hysterical that I read about them on a blog on a laptop, digitally?

Thanks for a good thought-provoking post. I haven't been getting over here as much as I used to, no reflection on you, just busy with my own stuff.

Heff said...

As ALWAYS, gadgets are OF THE DEVIL.

MamaHaas said...

I suppose in the end, you should ask yourself - what costs more? The price of books and personal space, or hardware and electricity? And who says you can't bounce between the two?

I have 2 closets full, and under the king bed, packed with books. While the nook has 250 books on it currently.

Regarding ebook costs, watch indie authors/bookstores to ensure that higher portion of your dollar goes to support their efforts, or you know, just use your prime membership and get the actual book like you said. Powells.com is a great resource and runs specials on ebooks - this summer they had 25 books for 25 cents each. Great deal, interesting books. On some authors websites, they'll list a book for free, and Barnes & Noble does a freebie each Friday (truly hit or miss there). So what I suppose I'm trying to say, is that there are deals out there, regardless of how the content is delivered.

Bonus: Books don't have batteries that die on you. Kindles/Nooks do.

Paticus said...

You and yer fancy book learnin'.

Verdant Earl said...

Wow...I stay away for a few hours and whammo!

Sybil - yer funny!

Bruce - Yeah, the iPad in the sunlight thing doesn't work too well.

Rachel - I would like to test drive a Nook one of these days. Just to compare. And yeah...the price diff between hardcovers and e-books is a big savings.

Slyde - I don't think anything is gonna get you away from audio books anywho.

Wabbit - I've heard that before as well. Hmmm....

MikeB - Never seen that pledge, but it is kinda ironic when you put it that way.

Heff - Luddite! ;)

MamaHaas - Heya! Yeah, I get that there are deals to be had. This specific instance illustrated a problem with the pricing structure for me. Another benefit of books over e-readers? You drop a book and it doesn't break. :)

Paticus - Moi?

hello haha narf said...

if you are this torn about it, don't do it. or borrow someone's for a week and see if you like it.
fuck, i don't care. you are gonna do what you want regardless of what we say.


Verdant Earl said...

Becky - Borrow someone's what? I don't understand. I have a Kindle (and an iPad and a Kindle app on my laptop) already. And I'm not torn, I'm just pissed that the price of e-books is the same as the book itself. Seems wrong to me.

hello haha narf said...

now i get it. don't know what post i read, but it obviously was not what you wrote!

soooooooooooo...i still have no suggestion.


Unknown said...

I'm so torn.

I read several books a month. I too am pissed that the price isn't a deal for the paperback, but I would come out ahead on new release hardbacks.

But, I love passing around a good book. I love shopping in book stores. I also love instant gratification, so it would be cool to be all "presto" new book.

I just don't know!

Verdant Earl said...

Becky - no worries.

Annabelle - The presto thing is pretty cool. Ugh.

marty mankins said...

I have an iPad and have bought a couple of books from the B&N Nook store and the iBookstore, but haven't done anything with Kindle yet. I'm still mostly a paper book person. One of these days, I may actually venture more into the eBook world.