The new Kindle looks great and is entirely in my price range…well, not quite.
Okay, it does look great and the features are about where I want them to be and the price is fantastic.
On the other hand, I checked out a few books I am interested in:
A Charlie Stross science fiction novel:
Ken Robinson: The Element:
and, Greg Mortenson, Stones into schools:
The kindle edition is more expensive and I don’t understand why. After reading the Mortenson paper book, I am likely to lend it to my mother or friends and that is difficult to impossible to do with the Kindle version – without lending away my Kindle, that is. I could easily understand making paperbacks more expensive because they can be read by several people – I wouldn’t like it, but i would understand. The Kindle version doesn’t need to be printed, it isn’t taking up space on a shelf…why does it cost more?
Now, I do understand that the Kindle does have some benefits price-wise. Two, are very clear to me. First, I can download out-of-copyright books for free. I can even see myself doing this. I would dig into Orwell and Kipling and into pulp and classic SF – John Carter of Mars, Mysterious Island and more. I would load up on Darwin’s books and other science texts.
But, I don’t want to kid myself. The reason I haven’t read a lot of Orwell is that I was never thrilled by him – I know he was a great writer, but that doesn’t mean I really want to read him. I think I once heard a damning quote of the nouveau riche, “their shelves lined with classic books, never opened.”* I don’t need that for my Kindle.
Cory Doctorow offers his books up for free, with the expectation that people will become interested, then buy other books of his or as a sign of honesty. I have done this; I tried to read “Someone comes to town…” off my computer screen and didn’t care for the experience, but I did later buy, “Little Brother”.
Second, I might save a little money by downloading an Amazon book, even with the higher price, when including shipping to South Korea. There is no super saver deal for me. Still, this is nickel and diming my way to saving money. I might be able to do it, but there is no reason to expect the Kindle to be the proper device to read from after five years. Woo-hoo, I finally broke even on my purchase, and now it is obsolete.
I am very tempted.
*Dang, I can’t find that quote. I think I have the spirit of it, although I am not at all close to the letter.