View Full Version : Paper vs. Kindle Cost


CCDMan
11-22-2007, 10:29 PM
Is there anybody out there that routinely sells new paper books as used (hardcover and paperback)?

I have always given mine to friends and family so have no idea what one recovers by doing this.

I has wondering this to make the following comparison:

Ebooks are now (with the Kindle), generally cheaper than the same book on Amazon in the "lowest cost at the time in paper" version.

Since folks make a lot of the fact that Kindle books cannot be sold and paper books can, I was wondering if the cheaper cost of the Kindle books makes up for what you would recover from selling a paper version of the same book.

So is the difference in Kindle vs. new paper cost greater or less than the loss taken when buying new paper and then selling that paper as used?

Now clearly buying used paper is cheaper but that is a different story.

Any thoughts?

Liviu_5
11-23-2007, 12:50 AM
I do not think that inability to resell e-books is a big issue overall, since very rarely you get good prices on used books these days (I sold 3 or 4 through Amazon marketplace that were rarer and I made about 10-15$ each, but I've done it for psychological reasons, namely that I had 2 editions, or that someone was advertising one of those books for 80$ used lowest price and it annoyed me, so I put mine for 19.99$; the hassle of buying envelopes, packing, shipping is not worth those money for me)

The Kindle issue is that azw books are locked

The high price of e-books issue is that people in general will not pay that kind of money for e-content. I do pay 15$ for baen e-arcs and occasionally 10-15$ for a new e-book that tempts me, mostly form BooksOnBoard lit, but the currently proven fact is that most people do not pay that much money for e-content; 15$ for a bunch of electrons, you gotta be kidding me - is a frequent comment

HarryT
11-23-2007, 03:37 AM
Is there anybody out there that routinely sells new paper books as used (hardcover and paperback)?


Nope. Not worth the effort of doing so. Mine (that I don't want to keep) go straight into the trash (or rather, the local village paper recycling facility).

brecklundin
11-23-2007, 03:55 AM
Nope. Not worth the effort of doing so. Mine (that I don't want to keep) go straight into the trash (or rather, the local village paper recycling facility).

gee, why not just burn them so nobody else can read them? I am sure you can use them as "kindle-ing" a fire quite nicely?

Seriously you trash books vs. donating them to a local charity/thrift store so they can not only generate funds for a charity but also offer inexpensive entertainment for those who cannot afford the trendy techy options?

BTW, paper recycling is a net energy loss so there it little to be gained by "recycling" paper. Trees used for paper are cheap to gown and fast to grow. Even better is hemp but that is a whole different topic.

;)

HarryT
11-23-2007, 04:01 AM
Seriously you trash books vs. donating them to a local charity/thrift store so they can not only generate funds for a charity but also offer inexpensive entertainment for those who cannot afford the trendy techy options?


If there's a local jumble sale on, or anything like that, I donate them, but I have too little free time to make the effort to take them to a charity shop. I live a fair way from the nearest big town, and there's nothing like that in the village where I live and do all my essential shopping.

Second hand books are worth so little that it's just not worth making the effort. These days, besides, I buy relatively few paper books - it's mostly eBooks.

tribble
11-23-2007, 04:10 AM
Nope. Not worth the effort of doing so. Mine (that I don't want to keep) go straight into the trash (or rather, the local village paper recycling facility).

Dont you have a local library, that you can donate your books to?

brecklundin
11-23-2007, 04:21 AM
I gettcha Harry...I forget not everyone has easy access to worthy honest charity stores. And selling them back, we gave up on the "sell them back" at the used bookstore long ago too...really what is the point at like 10% of the cover price. Now we just box 'em up and when there are a couple three boxes full drop them by a fav charity shop or sale. Odds are we bought a good number of them there anyway. Even if they get just a buck a piece it's something.

I can see how if one lives farther away it's much more difficult...and often not worth the time and effort. Sad really, but a fact of life these days.

Pretty much for me the biggest reason to move to ebooks is easy purchasing. I don't drive near as much as I once did plus fuel costs being what they are it's insane to drive to a store, spend an hour looking through a limited selection only to be told "...we can order it for you...", heck we can already do that...and sitting in our underware to boot! ;)

BTW, I could not resisit the comment about using them "...as kindle-ing for a fire" joke...hehehehehe....

HarryT
11-23-2007, 04:21 AM
Dont you have a local library, that you can donate your books to?

I've already tried that - they don't want them, believe it or not!

brecklundin
11-23-2007, 04:36 AM
I've already tried that - they don't want them, believe it or not!

I can back Harry up up on that...our local library is not keen on accepting donated books anymore either. I guess they are content with the 18-books they have on the shelves these days. :rolleyes:

andym
11-23-2007, 04:53 AM
In London the Amnesty bookshop rations the number of books you can donate to them.

Hospital libraries are a possibility though - at least for fiction (ie the sort of book you'd want to read if you were in hospital).

Amazon is OK for more expensive books but a waste of time and energy for cheper fiction books.

ashalan
11-23-2007, 06:59 AM
Dont you have a local library, that you can donate your books to?

I've already tried that - they don't want them, believe it or not!

I can imagine that might be tied to legal issues. That is, in some countries a private copy of a paper book (the ones you and I buy in stores) may not be used for lending in libraries.

strangeseraph
11-23-2007, 08:06 AM
Another good place to donate books to is senior citizens homes. Nursing homes too. :) Since they always have only whatever is available in their library (which, in the less publically funded nursing homes, I've found they are usually so full of ancient books that nobody ever touches) a refresh in books I'm sure is always welcome. Magazines are a good thing to donate to these places too.

Ta

Bob Russell
11-23-2007, 08:32 AM
Locally, I've found that most charities here either don't take used books, or only accept them as a favor.

But there is a used bookstore "Half Price Books" that will give you some small amount of money for books. I've given them really valuable book sets and only received a few bucks for them. It's painful, but easy, and not as painful as throwing them away. At least this way, someone is likely to buy them again. They deserve the profit because I'm not willing to do the legwork to sell them online or at more sophisticated used bookstores.

On the other hand, I don't currently see e-book technology as being chosen by people to save money. Maybe as a self-justification for big readers who can justify the initial outlay by the discounts on best sellers, for example.

Mostly, however, I see people buying these things because they like the experience and convenience, or have eyesight/storage type issues driving them. Let's face it, it's really a luxury item at the moment.

HarryT
11-23-2007, 08:39 AM
Mostly, however, I see people buying these things because they like the experience and convenience, or have eyesight/storage type issues driving them. Let's face it, it's really a luxury item at the moment.

With me it's the storage aspect of it. I live in a small house and couldn't store 1,000 paper books. I can - and do - store 15,000 e-Books on an external USB hard disk the size of a pack of playing cards.

slayda
11-23-2007, 09:32 AM
Back when I read mostly pbooks (paperback) there was a Used Book Store where I could trade. Their books were half price & I got 1/4 price credit. It was a good deal for me since I got to read books for essential 1/4 the original price.

However I've only read maybe 3 pbooks in the last year and probably over 50 ebooks with my Sony & sometimes with my Palm T/X.

nekokami
11-23-2007, 10:30 AM
Our local library accepted our used books when we moved a year ago, but then decided to throw them away. They didn't even want to include them in the monthly book sale to support the library. I picked them up again and took them to a charity store.

I've found a science fiction specialty store a couple of towns away that takes used books and offers store credit. I'm trying to cut down on the number of paper books I have, so I don't know how much I'd use the store credit, but at least at the store probably someone who likes SF will pick them up and read them.

CCDMan
11-23-2007, 11:16 AM
Very Interesting! So the general consensus seems to be that:

You get so little for them that they are not really financially worth the trouble to sell. So from a strictly cost Point of View on the books themselves (not including the reader), ebooks are cheaper.

Although much has been made by opponents of the ability to pass paper books on, this seems to be harder than it would appear since libraries and thrift stores are not eager to take them. This may be mostly just to friends and family and then what do they do with them?

Storage of paper is a major issue, as one poster mentioned. I wonder how many books one would re-read anyway? In my case, only coffee table books (which are not threatened at all) and reference works are worth keeping. And the web is already rapidly making the reference works obsolete with or w/o ebooks.

So are these paperbacks ultimately just going to landfills?

airlik
11-23-2007, 11:27 AM
There was an article not too long ago about a pair who owned a used book store having a big book-burning. It wasn't a protest, they just had scads and scads of books in storage and no longer had room for them - they couldn't GIVE them away. I'm sure there are markets for them (my mum always bought used books - she read a lot and we couldn't afford new paperbacks... if "new" was the only option there'd have been much less reading going on), but I'm guessing most paperbacks wind up in boxes/storage or the recycle bin when people are done with them. I have to make a decision sometime soon regarding all of mine - I have more books than I know what to do with, boxes and boxes of them from my first 35 years of reading.

However, when it comes to what I'm willing to pay for books... if I really enjoyed a book but don't imagine I'll ever read it again, and probably won't get that nice nostalgic tingle one gets on seeing the spine of a well-loved book on one's shelf, I still like to have the option of giving it to a friend when I'm done. Basically, I treat ebooks as throw-away, like a magazine. The rights you have regarding them are far fewer, and I think the price should accordingly be much less. I'd like to see them just come up with "fair" pricing, whatever that is. Take the cost of a paperback, subtract the distribution costs for the paper (including buying unsold copies back from stores), subtract the cost of printing... then add the cost of coming up with a digital copy and the per-book distribution fee from your selling agency, and charge that.

Anyway, when I look at the books I've purchased from Connect, they tend to be business or one-time-read, throw-away books - ex: The Tipping Point, a couple of travelogues, and some mindless fiction. My only regrets so far have been "I Am America" (the printed version is SO much better) and "The World is Flat" (definitely one to fill with post-its and highlighting), and I ended up buying them twice for that reason. So far, eBooks have cost me MORE money overall than paper due to the double-purchases. I guess I'm in part paying for the convenience of having a small library with me when I travel, but I AM becoming more price-sensitive about ebooks because of the reasons mentioned above.

tompe
11-23-2007, 11:45 AM
Although much has been made by opponents of the ability to pass paper books on, this seems to be harder than it would appear since libraries and thrift stores are not eager to take them. This may be mostly just to friends and family and then what do they do with them?


Notice that keeping a paper book in your library 10 years is passing the book on to yourself ten years older. I will not buy a DRM book that is not breakable because I want to be able to read or re-read it or look up things in it many years later.

CCDMan
11-23-2007, 12:01 PM
Notice that keeping a paper book in your library 10 years is passing the book on to yourself ten years older.

Huuh? So what? Most folks don't read read most books again anyway so what does that serve aside from taking up storage space?

True, if there is a book I am likely to want to read again or make easily available to visitors, paper MIGHT be better, but this has become maybe 1 out to 30-50 books now that reference is mostly web based.

tompe
11-23-2007, 12:21 PM
Huuh? So what? Most folks don't read read most books again anyway so what does that serve aside from taking up storage space?

True, if there is a book I am likely to want to read again or make easily available to visitors, paper MIGHT be better, but this has become maybe 1 out to 30-50 books now that reference is mostly web based.

How do you know what book you want to use 10 years later? Also there are different type of readers and different kind of uses of a book. The argument that just because you cannot see a reason to do something does not mean that this something is worthless or not important.

Most people I know that buy a lot of books reuse them.

nekokami
11-23-2007, 12:48 PM
On this forum, so far, about 50% of the participants in the poll I set up do re-read books.

pilotbob
11-23-2007, 01:10 PM
OK,

I'll add my two cents to this.

I generally keep all the books I buy... but "mainly" because I can't see throwing away something I just paid $8-$15 for. That said, I also generally do not re-read books that I have already read. There is to much stuff I haven't read out there... to many books, so little time.

That said, one of my sons seems to enjoy what I read and has gone through and read all the books in my library, some more than once. If that library were digital I would like to be able to have that luxury too.

Books I do generally through away are technical books which get obsolete after a few years.

I would love to be able to convert all of my paper books to digital versions if only to not need all the storage space. Generally the main books I would like to see/keep in paper form are books like cook books or how to books that are referred to alot and used in an environment you wouldn't want to subject an electronic device too.

This is actually similar to the Wii virtual console. For those that don't know, the virtual console allows you to buy older games that came out for previous Nintendo consoles online and store them into your Wii's internal memory. However, I still have all those old console games and can't bear to pay for them any more. But, if nintendo offered me some type of "conversion" price like $1 or something I would pay it. I would do the same for eBooks... if there were some type of depot where you could bring your paper books to prove you owned it and turn it in for a digital version of the same book, that would be awesome. Even if I had to pay some nominal fee to do this I would.

BOb

CCDMan
11-23-2007, 04:00 PM
On this forum, so far, about 50% of the participants in the poll I set up do re-read books.

I do as well, but what percent of those we own are ever re-read? Not a large percent, I suspect (are there any numbers on this?). The idea that one somehow should keep all the books one reads is just silly. All of us have read books that we wish we had not bothered with, much less keeping to read again.

How do you know what book you want to use 10 years later?

I may not know which ones I want to read again but you have to be an idiot not to know which ones you DON'T want to read again. Those are the ones that wind up in a landfill or passed on to somebody with different tastes. Of course, if one thought the book stunk, why would you pass it on to a friend?! <g>

Also there are different type of readers and different kind of uses of a book.

Some books (the stinkers mentioned above) are good for leveling tables, I guess. <g> Like everything else, some books just not very good (or the economic version of that - not very popular), and although a few people might find them worthwhile, that may not be enough to waste natural resources on or for a publisher to take a chance on.

Consider books that do not sell even close to the numbers printed. How many of those wind up in the recycle bin back at the publishers? Far better for these books to be in ebook form. Not only will more of these small audience books actually make it to market (less risky to publish), but few resources are wasted if they flop.

The argument that just because you cannot see a reason to do something does not mean that this something is worthless or not important.

Exactly where did I say that? Reading is fine but not quoting what you read between the lines.

tompe
11-23-2007, 08:45 PM
I may not know which ones I want to read again but you have to be an idiot not to know which ones you DON'T want to read again. Those are the ones that wind up in a landfill or passed on to somebody with different tastes. Of course, if one thought the book stunk, why would you pass it on to a friend?!


I do not usually read this kind of books. But even this kind of books you might need look into efter you have read them because you are writing a review of the book or you are discussing the book and want to look up something.

nekokami
11-23-2007, 09:56 PM
I do as well, but what percent of those we own are ever re-read? Not a large percent, I suspect (are there any numbers on this?).
The poll distinguishes between re-reading many books vs. re-reading only a few. Both options got high percentages. A significant, but lesser, number of people refer back to books to re-read only a portion.

HarryT
11-24-2007, 05:00 AM
I generally keep all the books I buy... but "mainly" because I can't see throwing away something I just paid $8-$15 for.

Going by that argument, presumably you keep all your old pizza boxes too? :)

lubberts
11-24-2007, 05:11 AM
As my dad would say, just hold on one cotton picking minute!!
Perhaps I missed it in all of my readings on the Kindle, but when did we decide that ebooks could not be kept? Is the DRM going to erase them from the memory on your ebook reader after you finish with the final page? From what I understood, the books are stored not only to your hard drive (or home book shelf) where they could perish in a fire or flood, but also on their servers, where you can re-download AND re-read them whenever you might choose to do so. The only restriction is that you do so on your kindle (or any of the other FIVE kindle's registered to your account). If I own one, why is that a restriction at all? Granted, I don't use the computer that I had 5 years ago on a daily basis, but I still own my old colored plastic mac laptop that I had in high school, and If there were some game or program or book that I loved, but also did not care enough to re-purchase to work on OSX, AND apple hadn't created backwards compatibility for, I could revisit that ancient piece of hardware and use it.
If it is about sharing then take my example and consider; There is a small group of book loving friends I like to share books with. For me it is my uncle, my father, my girlfriend, and occasionally my Aunt, though she lives far away. It's like my fave5 (or would that be fave 6?), but for reading. :-) I have a kindle on the way, so does my dad, so does my girlfriend, when I told my uncle about it he sounded very interested. My aunt in New York was previously too far away to justify sharing reading materials (shipping is expensive if you want it there this millenium) but now, if she got one as well we would ALL be able to share our books. Not only share our books, but have copies of all of those books constantly at hand, and have the ability to all, simultaneously read the same best seller or new release for the low low price of TEN BUCKS!! Between us we would usually purchase at least two copies of a grand slam book to spread amongst us (with plenty of thumb twiddling awaiting the slow readers). These two copies are purchased at the borders 30% off price, we'll say $20 to be generous. We aren't just saving half, we're saving 3/4ths of the price we normally would have paid, and we don't have to fret about remembering to bring a book back to someone, or to bring it to share to begin with wasting gas and time. Or (not like I have ever done this) about losing it and having to fake knowing what the latest inside joke is. (haven't lost a reader yet...i'm thinking it's because I barely make that much in a week...)
And don't get me started about moving books. I HATE moving books. I've had 4 apartments in the last 4 years, and perhaps I'll keep more books around once I settle, but packing and hauling and unpacking for something I MAY peruse once in a year? Last time I had to move, I moved them all right to half price bookstore.
From the comments above this is turning into "either keep the books you might like to read again OR get a Kindle"
HUH?

lubberts
11-24-2007, 05:11 AM
haha, pizza boxes! That's rich!

HarryT
11-24-2007, 05:28 AM
haha, pizza boxes! That's rich!

There was, in fact, a serious point behind the fatuous remark.

I probably spend roughly equal amounts of money each month on eBooks and take-away pizzas. I buy rather more eBooks than pizzas, but eBooks are cheaper than pizzas, so it works out about the same.

The point is, when you buy a pizza you get perhaps half an hour's enjoyment from it, and then it's gone for ever. If you want to repeat the experience, you have to buy another.

An eBook, which is cheaper than a pizza, gives far more enjoyment. It'll probably take me around 6h to read an average novel, so that's 12x the pleasure that the pizza's given me at a lower price.

Given that the eBook is already so massively ahead in the enjoyment stakes, why are people bothered about whether or not they'll be able to re-read that book in 5 years time? That's what I just don't get. People don't complain that they can't eat their pizza again, so why all the fuss about the eBook? Why not just consider it a one-time pleasure, like the pizza?

tompe
11-24-2007, 05:55 AM
Given that the eBook is already so massively ahead in the enjoyment stakes, why are people bothered about whether or not they'll be able to re-read that book in 5 years time? That's what I just don't get. People don't complain that they can't eat their pizza again, so why all the fuss about the eBook? Why not just consider it a one-time pleasure, like the pizza?

Because what you read affects your enjoyment of other things or other books. For exemple in a long series I sometimes re-read all the books in the series to be able to enjoy the last book properly. I want to have a guarante that it is possible to do that before I start to read the series.

I also for pleasure discus books with friends and then you sometimes need to go back to a book and look up things.

And in the same way that you have had an extremely good meal att a restaurant that you later want to have again in the same way you sometimes want to repeat the experience of reading a specific book.

I really do not read books in a way that a comparision with eating pizza is relevant.

tompe
11-24-2007, 05:58 AM
As my dad would say, just hold on one cotton picking minute!!
Perhaps I missed it in all of my readings on the Kindle, but when did we decide that ebooks could not be kept? Is the DRM going to erase them from the memory on your ebook reader after you finish with the final page?

You have no guarentee that you will be able to read your book in 20 years time. If your Kindle is working you can read it but if it breaks then you cannot be sure that you can buy a replacement. Also Amazon can update the software in the Kindle to make it impossible to read your books.

HarryT
11-24-2007, 06:01 AM
You have no guarentee that you will be able to read your book in 20 years time.

But it's equally true that you have no guarantee that if you buy a paper book now, you will have it available to read in 20 years time Any number of things, many of which are completely outside your control, could happen in those 20 years to cause you to lose it.

tompe
11-24-2007, 06:26 AM
But it's equally true that you have no guarantee that if you buy a paper book now, you will have it available to read in 20 years time Any number of things, many of which are completely outside your control, could happen in those 20 years to cause you to lose it.

Yes, you can loose the book but then you can reaquire it or you have friends that have the same book and so on. Of course it is a question of probability. But as I see it the probability that you cannot read a book in 20 years time is much higher for a DRM-book compared to non-DRM book or a paper book.

kacir
11-24-2007, 09:47 AM
HUH?
You list the reasons why there are so many people eager to buy Kindle. Go ahead and buy one. It looks like Amazon business model is tailor-made for you. I am really very glad we have another convert. You see, there are relatively very few people that read ebooks so most publishers do not care about us.

The thing is, people get burned by DRM now and again. Usually it is in situation when they lose access to their material much sooner that they think is fair or reasonable. So people are cautious when the re-use of the digital media they paid for (please notice I have avoided words bought or purchased) is solely in the hands of the third party. You never know what the corporation decides a year, or ten years from now. Of course, you can use your files again and again, without the need to contact Amazon, on that particular kindle device of yours, as long as back them up on the computer. But tell me, how long do you think your Kindle device will last when you use it every day, when you travel and comute with it? Five years? or perhaps even seven? In seven years there will be much, much better, larger and crisper displays.
What if you want to re-read your favourite book on a sparkling new Samsung ebook reader with color display with the size of A4 and resolution 300dpi five years from now? Tough luck.
Amazon HAS a record of discontinuing of support for DRMed books (I think it was some adobe format)

People are also very cautious when the third party has UNLIMITED access to their device, files, shopping habits ... . Just remember how people reacted to Windows Genuine Advantage when it was introduced. Just remember how people reacted to the SONY rootkit fiasco.
Mind you, Amazon has total control over your device. The ultimately total control. They can install anything they want. They can have a look at any file. If they wanted they could find out how often you read, or even where you read a book (it is possible to track your position using cellular network). It is impossible to have the EVDO connection switched off permanently. You have to switch it on at least from time to time, because the direct delivery of purchased books and newspapers to your kindle is the only way you can purchase media.
Amazon HAS a record of selling their customers data to third parties. There was a scandal quite a few years ago if I remember correctly.

Another thought. What would happen in a few years when EVDO connection is replaced by a next generation cellular network?

There are also people that would like to have a confirmation, or a password protection when buying books so they do not purchase book accidentally. That is impossible at the moment. You leave your Kindle unattended and a coworker makes a great practical joke of purchasing a few dozens of books in your name. Or somebody just browses and casually plays with your kindle without realizing that they are spending your money and actually buying books. Or a cat steps on your "buy now" button.

Yet another random thought. What happens when your kindle gets stolen?

pilotbob
11-24-2007, 09:47 AM
Going by that argument, presumably you keep all your old pizza boxes too? :)

Um... I bought the Pizza, not the box! Also, a book can be re-used... a Pizza box, not so much.

BOb

HarryT
11-24-2007, 09:50 AM
It is impossible to have the EVDO connection switched off permanently. You have to switch it on at least from time to time, because the direct delivery of purchased books and newspapers to your kindle is the only way you can purchase media.

No, that's incorrect. You can purchase via the Kindle web site, download the file to your PC and upload it to your Kindle via USB. That's what people in areas of the US outside Sprint network coverage will have to do.

Yet another random thought. What happens when your kindle gets stolen?

You deregister it from your Amazon account.

JSWolf
11-24-2007, 11:13 AM
Since some here seem to be worried that Amazon seems to have total control over the Kindle content, why not download the books to your system not using the wifi and then you have a local copy should you have the need for it if for some reason you cannot access Amazon to redownload?

SanAntone
11-24-2007, 11:13 AM
I appreciate all your thoughts about the Kindle. I have one and am enjoying it immensely. It's come a long way from the Rocket ebook! I really think that the more readers we have and the more people buying ebooks, regardless of the format, DRM, etc...the better for all of us. The more of us there are, the more of a need for a uniform format.

There are some points I want to address:

People are also very cautious when the third party has UNLIMITED access to their device, files, shopping habits ..

Whoever you buy from has access to your shopping records. If you buy your books from Sony Connect...they know what you've bought. If you buy from Baen...they know what you bought. If concerned about Amazon seeing private files, you can add them via USB and then turn wireless off. Matter of fact you can keep wireless off and add all books via USB. Amazon, in my opinion, already has a very trusted reputation and couldn't survive without keeping and earning customer's trust.

hey can install anything they want. They can have a look at any file. If they wanted they could find out how often you read, or even where you read a book (it is possible to track your position using cellular network).

Why would they care how often I read? Or where I read? They'll hopefully sell hundreds of thousands of these and I doubt there is a guy sitting in Seattle wondering where I'm reading World Without End today.

There are also people that would like to have a confirmation, or a password protection when buying books so they do not purchase book accidentally. That is impossible at the moment. You leave your Kindle unattended and a coworker makes a great practical joke of purchasing a few dozens of books in your name. Or somebody just browses and casually plays with your kindle without realizing that they are spending your money and actually buying books. Or a cat steps on your "buy now" button.

You get a confirmation screen when you make a purchase. You get a screen that allows you to cancel your purchase when you make a purchase. You get an email confirming the purchase. You have 7 days to get a refund if someone casually and unknowingly buys a book.

kacir
11-24-2007, 11:20 AM
No, that's incorrect. You can purchase via the Kindle web site, download the file to your PC and upload it to your Kindle via USB. That's what people in areas of the US outside Sprint network coverage will have to do.
I stand corrected
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127480&#us

lubberts
11-24-2007, 02:01 PM
Man I love the discussions on these boards! I've read them forever always keeping my opinion close to my chest, it feels so good to get it off my chest! Please forgive if I'm a little overzealous. :-)

The thing is, people get burned by DRM now and again. Usually it is in situation when they lose access to their material much sooner that they think is fair or reasonable.

Humm, I hadn't heard of that before, perhaps my opinion on the issue is skewed because I've never had a bad experience with DRM...Could you give me an instance where people have been burned by DRM?

Mind you, Amazon has total control over your device. The ultimately total control. They can install anything they want. They can have a look at any file. If they wanted they could find out how often you read, or even where you read a book (it is possible to track your position using cellular network).

...woah...maybe the key is to wrap the kindle in aluminum foil? Or your head? (j/k) Realistically, what do they gain from that information that harms you, even if they do decide to look at it? They know what books to suggest to me based on what I've already purchased? Fine by me, I don't feel like browsing through 90,000 of them all the time, and it's a friendly suggestion, not an order. As far as them being able to read my files, I've got nothing to hide! Even if the all knowing "they" could access a document that I created and put onto my kindle, for the same reason that I keep my car keys seperate from my house keys (i'm always losing my car keys!) it's not going to be the only copy, or my plot for world domination. (I keep that on my iphone.) If they want to read the honor harrington series, they can feel free. And they CAN install anything that they want onto my kindle. They're going to install what...updates? more features in the "experimental" category? Disable me from using the kindle (cough cough cash cow cough) that I purhchased from their store so I cannot purhcase their ebooks? What kind of sense does that make from a business standpoint?

You leave your Kindle unattended and a coworker makes a great practical joke of purchasing a few dozens of books in your name. Or somebody just browses and casually plays with your kindle without realizing that they are spending your money and actually buying books. Or a cat steps on your "buy now" button.

Yet another random thought. What happens when your kindle gets stolen?

Someone else already pointed out the very realistic steps you'd take with amazon and the kindle if any of these things actually happened, but the same thing could happen if you have your wallet and credit cards stolen. Is that an argument against wallets or credit cards? i guess yes, but is it a convincing one?

My kindle is on the way and I think we're going to be very happy together. I'm going to keep my PRS 505 in my desk in case of emergency, or in case I want to read one of the books I had on my 505, but not bad enough to re-purchase it on amazon. If I decide to sell it, the funds will go to replace my library through amazon. Simple as that.

IMHO it's coming down to; some people prefer the convenience of having a tailor made library at your fingertips all the time, and are willing to sacrafice a little freedom in where they read the files, and a little cash if they occasionally have to re-purchase a book and some people would rather work a little bit harder to get the same content onto their reader of choice sans DRM. On the 500/505 when I wanted to get a book that wasn't available from the connect store, I'd do a little more work, I'd find it elsewhere (certainly not the darknet) convert it to a nice format, and transfer it in. I still have the ability to do that, I just hope I don't have to waste as much time doing it and can waste more time reading. :-) I recognize that I'm paying for the privilege.

igorsk
11-24-2007, 03:15 PM
Some of the DRM systems that went down leaving their clients stranded:
1) Gemstar Rocket eBook
http://web.archive.org/web/20060813103820/www.gemstar-ebook.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/eBookstore.woa/wa/
2) Embiid Publishing
http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=read&group=sff.publishing.embiid&artnum=2091
3) Amazon eBooks (before Kindle)
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7223
There are more, but these are probably the most well-known examples.

kacir
11-24-2007, 04:33 PM
...Could you give me an instance where people have been burned by DRM?
One example could be ... you.
I think I can asume that you own a DVD player.
You want to watch your favorite legally purchased disk.
You insert it into player and you have to suffer through FBI legal warnings, advertisement for questionable movies. *Every time*
There was a discussion recently on this forum and on Slashdot about some people that purchased baseball videos and the company that sold those videos simply switched off the servers authenticating and claimed that those videos were just "one time sale" see http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/07/2014253
There are people that have quite a lot of iTunes purchased and now they are locked in to iPod. I know that many people DO prefer iPod, but let us assume that Samsung releases player that is just much, much better and cooler. You could not use your song library with it.
Another example here on Mobileread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14636&highlight=drm+good+for+consumer


... in aluminum foil? Or your head? ... Even if the all knowing "they" could access a document that I created and put onto my kindle, for the same reason that I keep my car keys seperate from my house keys (i'm always losing my car keys!) it's not going to be the only copy, or my plot for world domination. (I keep that on my iphone.)
Come on ...
... besides ... *aluminium* would not protect your brain adequately. You would have to use THE original Tin-foil hat [link to the GREAT site called straightdope] (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/000609.html) - that is one made from a ferromagnetic material. :)

Let us consider a purely hypothetical situation.
You have in the past purchased some .mobi or .lit files that are DRM protected. "Converting" those files to something readable on your next reader is something many people would consider "ethically all right". Something like "fair use". Our hypothetical user might think: "I paid for that file, so as long as I do not distribute the ... aehmm ... 'converted' result, no harm is done ...", yet such converting might turn out to be illegal. Normally nobody would ever have a chance to find out that you keep such file on a computer. With kindle however ...

In another thread someone mentioned that he would not get permission to read his [confidential] company documents on Kindle.

There are also people that download books from dark corners from the net and they might hesitate to put those books on Kindle.
I know, I know, one of the greatest features of kindle is that you can get the book you desire LEGALLY for a few bucks without using dangerous, cryptic, sometimes outright unpleasant and illegal means.

And they CAN install anything that they want onto my kindle. They're going to install what...updates?

Sometimes an update can contain things that are undesirable.
Just ask some playstation II owners.
Another hypothetical situation.
Some clever guy invents a hack that would let you to read your (legally purchased, mind you) DRM protected *.lrf, *.lit or *.mobi files on your kindle by extracting PID from Kindle, so you can register it to your list of devices with some .mobi files provider.
Amazon finds out and patches the hole. Just like Sony in PRS505 patched the "hole" clever guys here used to load their "hacks" - like clock, turning pages with joystick, or better font sizes for booklist on PRS500


IMHO it's coming down to; some people prefer the convenience of having a tailor made library at your fingertips all the time, and are willing to sacrafice a little freedom in where they read the files, and a little cash if they occasionally have to re-purchase a book and some people would rather work a little bit harder to get the same content onto their reader of choice sans DRM. On the 500/505 when I wanted to get a book that wasn't available from the connect store, I'd do a little more work, I'd find it elsewhere (certainly not the darknet) convert it to a nice format, and transfer it in. I still have the ability to do that, I just hope I don't have to waste as much time doing it and can waste more time reading. :-) I recognize that I'm paying for the privilege.
Well said. VERY well said.

tompe
11-24-2007, 04:48 PM
As far as them being able to read my files, I've got nothing to hide!

People got put on no fly list or list that trigger extra control when flying using information like what books you are reading. The problem is false positives and all trouble you get from them.

nekokami
11-24-2007, 07:19 PM
@HarryT, just a couple of points:

1 - Quite a few MobileRead members do, in fact, re-read books. Many of them do a lot of this, according to the poll I set up.

2 - I don't buy take-away pizza. We make it at home. We rarely eat out -- can't afford it. Every penny counts in our household. Only the tight storage issues allowed me to justify an ereader at all (we can live in a smaller house as a result) and only my graduate studies let me justify my iLiad -- used, at half price-- to save money for paper and toner, as well as storage space again, for all the journal articles I'm assigned as part of my coursework.

For you, reading a book may be a one-time pleasure, and worth the money you pay for a book to read it once. I can understand and respect that. But for me, any book I'm paying for needs to be worth reading more than once, and I need to have some confidence I'll be able to do so. I know I'm not in the majority on this, but I don't think I'm alone, or in a very small minority, either.

CCDMan
11-25-2007, 01:16 AM
The more negative posts I read about e-readers in general, not just the Kindle, the more evident it becomes that a significant number of these posts are by folks that can't really afford them. This, BTW, is more the Amazon "Review" forums, far more than Mobileread.

Although I agree that the readers could be and should be cheaper, I just can't help wonder about the motivation of some of these posters. Perhaps some degree of sour grapes is operating here, although it is hard to tell just how much might be sour grapes and impossible to say if any particular post falls into that category, since it is true the cost is a higher than it could be.

There just seem to be an awful lot of these posts and many of them seem to have a somewhat hostile and defensive tone. But maybe it is just my imagination.

lubberts
11-25-2007, 01:44 AM
You know, sour grapes hadn't entered my mind for some reason until you just mentioned it. I'd say that for a bunch of the posts on the amazon site at least (certainly to a smaller degree here) there are some very sour grapes indeed. I work for t-mobile, and when the iPhone came out I had to hate it because I couldn't have it. Once it was hacked I was able to love it, and still do. I'm definitely willing to bet that more than a few of those posts would be positive if the prospect of owning one were actually a...prospect.

Sparrow
11-25-2007, 06:30 AM
If there's a local jumble sale on, or anything like that, I donate them, but I have too little free time to make the effort to take them to a charity shop. I live a fair way from the nearest big town, and there's nothing like that in the village where I live and do all my essential shopping.

FreeCycle is a good way of getting rid of any old junk - it's surprising how many people want it :) (and they come and pick it up).

nekokami
11-25-2007, 10:12 AM
Does FreeCycle operate in the UK?

slayda
11-25-2007, 10:24 AM
There was, in fact, a serious point behind the fatuous remark.

I probably spend roughly equal amounts of money each month on eBooks and take-away pizzas. I buy rather more eBooks than pizzas, but eBooks are cheaper than pizzas, so it works out about the same.

The point is, when you buy a pizza you get perhaps half an hour's enjoyment from it, and then it's gone for ever. If you want to repeat the experience, you have to buy another.

An eBook, which is cheaper than a pizza, gives far more enjoyment. It'll probably take me around 6h to read an average novel, so that's 12x the pleasure that the pizza's given me at a lower price.

Given that the eBook is already so massively ahead in the enjoyment stakes, why are people bothered about whether or not they'll be able to re-read that book in 5 years time? That's what I just don't get. People don't complain that they can't eat their pizza again, so why all the fuss about the eBook? Why not just consider it a one-time pleasure, like the pizza?

Also a diet of nothing but ebooks would ensure weight loss!

slayda
11-25-2007, 10:34 AM
Humm, I hadn't heard of that before, perhaps my opinion on the issue is skewed because I've never had a bad experience with DRM...Could you give me an instance where people have been burned by DRM?



1) I bought some DRMed ebooks (.lit). Had an activated (for .lit) computer that would not open them. It said the computer was not activated. So I tried to activate it. Guess what. MS said I couldn't activate it since it was already activated. Never got those damned DRMed books to work.

2) Sony lost (from their listing of my library) books that (I could re-download anytime I wanted to) I lost when my hard drive crashed. Guess what. I never got those books back.

Is that enough instances or should I continue?

CCDMan
11-25-2007, 10:35 AM
You know, sour grapes hadn't entered my mind for some reason until you just mentioned it. I'd say that for a bunch of the posts on the amazon site at least (certainly to a smaller degree here) there are some very sour grapes indeed.

Yes, and in fact, although I did not say it (I have corrected this), it was the Amazon site, far more than Mobileread (who are much better informed as well as being more ebook types), that I was mostly thinking of - there are some real morons over there! Especially lots of posts over there on what is supposed to be a review forum that are by folks who have never seen an ebook, much less a Kindle.


BTW, I have noticed over the past week that the in stock date keeps creeping forward. Yesterday it was the 6th, it is now Dec 17th. It would be interesting to know what kind of numbers this represents...

CCDMan
11-25-2007, 10:47 AM
Pizzas vs. ebooks. An interesting comparison. On the one hand, food is a necessity and pizza is a basic food group. <g> Books somewhat less "necessary" but almost as important as food to some folks.

I would say that it is an especially good comparison to recreational ebooks since pizza is a kinda frivolous "recreational" food. The prices being similar adds to the similarity.

So could we do w/o pizza? Sure. Do we want to? Probably not.

Of course, buying the reader is kinda like buying a specialty pizza oven (http://fornobravo.com/store/Casa80-31-Residential-Pizza-Oven-p-16159.html) (and you thought the Kindle was spendy <g>) to make the pizzas. Whether or not you think that is worthwhile depends both on how much money you have to spend and how much you like pizza!

Sparrow
11-25-2007, 11:40 AM
Does FreeCycle operate in the UK?

Yep - I'm in the UK and regularly use it to get rid of stuff (inc. old books).

BenG
11-26-2007, 06:27 PM
You could leave the book in public places with a note that its free to anyone who finds it.
If you register it at BookCrossing (http://www.bookcrossing.com/) you can track where it ends up.

cynoclast
12-10-2008, 02:27 PM
With me it's the storage aspect of it. I live in a small house and couldn't store 1,000 paper books. I can - and do - store 15,000 e-Books on an external USB hard disk the size of a pack of playing cards.Craigslist, man, craigslist.

"Hi, I have books I don't want anymore, come and get them, free."

No shipping, no donating, don't even have to leave your house.

RickyMaveety
12-10-2008, 03:05 PM
The more negative posts I read about e-readers in general, not just the Kindle, the more evident it becomes that a significant number of these posts are by folks that can't really afford them. This, BTW, is more the Amazon "Review" forums, far more than Mobileread.

Although I agree that the readers could be and should be cheaper, I just can't help wonder about the motivation of some of these posters. Perhaps some degree of sour grapes is operating here, although it is hard to tell just how much might be sour grapes and impossible to say if any particular post falls into that category, since it is true the cost is a higher than it could be.

There just seem to be an awful lot of these posts and many of them seem to have a somewhat hostile and defensive tone. But maybe it is just my imagination.

Some of it is probably sour grapes, but some of it is just people who don't like certain companies or certain ebook readers, without much of a logical reason behind it.

I'll give you a personal example. I was dead set against ever getting an iPhone ... I simply was NOT going to do it. Sort of like how I was dead set against getting an iPod some years back.

So, I went through all sorts of other phones ... other mp3 players .... wasting money right left and sideways in order to avoid getting anything with an "i" in front of it. I don't know why, really .... I just was.

Then, I broke down and bought the damn things. Love the damn things!! Have one or the other (or both) on my person at all times. No exceptions. Also my Kindle. Of course, I didn't have any dislike of the Kindle ... from the moment I read the specs and saw the device it was "gimme, gimme, GIMME!!"

Now, I'm an "i" evangelist .... and a Kindle evangelist. I do tend to laud the things I love.

pilotbob
12-10-2008, 08:22 PM
Now, I'm an "i" evangelist .... and a Kindle evangelist. I do tend to laud the things I love.

Oh noooooo....... not an "i"Mac next!!

BOb

rawlus
12-11-2008, 10:50 AM
so far i've found the kindle and ebooks to be quite nice.
i don't know where some have been buying $10-15 paper books - most hardcover books now seem to be closer to $30. in those instances, $9 for an ebook equivalent seems like a decent deal.
i do re-read some books years later - but i think that was to some degree a factor of budget and not being able to afford or justify another $30 book - i'll just re-read this one i originally read a few years ago instead.

prior to the kindle, i'd get rid of accumulated books once a year or so by taking a bunch on vacation and leaving them behind for hotel staff or whomever. donating to charity or to book sales. their bulk is really inexcusable IMHO.

DRM - i used to have an issue with the DRM and was obsessed with finding the reader that best-supported the open formats - thinking that i'd spend all the extra time on the computer tracking down the open books, doing conversions, uploading and downloading, etc. eventually i came around - i really cannot be bothered to spend one more minute on the computer doing that sort of thing - the kindle's disconnection from the computer is it's killer app feature.

sony DRM i would not trust as that company doesn't seem to know what it's doing - they are a hardware company and a content company and quite often create devices that are draconian in the ways they inhibit fair use. the music CDs that cripple your computer, the fiasco with DRM and their minidisc products, their online "stores" and whatnot. I'll personally never buy another sony product ever again, no matter how positively reviewed.

i went with the kindle for two primary reasons - no computer connection required, 200K+ titles available and growing.

the chances of me buying another standard format paper book have diminished greatly. i won't say never again, but there would have to be some strong reasoning for me to consider it.

as to future-proofness. the more successful the kindle becomes, the less risk there is in future obsolescence. likewise, tech accelerates and eventually, there will be a software hack to break kindle DRM, or kindle will do it on it's own as itunes has begun to do... once the revenue stream is established and the risk is minimized and popular culture takes over.

i would be far more worried about sony - they are not in the book business. the chances of their "store" surviving another 18 months are slim IMHO. amazon is positioned very well to crush them if they so choose. sony's hope would be to abandon the DRM and store model and adopt an open-format reader to go against the bebook and iliad and others.

bbusybookworm
12-11-2008, 12:04 PM
Throwing my 2p in, there are two ore three points raised in the with the original post and some of the replys and ill chime in on the ones I can.

First the reselling of paper books. Which I do not generally resell my unwanted paper books nowadays, it is mainly because I mainly purchase only the books I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep.

I have resold books in the past, sometimes through Amazon, usually through a local used books store and while I've usually not gotten back much it was better then trashing them, and it did allow me to buy a few more new ones. My sister used to get a better deal as she usually got the store credit as the store had a good collection of her favourite genre's.

Having said that, having the freedom to sell or give away a copy can be quiet important, especially if you want to introduce a friend or relative to a genre or author and is something I miss at times with eBooks.

A Much more relevant problem for me (and I believe many others) is the restrictions imposed by DRM. I tend to change gadgets and computers regularly, and I'm wary of being dependent on a company's good graces to be able to access content I paid for. As such I've consciously made the choice to only buy books with DRM which has been cracked so that I can choose to remove it if I want or need to.

And Harry, I believe the analogy of comparing eBooks to Pizza is bit of a red herring. Ill actually compare it to the difference between buying a VHS tape / DVD and going to the Movies, where watching the Movie in the theatre is like the Pizza, a one time experience while Getting the DVD is getting a physical object and having the right to watch it when ever I want, or if I wished to giving it away. And As long as I Physically have it, I can still use it. Even if the company that made it goes out of business, i'm not going to lose the ability to use it.

For me ebooks are the equivalent of my DVD / Tapes (many of which I still watch after 20 years) and I still want to be able to access them in the future.

brecklundin
12-12-2008, 01:57 AM
And Harry, I believe the analogy of comparing eBooks to Pizza is bit of a red herring. Ill actually compare it to the difference between buying a VHS tape / DVD and going to the Movies, where watching the Movie in the theatre is like the Pizza, a one time experience while Getting the DVD is getting a physical object and having the right to watch it when ever I want, or if I wished to giving it away. And As long as I Physically have it, I can still use it. Even if the company that made it goes out of business, i'm not going to lose the ability to use it.

For me ebooks are the equivalent of my DVD / Tapes (many of which I still watch after 20 years) and I still want to be able to access them in the future.

Well, then the solution is to save backup copies of your books burn them to CD/DVD's periodically. Unless your device completely locks you of access to the files themselves you can do this...now, if the company goes tits up and the reader croaks that is a whole other can-o-worms...then again that is why we have kovid and "others" around, to solve such scenarios for us illiteratti... :D