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Old 01-19-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
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Is the Kindle worth it just for the free books?

Kindle books are generally very overpriced, but to make up for that, almost all the Classics are free. Is the Kindle worth it for those alone? I've been thinking of buying a Kindle but only because it's so easy to get free foreign language literature, which is already hard to find in paperback regardless of price.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Welcome casrnivroar!

Devotees of DRM stripping will suggest that you do that, but my experience doing that has not been good. The books never look as good on my jetBook Lite as they do on my K4PC desktop app.

I have been downloading Kindle books which have been temporarily free for over a year, and now have about 125. I have thought about buying a Kindle just to read them. One day I will, when I don't have something more important to spend my money on.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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If it is classics that you are interested in, most of them are free because they are out of copyright and are now "public domain". Check out Project Guttenberg (www.guttenberg.org) as they have public domain books available for free download in many languages.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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If it is classics that you are interested in, most of them are free because they are out of copyright and are now "public domain". Check out Project Guttenberg (www.guttenberg.org) as they have public domain books available for free download in many languages.
I know they're free and I've got a lot of them on my Kindle for PC, but I would be a lot more inclined to read if I had them on something I could hold like a book.

Last edited by carnivroar; 01-19-2012 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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Is the Kindle worth it for those alone?
Of course, no one else can answer this question for you.

As a 2010 Kindle Keyboard 3G purchaser who does use Project Gutenberg, and has yet to buy an eBook from Amazon, I'd say yes -- but only barely, because I have easy access to some good public libraries. For me, my Kindle is even more worth it for newspapers, whether purchased, or obtained for free via http://calibre-ebook.com or web sites like twp.com. I do buy the New York Times Latest News Blog from Amazon for $1.99 a month, which I consider the killer app for the Kindle.

Note that the definition of public domain varies a lot depending on what country you live in, with Canada generally the best for readers of mid-twentieth century literature, and the US the worst. http://www.gutenberg.org/ goes by US rules; this is one reason why there are also gutenberg sites for Australia and Canada. MobileRead is headquartered in Canada, and has many downloadable books which you are properly warned not to download unless out of copyright in your country. We want to respect this so there is no risk of this site's leadership getting the sort of attention described in today's news stories concerning arrests in New Zealand.

For another perspective:

Forget e-books – the point of the Kindle is for essays
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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If you want to read public domain, virtually any ebook reader will be right for you.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:29 AM   #7
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If you want to read public domain, virtually any ebook reader will be right for you.
Kindle is also the cheapest. And I like Amazon. Thanks to all who answered. I guess I will go for it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:37 AM   #8
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I buy innumerable Kindle books and certainly wouldn't consider them to be overpriced.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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You can hunt for free-for-a-day and discounted Kindle books - I do this - but if that's your only source of books, you're not going to get the most out of your e-reader.
If you really love reading classics, then I'd say you can justify having a Kindle for these, but they don't have to come from the Kindle Store.

I'd already built up a collection of out-of-copyright works in epub format from Project Gutenberg and feedbooks before I got a Kindle (I used to have a Sony 505), and it's really easy to convert them with Calibre.

If I add it up, there are probably enough classics on Gutenberg for me to justify the Kindle purchase several times over. It helps that I enjoy reading the classics, and there's quite a backlog that I'd like to get through, but I've already bought some of them as Penguin paperbacks in the past at something like £7.99 each.

I could go through a catalog and pick out at least 30 classics I'd have in a heartbeat, but that would come to around £250 at print prices.

The other thing that makes the Kindle worthwhile is the customer service from Amazon, and pretty much no-quibble replacement policy. I'm hoping I'll never have to use this, but Amazon seems to be better than most.

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:38 AM   #10
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I'd already built up a collection of out-of-copyright works in epub format from Project Gutenberg and feedbooks before I got a Kindle (I used to have a Sony 505), and it's really easy to convert them with Calibre.
Any reason that you didn't download them here at MR? Our versions are often a lot better formatted and proof-read.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by carnivroar View Post
Kindle books are generally very overpriced, but to make up for that, almost all the Classics are free. Is the Kindle worth it for those alone? I've been thinking of buying a Kindle but only because it's so easy to get free foreign language literature, which is already hard to find in paperback regardless of price.
Sorry. Lost me with your first stupid statement.

Good-bye
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Sorry. Lost me with your first stupid statement.

Good-bye
Hey! No need to be rude, the guy's just asking a question.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:47 PM   #13
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I don't agree with you on price. Every book that myself or my wife wants is $1-$2 cheaper on the Kindle Store than Target, Walmart or Sams Club. Now it's NOT cheaper if you're buying books from a used store.

Besides... if you watch Inkmesh, MobileReads forum, or other sites... MANY books go on sale or free for a temporary time. I have over 800 Kindle Books and 90% were not free classics but free (as in on sale).
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:57 PM   #14
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Sorry. Lost me with your first stupid statement.

Good-bye
Wow. Thanks for taking the time to add real value to the conversation
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:58 PM   #15
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Manners please, folks. Be nice.
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