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Old 08-10-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
CSM-101
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Second thoughts about my pre-ordered Kindle - physical books are so much cheaper

I love reading paperbacks, I have over 500 at home. In my country paperbacks are very cheap, around $6 each, so for $200 - the cost of the new Kindle 3 + shipping + VAT + import fees deposit - I could get 33(!) books. If I buy a Kindle 3 I have to pay at least $9.99 each for the same books in digital format. That's $329.67 for 33 e-books instead of $199.98 for 33 paperbacks. $529.65 could get me 88 paperbacks...

I live in europe so Amazon will charge VAT on every purchase. Kindle Store in the UK is not available outside UK so no luck there.

E-book readers are practical but not cheap, at least not the "software".

What to do... what... to... do?
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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If you feel that way about it, I should cancel your order.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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Personally I love the readability of ebooks, but it sounds like you're having serious second thoughts. Amazon has a lot of ebooks for less than $9.99, are you sure all your books will cost that much or more? Anyway, HarryT may be right and ebooks just aren't for you right now.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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There are so many free books, these subsidize the cost of the reader. I borrow books from the library (you can get a non-resident card for a nominal fee from several places) and also read cheaper books from other sources. if you add up what I have paid for books and for the reader too and divide it by number of books read, it works out to less than paper. But I read a lot so YMMV
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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The reason that ebook readers are good for me is that:

1. My house was quite literally full to overflowing with books. With eBooks, I can store essentially limitless numbers on a portable hard disk the size of a pack of playing cards.

2. My main reading interest is 19th century novels. These are much easier to find in electronic form than in paper and, since they are all out of copyright, they are generally free.

So for me personally, ebook readers make sense. However, they certainly don't for everybody.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:55 PM   #6
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There are plenty of places to get books for the Kindle that are way cheaper than $9.99 (US)!!! Or free!

First off, for free, start right here at MobileRead. Awesome bunch of folk have spent many hours creating e-books (in the mobi format) for your reading pleasure.

Then, for more free books, there's Smashwords, Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks.net, Baen Free Library and Feedbooks. Remember, if the ebook extension is mobi, it can go on your Kindle (and, as far as I remember, all the sites have mobi formats available for download). And - Amazon offers free books all the time...

Then, there are plenty of sites for books under $9.99 - such as Amazon (yes, they sell a lot for under $9), Smashwords, etc.

All of these sites (as far as I know) are accessible from any computer with an Internet access and a credit card/PayPal account. No geo-restrictions ...

Oh, and that's not really the end of free/low-price sites - that's just the ones I have bookmarked on my PC. There's a whole bunch of authors out there offering free ebooks on their own web sites.

Yes, yes, if you want the "bestsellers" - so-called because they are the popular/"in" books - you'll probably have to pay a premium price at the release time. However, if you wait (similar to waiting on a paperback), you'll find the prices go down.

So, pay off the Kindle by getting the free/extremely low priced items out there. Then, indulge yourself every now and then - if you must - in a higher priced book. Win win!

Hope this helps you decide whether to cancel your order...

Good luck.

Marilyn

P.S. Welcome to MobileRead! Take a gander at the introductions forum - a lot of the "regulars" that say "hi" back to the newcomers have a lot of links in their signatures that'll lead you to free/low-cost books.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:11 PM   #7
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I think it depends on what kind of stuff you like to read. If it's mostly best-seller type stuff, then yes, you're going to pay $9.99 or more per book.

But if you like indie authors, it's a different story (pardon the pun). I just finished reading The Book of Adam. I got it from Smashwords. I thought it was one of the best books I've read in a long time. The cost? Zero ! There are other books at Smashwords that are getting good reviews (e.g. Radium Halos). Cost? $2.99. (Of course, there's some pretty awful stuff on Smashwords too). But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this more direct and cheaper channel between authors and readers will become more widespread and easier to use in the future; and that the good quality will choke out the junk stuff over time!

And if you like classics, there are thousands of them available for free download here at MR!
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSM-101 View Post
... I could get 33(!) books. If I buy a Kindle 3 I have to pay at least $9.99 ...
It very much depends on what exactly you want to read.
If you set your eyes, on one particular book and you have to have it, then your math is right.

Long time ago I relied on Public library for the vast majority of my reading materials. I quickly went through obvious choices and my favorite authors that I haven't read yet. So I was browsing the "newly acquired books" bookshelf, I was shifting through the pile of most recently returned books that haven't been returned to shelfs yet. I learned to be an opportunist. If I wanted to find my 5-7 books quota for the following week I had to take anything that looked even remotely interesting. And very often I found things I wouldn't have checked out otherwise.

If you are an opportunist like me, then you can find many years worth of reading on the net free of charge. I am talking about books that are legally available. I am not talking about old dusty books, even if many people still find good old Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jonathan Swift still highly readable.
Check Baen Free library, check the Fifth Imperium CDs, look at the top of this page for the link named Books, look through our wiki page here
http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Free_eBooks
and through our Deals and Freebies thread
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

There are many promotional offers and free books from authors that want to break through. You will need to go through lots of ... aehm ... very low quality stuff here, but this is the price you pay for this kind of "free".
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:54 PM   #9
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Welcome CSM!

The cost of my jetBook Lite with its many accessories came to about $170 ($117 for the device plus all the rest).

It took me only three months to read enough free books to have the device pay for itself.

I recommend that you research on the internet where you can find eBooks in your native language and how much they cost.

Finally, there is nothing that requires you to give up paper books when you buy an eBook reader. You can buy the hardcopies of the best sellers while still enjoying free books on your Kindle.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:09 PM   #10
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Of the 630,000 books available in the Kindle Store, 510,000 of them are 9.99 or less.

While I sometimes find an ebook priced more than the paperback, it's more often less, you'll have to consider your reading tastes when going through the bookstore.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:45 PM   #11
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I think the $6 price point the OP stated makes a big difference. How many year old bestsellers are priced below $6 including VAT for kindle?

It may not save the OP money using the kindle so one has to look at convenience, storage space and added selection.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CSM-101 View Post
...
I live in europe so Amazon will charge VAT on every purchase. Kindle Store in the UK is not available outside UK so no luck there.

E-book readers are practical but not cheap, at least not the "software".

What to do... what... to... do?
I live in europe as well, and I don't find the prices in the Amazon store appealing, in fact when I note how much less people in the U.S. and U.K has to pay for the same books, it just makes me a bit annoyed. (Also, I'm not planning on using 3G, so the non-optional included delivery is worthless to me) ... I just try to ignore it all and don't even search for books there.

Cheers
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:45 AM   #13
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Well try factoring in the cost buying a larger home, or purchasing storage for all the paperback books you can get instead of a Kindle and then worry about £149.....for me personally the thought of having to find space for more paperbacks is scary and I have had to stop myself buying anymore books for the last 2 months. Can't wait to get my Kindle.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #14
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Well try factoring in the cost buying a larger home, or purchasing storage for all the paperback books you can get instead of a Kindle and then worry about £149.....for me personally the thought of having to find space for more paperbacks is scary and I have had to stop myself buying anymore books for the last 2 months. Can't wait to get my Kindle.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CSM-101 View Post
I love reading paperbacks

[...]

If I buy a Kindle 3 I have to pay at least $9.99 each for the same books in digital format.

[...]

What to do... what... to... do?
Consider that you probably have been comparing apples and oranges.

In general, ebooks costing $9.99 and more are for books that are out in hardback, but have not yet been released in paperback. Once they are out in mass-market paperback, the price generally drops to the paperback price or a little less.

Since you currently are buying paperbacks, you should be looking at ebook prices for books that are available in paperback, not latest release hardbacks.
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