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Old 08-19-2010, 12:49 PM   #1
PattDM
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Does eReader save you $$ on content?

If you had to estimate, how much money would you say you spend on electronic content now that you have an eReader? Is that more or less than you spent before, just on books?

I want to justify the purchase price of an eReader to the boss at home so I was wondering, do you spend a lot on content now that you have a eReader, or do you get most of your content for free? How much content do you find yourself buying?

Thanks!!
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:13 PM   #2
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Do you read classics?
Instead of paying for them, you get them free. Enough to spend the rest of your life reading for free.

Do you like SF/Fantasy?
The Baen Free Library and Fifth Imperium CDs might justify the cost.

Like romances? Harlequin and other promotional freebies might do the job.

The thing is, ebook readers are *not* about saving money on content. They're about a better reading experience. You *can* make an economic case for them but it rather misses the point; it's like saying TVs are about watching movies for free. Which it can be, but...

And if you're looking for anecdotal info about post reader-purchase buying habits you are in the wrong place. Most people around here are avid readers who will merely testify that, yes, they're buying *more* books than before.

So if you want to make the case that a reader will save you money, you can.
But odds are it *won't*.
Few are that strong-willed.

Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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I usually agree with fjt, but not this time.

Since getting my jetBook Lite for Christmas, I have read 19 books plus many short stories and a few novellas, and not spent a penny for any of them. In that time, I have not spent a penny on a single book, but I did subscribe to the paper version of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

So my reading has increased a great deal, while my spending has dropped to nearly zero.

By the way, I calculate that my jetBook Lite paid for itself in three months.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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Sorry, but I've spent a good bit more on books since I started reading e-books. I used to read paper or hardback books that would circulate through friends and family. I still could, I guess, but I don't like to read that way anymore. I prefer to buy books in electronic format.

However, my local library has finally come online with Overdrive, and I checked out my first books last night -- yay! So things may change.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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I would term "saving money" as being defined as "instead of purchasing the paper version, I purchased the eBook version instead for less".

The problem with this is:
1. Publishers have kept the prices of eBooks exorbitantly high. Higher, in many cases, then the paper version.
2. Any eBook that is contaminated with DRM cannot be considered a "purchase" and I will not waste my money on them.

That leaves me reading many free (i.e. public domain, or author freebies) eBooks. But 99% of these free eBooks are books that I probably would have never read in the first place.

So I really can't say I've "saved" any money.

However, like GA Russell, my reading has gone up significantly.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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Probably, you won't save a lot on content, but in terms of justifying your purchase to the boss, there are other benefits:
- lots of worthy, classic books are free, so it encourages you to educate yourself
- it's better on your eyes than other gadgets - and you can't put a price on health, right?
- while you're reading, you'll be very quiet
- if you get a K3, it's less than a quarter of the price of an iPad, which you would otherwise need
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:02 PM   #7
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I have saved a ton of money. Between free books from here, free books from Sony and Kobo etc. I have probably gotten 5 free books for every one I purchase. If you add up what I spent on the device plus what I have spent on content and divide it by the number of books I read, I am at about $8 a book. If you add in the books I have purchased but not read yet then my cost per book is about $3.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:15 PM   #8
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The thing is, ebook readers are *not* about saving money on content. They're about a better reading experience. You *can* make an economic case for them but it rather misses the point; it's like saying TVs are about watching movies for free.
That is definitely NOT the case in Spain. From what I've gathered in forums (both specialised ones and others where the ebook topic has appeared), most Spanish users are primarily interested in downloading books for free from so-called "friendly sites" (aka free repositories of copyrighted works) and in having a device which doesn't hang too often. Bells and whistles like WiFi, 3G or multiple format support (aside of DOC, PDF and FB2, in which the "friendly sites" have most of their content) are of no interest to them. There are people who paid good €80 in an Netronix EB600 spinoff which only reproduced PDF files. In fact, there are many people who still haven't acquired a book in any kind of store as of yet. Adobe's registration process came as a new thing for many as Libranda, an ebook "platform" (let's say a middleman) was launched.

Spain is a weird market for ebooks. Mainly because it's still about hardware, not about software.

Last edited by Logseman; 08-19-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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I spend about the same amount on books that I did before. My income's limited; my book dollars were maxed out long before I got my reader. I read a *lot* more; I get free ebooks all the time, from all over the place, and now, when I spend $3 on an ebook, a substantial portion is going to the author--not all to the used bookstore.

Now I don't scour used bookstores for a single entertaining new read; I flip through the listings at Smashwords and download 50% samples of whatever looks interesting. I'm more willing to pay for those ebooks because I've read enough to be sure my time won't be wasted. (I don't normally read 50% before deciding. Often, I'll decide after 5-10 pages; that lets me know if it's actually caught my interest.)

I now read almost constantly. Any time I'm not doing a specific other task, I have my reader at hand; I never run out of content. So while I'm not sure I've "saved money," it's definitely been worth the price.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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Well, I am not one who believes that the reading experience is better with ebooks.. but they do have some very distinct advantages over regular books. Here are some ways an ebook reader can save you money.

1. Ability to load 2-3000 books saves you the cost of a semi to carry your library with you so you have the book you want when you want it .

2. No need to build a new 1000 square foot addition to your house to house your library.

3. No chance of throwing your back out when you try to get 10 books to the check out at your local book store.

4. No chance your UPS guy will trip on your front steps delivering new books from Amazon therefore resulting in pricey legal settlement.

More seriously: Some of these are small, but they can add up.

1. Thousands of books for free on Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, Manybooks.net, Google and other sites -- granted most of these are old books, but some authors (Cory Doctrow, Charles Stross and Jeffrey Carver amongst the more prominent) make some or all of their works available for free. Also, unless your interests swing very much towards more modern genres (like techno-thrillers), odds are you will find things you like (I would never have discovered Sabatini without ebooks).

2. If you have a habit of buying the latest books, most ebooks will cost less than their hardback version. Alas, the same isn't always true of paperback books.

My personal experience is this. I have had an ebook reader for about 2 years now. In that time I have read (I would guess) 50+ books. I have spent about $10 on books in that time. If we assume $7 a book (assuming a rather low cost for a paperback I think!), I would have spent between $300-$400 on books, but instead I spent $179 on my ebook reader.

So, I would say yes, my ebook reader has saved me money. I still probably have 50 more in my to be read list .

--
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:21 PM   #11
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It all depends on your current book buying practices. I've saved quite a bit, but I will be the first to admit that I exercised little to no economy when it came to buying books before I got the Kindle. I occasionally went to the library, but most of my books were purchased new, many of them hardcovers. I love libraries, but I have severe dust and mold allergies, so I often couldn't handle the books I found there. So that left me mostly with new book stores, the most expensive option. I bought what I felt like. Typically I'd go to a book store and buy five or ten books at a time so I wouldn't run out. Of these books a good 20% were never finished. Either I didn't like them or my fancy for them passed and I never even opened them.

With the Kindle, I download free samples and don't buy the book until I'm done with it. I finish all the books I buy. With the wireless delivery, I don't have to worry about where I am when I finish the sample. I have also gotten quite a few books from my local library. Its collection is pretty decent and getting better. It used to be almost entirely romance, which is not really my thing. Lately they've been concentrating more on literary fiction. I'm currently reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. This is actually a fairly new release and it's already in my library. When I read classics, I can easily get them for free. I haven't found many free promotional books I've liked, though. Many of them are self-published works and I don't really have the patience to sift through them for good ones.

I value my free time very highly. My reading time is precious. Having an ebook reader has allowed me to spend more time reading what I want when I want. I don't spend time waiting until I can get to the store or for the UPS guy. It's eased the pressure on the storage space in my home. Heck, it costs less than a bookshelf. It saves space in my suitcase. Plus, I find it more comfortable and pleasurable to read than a paper book.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:37 PM   #12
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I'm ahead of the game, I'm huge fan of trade paperback and hard cover so I make out on average $5 savings for trade and $15 for new hard cover, though I do lose out about $5 as well since I used to love scour the bargain books at Barnes and Noble
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:29 PM   #13
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I used to read lots of books when I was a child, between 5 and 10 each week.
At the age of twelve, this changed heavily: going to high school left me with very spare time, so I read very little. And it hasn't changed until I bought my first Kindle (2, I sold it, now I have a DX and 3 is on it's way as well as a PocketBook 302).

I found myself reading like being ten again, and spending lots of money on ebooks, within the last months I spent more money than in 5 years before! No that might look strange at first, but I you consider my "situation", you might understand.

Born and raised in Belgium, my native tongue being Dutch, I only read dutch books, translated or original. 15 years ago, I moved to Germany, but German not being my native tongue, I never felt interested in reading german translations - took me 10 years to come over synchronised movies! I still don't like them, but I can watch them now.

Most bestselling books in Germany are international bestsellers as well (Cody McFadyen, The Hunger Game, ...) but even PBs were extremely expensive to buy - and to be honest, the cheap PB-Editions mostly look akward, bad paper, bad printing. So I only occasionally bought some books by German Authors, but never read that much.

Now, finally, I'm rediscovering one of my childhood pleasures, and best of all: not translated but original as written. I must admit, that I miss some content (remember: native language being dutch), but with the build in dictionary (i rarely use it) and contextual understanding, I get 99 plus percent, so it's no big deal.

My enthusiasm lead me to buing a PocketBook 302 as well, 'cause I now don't want to wait any longer for Amazon to open a german Kindle Store (not even sure if this will happen) - so I can soon read the German epubs (without converting, and less reading pleasure because of formatting issues) - books I would not have bought or read without rediscovering my childhood passion, latter as a result from buying a Kindle...

So I can conclude with my answer to your question: in my case: NO, I spend way more money on books now
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:36 PM   #14
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I would say my spending is about the same or less.

In the past, I usually only bought if I knew I liked the author and would potentially want to re-read the book in the future. Sometimes I'd buy on impulse, but then would list and resell the book on either eBay or Amazon and recoup part of the cost.

Nowadays, given that you can't resell ebooks, I am more likely to carefully price check and/or add the book to an ebooks wish list or add the book to my list of library books to be on the watch for, rather than buy outright.

I like classics, so I feel like I have plenty of reading material between those, BN free books, author promotions, etc...

But if I see a bargain eBook that would replace a paperback or hardcover on my crowded shelves, I am inclined to buy it if it is under $3-4. More, and I've got to think about it.

I've been impressed with how much decent free material I've come across though. I can keep busy for a long, long time with just that!
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:58 PM   #15
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No, eReader does not save you money (overall) as the selection is a lot more limited and you don't have as many shops to shop at when buying eReader format eBooks.
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