Wednesday, April 28, 2010
1. I'm not a paper-books-or-death! person. I love my paper books, but they don't work so well propped on Scott's elliptical machine, and I hate packing books to take on a trip. Kindle readers are not, as some imagine, book haters, but rather book lovers. Super-de-duper readers.
2. I'm not dying for an iPad. Apart from the occasional nonfiction book, where I wish I could click on a link for a painting or map discussed in the text, I read mostly your straight text book. A friend told me she likes how you can double-click on a word to look up the meaning, but I never look up the meaning for anything. If Scott is around, I'll ask him if he knows what it means, but otherwise I just keep on trucking. Also, the screen isn't pleasant for long-term reading. I've been trying to do THE THREE MUSKETEERS on my Kindle for iPhone, and I can't manage more than a few pages before my eyes get tired.
3. I'm not freaked out, as the publishing industry is, over the price wars for ebooks and whether or not every person down the line is being properly appreciated and compensated. As a self-published author I know Amazon takes a frightening 65% or so on each Kindle book sold, but since I don't have to pay anyone else out of my 35%, it works for me.
No, the real reason I haven't been able to hit the checkout is because I'm cheap. It's not the $259 price tag--I've accustomed myself to that--it's the cost of all the books! See, I don't generally buy books anymore, if I can help it. At least not new books. I think I've bought two undiscounted hardcovers in the last ten years, and one was a gift. The order for me is generally (1) the library, (2) the used book store, and (3) new. My book club even tries to stick to books that have been out a few years, so we can all hunt up used and library copies.
For next month we've chosen Jeannette Walls' HALF-BROKE HORSES, but even that is too recent. The library hold queue is too long and used copies still command a premium price. And yet I still wouldn't buy it on Kindle. Kindle asks $12.99 for the book, but the used copies go for $7.97. I don't want to pay $12.99 for a book I know I'll only read once.
Many will marvel about all the public domain books available for free, but even that doesn't tip the balance because they're mostly classics and lesser drivelings by famous people. Scott and I were both English majors. We already own physical copies of most of the classics and even some of the lesser drivelings.
All of which is to say, I'll buy the thing, but I'd love to hear thoughts from other Kindle owners and what their book-buying habits are. I'll buy the thing. Scott's birthday draws nearer and nearer. I'll buy the thing.