Amazon Lowers Price on Kindle—With A Catch

imageLongtime followers of GolfBlogger will know that I am a voracious reader, sometimes going through three to four books a week. I love the physical form of paper books, but over the last couple of years, I’ve also come to appreciate e-readers like the Sony Digital Reader Touch and the Kindle Wireless Reading Device. They’re lightweight, fit easily into a jacket pocket and can store hundreds of books. I especially like the last part. I have thousands of books in my house and have simply run out of room for more. I’ve given away many hundreds, but still the shelves are full.

The reading experience on the e-readers is quite nice. The e-ink pages that all of them use are reflective, rather than light-emitting, so they’re almost like reading a book. The main difference that I can detect is that the background is more grey than a regular paper page. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Out-of-doors, white pages can be blinding. The e-readers are less so.

Book selection is good and getting better. I have a Sony, and can get books from a lot of different sources. Classics are available for free from the Gutenberg Project. If I want to buy a more recent work, I use online retailers Borders and Kobo. I can also get books from the public library through the Midwest Collaborative Service, as well as any free pdf files I find (and there are lots of those out there). With the entire world of pre 1911 (anything before this is copyright free) literature to choose from, I can do a lot of reading for very little cost.

To get the books from the ‘net to the reader, I just download the e-pub (or Word, or pdf) files to my computer, attach the e-reader to my computer and use the Sony software to copy it over. Another (free) ebook manager I use is Calibre. Calibre is neat because it also allows me to automatically download news from web and read it later at my leisure.

The advantage of the Kindle over my Sony is that Amazon has a larger book base, and they download directly to the Kindle, with no computer “middleman” needed.

Battery life on my Sony is excellent. I can easily go a week or two without a recharge. That’s because the device uses power only when the screen image changes. Otherwise the e-ink page is static.

And the price is coming down. I’m writing this now because I noticed an announcement by Amazon that they’re lowering the price of the Kindle to $114 —with a catch. The catch is that the device will display ads on the homescreen and on the screensaver. I don’t think that’s a problem. It won’t interfere with the reading experience. The price now is low enough that I’m going to spring for one of the new versions of the Kindle to go with my trusty Sony.

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4 thoughts on “Amazon Lowers Price on Kindle—With A Catch”

  1. I got the Nook Color at Christmas, and what I have found is that it often costs more to read on the e-Reader than if you got paper.  Further, I would like to subscribe to e-Mags, but those too are offered at list price when you can almost always get the print at a pretty low cost. 

    That said, the Nook is pretty great.  I did get tired of waiting for Barnes & Noble to get the App Store open, so I went ahead and rooted it a few weeks ago, so now I can run Droid apps on it, including the Kindle App.  The main reason that I wanted to do that though was so I could run YouVerse’s awesome Bible app (it’s free and you can get something like 50 translations in English and the search and lookup are without compare).

    But given this price on the Kindle- what a bargain!  If I hadn’t wanted the Color, I would have gone with a Kindle.  the battery life is super and the unit is so light.

  2. I think the biggest disadvantage of e-readers is that they make your library incomplete.  As difficult as it is to store paper books, I am proud of the collection that I have read throughout my life.  They have made me the man I am today and they say a lot about my personality.  When guests visit my house, they can see what I’ve read and it leads to comments, discussions, etc.  Like so much of technology, all of that personal interaction is lost with e-readers.  I will, faithfully, always read paper books.

  3. Here is where the real market is, as soon as BN or Amazon figures it out.

    Just as Amazon right now is often doing with movies, where if you buy the DVD/Blu-Ray they provide you with a digital rental right at the time of purchase-

    If when you buy a hardcopy of a book, you got a code to unlock a digital copy – that would be the ultimate.  If the book is $20, and an extra $3 or $5 for the digital copy – I would gladly pay that. 

    The digital is a convenience, but it is not a long term option.  The paper is something that will survive forever.  And I wouldn’t be interested in that all the time- but for some books, definately. 

    A similar feature with magazines would be awesome too.

  4. I haven’t given up on real books yet. Most of my ereader materials are free classics or popular “trash” fiction. With many others I still get the dead tree versions.

    I’d love to have an ipad, to read magazines. At that point, I’d ditch the paper versions in a heartbeat. I’ve no attachment to them at all.

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