Why buying a Kindle could save you money

By Mir
November 15, 2010

Over the next few days and weeks I hope to be telling you more about some of the other fabulous smart and pretty bloggers I met this past weekend at Save Up, but today I want to start with one of the few guys who was in attendance—Larry Behrens of Poor Dad Tech. Not only was Larry able to hold his own in an estrogen-laden room, he gave a great presentation on budget tech that maybe some of you saw if you watched the livestreaming on Saturday.

Anyway, I’m a numbers gal, and Larry pointed out something that really stuck with me, so I thought I’d share it with you. He recommends the Amazon Kindle as one of the “must-have” gifts this holiday season, and breaks it down this way: The Kindle costs $139. The current top 10 New York Times bestsellers cost $282.76. Buying the same books for the Kindle will run you $130. So even though you have to pay for Kindle books, after about 10 books, you’ve paid for the Kindle (over buying hard copies). Now, I know many (most?) of us buy used books and use the library, but if you’re a gosh-I-gotta-read-that-one-immediately type, that certainly puts some perspective on whether or not the Kindle is a good buy (hint: yes).

And that right there is, like, 1/100th of the wisdom flying around at Save Up. I’m telling you, my brain is full now.


  1. Can you download books from the library onto the Kindle? Because, as much as I’d LOVE to have an eReader, I need to be able to download books. I rarely buy books because I don’t want to spend money on something I’m only going to read once. (However, I have no problem buying books that I’m going to read fifteen times!)

  2. Karate Mom: Currently library ebooks don’t work on the Kindle, so that’s definitely a big drawback if you’re a regular library user. I have the Sony Reader and it will work with library books, though my local library doesn’t do e-loans so it doesn’t matter, anyway. (And I enjoy my Reader, but honestly if I had it to do over, I’d get the Kindle instead.)

  3. There are also TONS of free books available at Amazon, ranging from out-of-copyright classics to contemporary authors. I think the contemporary authors release free books in an effort to gain readership, and it works! You can sign up for the rss feed of the top 100 free books.

    I’m a hardcore convert. I never thought I’d like a Kindle, but my husband suprised me with one for my birthday over the summer. I’ve fallen in love! It fits nicely in my purse and goes everywhere with me. It’s so much easier to read in bed. It’s easy on the eyes, and you can change the orientation and font size to make it comfortable for you. I slide it in a large ziploc bag to read it in the bath or take it to the beach… It’s almost as indispensible as my iPhone (almost)! The other great thing is that now everybody knows what I really want for Christmas – Amazon gift cards. 🙂

  4. Absolutely love my kindle, and no, it won’t do library books (at least not without jailbreaking the device, which is against Amazon’s TOS). From what I’ve been told, if you read a lot of new releases, it takes forever to get it from the library, plus not all libraries have ebook capabilities (mine here in Austin doesn’t). I also get a LOT of free books on Kindle – at least 30 per month come up free, and that’s not just public domain. Yeah, some of them are crap, but some are really good reads. Anyway, just another few cents 🙂 I have 11 kindles on my account with 3 more that will join it this year. We buy them as gifts and as loaners so we are able to share with loved ones.

  5. I bought one this year for my 11 year old daughter who is never seen withour a book. Last year, she asked for one, but I was worried there would not be enough reading choices for her age. Now with the free out of print classics, I think I can keep her busy 🙂

  6. I also love mine!! I have had it since last Christmas and subscribe to the 100 Top Free RSS Feed (and the Top 100). I am constantly downloading free books. It is attached to my husbands Amazon Account and he always laughs when he gets the notifications that I bought another book. 95% of the free books I have downloaded have been excellent. I think I have actually purchased about 5 books since last year (and read at least 30) and that was because I got drawn into a series that the first few books were free. It has been a huge money saver for me, has opened me up to new genres and it is so convenient. I also got one for my husband and I joke that he now needs a man purse because he is NEVER without it (though he tends to actually purchase books but it is still cheaper than taking him into a bookstore and there are less stacks of books sitting around my house). 🙂

  7. You can get free kindle apps from Amazon for all of your computers. If you have a smartphone or a tablet computer, there are kindle apps for them also – you won’t have to buy a dedicated reader-device. Your bookmarks, last page read, highlights, etc. sync between your devices so if you were reading on your kindle earlier and decide to read on your PC/Mac, it will pick you up from where you left off.

    There are also e-reader apps for the Sony format available on these devices too.

    Bottom line: With the free apps, you don’t have to buy a kindle (or any other dedicated e-reader) to take advantage of Amazon’s (and other) ebook deals.

  8. I was just poking around on the Amazon site and discovered this page that lists several places to get free books.

  9. I have a Kindle and love it. But I am considering also getting a Nook, so that I can download from my library.

  10. One of many reasons I am so fond of you is that you do the math AND mention that the library is free—which, rather than making me think “Oh yeah, I could get books from the library is free” makes me switch from my kneejerk “But the library is free!” to “Well, but it IS a long wait, plus I DO occasionally have books I Must Buy Right Away, plus $130 is getting to be a very nice price ANYWAY….”

  11. As a person who bought the kindle 3 as soon as it was released, I say BUY A NOOK! I bought one last week and just started my 4th FREE library book… reading at that pace on kindle will put you in the poorhouse QUICKLY. the nook is about 100 or 120 refurbished on buy.com and will be $99 on black Friday at best buy.

  12. I love my Kindle. Like Sagey, I’ve got a ton of free books that I’ve downloaded. Often the books in the Top 100 are things that don’t appeal to me (demon lovers ahoy!) but there are some very good books that are free, too. You have to love getting the entire works of Dickens for free.

  13. I bought a Nook mostly because I could borrow library books. My library doesn’t have a lot of titles but I have found several that I wanted to read. Don’t have to worry about returning them they just disappear after three weeks.

  14. Seconding the Kindle app plug. Free books on my iPod Touch! Woo-hoo!

  15. Mir,

    It was great meeting you and a big THANK YOU for the mention!


  16. I absolutely love my nook for several reasons. I can borrow library books and also download books from Project Gutenberg. I can read books for free at my local B&N on the nook and lend books to my friends who have the nook or any form of the B&N reader software. In addition to all the booky reasons, I get coupons for things in my local B&N on the nook when I’m in-store, which is an awesome bonus. Free Godiva chocolates, anyone? (Also free full books in-store, usually a new one each week.)

    I love my nook and wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world (not even the upcoming nook color, because I don’t want it backlit).

    Biggest bonus? I have over 300 books on my nook, and I’ve only had to purchase two of those. The rest were received completely legally and are legit. 😀 (And they are all books I have either already read or want to read and not just junky books.) Yum. Books.

  17. Hot topic, isn’t it? 🙂
    My Sony Touch is coming in the mail tomorrow. I can.not.wait. because I already have a long list of books to get. Although, I am all about that 100 free RSS thing. I will look for a link, but could we ask Sagey for it?

  18. I never thought I’d want an e-reader but when we were on vacation this summer and I realized I forgot my book at home and then I saw all of the people sitting on the beach with their kindles and the like, I started to look at them. I would always put the latest books on reserve at the library and forget to pick them up, resulting in my not reading them at all. My husband bought me the Nook for my birthday and I have to say, he did good! The best feature of the Nook is that I can download books from my library for free, and many are new books and my library has 2,000+ e-books. My husband, who clearly is very smart, told me that he chose the Nook because of that reason, I was able to download the library books. I was sick this weekend and read an entire book laying in bed doing nothing – and I think I fell deeper in love with my Nook. It’s definitely worth the money, especially if you library offers e-books.

  19. Can anyone explain the difference in user interface with the readers? Besides the Nook’s free library downloads, is there much difference in terms of user experience from reader to reader?

  20. I’m weighing in on this really late so probably no one will read my comment, but it’s been in the back of my mind all week so I’m going to share anyway. 🙂 Mir, if you live in the area I think you do, your library does indeed offer ebooks. Take a look at this list to see which systems participate in Georgia Digital Downloads: http://gadd.lib.overdrive.com/9E342184-4506-481A-BD9E-994851ED20DF/10/433/en/Libraries.htm I was a librarian in GA for about ten years, so I feel compelled to let people know what’s out there for them to use! 🙂 Also, here’s a list from Overdrive (the company many libraries use for ebooks) of devices that are compatible with their service: http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/compatibleebookdevices.aspx

  21. I really want a Kindle, but I can’t justify paying $6-10 for a digital copy of a book when I can buy a physical, hardcover copy of it for less than $4. If Amazon figures out the pricing with the publishers, I would be all over this.
    One idea is that Amazon could do with Kindle books what some record companies are doing with vinyl. Buy an album on vinyl, receive a free download of the same album. I’d gladly pay an extra buck or two to have a vinyl copy of an album if included in the purchase was a digital copy. Buy a physical copy of a book for $5-$12, receive a digital copy of the book free. Something similar to that would bring me on board, otherwise I’ll stick with used hardcover copies and spend the money I save elsewhere.

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