Category: Technology

Why I am not upgrading my Kindle

I like e-readers. I think they are a great idea. I picked up a second gen kindle when it first came out and despite the fact that the little toggle control is cracked and the whispernet no longer works, I will not be upgrading any time soon.

If you are already a reader, you will find that an e-reader makes is easier for you to read even more. If you hardly read at all, you will find you read more. For someone without the room to keep lots of books, it allows you to carry a library of thousands around in your backpack.

So why am I not upgrading to the undeniably improved new Kindle? Economics. I am choosing to vote with my dollars. You see, it makes absolutely no sense to me to buy a kindle book when the physical book is cheaper. I really only have one e-book buying commandment.

Only buy the kindle version if it is cheaper than ALL other new editions of the book you are buying.

So buying used does not count, but when you are giving up a physical product for a virtual one, that you cannot hand off to someone else and that you cannot sell off if you like, paying more for the virtual book is just plain dumb.

So I have found over the last year or so that I simply cannot buy a virtual book without breaking my single rule. The options have gotten fewer and fewer and I find that I can buy only about 1 in 10 of my books as a kindle book if I follow my rule.

Once I have bought that physical book, I have another rule I follow.

For any book that I must buy a physical copy of because the kindle version costs more, I will buy that book, read it and then gift it or sell it to someone else.

I am all for moving into a digital world for many of the books that I would buy. When it comes to books I would normally get in paperback – I would much rather get the digital flavor of it. However, as consumers, we need to communicate to publishers that we will not only refuse to buy an overpriced virtual book, but we will also follow that up by purchasing the physical version AND making sure that others are able to avoid buying the book altogether by my giving the book to them.

They are going to try and sell us on the convenience of the digital copy making it worth more than a physical copy – which does not come close to compensating for the rights we give up when we buy a virtual rather than a physical edition.

So for now, my Kindle will sit, mostly unused. My money will remain unspent on an updated Kindle. But my habits with the books I do buy will cost publishers more than they can imagine – I promise.