The real math behind buying an amazon kindle…
I grew up in the early 90s, a time when us kids read and shared books as a source of entertainment.
Back then, reading books was basically a substitute to how we currently use social media. It was very addictive and engaging.
As a kid, I read tons of different series.
Mostly fiction that was all the rage at the time. Books like Goosebumps, Famous Five and Harry Potter, among others.
Almost every summer my parents got me book so that I could get my hands on the ones from the most popular authors.
I used to read all these books from cover to cover.
And as time went by, slowly and steadily, my book collection started growing. In a time span of 8-10 years, I ended up owning more than a hundred books, which added to my list of chores.
I had racks and shelves filled with my book collection!
I mean, storing hundred plus books at home.
It was quite a task to manage that number. But that was the best I could do because I didn’t know anything about SCALE.
I was in 12th grade or in my early college graduation days when the thought of owning a reading room or occurred to me.
I assumed it was the OBVIOUS choice for book lovers. And the storage part had to be dealt with, for someone who couldn’t get rid of their books simply for making space.
If I think back to that idea now, it doesn’t sound like the most convenient thing.
But hey, I don’t mean to say that having a reading room/personal library is a stupid decision.
Don’t get me wrong on that.
I know a lot of few people who have given a part of their space at home for a personal library and actually enjoy the room.
But the inconvenient part is, owning that kinda space in an expensive city.
Have a look at this image, this will help you in understanding how the trend is changing from physical books to Amazon Kindle books.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon showed this data in his presentation in the year 2013.
This trend shows the speed at which people are shifting to Amazon Kindle and the Kindle has outperformed the sales of physical books on a global level.
How practical do you think it is to have that kinda space at home?
Answer: Not very practical.
But unfortunately, back then I had no option.
So the only option to make space for new books was by giving out the old ones to friends and family.
I continued with that method for quite some time.
The time when Amazon launched its flagship Ebook Reader called ‘Kindle’.
The first prototype of Amazon Kindle was an UGLY looking thing.
I mean look at this.
You can read more about its evolution over here.
It started as a fancy toy for the rich but later caught up with rest of the book lovers.
So what started off as an expensive product, selling for $300, is now being sold for only $100.
I bought one for myself a few years back, and it has been my best purchase ever since.
Now that I own one, I don’t have to go through the pain of managing and maintaining a dedicated book storage space.
But a lot of people still ask me, “Well we get how cool your Kindle is, but I still love the feel of physical books and no amount of technology can replace that.”
I always answer them this way.
“ Nothing Can Replace The Feel Of A Physical Book “
But with the increasing complexity of owning physical books, you can switch over to owning an Amazon Kindle and make your life easy.
Owning An Amazon Kindle vs. Physical Books.
To establish a point of which one is cheaper to own.
Let’s take the case of owning physical books vs. Cost of owning an Amazon Kindle.
Assuming you read 2 books for every month.
So by the end of 1 year you will finish 24 books and by the end of, 3 years you’ll be done with 72 books.
Let’s take one by case of all the deciding factors of owning books vs. owning a Kindle.
First off, let’s start with the storage part.
So if all goes well 3 years down the line you’ll have 72 books with you.
You will need to spend at least Rs. 10,000-15,000 on buying a book rack/ book shelf (depending on what you choose).
Because without having a proper storage place, it would be difficult to manage and keep these books in a safe place.
- Physical books: Rs. 15,000 (higher end)
- Kindle: Rs. 0
2. Price Of Books:
If the average cost of 72 books comes out to be Rs. 300 per book (Plus 50 rupees delivery charges per book if you are ordering it online) it comes out to be a total of Rs. 350.
(Side note: Kindle books are 20% cheaper than the physical books)
- Physical book: 72 books x 350 rupees for each book. It would add up to Rs. 25,200
- Kindle: To own Kindle 72 books in Kindle would cost. 72 books x 240 Rupees for each book. It would cost for Rs. 17,280
3. Note Making:
Assuming you like to read books, you’d like to take notes as well. Because I do a lot of that, I love to take notes, snippets, lessons, and quotes from the books I read.
The reason I do that is because at times I love to revisit what I’ve read and re-read it on a timely basis.A Kindle has inbuilt Wikipedia and dictionary among other tools, which will will make reading and note making more convenient.
Note taking in Physical Books: Manual process using pens/pencils on sticky notes. So you’d need to buy stationery for it and keep it handy while reading.
In Kindle: Free note making using the “highlight” feature, which stores your notes and exports them in PDF form, or you can easily export them to Evernote as well.
- Physical books: Rs. 400 for managing stationary, pens, stickers, etc.
- Kindle: Rs. 0
4. Maintenance Costs:
Physical books usually have a limited lifespan, depending on the ink and page quality.
It’s very challenging to keep books in good condition beyond 20 years.
The average lifespan of a book is considered to be 20-25 years. To keep them well maintained you need to devote at least Rs. 400-500 per year to ensure that the books are clean and pest free.
Whereas, if you use a Kindle, you don’t need to spend any money for maintenance and only pay once for the device itself.
- Physical Books Cost: Rs. 1200 for 3 years.
- Kindle Books Cost: Rs.0
Check out the cost of ownership details here.
5. Device Cost:
Another thing with kindle is that you need to invest in the device and for books you don’t need to make any investment. Your investment in the device is one time and will not take any extra money apart from the initial investment.
And books have no investment.
Physical Books: Rs. 0
Kindle: Rs. 7000-30,000 (Depending on which model you choose)
In conclusion, the total cost of a three-year ownership for reading books adds up to: Rs. 24,280 for Kindle, and Rs. 37,600 for paperback books.
If you are someone who wants to save money and wants free headspace, I’d suggest you go for Kindle.
But if you are someone who prefers the feel of paperbacks and is willing to deal with the pain of maintaining them, then that’s something you should do.
I would still recommend you to use a Kindle for at least a week. That way you can compare and make the right call, after you’ve familiarized yourself with the reading experiences offered by books and kindle.
You can go here and check it out the kindle paperwhite (my recommendation) and the other normal kindle.
And if you don’t like what’s the worst that could happen?
You will at least get an experience of new technology and you’ll know whether you would want to buy a kindle or not.
It’s a risk free experience.
and if you don’t like it, Amazon will refund your money in 3 days.
There’s nothing to lose, so give it a try.
Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying An Amazon Kindle.
Now, I know a lot of people who would consider a Kindle because managing books has become difficult for them.What I’ve done is, I have summarised a couple of questions which will help you decide whether to buy a Kindle or not.
What I’ve done is, I have summarised a couple of questions which will help you decide whether to buy a Kindle or not.
Questions such as:
How many books will you read per year?
How much will be the cost of owning those books for the next ten years?
Do you have space to store that many numbers of books?
Do you have the patience to make manual notes, assuming you do make them?
Do you want fast, focused, un-interrupting free experience, just like a library?
Do you want lots of free books plus an integrated dictionary and Wikipedia all rolled into one?
(Side note: I will be updating these questions by surveying and speaking to more people, keep looking for this space)
But Why Not Buy A Tablet/iPad Instead Of An E-book Reader Like Kindle?
I know a lot of people who want to get the most out of their money.
I mean who wouldn’t want to do that?
It makes perfect sense to buy a tablet with all your money instead of getting an Ebook reader.
Who in the world would spend so much money to buy an Ebook reader that does nothing except show you books in a less appealing format compared to a tablet/iPad?
Buying an iPad or an Android tablet would seem like a much more sensible decision to anyone because it provides you with a lot more features than just reading.
You can surf the internet, you can listen to music, check Facebook, read books, watch movies, the list goes on.
Makes perfect sense?
I think we are living in a time when Focusing on a particular task is becoming really hard.
The notifications serve as distraction and take away all our undue attention.
The limited ability of an Ebook reader keeps these notifications at bay.
The reason for not including internet surfing in Kindle is because they want their reader’s experience to be distraction free. If you buy a dedicated device for reading books you’ll be more invested in reading books.
Reasons To Buy Amazon Kindle Over Tablet…
1. Battery Life:
Another good reason to buy Kindle over a tablet is because the Kindle comes with an unreal battery life.
What’s an unreal battery life?
Well, how about a battery lasts for a month.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well, it isn’t. The Kindle battery lasts for about a month easily.
While your average Tablet or even an iPad will barely last for 1-2 days depending on your usage.
So battery wise, Kindle will keep you safe and you won’t have to run around begging people for a charging cable. 😉
2. Anti-Glare Screen:
Another reason to buy Kindle is that it offers a glare free reading experience, unlike other tablets.
Here, have a look.
(Tablet vs. Kindle Screen Experience)
While using a Kindle to read, you won’t be putting any strain on your eyes.
It’s great to have this feature as a default in it. At the very least it will give us a rest from daily strain we put our eyes through.
You can even read it at night without using light in your room on the Paperwhite model.
The Auto backlight feature adjusts the light in the device according to your surroundings.
This feature doesn’t come in the normal entry level Kindle and is only available in the Paperwhite and the others in the higher range.
Which Is The Best Kindle To Buy?
As of now there are 3-4 versions of Kindle that are available in the Indian market.
Current versions are:
My Recommendation & Benefits Of Buying Kindle Paperwhite?
Out of all the Kindles that are available in the Indian market, I feel that the Paperwhite is the best choice.
It’s got a 6-inch high-resolution screen that works like a charm.
The key benefit of owning a Paperwhite is that you get the backlit display screen
Which means that the screen will adjust its brightness just like your mobile phone, be it day or night.
It’s an excellent feature and it’s a feature that all the higher ranges above Paperwhite have.
The basic version is almost the same, but with no backlight, so it’s almost like using a calculator display. Makes it less convenient because you can’t read in dark places or during the night time.
But like all the other Kindles, it has an excellent battery life and wifi to sync your books live on the cloud.
Check out this promo video of Paperwhite.
Key benefits of owning a Kindle Paperwhite:
- Savings: If you buy a Kindle Paperwhite you will end up saving a lot of money as we saw in the experiment mentioned before. It proved to be the case that paperback books turned out to be more expensive and less convenient to own.
- Mobility: Carrying a big 400-page book in public transports is a tough task. You’ll end up with dog-eared books, and if you own a paperback, I am sure you wouldn’t want your book to end up in that condition. Kindle offers excellent mobility where you can carry large books on your device without an issue. And most of all, reading in public places becomes so much more convenient.
- Maintenance Cost: Kindle doesn’t require any expenditure on maintenance as opposed to owning books. Should your device stop functioning properly, Amazon provides you with a brand new replacement. So if you own a Kindle, you also own Amazon’s customer service, which in itself is a world class experience.
- Cheaper Books: Normally the Kindle books are cheaper to buy, and you will get them on an average of 20% cheaper than the Paperback/Hardcover of the same book.
- Reading Assistance: Making notes in a Kindle Paperwhite is the easiest thing to do. It also offers a number of other functions that make your reading experience very convenient like Dictionary, Wikipedia search, Enhanced searching, Text size adjustment, In- line footnotes, translate passages, change languages, library sharing with your family and friends, etc. The best feature of them all is notes making. I can make and select notes in Kindle and can export them in a document or sync it to my Evernote.
- Wi-Fi Syncing: You can sync your books, notes and other materials live if you buy any of the Kindles with the WiFi feature.
- Easy On The Eyes: It puts zero strain on your eyes because of its E-ink feature. It won’t tire your eyes in the dark because the high PPI screen is easy on the eyes, be it dark or even day time. The Anti-glare screen does a great job in eliminating the eye strain.
- Charging: I call it the unreal battery. Something that works for months. While all devices leave you nervous about running out of battery in a short amount of time, it is very liberating to own one that leaves you confident about being able to use it for a long time without it running out of juice.
- No Distractions: The Kindle was designed in such a way that it allows you to read and only read, which is why even the most expensive version doesn’t come with advanced features like internet browsing etc. because Amazon wants you to focus on reading only and not be distracted by notifications, unlike your other devices, making it a very ZEN like experience.
- Borrow Books From The Library: If your library is listed with Amazon you can even borrow books from there. For example, most of the popular libraries in the US are listed on Amazon, where you can borrow books for free. Isn’t it a cool feature?
- Goodreads: Goodreads is the social network for book readers. As a book reader, you can upload your progress and initiate discussions with other book lovers about a particular book.
I would highly recommend you to buy a Kindle Paperwhite. It is one of the best things you can spend your money on. I have been using it for quite some time and loved it.
Also, a good thing about Kindle is, assume if you are reading it on your device, you can even continue your book on other devices like iPad, computer or even your mobile phone if you download and use the Kindle app.
It syncs live with all your devices via cloud.
You can even read it on the phone without owning a Kindle. But again, it won’t begin to compare to the reading experience you will have on a Kindle itself.
But you can click here to download the app and start reading on whatever device you have.
Things To Hate About Amazon Kindle:
I don’t want to paint a rosy picture about Kindle. It is a device and it does have its own flaws just like everything else.
There are few things about Amazon Kindle which I don’t like. But I am sure these are easily fixable and Amazon must be working on them for their next update.
They have been tweaking the product based on feedback for quite some time, so it should be fixed soon.
The things I hate are…
- Less Than Optimum Response Time: The OS and the flow of their app isn’t that great. It lags and hangs quite often. I would want to be as slick as my mobile phone at least. In the age of fast computing, this is the least a device owner can expect.
- Colour Rich When It Comes To Comics Or Graphics: Being a Batman fan I have been disappointed reading comics in Kindle. Reading comics should be a very vivid and colourful experience, but even in the most expensive Kindle, this feature is missing. I am sure Amazon would want to hear and implement this at least for the colour part of comic readers.
- Better Collections: While most of the new authors and books are available on Kindle, there are still a lot of books which aren’t. It would be great if Amazon would start making old classics and bestsellers into a Kindle format. Offering the incentive could be one way to push more on the Kindle format front. But again I think if you don’t have a Kindle format you can download the PDF and convert it using an online PDF to MOBI converter (the format which works the best on Kindle for book reading).
If you want to check out the paperwhite version which I highly recommend, go here.
If you have a budget constraint but still want to reap the benefits of reading on a basic Kindle, you can check out the base version over here.
But that’s all about me and my experience with Amazon Kindle. I would love to know if you have any comments or queries regarding Amazon Kindle. Please type them in the comments section, and I would love to answer them.
And like always, please share, if you believe this is something others need to hear about.
See you soon…
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