Weekly Roundup – Amazon Kindle Edition

This past week I had the opportunity to play around with an Amazon Kindle, and I must admit that I was impressed. The “electronic paper” display is really easy on the eyes, much like a real book page. I’m also somewhat dazzled by the ability to get my hands on a wide variety of reading material whenever and wherever I want.

All of this being said, I’m still trying to figure out is why I would actually want to buy one. The Kindle itself is rather pricey ($359) and the books aren’t that cheap. I was also disappointed to learn that there isn’t any sort of backlight for reading in the dark, but that’s apparently a technical limitation of the E-Ink that makes the display so readable.

Anyways, if you have a Kindle, feel free to sing its praises or complain about its shortcomings in the comments.

And now, time for the roundup…

If you’re in debt, NCN has some words of encouragement for you.

Flexo talked about dealing with unpredictable income.

Jim reported that Amazon is no longer offering their price guarantee. Booooo!

Ben wants to know if you’d take a better job for a lower salary. For me, the answer would depend (at least in part) on how much better and how much lower.

MyRetirementBlog talked about the advantages of couples staggering their retirements.

Pinyo put together a list of tips for asset allocation tips.

Jaimie says that coupons are good for more than food. I must admit, we’ve never been big couponers when it comes to groceries, but we do use them elsewhere.

Finally, Madison talked about the importance of tracking your Roth IRA contributions.

14 Responses to “Weekly Roundup – Amazon Kindle Edition”

  1. Anonymous

    I’m quite fond of my kindle but I know my book habits aren’t the same as most others.
    1) I go book shopping at midnight (esp. late night Monday for Tuesday releases). Bookstores aren’t open that late in my area and libraries close at 6 on Fridays, 9 on weeknights. A lot more convenient and quicker than popping by the bookstore or library.
    2) It saves me gas. Gas is over $4.00 a gallon right now for my car. Plus, I know I can get the book at 20% off on kindle, versus maybe 20 or 30 % off at borders after I turn on my computer and print out the coupon on a dead tree.
    3) I didn’t need to buy another bookcase. I’m up to 8 “pages” of books right now. Some from the kindle store, some kindlefixed mobipocket, some free Baen library/project gutenberg. Money saved on the bookcase was at least $80 and floor space… well, I guess I could calculate real estate cost per square foot but let’s just say I don’t have much room to put another bookcase and I’ve already purged a lot of books.

    I also like how it connects to the sprint network and I can grab something to read while sitting in a plane/cafe/etc, waiting for it to take off instead of squeezing myself into a tiny airport store.

    Lastly, sample chapters have saved me from buying a lot of books that just aren’t worth keeping. I do aggregate those on my library hold list and pick them up in batches.

    I’d get version 2, too, since my current budget (and earnings) allows for this electronic luxury. Then version 1 would go up on eBay or to a family member.

    It isn’t for everyone’s lifestyle. My “Entertainment – books” budget is probably comparable to other peoples music budgets, gourmet foods, latte habit, or movie budgets but I love to read, so that’s where I put my money.

  2. Anonymous

    i am in love with the idea…..but i am waiting a generation or two or five more down the road. i want the world i suppose, but i want to able to have my magazines, newspapers, books…basically i want it all on there. i also would like to be able to at least store a large number of books on there, if not an entire library.

    i realize this is probably quite a while from coming to fruition, but with most technologies, the longer you wait, the cheaper it will become while only getting better. the hard part is holding out.

    that said, i have not even brought up the whole “book case dilema.” i am going to have a hard time moving away from a physical collection to a digital collection, even though i have done so with just about all other media.

    i do have one last hope, but one i know will never happen…some sort of ability to “convert” one’s pyhsical purchases from amazon to the kindle. if they ever offered some plan of any kind, perhaps that would push me sooner.

  3. Anonymous

    From what I read it does take a conversion process to get a free ebook on to your kindle, so its not AS easy as downloading content you pay for.

    Its on my Christmas list!

    I live and work on the far North side of my city and the library is downtown. Between gas and other extraneous purchases involved with going downtown its cheaper for me to get my books from other sources! My friends and I trade books a lot, and I use a swapping site called Book Mooch to exchange books with people I don’t know for just a small shipping fee.

    There are some books that I will still purchase because they are my favorite author or my desire to read them is high and they are not yet available in the second hand market.

    With as often as we travel I would love to have one, but the initial purchase price will delay me a bit, I am targeting Jan 2009, see if other models are on the horizon or if the current model drops in price after the new year.

    I did this with the iPod touch in Jan 2008 and was pretty happy with the decision. Even though a new version came out shortly after that, it was much more money than I was willing to spend.

    I am excited to see some more Kindle owners opinions!

  4. Anonymous

    Nickel, thank you for linking to my asset allocation article.

    Regarding the Kindle, I have seen it up closed once and it looks great — except for the buttons that are easy to accidentally press while holding it. I used to read full length book with my palm, and readability seems better on the Kindle.

    The real issue is that there are so much good stuff to read for free and I can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money — especially when I work very close to a library.

  5. Anonymous

    I was gung-ho for the Kindle until I stopped and realized that I seldom buy new books. I get most of my books at the library bookstore for fifty cents or a dollar or I check them out of the library for free. So, buying a Kindle would not only be a large upfront expense, it would raise my book buying expenses as well. I have opted out for now.

    I have a friend who bought one and just loves it. She spends two or three weeks on the Oregon coast every summer and usually ships boxes of books up there ahead of her arrival. This last summer she just took her Kindle. In the last several months I can’t think of one conversation I’ve had with her that didn’t include some gushing over the Kindle. I’m keeping my eye on it!

  6. Anonymous

    I have a Kindle and I love it. That being said, it is too expensive and the books are *way* too expensive- typically only a couple of dollars less than the paperback version.

    I bought it because I’m a tech nerd and I do a lot of reading. I know I paid too much buying the first version…version 2 or 3 should make for a much better investment.

  7. I’m guessing that they’re not confident enough in eventual sales of books to just give it away, or to deeply discount it. I could see them selling it cheap in return for people signing up for some sort of book club that would guarantee revenue over the next (say) 12 months. But short of that, they’d have tons of people snatching them up out of curiosity, but never buying enough books to pay it off.

  8. Anonymous

    Michele – You can read those thousands of public domain books for free on the Kindle from sites like Project Gutenberg, Manybooks.net, and Feedbooks. My dad has downloaded a few of them.

  9. Miles: Excellent question. I didn’t know the answer myself, so I googled and came up with this:


    It seems that there is a service for formatting rss feeds to look like a newspaper for printing, but that you can access rss feeds through it on your Kindle instead. Looks slick, but I’ve never done it.

    I doubt you could do much (if anything) more than reading the feed, though. Not sure how following links, leaving comments, etc. would work.

  10. Anonymous

    My issue with the Kindle is that it is proprietary. From what I understand you cannot just read any e-book or pdf from it, only those formatted specifically for it. I use a palm t/x or read ebooks on my computer, its more versatile, uses equipment that I already own, and there are thousands of public domain books to keep me busy for a long time.

  11. Anonymous

    What I don’t understand is why Amazon does NOT go the way of the printer manufacturers and razor blade companies: sell an object cheap to sell the more expensive replacement items

    What all can you read with the Kindle and what does it connect to? For example, can I read this site?

  12. Anonymous

    OK, I’ll beat this horse a little longer…. I have loved the Kindle from the beginning, in theory an excellent device from a forward thinking company. In reality, I could not buy one. I love the library, I go there once or twice a week, often have a dozen or so books out. I’m not someone who is concerned about the feel of a book, or some such nonsense. Financially, it just wasn’t making sense.

    Except for one thing. The Wall Street Journal. Not my subscription, but my husband’s. He travels on business often, thus would not receive his paper whilst traveling. Sometimes we got the wrong paper, sometimes we received nothing. At $250/year, +tip, this was not terribly cheap. While the Kindle was (at the time) $360 up front, and $10 per month for the Journal, we decided a few months ago to change our subscription. My husband could not be happier, he gets his news every day, no matter where he is, there is no more paper cluttering my recycling, and it is much easier to read on the train or plane.

    I still go to the library for MY books, but I couldn’t be happier that my husband has an excellent option for his reading material.

  13. Anonymous

    I gave a Kindle as a 60th birthday gift to my father 2 weeks ago. I was hoping he’d like it, but I never expected him to love it as much as he does. In the last few weeks he pretty much hasn’t put it down. Judging by the way he’s using it, I’d say that if you’re a big reader, it’s definitely worth the price.

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