I got a Kindle recently. It is a glorified offline RSS reader for me. I missed the early days of Kindle sales when eBooks were really cheap. Now, the eBook version is the most expensive version out there. This is insane.
The key thing I do with my Kindle is use
Calibre. Calibre is a lot like iTunes for eBooks. That is, you can give it all kinds of eBook content to manage, and it will. The most valuable thing it does for me is download popular web sites like The Economist, The Register, Ars Technica, and so on. It uses RSS to fetch the content, reconstitute it into a MOBI book format, and then it automatically loads it into my Kindle. It even handles the expiration and removal of old issues. All in all, Calibre is awesome.
Now that I’m used to taking my kindle everywhere and I read lots of stuff on it, I have thought about buying eBooks from Amazon. That’s completely nuts. Now that they’ve switched to a thing called the “agency model,” pricing for eBooks is idiotic. Take a look at a recent book I was looking into.
Of all the possible prices, the kindle edition is the most expensive! More expensive than a new hard cover, more expensive than a new paperback, and 4 times more expensive than the cheapest used hardcover. I’m late to this party. People have been complaining for a while (I love this blogger’s comment that “You’ve managed to suck a certain amount of joy out of something that I used to take for granted.”
I’m really struggling to figure out why I should buy a Kindle book at this price. I mean, when I can save so much money by buying a cheap, used paperback, I start to think about how bad it would be to leave the Kindle at home and throw a paperback in my backpack. How sad is that?