Lately, Amazon has been in a price war surrounding their Kindle with other e-readers. The Kindle has been out of a couple of years, and long story short, it allows you to read books in electronic book format.
When it came out, I think the price was somewhere in the neighborhood of $299. I remember they were in pretty high demand, as visits to Amazon’s website would often indicate that they were ‘Out of Stock’.
Lately, though, other e-readers have entered the market, and the price of the Kindle has now dropped to $139 last I checked. I’m not sure if this has all of the same features, or less, or maybe even more than the $299 model.
Because even at $139, I have no interest.
A cheap e-reader with a lot of features sounds cool when you consider that it’s half the price that it used to be, but the fact remains that for a guy like me, that’s still way too expensive.
The simple fact of things around the Beagle household is that we buy very few books. I will buy (or ask for a gift) books from favorite authors or that I know I will read often.
Otherwise, it’s the library, where the books cost nothing.
Let’s face it, most books I read are going to be read one time. There are some books I’ve read that I’ve loved so much that I will probably read again, but I’m totally cool with paying nothing for them at the library. If I were to ‘take advantage’ of the Kindle (or another e-reader), it would force me to start paying for stuff that I now pay nothing for.
Why would I do that?
I know there are a lot of people that don’t have as easy access to the library as we do. Or, maybe their library doesn’t carry a good selection of the types of books that they want. If that’s the case, maybe a Kindle is the right answer.
But, for me, the library is close, they have a great selection, and I’ve developed a pretty nifty system for making sure that I always have books to read by placing things on hold via their computerized system (read about it here if you want the details). If that doesn’t come through, I have no problem wandering around picking things off the shelf until I find a book or two that I think might work.
When I do that, some are great reads and some I put down after a couple of chapters. In any case, I don’t have regrets because I have little invested. I’d hate to make that same mistake with an e-reader.
Are e-readers worth the money, even at a price-war enabled price? Maybe for some, but for now, it’s not for me.