Kindle 2.0: Still too expensive

Well, the folks over at Gizmodo seem to tbe pretty much in love with the new Kindle, and I must admit I would certainly like to have one. But at $359 I just can’t see myself making the investment, especially considering I cannot try it out or even hold one before hand.

Considering they cannot keep them in stock, I don;t expect the price to come down anytime soon.

Damnit I just typed a long message and the browser ate it.

Quoted from Amazon’s site:
This item will be released on February 24, 2009.
Pre-order now!
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Anyone have a Kindle 1? What’s with $10 a book? Papberbacks are $7 or $8. I can buy them used for $3 or $4.

I assume it costs Amazon (or whoever you’re buying a digital book from) less to sell you the digital book than it does to sell you the physical book.

Think about Amazon purchasing, storing, managing huge quantities, paying people to ship, etc. Then if a physical product arrives damaged and they replace it, that’s more cost. I’m sure it’s much cheaper physically.

Do all books cost $10 for the Kindle? And can you resell them when you’re done?

It’s not the cost of the Kindle itself that is holding me back. It is the $10 per book charge that I find completely unacceptable.

It is true that many of the books are $10. I spent some time browsing their selection today (you don’t have to have a Kindle to do so), and I found some books that were $200 and more. I also found a lot of books in the sub-$10 range, hundreds that were completely free. Most of the books at $10 are books currently available only in hardback, and those run a smidge over $10, so being able to buy them at $10 is a bit of a savings.

My problem was with the selection. Not every publishing house has jumped on the Kindle bandwagon yet, so many of my favorite authors are completely unavailable.

If only it worked in Canada. I’d buy one.

Books that cost $10 on the Kindle typically cost $20 or more in hardback. Books available in paperback usually cost less than $10 on the Kindle.

In general the Kindle price is cheaper than the new bookstore price. It may not be cheaper than the used bookstore price.


It doesn’t matter; it’s still enormously inflated compared to the actual cost of the materials. A completely digital edition of a book should be closer to 1% of the price of its corporeal counterpart.

So, a book that normally costs $24.95 in a book store you want to be able to purchase for a mere $0.25 online? Granted you’re no longer paying for the physical form of the book, but that was always a tiny fraction of the overall cost of the book to begin with. I would expect that most of the “cost” of the book is things like administrative/editorial overhead and paying the author for his or her words. Even the more popular books only sell a few hundred thousand copies. An author can make a decent living from the proceeds of such a sale, the publishing house can pay for the editors, typesetters, cover artist, lawyers, etc. from that sales volume and make enough profit to satisfy their shareholders. I just don’t see publishers signing up to make books available online if they will only get 1% of what they usually do. There’d just be no profit in it.

(I’m not saying that the prices of online books couldn’t be discounted a little more, but I think it’s highly unrealistic to demand a 99% mark-down on them just because the books are now made available electronically rather than printed. What, authors should write their books for free, just for the pleasure of knowing someone else is reading their work? Yeah, can’t pay the bills with that.)

That’s a bizarre metric in determining that the price of a “book” should be. In publishing how much of the overall cost do you believe is comprised of the physical material and industrial production process vs the value of the author’s creativity & expertise in producing the information?

I’m still waiting for it to come out in Australia, but I can’t see that happening anytime soon.

I got a Kindle 1 in October and I’m very satisfied with it. In a weird way, I think it might be better for casual readers than avowed bookworms. I am not the sort who reads books constantly, usually I want a specific book for a specific reason. Rather than go to the library or browse a used bookstore, I would jump online and buy it (new or used) from Amazon anyway. So the Kindle was great for me. My “impulse” buys aren’t terribly expensive, and it’s OK if the “to be read” pile gets a little tall, since it’s not taking up actual space in my apartment.

I really like the design of Kindle 1. There are a few things I’d change, but they don’t seem to be much improved in the Kindle 2. My big thing is that I don’t think the qwerty keyboard is necessary, though I’m sure some people use it a lot. I don’t use it at all, so it just seems like dead space that could be devoted to a larger screen. The new one seems to devote an even higher percentage of surface area to the keyboard, so that’s not a bonus, and I believe it’s a little taller than the K1 which I find to be the perfect size to fit in my purse. Also I’m quite happy with the fake-leather cover that came with the K1 and apparently the new one doesn’t come with a cover. The text-to-speech feature sounds cool but I’d probably never use it.

Longer battery life is great I suppose, but if I turn the whispernet off my K1 holds a charge for days and days. I’ve never been caught with a low charge. My only complaints are that the battery cover falls off easily, and once in a while the screen freezes and I have to turn it off then on again to “wake” it. Once this didn’t work and I had to plug it in the charger before it would snap out of it, but that wasn’t a huge deal. And of course I would prefer that David Foster Wallace, Harry Potter and graphic novels would be available and color was an option, but that’s a few versions away, I expect.

Seems to me this is a good time for people want to try out the Kindle for cheap. Just watch ebay - I’m sure there will be plenty there in the coming weeks and you can pick up a bargain. Until there are some really big changes I don’t see any reason to upgrade from K1.

I checked into the Kindle in the beginning. It was my understanding that they would only connect with Amazon and that all of your purchases were stored online at Amazon rather than on my computer.

I have a Sony Reader. I can load content from anywhere, and my library is on my computer. There are thousands of books available online. Project Gutenberg has over 27,000 books available for free download. I did not like the idea of being forced to use Amazon as my only provider, nor did I like that I could not store them myself.

ETA: The Sony Reader is readily available at Borders Book Stores for under three hundred bucks.

Not true.

The Kindle recognizes a variety of formats, including text and html. The Kindle can handle anything from Project Gutenberg or most other free book sites.

Amazon does store copies of everything you purchase from them as a courtesy. However, you can easily download them to your computer.

I live in an area where Whispernet (the wireless system the Kindle uses) is not available, so I pretty much always just download files to my computer and put them on the Kindle using a USB cable. I’ve downloaded lots of stuff from Gutenberg and other sites. You are not at all locked into Amazon-only books.

It is indeed too expensive.

I bought one anyway.


Can you resell a digital book after you read it? That’s one of the appealing things about physical books.

Can you loan a digital book to a friend so that they can read it? That’s another thing that’s appealing about physical books.

The concept is great, but I can’t justify the expense with a library in town. Also, I’m running out of outlets here.

Apparently, the new version omits the SD card slot --WTF?

I’m waiting for color e-paper to get to the point of being incorporated into the next generation of book readers – for that kind of money, I want it to double as a photo album.

No and no (unless you lend your friend the Kindle itself). Those are the two biggest disadvantages. A third big one is that it still doesn’t come with color, although the new one has 16 shades of grey instead of four, so black-and-white pictures look better.

Having said that, I still really like my Kindle because of what it does do: The ability to carry huge numbers of books in a very small space. The ease of downloading new books from anywhere – I’ve done it while sitting on a bus. I’ve gotten used to mine, so for me it feels the same as reading a regular book.


It takes me 1-3 weeks to dig through a fantasy book (depending on whether I’m reading Piers Anthony or George R. R. Martin).

I take my current book everywhere. Right now, I’m reading Heir of Stone by S. L. Farrell, and it’s on my desk. I can read it on break at work, and during lunch. When I go home, it goes with me, and I can read it before bed.

I “download” my books from anywhere I can be on a computer. Sure, it takes longer than 60 seconds for my books to arrive from - more like 2-5 days. I can even use my cell phone to order books, so I’m not limited as to where I can order them from - everywhere a Kindle owner can. It just takes me longer to get them.

I don’t need to carry my entire library, just the book I’m currently on. I’ll know when I’m almost done with my current book because I’ll see I only have 25 pages left, and can switch over to another book painlessly.

For me, the only advantage of owning a Kindle compared to owning a physical library would be that I don’t have to have a large space in my apartment devoted to book storage.

When I look at the list of disadvantages (books may cost more, I can’t loan them out, I can’t resell them) it doesn’t seem worth it to me, even if the Kindle itself was free. Sure, I’d like one for the novelty, but I don’t see it fitting into my life.

Maybe if I read much faster than I do?

From the comments the problem is obvious. The Kindle is a speciality item, a ebook reader, it is not a multimedia device,not an mp3 player, not a photo album. It is meant to read books, newspapers, magazines, etc. that is why it incoporates the eInk technology. It does this very well. But for $359 people expect a lot more than a device that puts words on a screen, so you get comments like it needs color, or mp3 playing ability etc. So the problem is that it is a fairly good device for it’s purpose but it is priced like it should be a lot more.