# Kindle and other e-book readers

1. Jul 22, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

I'm not getting it. Why aren't they giving these things away for free to entice people to buy the books you can download?

Or give a substantial discount if you pay for one of these readers? Like the e-book should cost 10% of the paper price, or less, realistically, right? No cost to produce, no warehousing, no shipping. It just seems like a rip-off to me.

Is there something I've missed on the price of the books? Are they a fraction of the cost of the real thing? Looks to me that you get a 20% discount? And you had to pay for the reader?

If people refuse to be ripped off like this, prices will come down to where they should be. I'm not willing to be ripped off. I can trade and resell books. Besides I prefer to hold and read a real book.

They have ridiculous ads aimed at the brain dead "but i can download 35,000 books on my kindle! Yeah, at $10-$20 each? And you're going to be able to read these after you die?

Realistically, most popular books should be priced at $1-$2 a download to give a profit to the publisher equal to the paper price.

Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
2. Jul 22, 2011

### micromass

Staff Emeritus
The crucial point is:

Most people don't mind being ripped off apparently.

And I agree, a real book beats an electronic book everytime.

3. Jul 22, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Yeah, I don't get it, why are people willing to be ripped off like this? If they gave me a kindle for free and books cost $1-$2 a download, I'd do it, not always, but some of the time. I still want to read a "book", so I'd still pay $6-$7 dollars for a new paperback. Oh wait, that's the charge I'd pay to download it. :uhh:

Of course for really *large* cookbooks with a beautiful glossy photo of step by step preparations, I'd shuck out $10-$20 dollars, considering the same book on an e-reader the size of a paperback would cost me almost as much and not be as useful, I don't understand why people would do it.

This commercial is telling some girl that she can carry 35,000 books in her purse as a justification of the extra expense. Really? Is that something anyone ever needs to do?

Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
4. Jul 22, 2011

### Newai

There is little to no profit, and some may be sold at a loss. The same thing is usually done with video game consoles. I imagine many sleepless nights where the execs try to forecast the sales of books to each ereader.

The real rip off is Apple. Forbes says, "A $500 iPad, says iSuppli, costs Apple just$259.60 to make." - http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/24/kindle-amazon-nook-technology-ereader.html

5. Jul 23, 2011

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Books? I still have several shelves full of books right next to my old slide rules and T-square.

I would imagine that it will take a bit of time for market forces to bring the price down. But there are some good deals out there. I noticed for example that one can download Einstein's Relativity from Amazon for 99 cents. The paperback is about $4.50. https://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Special-Theory-Explanation-Understand/dp/0517029618 What does an author typically make for each book sold? Tsu bought a Kindle and was instantly hooked. She absolutely loves it! I do almost everything on my computer already and have no practical need for an ebook. I just got the free Kindle-for-PC software from Amazon and I was on my way. I know many devout readers have a sentimental attachment to paper; much like the sentimental attachment that many people had to horses when cars came along. Last edited: Jul 23, 2011 6. Jul 23, 2011 ### fss I held out for a long time on a Kindle, but got one after I realized that I don't read most books more than once. Those that are keepers I'll still buy the hard copy, but for the second-class citizens I don't really care if they eDisappear after I've read them. 7. Jul 23, 2011 ### Andy Rather than an ebook reader i am tempted to get a small tablet computer and then just download the free kindle app. The ebooks though are stupidly expensive, surely they should be encouraging people to get ebooks rather than proper books so we can save a few trees. 8. Jul 23, 2011 ### mege My wife is attached to her NOOK Color (and I use an eInk NOOK when travelling). The Color has many tablet-PC like features (even moreso now that it can use the Android market legitimately). My sister lost her color and has been whining about it for a few weeks. Aside from new releases, books are significantly cheaper for eReaders. Between my wife and I, for a weeks vacation, we'd pack 10-15 books. Now, we don't need an extra suitcase for books! Lastly, our local library supports eBooks. That's been very nice, but they still have a limited supply (and I dont have a problem paying a few$ for an ebook if the library is out).

There are still some books that I prefer to buy, but those are more impulse buys because I enjoy wandering around the bookstore too much :p

9. Jul 23, 2011

### TheStatutoryApe

I was thinking of just getting a tablet computer though they are still a bit expensive for just a knock about. I assume that their batteries don't last as long as well. But I could then use it to browse the web at the coffee house, play chess and maybe other board games, ect. It would seem to have a much greater value for something to have with you out and about than just something to read books on. I keep a bag of books in the trunk of my car.

10. Jul 23, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

If I still traveled a lot, I might get one for saving space and weight.

11. Jul 23, 2011

### rhody

I got a color Nook for Christmas, then slowly discovered that almost every book I want to read was not available for it. Even with wifi, browser, etc... I couldn't justify it, so I got my money back, if I travel and want to read a throw a few books into my backpack.

I can't justify an iPad either, Apple makes it too restrictive to simply copy movies, etc... of your own to it. It can be done. with great effort and frustration (a few friends have done it). In the end it is not worth the trouble. I use an ancient iTouch (get the custom Bose headphones though, they are great) for music, pictures, and a small number of short video's mostly done by TED. That's about it. I am done here. Man, it is still hot and oppressive.

Rhody... :grumpy:

12. Jul 23, 2011

### rhody

MM,

I love some of my old beat up dog eared redlined books, like the one on Brain Plasticity by Doidge, it has character. It has been read, re-read, and is your best friend, as weird as that sounds, not perfect, but you wouldn't want to be without him.

Rhody...

13. Jul 23, 2011

### DaveC426913

Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
14. Jul 23, 2011

### I like Serena

I have a few dog eared math and physics books a couple of feet away... but only because the information in it is not readily available on the internet yet!

15. Jul 23, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Ok, you need to post that in the "flookey or spookey" thread.

16. Jul 23, 2011

### wuliheron

The entire publishing industry is going through a similar transition as the music industry. Newspapers are going out of business, bookstores are going out of business, magazines are going out of business, and everyone is scrambling to reinvent themselves in the digital age. For less then the price of a new pair of glasses you can buy an e-reader and begin downloading thousands of books for free. Already entire libraries are being being converted to digital format and eventually even the most remote village in the world will have access to all the great libraries in the world for a pittance.

E-readers are just another stepping stone in the portable electronic revolution which is about to the sweep the world. Already India is about to begin manufacturing the first \$50.oo tablet PCs and within five to ten years you can expect a cheap portable device that doubles as your cellphone, e-reader, internet, multimedia, and gaming device. Pretty much anything you can imagine a handheld device being capable of in glorious high definition and every snot nosed kid will be dragging one around with them everywhere they go.

17. Jul 23, 2011

### Jimmy Snyder

e-books are not ready for me. On the one hand, there's something I can do with a paper book that I can't do with an e-book. Namely, write notes in the margins that include math formulas and graphical images. On the other hand, there's something the e-book could do that a paper book cannot. Namely, hyperlink back to other pages. When there is a reference to equation (4.17), I shouldn't have to go searching for what page that's on. With a hyperlink I could be taken to that page. As I said, e-books could do that, but they don't. They don't do what they can't do and they don't do all that they can do. So the only books I could read on it would be novels.

18. Jul 23, 2011

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
The single feature that Tsu loves most about her Kindle - adjustable font size. She doesn't get headaches from reading anymore.

19. Jul 23, 2011

### Staff: Mentor

Now that might be something I'll be needing.

I'm just irritated by the sudden barrage of kindle tv ads where they highlight attributes that no one can use, like being able to download 35,000 books. Sounds really impressive until you realize that you can't afford to buy that many books, or if you can, when are you going to read them?

20. Jul 23, 2011

### Newai

About the only reasons I go electronic is because after reading a few books, I often want to go back to something, a phrase I recall but isn't in the index and might take a while to find. The search feature turns hours into seconds.

I also was afraid my shelves were so loaded that they were going to fall through the floor and kill someone. Over a thousand pounds now weigh... nothing. And I hated moving all those books with me to this apartment. Several trips back and forth in my car with all that weight. Now if I move again, it'll be so much easier and less stressful.

I'm going electronic with all of my books. I don't do tablets yet; my netbook does everything they do and more, and at a reasonable cost. Scanning takes a long time, and I do keep the covers as proof of purchase. Same with my CDs and DVDs. As long as I'm extra careful with redundant backups in two separate locations, data loss is minimized to a risk on par with a fire eating up my media.

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