Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's That Time of Year

Graduation time, of course!

I graduated May 7 from CMU with a Bachelor Degree in Theatre, Interpretation and Dance.  As I have mentioned before, I learned so much in the last year and a half.  I loved my time in the theatre department at Central.

But that is not what this post is about.

My parents, who are totally awesome!, decided that they would get me an Amazon Kindle for completing my undergraduate education.  THANKS MOM AND DAD!!

I have had it for about four days and I love it.

I mean, I knew I would, but I mean, I LOVE IT.

Of course, there are things I would like to see improve, but I will start with the positive.

First, I love that I have a Kindle.  And it has my name on it.  I'm also craaaazy.

Second, I love that they offer some books for free at varying times!  I like to expand my horizons, and if I can find new authors to love without going broke, I will!  I mean, I got like 50 books for free last night!  Ok, maybe not 50, but a lot.  I spent my evening downloading and organizing into collections, which is another feature I like.  I like being to able to go from having 8 or 9 pages of books listed out to a little over one page of collections.  And you can add books to more than one collection.  For example, I can put Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau in History and in non-Fiction.  Or any of Jane Austen's works into Classical Literature and Jane Austen (I love her, so she gets her own collection.  So does Nora Roberts.)

There are so many books that I would love to read, that I am now able to read because they are free on the Kindle.  Some I read in High School that I want to read again, so I can better understand them, some I haven't had the time to read before, but now I do and I don't have to carry it around with me and try and fit a huge book in my purse.

I also like (most) of the book prices.  I wonder what the point of having a Kindle is, if a paperback copy used or new, is so much cheaper than the digital copy.  But then there are shining examples of awesome.  For example, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything That Your American History Book Got Wrong by James W. Loewen is $4.55 for the Kindle Edition and the list price is $26.95.  That is what you expect from getting a digital copy that requires no paper or shipping.  It is also a very interesting read so far.

But then we look at Nora Roberts' books.

I just purchased Vision in White on recommendation from a friend (Hi Lisa!  I really enjoyed it, a really nice, feel good story, just like you said :-) ) and it was $12!?!  The list price? $16.  The paperback price? $9.60.  That is not what you would, or should, expect.  Despite the fact that I love Ms. Roberts and her books, I am disappointed in the pricing for the Kindle Edition of all of her books.  All of the ones that I have looked at are more expensive than they should be for a digital copy, no matter if the titles are new or old.  I do appreciate though, that a lot of her books are available in Kindle format.  I like that a lot.  In my research for this post, I found that a lot of Ms. Roberts books cost the same or more in Kindle edition than in print.  A large number of them are the exact same price, $7.99, for the hard copy and the Kindle edition.  Which is slightly easier to stomach than having the digital version be more than the hard copy, but still not ideal.

I find this to be ridiculous.  It should never cost more for a digital copy of a book than the print copy.  Ever.  And there is no way that it costs that much to format the book for Kindle or other eReaders.  Even if you write out your first draft of a book with a pen and paper, to send it to print, it needs to be put into an electronic format, I assume.  And I would guess that if you don't live within walking range of your publisher, you wouldn't want to spend the money to ship the book when you can email it to them for free.  So, I feel that there are no excuses, only greed, for Kindle books to be as expensive - or more - than a hard copy.

I also spent some time searching the site for my favorite books, and requesting to the publisher that they be made available for the Kindle.  Although, I feel that if I have already paid for a book in hard copy and it becomes available in a digital format, such as the Kindle, I should not have to pay for it again.  I already paid for the right to read it as many times as I want, so I shouldn't have to pay for it again.  But, you can't get everything you want.

Another feature that I wish was easier to figure out is moving books from Kindle to Kindle.  I have a couple books on the first generation Kindle that Adam has and I want them to move to mine, but I can't figure out how to do it.  I have searched and searched on the Amazon website.  Oh! And as I just took a last gander under 'My Account' I think I figured it out!!  I will post step by step instructions once I figure them out!

*EDIT* I did not figure out how to transfer.  I will write more about the lameness of loaning and gifting in a later post.

Anyway, I would like to finish this post with a positive note about print books.  There is nothing quite like cracking open a new book.  The smell of the paper and ink, the stiffness of the binding and the feel of the pages.  I love buying new books, but if I can save a few dozen trees by buying books on the Kindle and forgoing that feeling, I will do it gladly.  And if I have them on the Kindle, they are much easier to move.  And take on vacation.  And take to the gym.  And a lot of other things.

I <3 all books, no matter the format of delivery!!


TPel said...

I picked a good post to read. :)

Does kindle have some kind of backup system? I use amazon unbox sometimes and its annoying because you only get 2 licenses.. and I have reformatted my computer many times, and every time I have to re-download my stuff.

Anyways... not the point of this comment. I have considered getting a kindle... but I love the book feeling...

The books probably cost as much in kindle version because of the loss they make when people rip the copies. For some people I am sure the kindle is more convenient than a book, so they are willing to pay.

Jenny said...

@TPel I'll write more about this later, but yes, they do, in your amazon account. I have my laptop, my kindle and my phone as authorized devices to read my books. I can send my books to any of those devices.

As to ripping the copies, I think people wouldn't be driven to do that if they didn't force their hands. The loaning process is ridiculous, and if you have a book on someone else's Kindle, they can't transfer it to you legally, which is ridiculous. Even with the money they lose, if can't be that significant. Without all of the costs of publishing a print book, having the price that high is a huge mark up.

But, I am planning another post about those things and a few other things also.

Dave said...


The reason you cannot transfer the item to someone else is Copyright Law. Be grateful you can loan it!

Dave said...

It's copyright law.

Jenny said...

@Dave See, I don't agree with that. The Amazon has so much control over the Kindle that they would be able to tell if you had copied the file, not transferred it. We already paid for the book on Adam's Kindle, so why shouldn't he be able to transfer it to me? If we bought a paper copy, we'd be able to do that, why should digital content be any different?

I could go on about this for awhile longer, but I am planning this in the post I mentioned in the comment before yours.