I’ve had my Kindle for a little over three months now, so I decided it was time for an update. In short, I love it. I have the original version of the Kindle, and while the Kindle 2 seems pretty impressive, I can’t say I’m all that disappointed to have the old version. I do know that a lot of people decided to upgrade right away, and put their old Kindles up for sale, so if you’re interested but don’t want to pay full price, I’ve been more than happy with the original.
Reading on the Kindle is great. A number of people are uninterested in the Kindle because the screen isn’t backlit so if you want to watch in the dark, you’ll need a light. That said, because the screen isn’t backlit, reading is incredibly easy on the eyes. I don’t know about you, but after looking at a computer screen all day, my eyes start to hurt. I don’t have the same problem with the Kindle.
I carry it in my purse to and from work everyday and love having books available at my fingertips. I’ve read about 25 books on the Kindle so far. Amazingly, I haven’t spent very much on Kindle books. Technically, I’ve not spent anything! All the books I’ve purchased were thanks to gift certificates from my Amazon.com Visa Rewards Card or my SwagBucks account. I do try to take advantage of all the free books available on the Kindle. If you check out the Kindle Store on Amazon, you can see that there are a lot of books in the public domain free on Amazon, and publishers regularly offer free downloads on specific books for a limited time. I try to grab all of those, though they’ve not all been to my liking. Hey, it’s free, and it’s electronic, so it’s not wasteful to take it and then delete it, right? (Of course, if by the description, I know it’s not the sort of book I will enjoy, I don’t bother.)
New releases are typically $9.99 on the Kindle. I have to admit, that’s a bit pricey, especially if it’s a book I can buy for not too much more at Borders with a coupon and then be able to swap or re-sell. I have picked up a few books at this price, though, and really enjoyed the convenience. I’m heading on a painfully long plane trip next week, and am excited to have the Kindle with me instead of a giant pile of heavy books. Of course, just in case, I’m planning to bring one paperback in my carry-on, because while I’ve had no problems with the Kindle so far, the last thing I want is to settle in for a 7 hour plane ride only to discover that something isn’t working.
Because I love spreadsheets, I’ve been keeping track of the price of the books I buy and figuring out the average price of my books. So far, I’m averaging $2.62 per book. Yeah, that’s because there have been a number of free books included, but they’re books I wouldn’t have had in my hands without the Kindle, so I’m counting them.
The Kindle isn’t for everyone. I think it’s best for people who travel a lot or have a long commute where they can sit back and read (please don’t read while behind the wheel of your car). If you love your local library, then the Kindle probably isn’t your thing.
One thing that I didn’t realize about the Kindle – the text size is very adjustable. I read it on the second smallest setting, which seems to be near the size of the text in an average paperback. But you can increase the text size significantly. This is great for people who require large print books. I know that large print books aren’t always easy to find, and this is a great way to have access to hundreds of books in large print. Also, turning pages requires a very gentle click, and I have read comments from users with disabilities or severe arthritis who are finally able to read a book with little to no pain.
It’s not the most frugal of gadgets, and I’m not sure I would have been able to justify spending the money (I received it as a gift), but I really am glad I have it. I’m not sure if I can actually say that it has saved me money, but I love it just the same.
Note: Sorry to those of you who read this earlier today with the wonky formatting. Fixed now!
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.