Saving Money With E-Readers
When Amazon first launched its Kindle reader, back in November of 2007, it cost a hefty $399. The price soon reduced to $359, but that was still a lot of money to pay for an e-reader, and one which many people would have balked at.
Things are very different today. You can pick up the entry level Amazon Kindle for just $69and even the most sophisticated touch screen readers with lights are available starting at $ 119.
Credit: www.amazon.comThe price drop has been driven by a number of factors. Economies of scale have allowed manufacturers to drop their prices significantly. E-readers have moved from being trendy new gadgets for early adopters to main stream personal electronic devices widely used by the general public.
Increased competition, both from other e-reader suppliers and tablet computers has also had the welcome effect of forcing prices downwards. E-readers are now a financially viable option and could actually save users money when compared with printed books.
In the first instance, e-books tend to be a little cheaper than printed books. That makes sense when you consider that there are no consumable materials – paper, ink, printing chemicals, etc. – used in the production of e-books. Neither do e-books need to be shipped by road or rail. They can be downloaded over the internet for virtually zero delivery cost.
For many readers, the fact that the lack of consumables and delivery also means environmental benefits will be an equally welcome benefit. Print media uses vast amounts of wood, chemicals and energy each year – and delivery can more than double the “carbon footprint” of a book, magazine or newspaper.
A further benefit of the lack of consumables is the fact that out of copyright books have virtually no cost associated with them. Amazon, for example, offers its Kindle owners more than 1.8 million free Kindle books for download.
It’s also not uncommon to find authors, especially self published ones, and publishing houses offering more modern, contemporary books free for a short period of time. This is usually done in order to promote a book or an author – so you may need to check back for more information every now and again.
And it’s not just Amazon of course. Other sites - Project Gutenberg is probably the best known example - offer free downloads of out-of-copyright works for e-book reader owners – in a variety of different formats.
Falling hardware prices, the availability of free and/or cheap e-books and the environmental benefits of e-book readers seem sure to encourage the further use of e-books in future.