The Kindle price

By Razib Khan | November 20, 2012 7:11 pm

I’ve had a Kindle for a few years now. I read a lot on it. And yet I observed something recently: I’ve stopped going to the library much. This is a big deal for me…probably since the age of 7 I’ve clocked in at least one visit to the public library per week in my life. I never turn books in past due because of the frequency with which I patronize the public or university libraries which I’ve had access to in life. Until recently. Now on occasion books go overdue, because I don’t go very often.

In the short term the Kindle has been a boon. But I’m not sure if it’s good for us in the long term. I’d rather pay more for a device which allowed for easier usage of different formats, as well as looser distribution policies.


Comments (11)

  1. Tony

    Everyone knows that libraries are monsters, cheating honest hard-working publishers out of their well deserved commissions on book sales. Thank goodness someone (Amazon) is standing up to these olden-day equivalents of ThePirateBay!
    (DISCLAIMER: The above was written for comedic value. Do not feed the troll)

  2. stillwaggon

    A friend bought me a Kindle several years ago. It has been very helpful. Because of hand problems, holding a book can become quite painful. I can rest a Kindle in various positions according to where I am — on my bag on a bus or in a waiting room, on a table in a hospital room (all too often), and use the text in landscape with larger type, just nudging the page buttons with various fingers/thumb. Great for travel — I can carry 100 books or Kindle Singles. And I can send myself a PDF. I really do like a physical book — I guess I’m what someone called “a self-righteous book smeller”, but need a bookstand. But the Kindle has lowered my consumption of painkillers, no small advantage. After nearly 7 decades as a voracious reader, I really don’t feel inclined to up now.

  3. Adrian

    Think of the trees!

  4. Gil

    Ironically I mostly use my Kindle to read e-books from my library because it is hard for me to purchase digital products psychologically. I still buy CDs and then rip them to MP3 immediately and shove the CD in a drawer. Even with PC games I usually buy the DVDROM, although I can be tempted to buy things on Steam rarely.

  5. Babs

    As another article in Discovery says… Paradigm shift is hard because of the emotions attached to the way we used to do things…

  6. Joe Q.

    Here in Canada you see comparatively few Kindles — much more popular is Kobo (formerly a Canadian company), which I believe is somewhat more “open”. The public library systems here “lend” e-books that are Kobo-compatible.

  7. I like the ultra-lightness of standard Kindles but I hate being (more or less) locked into the Amazon ecosystem. Thanks heavens that tablets enable a person to read ebooks (and documents) in all kinds of formats. Tk heavens too that the 7 inchers are a *lot* lighter than the big 10 inchers. (Never did manage to use my iPad2 as an e-reader much. It was unwieldy, and holding it for more than 10 minutes in “reading” position hurt my wrists.)

    Thinking of getting a Nexus 7 or an iPad mini to use as my e-reader …

  8. Steve

    If you’re worried about Amazon lock-in or unsupported formats, check out Calibre. Makes converting from one format to another a breeze. And depending on your viewpoint as to what constitutes “fair-use”, you can use it to back up your collection in case you ever lose access in the future.

  9. RK

    It’s relatively easy to bypass the copy protection on Kindle books, but I’m still annoyed by the fact that the typography on the Kindle is so bad. Does it still full justify text without hyphenation?

  10. Jenny Jones

    The Kindle Fire has really made my life a lot easier. I’m absolutely in LOVE with this thing! It is very user friendly so I didn’t have to go searching the internet for tutorials. Here’s the one I got on Amazon If you’re looking to get a tablet I’d recommend the Kindle Fire over the other tablets, it really blows them away. 🙂

  11. Kyrilluk

    I purchased the DX version of the Kindle some times ago and I use it to display Pdf (I read a lot manuals or scientific articles). I’ve never been bothered with their format because everything I get is either in pdf or in a format that I can convert via Calibre. Kindle DX is great for me because it’s the biggest e-reader on the market and it doesn’t tire my eyes as much as my tablet/PC. But it’s a pain to navigate, I must admit, even with pdfs. I wish that there was a tablet out there, that had a light setting that would allow for prolonged reading periods.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar