I love my Kindle. I was an early user of the product (I received my Kindle just a few months after the product’s introduction). I read, and purchase, far more content through this medium than any other, including physical materials (books, magazines, etc), online, and audio services, such as Audible.
To me, the Kindle’s benefits far exceed the costs. I can generate long lists of these benefits, which helps me justify owning a Kindle. For example, I read a lot of content simultaneously. I’ll switch from a newspaper to a magazine to a book within a 30 minute span. With my Kindle, I bring all this material in one convenient package. I can go on: it saves paper; it allows modification of annotations; I can browse a bookstore right from my chair, and so on. A few years ago, during my Kindle honeymoon, I excitedly thought of another benefit: I don’t need book shelves or a library. I have most of my content on my Kindle. Now, this might not seem like a big deal, but in a cramped apartment, I tell you it is. I save about 10 square feet of space, which is now filled with junk mail to be shred, but that’s another story.
Ten square feet has value. I bought (or saved) that space, for a fraction of its cost. Or so I thought. I am now on my fourth Kindle, though I only bought three (one was replaced soon after I found it to be defective). Of course, if I simply had ten square feet for book shelves, I wouldn’t have to keep purchasing the space.
So I found another way to reason Kindle ownership from a financial perspective. I’m leasing this library space. The lease is renewed with a purchase of a new Kindle about every eighteen months. For approximately $150 (with extras, such as a book cover) every 18 months, my lease rate is about 83 cents a month per square foot. Where I live, on a per square foot basis, the cost would be about $2. And not nearly as convenient. Still a bargain.