It just gets better
Regular readers will know I love my Kindle Paperwhite. The full package was already there for me – it’s as easy to read as a book, you can adjust the light, typeface and font size however you like, download books in seconds and ebooks are cheaper than the physical thing. Talking of prices, check this out –
We’ve all seen the “Classics” stand in bookshops. I’m no marketer or publisher, but my take is this: “classics” are the works which are out of copyright but still reasonably popular. Because they’re out of copyright, they can be endlessly reproduced at no charge. So to turn a profit, the book industry has come up with the “classics” tag, wrapped them in fancy covers and put them on the shelves for a few quid. For example, The Count of Monte Cristo, in “classic” paperback form at Waterstones, is £6.79
Because The Count of Monte Cristo is out of copyright, the customer isn’t paying for the words but the marketing. If anyone knows better, you’re welcome to correct me.
But how much would it cost me to download it to my Kindle? It would cost me 48 pence. But it gets better than that. If I want another Dumas “classic”, The Man in the Iron Mask, I can download it for free. Another French classic? The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Mine for 38 pence. Gosh I love capitalism. But it gets better than that, dear reader.
I can download the complete novels of Charles Dickens for the princely sum of £1.85. That’s less than two quid for millions of words!
You’re a Sherlock Holmes fan? Try Conan Doyle’s complete Sherlock Holmes novels, plus a dozen others, for 77 pence. Seventy seven pence!
Look, I know the old argument. I too love the look and feel of books. I’m a readerholic who’s ploughed through my fair share. I still have a pile of real books which I’ll get around to at some point. But these prices for old books has knocked my socks off. They alone makes an e-reader an essential bit of kit for anyone who loves to read. It’s game, set and match to them in my book. Ten seconds and less than a quid for the complete Sherlock Holmes? Stone the crows.