Relating to my last post about Christopher McDougall's outstanding book, Born to Run, just wanted to put in a good word for the method I used to read it.
I actually began the book the good ol' fashioned way -- reading a library copy. Unfortunately, as is often the case, my reading pace didn't match the three-week checkout limit or the waiting list of other eager readers; renewal was not an option.
When it had to go back to the library, I was only about one-third of the way through -- deep enough to be really engaged. My options were weighed:
A. Go to a bookstore and pay full retail price
B. Try my favorite bookstore, Half Price Books, if they had it
C. Explore yet other options
It was late at night, stores were closed, and I needed it NOW. So more immediate choices were considered: via Apple's iTunes Store [iTunes link], an audio version could be had for $23.95. The thought of wading through a long audio version to find my spot, reference in the future, or cuddle up with, didn't address my urgent need.
Just then, another option came to mind: the Amazon Kindle.
No, I don't own one. The $259 price tag is still a little steep for my taste.
A surprisingly pleasant read using the Kindle for iPhone app
A few months ago, I had gotten the free Kindle for iPhone application [review via CNET]. This ended up being an extremely satisfying way of reading: it is always with me, I can make annotations and highlights as I go, and it is surprisingly pleasant to read.
But the best part was the price: just $9.99. That compares with a $25 cover price or $14.50 for the book via Amazon. And it arrived instantly -- I was delighted!
If you have an iPhone -- or deep pockets for the Kindle itself -- this method is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Check out the Kindle Store, including their selection of free books.
This is the way book (and music and video) pricing should work. A digital version of a work requires none of the physical materials or production costs of a traditional book, CD, or DVD. [Sure, I understand that there is production involved; but come on -- it doesn't compare to the overhead of CD cases, printing presses, paper, etc.]
Thank you, Amazon, for recognizing this and building a great infrastructure for the next generation of reading.