When you think about Amazon’s Kindle electronic reading device, you might not automatically think “green”. And, with its $359 price tag, you’re definitely not thinking “frugal”.
So why the heck am I reviewing this product?
Because I own one. My Kindle is one of my most treasured possessions. Why? Well, I could give you a hundred reasons, but the biggest is because it makes my reading habit easier to maintain.
And, I truly believe that the Kindle is green, and that while not exactly frugal, it can help you save money in the long run.
So, let’s dive in to find out why Amazon’s Kindle is so darn fabulous.
The Case Against Paper Books
If you happened to catch my post, “3 Cool Ways To Green Your Reading Habit“, then you know that paper books are bad for the environment.
Here are some stats from that article:
Planet Green, a Discovery company, had these fascinating but sobering facts on the consequences of our book buying habits.
- There is a book published somewhere in the world every 30 seconds.
- One tree will provide enough paper for only 116 averaged sized books.
- It takes 4.4 gallons of water to produce one book.
- For every ton of recycled paper that’s used in a book, 24 trees are saved.
Now please understand…I love books. I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and consider books and reading to be essential components to my personal happiness.
So, I’m not making the case that people should stop reading books. I’m simply trying to illuminate an aspect of reading that, after decades of being a reader, didn’t hit me until a few months ago.
That aspect is: books cost trees.
Why I Love My Kindle…
Wow, let me count the ways.
1. The Kindle Screen
First of all, let’s address the Kindle’s screen, which seems to me to be most people’s biggest objection before they see it in real life.
The somewhat blurry picture on the right is my first-generation Kindle. It doesn’t do the screen justice, but you can at least see what it looks like.
The Kindle screen is nothing like anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s not like a laptop screen, which is bright and catches glare easily.
The Kindle screen is soft. It really looks like ink and paper (only better). My opinion it’s actually much easier on the eyes to read from the Kindle screen than a piece of paper.
The reason is because in books, the paper is white, and words are black. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but it’s important. So, you have this sharp contrast of white and black on the page. And when you’re outside, especially in the sun, it’s even sharper because the white page kicks back so much light.
The Kindle screen is gray, and the type is black. This is a much softer contrast, which is very easy on your eyes.
Because of the screen’s amazing technology, it’s even easier to read outside. Why? Because there’s no glare like you have with traditional digital screens. You can’t see your reflection, and you don’t have to squint from the brightness.
It’s truly amazing.
2. The Kindle Storage Power
I travel a lot. And, I’m a very fast reader. So usually this means I have to take at least 3 books with me whenever I go on vacation, because I fly through them.
Books are heavy. And, they take up a lot of room. If you’ve every schlepped a backpack full of books through a crowded airport, then you know what I mean here.
The Kindle eliminates this annoyance. It stores 200 books.
That’s all you have to take!
3. The Kindle Books
If you find yourself hankering after a book while you’re away, gone are the days you have to go out looking for a bookstore. You simply connect to Amazon’s store by turning on Whispernet (Amazon’s wireless connection), and buy it right from your Kindle.
You have your book one minute later. And there’s no cost to download it. There’s also no monthly wireless fee. Your access to Whispernet is included in Kindle’s price.
So, you never have to worry about not having something good to read, because you can surf and shop for books, magazines, and newspapers instantly.
You can even read major blogs through the Kindle.
And if you have Word documents you want to read, you can email those to a special Kindle email address you get. Amazon reformats the document for Kindle, and then delivers them to the device. It’s 15 cents per document for this service. I’ve done it several times, and it works well.
4. Kindle Searchability
Another cool thing about the Kindle is the access to immediate information you have when reading.
If you’re unfamiliar with a word, you just highlight it. Kindle will open the dictionary and tell you exactly what the word means. Usually, I’m too lazy to go get a dictionary or hop online to look up a word. So, I’m learning more words because Kindle cut out that step.
It’s also easy to navigate through the book itself. You can book mark pages, “clip” pages you want to reference later, and easily hop through chapters.
Kindle also remembers automatically where you left off the last time you were in a particular book. So if you decide to switch books, you don’t have to worry about losing your place. Next time you open that book, you go right to where you left off.
So, HOW Can I Save Money With Kindle?
Ok, here it is.
Kindle has over 285,000 titles available for download, and that number is growing daily.
Almost every book you buy for your Kindle is going to be cheaper than what you’d pay in a bookstore.
For instance, most NY Times Bestsellers are $9.99.
The cool thing is that if you’re into reading older books, like the classics (think Jane Austen, Charles Dickesn, Voltaire, etc.), you can get books for next to nothing for your Kindle.
Most classics are $1-$3 each.
Now, I love the classics. So for me, this is a huge money saver.
Case in point: the last classic I bought was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Final price: 99 cents.
So even if you’re addicted to the new releases or you love the oldies but goodies, you’re going to save money on books with the Kindle. At least, compared to buying them new.
And HOW Is the Kindle Green Again?
Buying digital books means that you’re not buying paper ones. So, no trees have to die to support your reading habit.
Not to mention the water and glue that goes into every book, the bleach to dye the paper, the gas used to truck that book across the country…you see where I’m going here. Kindle cuts all that out of the system.
I feel very, very good about this.
But Isn’t the Kindle Impersonal?
For you bibliophiles out there, I can understand your reluctance to make the switch to digital.
After all, books smell good. They feel good. They’re like an old friend. When you curl up with a good book, it’s an intimate experience.
Plus, that book becomes a part of your history. You can remember smearing chocolate on page 257 last summer, and the time you left that Jolly Rancher in as a bookmark and it caused the pages to stick together (true story there…)
Does Kindle replace the tactile experience of reading?
Well, not exactly.
But the Kindle stands alone. It’s a different way to read books. Is it the exact same as curling up with an antique volume of Shakespeare?
No. But, I still feel connected to the experience of reading with the Kindle. I still love it.
There’s a good reason why the Kindle has almost 4,000 positive reviews on Amazon’s site.
Most people simply fall in love with this thing. I know I sure did. I was amazed at how effortless reading from the Kindle was when I first got it. And now, I can’t imagine traveling without it.
Want to check out the Kindle for yourself? Any of the highlighted links for “Kindle” will take you to the Greenest Dollar’s Green Store on Amazon so you can have a looky-loo.
If you’d like to skip going through the Green Store, you can click here to go straight to Amazon.