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Kindlenomics – The Economics of the Amazon Kindle Reader

Written by Kindle Tank on January 22, 2008 3 Comments


The new Amazon Kindle Reader is starting to make sense more and more as people are beginning to realize how it can change their lives. Like all new technologies, it takes some time for people to realize the true potential for its uses. The Amazon Kindle Reader is no exception.

Initially debuting with mediocre reviews, mostly concerning the high price tag and seemingly low amount of features, made many poor first impressions among the general public.

Any time a new device hits the market consumers spew a barrage of questions.  For example:

How will this device make my life better?

In this article, I will attempt to rebut one of the most common debatable arguments about purchasing an Amazon Kindle Reader. That argument being that the Kindle is priced too high for what you get, and along with that you pay for books, newspapers, and even blogs.

The Kindle is currently priced at $399 US. On top of that any content must be purchased. After you purchase your book, magazine subscription, newspaper subscription, or blog, that content is delivered to your Kindle via Amazon’s free Whispernet service.

Here is a breakdown of The Economics of the Amazon Kindle Reader – aka Kindlenomics

Cost: I would imagine that many people thinking about purchasing a Kindle already have a penchant for reading. I currently own 162 books (last count). Thankfully, I do not keep track of how much I spent on those books, but lets make a guess:

  • Hard Copy - 162 Books X $20 (avg) = $3,240
  • Kindle - 162 Books X $10 (avg) = $1,620

Space: Now let’s factor in approximately what cost or disadvantages it is causing me by keeping hard copies of books, versus digital copies. I’m not going to factor in the cost for those bookshelves, as if they weren’t there some kind of art would be. What I am getting at here is that space that it takes in my house. It is a lot. Also, I cannot count the amount of books, blogs, writers, and professionals who swear by benefits of reducing clutter in your house.

  • Hard Copy - 162 Books = 3 Large Book Shelves
  • Kindle - 7.5″ x 5.3″ x 0.7″ = 1 Note Book

Weight: I move a lot, some people do not. However, I would bet that most people move at least a couple times in their lives, and when done so, books are one of the most dreaded things to move en mass. Professional movers dread them, boxes hate them, water loves them, and the moving damages them. Moving books is just plain no good.

  • Hard Copy - 162 Books X 1 pound (avg) 162 pounds
  • Kindle - 10.3 ounces

Back Ache: One great benefit I see for the Kindle Reader is to be used more in the classroom. How many of you can remember your college days where 1 backpack was enough for 2 maybe 3 classes. Educational textbooks are huge, heavy, and insanely expensive. I imagine the day where students textbooks are all in digital format.

  • Hard Copy - 5 College Classes X 1.5 Books Each X 5 pounds (avg/book) X 5 Days a Week X 180 School Days per Year = 33,750 pounds on your back per school year
  • Kindle - 10.3 ounces X 5 Days a Week X 180 School Days per Year = 579 pounds of Kindle on your back per school year

Benefits: It is probably pretty obvious that because the Kindle is an electronic device, that it is many ways unlike a real book. So what does that mean? It means that the Kindle is not actually just a book, but a . Yes, books are capable of doing things that just being read like hammer nails or crush bugs, but I won’t pay extra for those features.

  • Hard Copy - A tangible copy of literature with the possibility of withstanding Earth’s elements for a couple centuries.
  • Kindle - GPS Positioning, Google Maps, Very Portable, Picture Viewer, Minesweeper, and the cool possibility of having a whole library at your fingertips while waiting for a flight in JFK.

Total Savings

  • Cost – Half the Cost for Books
  • Space – Very Small Percentage of Space
  • Weight – 161 pounds
  • Back Ache – 33,171 less pounds on your back per school year
  • Benefits – Does way more than a book can

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