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UK Kindle users spend £5260 on books to break even

The Amazon Kindle will be released on October 19th to international users and for the first time users outside the US will be able to buy books and have them delivered instantly wirelessly to their device. The device itself costs $279 (£176.18) + import fees - an outlay that is not small and comes with no books included at that price. US users are able to get New York Times bestsellers for only $9.99 (£6.31). In order to make the decision whether the kindle is for me, I set out on a bit of researching by checking how much I could save by buying this magnificent device assuming I just just bought it and got it delivered for £200 - more than an 8GB iPod Touch and £40 worth of songs/apps.

The first book I checked was Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" which for some strange reason isn't available to me in the UK on the Kindle. Fine, let's try a different book. I also found that none of the Harry Potter books are available to me. I searched for several other titles - none of which are available on the Kindle to me either. The so called "choice" doesn't seem to be a very big one. I checked for Barack Obama's new book "Dreams from my father". This is available! The price here in the UK for a paperback is £4.49 from Amazon. The kindle price is $13.79 (£8.71). So I would be paying double to have my book delivered instantly - no thanks!

I widened my search, I found "The Silver Spoon: Pasta" on Amazon UK for £16.22, on the Kindle however it costs $26.37 (£16.65). Once again, no savings. So far, it seems to me that paying £200 for a device and then paying extra for books doesn't seem like a good deal.

However, I did find one saving: 'Roasting in Hell's Kitchen' costs just £2.00 on the Kindle but costs £8.46 in its physical format. After having found this I was sure to find more considerable savings right? No. 'Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook' costs £6.49 paperback or a very similar £6.30 for the Kindle version.


In conclusion, there are some rare savings to be made. Now if all the books were as discounted as Gordon Ramsay's book and I saved £6.46 per book, I'd have to buy at least 31 books to break even (and spend at least £150) to recoup the price of the Kindle. If the savings are more similar to the last book on the list of 19p - you'd have to buy over 1052 books to break even. If each book costs even £5 - you'd need to spend over £5260 on books before breaking even.