Kindle books are not paperbacks

I have been reading books pretty much exclusively on my iPad Kindle app for quite some time now. I really enjoy having one single device for all of my evening reading and browsing. After I have read our real, live physical newspapers, that is.

Most books are available for the Kindle at pretty much the same time as the hardcover shows up. That’s good. The Kindle price is generally lower than the hardcover price. That, too, is good. When the paperback comes out, however, the Kindle price does not go down. That’s not so good.

To be sure, there are plenty of Kindle deals to be had. I subscribe to both the Early Bird Books and the Book Riot email lists, which offer deep discounts on selected titles. Indeed, I have enjoyed a few books that I have gotten via both at low prices.

But if you are looking for a specific backlist title, and you expect a lower price because it is not a new, current title, you expectations may well not be met. For example, Barbara Tuchman’s acclaimed history of medieval Europe, A Distant Mirror, was first published in the 1980’s. The Kindle price is $13.99. True, the trade paperback at Amazon is $15.27, but still the Kindle price is more than one might have expected.

I’m not really complaining. The publishing houses are having a tough enough time as it is staying in business. All of the consolidation is sad and depressing to see. They certainly have the right to ask a reasonable price for their backlist titles as well as for their bestsellers.

And I’m grateful to have my iPad Kindle app and the opportunity to read such a  wide array of books.



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