Here in Germany, Amazon is extremely fast at delivering the books I order. In fact, they are too fast to make Kindle version of the books interesting.
As a book customer, here is my experience with Amazon when I buy a physical book, the ones I can store in my personal library:
- Tuesday evening, read something about an interesting book, go on amazon.de, order the book.
- Wednesday morning, small email telling me the delivery is on the way.
- Thursday morning, the bell rings, the postman gives me the book.
Average elapsed time: less than 36h.
Now, the thing is, at home, we have hundreds of books, maybe in fact thousands, but especially, I always have 3 to 4 books on the way, that is, I am usually never without a book to read. So, the incentive to read right now something is pretty low, waiting 36h is not an issue at all.
Now, when looking at the options I have from Amazon when I want to buy a fairly old but popular book:
Basically, the Kindle edition is at €7 and the paperback edition at €10. So why buying a Kindle edition?
- Full content of the book.
- Start to read right now.
- Nicely virtually packed in digital form.
- I save €3.
But do I lose doing so?
- The content of the book is only licensed to me, I do not own it really.
- Not possible to share the book with some friends without a Kindle.
- Not possible to write in the book.
- Not the same satisfaction at the end of reading the book.
This last one is interesting, I have been reading a couple of books with my Kindle and surprisingly, at the end, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction is just not really there. It feels awkward being at the end of the book. With a real book, I can feel the end, close the book and looking at the physical item, reflects about the reading experience. The physical item is embodying the reading experience, it is an anchor, I see it next to my bed and it triggers ideas, makes me automatically reconnect with the story without even opening it. With the Kindle, I just see a Kindle, with so many memories as I combine my Kindle with Instapaper that at the end, it is emotionless. But emotions are my triggers to remember things.
So, at the moment, the delivery speed of Amazon combined with all the loss of the Kindle edition are tilting the balance to buy the paperback edition.
And you, are you reading eBooks? Or do you still prefer the old paper way delivered to you in a snap by the incredible Amazon infrastructure? Also, do you have the same satisfaction, reading a good eBook or the same as paperback?
My request for Amazon: Give me the Kindle for 2€ on top of the paperback edition and cancel it once you receive the paperback delivery notification. Yes, I would pay more but I would have the best of both worlds, directly.