Tech Savvy: Kindle offers bonus book benefits

How would you like to be able to borrow any book you wanted with just one click? This luxury is now possible if you own a Kindle, an eReader that is owned by Amazon. Recently, Amazon announced that its customers will be able to download one free book once a month and keep the book for as long as they want with no late fees.

According to an article in The Washington Post, “Amazon launches Kindle lending library,” there is a catch to this. Kindle owners must also be subscribers to Amazon Prime, a benefit program with the website in which users get free perks such as free two-day shipping, which costs $79 a year. The article also states that only individuals who own a Kindle can actually use this new feature. In other words, anyone who has the app on their phone but don’t own a Kindle cannot borrow books for free.

As a huge fan of eBooks and eReaders, I think it is a great idea to be able to download books for one flat price. However, only being able to download one book per month free of charge really has me thinking. It rarely ever takes me the whole month to finish reading an eBook; I’m lucky if it lasts me a week. This leads to a huge problem: What am I supposed to read during the remaining weeks in the month? Readers are able to download other books in between; however, it will count as an additional purchase. Therefore, if you’re a fast reader, expect additional fees to your $79 a year.

For one book a month, however, that price is great. Usually, the average price of a book at an online bookstore is about $10. If an individual were to purchase one book per month for a year, they would spend around $120 per year; thus money is already being saved. There also is free two-day shipping on Amazon.com as well as other perks from the website.

I, myself, own a Nook, the eReader licensed to Barnes & Noble. At this time, they do not offer a program like this, so users purchase as many books as they want, but have to pay for each one. In addition, users can take their Nooks to a local Barnes & Noble and read and browse any of the books in the store through the Nook. I think Barnes & Noble should come up with a program similar to Amazon’s. The only modification I would make is to allow users to borrow more than one book per month.

This deal that Amazon is offering Kindle users is something to consider. It’s a great program if you don’t download that many books and want to save a lot of money. However, if you’re an avid reader and read multiple books per month, this program might not be the one for you. Either way, Kindle is trying to make your reading experience more enjoyable and keeping your best interests in mind.

-Danielle Gittleman

Freshman journalism major

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