Amazon Kindles are nifty bits of kit. Reasonably well priced, extroardinary technology in the e-ink, and the sort of size and weight that would normally be a no-brainer for picking one up ahead of my summer holiday.
Apart from one thing. I’m a Chris Brookmyre fan, but haven’t gotten round to reading his latest, which sits a bit dusty on the shelf, quietly judging me for not picking it up and reading it. Holidays will probably be my first opportunity to read it, but in hardback (along with a couple of others languishing on my to-read list) it’ll be somewhat bulky to put in my luggage, especially when I now need to hand over every scrap of spare space to nappies and dummies and the like.
See the problem here? Now, I assume there’s a certain level of subsidy involved, and the more expensive e-books are keeping the price of the Kindle down. Also, it turns out VAT is payable on e-books, but not on paper books. The various tax implications of an e-book on cold pasties is mind-boggling.
So, what to do? It’d be cheaper to post all my books directly to the flat I’ll be staying in on holiday… but that sort of defeats the point. And then I’ll have to somehow get them home again, unless I just leave them to be enjoyed by anyone else visiting the flat who as so far has also held out against buying a kindle.
When music and movie companies tried this trick, there was consternation and people held out – but for some reason that doesn’t apply to e-books. To be fair to the publishers – they seem to be getting away with it and who can blame them for making their cash where they can…
Are they charging more for e-books simply because they can?