E-books, print books, and Kindle’s MatchBook program

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Smacked against my refrigerator right now is a  magnet that says, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” The name beneath the quote says Cicero, though I have no idea where the bookmark itself came from. Nevertheless, I love it.

I love it because it’s the best way to explain to my husband that yes, even though I ultimately gave in to the whole e-book thing (A, it was a gift, and B, I don’t go anywhere without bringing at least three books along, so it makes packing a heck of a lot easier), I still MUST have a print copy of any book I enjoy.

Last year, for example, I went on my HUNGER GAMES marathon – via Kindle. Thanks to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, I read all three titles for free. But I loved them. I needed to have them. So I hopped on Amazon a few days later and ordered the entire series in hardcover. The same goes for audiobooks. Elin Hilderbrand’s SUMMERLAND, which I listened to while driving around this July, is now one of several hundred paperbacks bumping out the built-ins in the guest room. Mary Ann Shaffer’s wonderful GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY? Same thing.

Is it a sickness? I can think of a few people who might think so. But for us book lovers, it’s a totally logical, understandable, perfectly normal reaction. After all, most of our vacation photos are now digital. How often do we print them out and look at them? How often do we actually print out our novels-in-progress? We assume that our previous day’s progress will be there when we turn the computer on the next day, but who knows?

With so much of our existence now suspended in cyber space or trapped in a metal box (cue Zoolander reference), books are solid. They provide comfort. They are portals to new worlds and ideas, and if we can hold them in our hands, we feel more grounded. At least I do.

And judging from Amazon’s new Kindle MatchBook service, which went live today, I’m not alone. Kindle Matchbook allows customers who buy or have bought physical copies of certain books to then go on and purchase e-book copies of the same titles for less than $3. Right now, there are 70,000 titles in the program, but more are expected to be added every day. Click here to find out which of your previous purchases are eligible.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start taking inventory…

What do you think of the new program? Do you love the ease of e-books but also yearn to hold the physical pages in your hands?

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1 Comment

Filed under Industry News

One response to “E-books, print books, and Kindle’s MatchBook program

  1. I’m certain it’s to the point where I’m driving my wife crazy with this, but it seem as if I purchase everything twice these days. Once digital, and once in print. I’ve gone slightly beyond your situation in that I must get all of my copies signed. Is that so wrong?

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