Completely indefensible: I like cheap books, and in pursuit of such books, I spend way too much time online looking for bargains. Specifically, I like cheap Kindle e-books because a) I own a Kindle, and b) e-books are like cocaine, instant gratification. So I’ve developed a little obsession. I feel like such a hunter, scourging around the web for the bargain e-books. Never mind that I have way too many books to read already; never mind that I could borrow these books for free from the library; never mind that I hardly ever re-read and so have no reason for insisting on ownership. Bibliomania is a disease, even when it’s only for discounted e-tomes, and I’m sick, I tell you.
But my diseased state is your gain. Here, I will disclose all the little tidbits I learned in the search for cheap e-books. I will also unabashedly boast about my greatest finds (for shame!). You can get them too (and perhaps catch a little bit of the literati’s disease for your efforts).
- Check out the A Kindle World blog. It’s full of Kindle-related news and tips. In particular, take a look at this post. It’s a bit chaotic, but the bargain hunter must never let that deter her. Your persistence will be well remunerated as the post includes links to (non-classic) free Kindle e-books, Kindle e-books from a penny to just under a dollar, Kindle e-books from $1-$1.99, from $2-$2.99, and for those profligates among us, $3-$9.99. There’s a lot of junk, but the one thing the bargain must not value is her own time. Spend it wading through the junk; perhaps you will find a diamond, but rest assured that you will be covered in coal.
- Even if you’re locked in to a proprietary software like the Kindle and can get your (DRM) e-books from no other place than Amazon, that’s no reason not to check out other e-book stores. This is because the one thing that the agency model for pricing e-books did in the consumers’ (immediate?) favor is to ensure that if a book is on sale in any store, it’s at the same discounted price everywhere. This means that if a book is part of, say, Google Books from $1.99 weekly deal, then even though not featured prominently on Amazon, that book is $1.99 on Amazon too. So check out Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble The Nook Book Store, Google Play Books, Apple iBooks, or whatever other retailer’s e-book store you know. Look at their bargain books section; if you see a book you like, you can get it for that same low price from your preferred vendor. I guarantee it. (OK, not really. I don’t guarantee anything. I have no monetary funds set aside to back up any empty guarantees I make to you anyway.)
- By applying these tips, and above all, remembering to be obsessive compulsive and continually checking back for new deals, you can get great books! Shining examples include Alan M. Dershowitz’s Is There a Right to Remain Silent?: Coercive Interrogation and the Fifth Amendment After 9/11 for $1.24 (my greatest find!), Ian Johnson’s A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West for $3.32, , Frank McLynn‘s Napoleon for $2.51 or less, Lisa Randall’s Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions for $1.99, and Steven Rattner’s Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry for $1.55. Who knows what other cheap books are out there awaiting our discovery? Go forth & explore, peeps!