Are Kindle Books Cheaper than Print? The Cost Debate

In Short, Yes Kindle books are 30% Cheaper than Phsyical books.

However, the actual cost-efficiency can greatly depend on your reading habits. For those who frequently devour books and make use of Kindle’s subscription services, the cost per book often comes out significantly lower.

Yet, for sporadic readers or those who have a penchant for second-hand treasures, traditional print books could, surprisingly, be the more cost-effective choice.

Still Confused lets dive into indepth comparison

Kindle vs Physical Book Cost Calculator

Enter the number of books you read in a year:

Cost Breakdown: Kindle vs. Print Books

On average, a Kindle device costs around $100 (the price can vary depending on the model). After purchasing the device, you buy Kindle books from the Amazon store. An average Kindle book costs between $5 to $15. Now, imagine you're a voracious reader and you consume 50 books in a year. Let's compute the cost.

The cost of the Kindle device is a one-time expenditure: $100. The cost of the 50 Kindle books, considering an average price of $10 (the middle point of our price range), would be: $10 x 50 = $500.

Therefore, the total cost of reading 50 books on Kindle, including the cost of the device, would be: $100 + $500 = $600 for the first year.

From the second year onward, you only need to consider the cost of the books, which would be: $10 x 50 = $500 per year.

Now, let's contrast this with the cost of buying physical books;

The price range for new physical books is generally between $7 to $20, depending on the type of book (paperback, hardcover), publisher, and whether or not it's a bestseller. Considering an average price of $13.50 (the middle point of our price range), the cost of buying 50 physical books would be: $13.50 x 50 = $675.

If we compare both mediums for a one-year period, the Kindle option would cost $600, while physical books would cost $675. Hence, in the first year itself, Kindle turns out to be a cheaper option.

From the second year onwards, the gap only widens. For Kindle, you would spend $500 on books, while for physical books, the cost remains at $675.

But, that's not where the story ends.

Kindle: A Treasure Trove of Savings?

Kindle devices also offer various deals and subscription plans that can significantly reduce the cost per book. With Kindle Unlimited ($11.99 per month), you get access to over 1 million titles for free. The Amazon Prime members ($12.99 per month) can avail themselves of the Prime Reading feature, which offers over a thousand free titles.

In terms of cost-efficiency, if you read approximately one book per week, the cost can be as low as $0.58 per book with Kindle Unlimited. Even without these subscriptions, Kindle books are often cheaper than their print counterparts, with the added advantage of instant delivery and no physical storage issues.

The Environmental Cost

While not directly related to the monetary cost, it’s worth considering the environmental aspect.

On the one hand, print books contribute to deforestation and can create clutter if not recycled or rehomed properly. On the other hand, producing a Kindle also has an environmental impact, particularly related to electronic waste.

However, if used over a long period and for a large number of books, the environmental cost per book can be lower for a Kindle.

Where Can You Cut Corners?

In short, Kindle books are generally 30% cheaper than print books, making them a cost-effective option for avid readers. However, sporadic readers or those who prefer second-hand books may find print books to be more economical.

Kindle devices offer additional savings through subscription plans, and while both mediums have environmental costs, using a Kindle over a long period can result in lower environmental impact per book. Ultimately, the cost efficiency of Kindle books versus print books depends on individual reading habits and preferences.

About Author

I'm Shehraj Singh, I started the eReader.blog to help people learn more about eReader specifically Amazon Kindle, and help them fix any issues they may have.

I have a lot of experience with Kindle, and I want to share my knowledge with you so that you can make the most out of your device.

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