Should you own two Kindles?
Okay, this one may seem ridiculous at first. Many people still see EBRs (E-Book Readers) as a luxury. I’m amused that suddenly $114 seems inexpensive…I think if the Kindle had been introduced at $100 (instead of about $400), I don’t think we’d see that as cheap. People act like paying $100 for a “gadget” is like getting a meal at a fast food drive-through.
However, for people like me who spent hundreds of dollars a year on paperbooks (and have been able to replace that with significantly less expensive e-books…not everybody does, it depends on your reading patters), the Kindle (even at $399) made economic sense. For the investment for the device, we saved money on the books. That’s been especially true for me with the public domain freebies: i was buying those kinds of books before. That doesn’t count additional savings, such as reduced storage costs.
Many people immediately respond to that with the idea that they didn’t get the Kindle to save money, they got it for convenience or for other advantages (like the increaseable text sizes). That’s fine…I have saved money with my Kindle…If you haven’t but there are other things that make it worthwhile, great.
If one Kindle will save you money, will two save you more?
I started thinking about this now with a relative (who was on our account) who was upgrading from a Kindle 1 to a Kindle 3. One of the main drivers for that was that the Kindle 3 has the Cyrillic character set (for reading Russian text, for one thing).
The Kindle 1 had been on our account, which practically means access to thousands of titles. All Kindle store books bought on an account are available to all the devices on the account.
This relative wanted to have the new Kindle on a new account. I was a little hesitant…it seemed to make sense to me that we would all be building a giant library to share, but I understood that desire to start a library. People used to say that owning a home was the “American Dream”, but I always thought owning a library would be cooler.
Simple solution…leave the Kindle 1 on our account.
That way, my relative can read the new books on the Kindle 3 and our library (which keeps growing) on the Kindle 1.
We can’t read the books that my relative buys on the new account (unless they are lendable), but that’s okay.
A lot of people actually end up with two Kindles that way: they upgrade to a newer model and keep the old one.
They could give that first Kindle away, of course, and some do. If you give it to someone who is on your account, that gives you more buying power for the shared library. You could donate it to a school or other organization. I think, though, that some people have a sentimental attachment to it, and some people don’t want to give the older version.
Anyway, that got me thinking.
Let’s say your employer is buying a bunch of Kindle store books related to your job (maybe computer programming, as an example). The employer lets any employee register a Kindle (or app) to that company account so they can read the books.
You already own a Kindle…but you don’t want to register it to that account. A Kindle can only be registered to one account at a time, and you want access to your library…and the work library…at the same time.
You could hypothetically deregister your Kindle from your account and register to the other one, download the one book (or more than one), deregister it, reregister to your account.
You’ll still have that local copy on your device.
Not too long ago, I wrote about Amazon saying that deregistering your Kindle would remove all the content. I suggested at the time that it might be an error on the Help page…and they have now changed what it says. When I wrote about it last time, it said:
“Deregistering the Kindle will remove all content from the device.”
They’ve updated that: it now says
“…once the Kindle is deregistered, any books, subscriptions, or other content you’ve purchased from the Kindle Store will no longer be delivered to the device.”
Whew! That’s the way we’ve understood it to work. The Register/Deregister Dance (R/DD) is safe.
However, you might want to access those two full libraries without going through that whole register/deregister thing.
You could have two Kindles…one for work, one for home.
Your company could provide you with one, of course, but let’s say they don’t. Would you spend $114 (the currently lowest-priced Kindle, which is ad-supported) to get to those books?
That’s not much, compared to the cost for computer books.
You might have to wait to get some books you want…if there were a hundred employees in the programming department, and the book only had six simultaneous device licenses, it’s like the company only has six copies they can lend out at a time.
I can really see that working, though.
What if there was a science fiction club? You could join it, register your Kindle bought for that purpose, and read all the books the club has bought. My guess is that it would be within the Terms of Service for you to be paying an annual membership fee for the club…I’m not sure it would be okay for them to charge for specific access to the library, though.
Of course, if you change jobs or they kick you out of the club, you’d lose access to the archives for those books.
I know some people also keep an old Kindle as a back-up. Kindle do fail, and it might take Amazon a couple of days to get you a replacement.
Hmmm….could I still use of my bookshelves, but just have Kindles on it? I could put different skins on them to tell them apart.
Some of this may change when we get Kindle for the Web doing full books, which has been announced. Since you would be reading in the browser, you wouldn’t need to register your specific device, presumably. That means you could log into the website for different accounts. As the browser improves on reflective screen devices, this will become more practical.
What do you think? Do you already personally have more than one Kindle (not for other people)? Do you have Kindles and apps registered to different accounts? Would buying a second Kindle just be decadent? Feel free to let me know…
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.