Should I Buy an Ereader? And The Benefits of Waiting

I love to read, so a few weeks ago I had a burning desire to purchase an Ereader. I had a lot of reasons for purchasing one, and came up with a great list of my rationale:

  1. Ease of getting a book and reading it without the delay of going to the bookstore or library
  2. Ability to look up words in the dictionary with a simple touch, or references on the web
  3. Inventory quotes that I can later use for blogs articles I am working on, and for a book someday
  4. Portability, since I could have all the books I am currently reading, which is about 4 right now, and easily take them anywhere
  5. Read about book recommendations, and then quickly add them to my wish list on the device
  6. Less distractions, since when I am reading on the laptop, I get distracting checking email, Facebook, and Twitter

These reasons gave me excellent justification for the purchase. I had a few hundred extra dollars from a writing project, and a little gift money. Since I provide financial counsel to hundreds of people, I have to follow my advice to think long and hard about it.

I thought about it a lot, and compared products. I felt it was okay to purchase, with my initial allowance of $150. However that quickly expanded when I saw all of the products being offered. I could easily buy just a good Ereader, like the new Kindle Paperlight. All Kindle Ereader dedicated products have all the great tools for reading, weeks of battery life, and the great Amazon library and services. Then I started to wonder about the Kindle Fire products. They allow you to do much more (in color) in terms of Internet and email- since they are really mini tablet computers. These can be purchased from $150 – $200, I could stretch the budget a little.

If I was going to buy a mini-tablet, this expanded my choice of products. The Kindle Fire’s were somewhat limited in their application to computing, so I was looked at the ones from Samsung, and Google. Google Nexus 7 was newer than the Samsung 7 inch min-tablet, has a faster operating system and ran the latest Android Jellybean system. The 8 GB was $199, and 16 GB was $249. More memory was important, since the Nexus doesn’t have expansion slots (unlike Samsung’s). Now my budget stretched to $249, about $100 more than I started with.

However I felt compelled to wait, and not purchase. During this pause some interesting things happened. The Apple iPad Mini was introduced. iPads are amazing machines, however their price starts at $329 and goes all the way to $659 depending upon memory, WI-FI, and Cellular capability. Then there was talk that the other manufactures were lowering prices, expanding base memory, and offering new devices. More reasons to wait and think about it some more.

During the wait, I was given a few books to read. One was a free from a publisher, to review a theological tome on possessions. None of these were in digital format. A had a few books I wanted to read digitally, I was able to download them from my local library and read on my laptop. I downloaded the Kindle app and it works great. I also downloaded the newsreader and customized it for the periodicals I wanted to scan.

My burning desire to purchase an Ereader diminished. Although I would still like to have one, I am enjoying reading the various formats of books, magazines and newspapers, and the money is still in savings. I can still do everything I need to do for personal computing, entertainment, blogging and writing- quite nicely.

Waiting taught me a few things. One it is good just to wait and to refrain from purchasing things. It felt good to be in control. I used the devices I already have, and now I don’t have another one to maintain, or battery to charge. Having a Cell phone and laptop,and internet TV, I can do everything I need to do. I would like to have a smart-phone PDA, and either a tablet or mini-tablet, and in a couple of years I will need a new laptop. However with all the new things Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 8 to blur the lines and capability with smart phone’s app driven world, and touch screen capability- I think the wait will be good. With my next technology purchases, I am considering going all Apple, for the simplicity, ease of use, and less technological messes that Windows based systems seem to always have. The benefits of waiting mean I will get better technology in the future since they are constantly improving, or buy a good device used, while protecting my savings in the meantime.

If you are considering a purchase do your research, and take your time to wait. In the end you will probably decide better what you really want, while protecting your savings in case some emergency pops up.