back to article Bookshop swaps Kindles for real books

Are you entirely unsatisfied with the digital publishing revolution? Do you curse your Kindle? One bookseller has the answer: it'll swap your unwanted e-book reader for a stack of paperbacks, hardbacks and magazines. Portland, Oregon-based Microcosm Publishing said it will trade a Kindle - a gadget it slams as "soulless faux- …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. James Hughes 1

    I like my Kindle

    and since they have only had one person in for this deal, perhaps other like theirs too?

    Out of interest, how do they pay for all this if they are putting the Kindles in a museum?

  2. Peter Bond

    Anyone want to bet

    that this clown owns an iPad?

    1. joebiel


      Yes, how about we bet two million dollars? or how about five? Then I can buy whatever I would like—though I should warn you it would be largely books and camera equipment.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Having found little but Top Gear and X-Factor crap on the shelves when I tried to buy something to read late last year, I am now a Kindle convert. The one novel that I liked the look of was still £18 in hardback, sod that.

    I commute on a crowded train. I carry an assload of books on my kindle, I usually have a few on the go. Better yet, no-one can judge a book by its cover, so don't mistake me for a pretentious tryhard because I am reading (and greatly enjoying) "A Brief History Of Time", or indeed the tonnes of free classics that I have never got around to reading. Hopefully people just assume it's porn, or John Grisham.

    Anyway, I love a physical book, but a large novel can be a problem for busy commutes (the hardback edition of Thomas Pynchon's "Against The Day" got me some VERY dirty looks). If I read at home in a comfy chair, and had access to good meatspace bookshops both new and second-hand, I wouldn't need my Kindle.

    However, I own one, and love it. It's very easy on the eyes, and keeps my voracious reading habit fed.

    Still, I am sure people hated the idea of movable type, too, preferring scribes..

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "So farm..." good.

  5. Elmer Phud


    Can I buy a secondhand Kindle from them?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    it's the printing press all over again... or the more modern MP3 revolution.

    Instead of being luddites they need to grasp the change and the innovations it brings or else he'll find his middleman status as a bookshop owner (along with publishers) no longer viable.

    His website seems down too (maybe too modern for him) so I couldn't see if he had his associates ID in every mention of Kindle (Just £152 from amazon :P )

    1. Code Monkey

      HIs business is under threat.

      It's a dumb stunt but his business is under threat. The market for stores other than Amazon selling Kindle books is pretty much zero. Amazon's already killed off countless bookshops and the Kindle will account for a lot of those remanining.

      I'm also sad to say I rarely buy books other than from Amazon and plan to get a Kindle once my "to read" pile's a bit less brutal. Sorry bookshops, I liked you but you can't compete.

  7. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Guess to each his own.

    Even for luddites.Me, I like being able to pack plenty of books in a carry-on and still have room for the toothbrush.

  8. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Our Local...

    ...thrift store has hardcover books in the $3 price range.

    Keeps me entertained.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "soulless faux-literary technology"

    Surely literature is about the words, the use of language and the ideas and concepts being shared by the author not the delivery medium, especially when that medium is some archaic and ecologically unfriendly!

    Sounds like sour grapes from someone not will to move with the times!

    Also sounds a lot like pseudo-intellectual bullcrap!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ecologically unfriendly?

      Books are great carbon sinks, that sit for years on people's shelves.

      Are you one of those people who thinks that cutting down trees, that are specifically grown for making paper and wouldn't be there otherwise, is somehow damaging to the environment?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "We are going to build a museum with the Kindles to put with our pagers, laserdiscs and 1990s cell phones."

    But, arguably, these were all successful products, or at least the forerunners of successful products today: mobile phones and DVD players.

    Deriding a new medium for distributing the written word is like a scribe rubbishing the printing press! The current generation of ebook readers may eventually end up in museums but there will be many generations to come or, like the pager, the function will be rolled up into a more general device.

  11. Jack 4

    Yeah...not happening.

    I got my Kindle shortly before the holiday, and since then, I've probably read more, (both free and paid for books), and spent less money doing so, than I had in the year previously, all without paying a dime for shipping (meaning more money went to the writer) or causing the death of a single tree.

    The fact is that the Kindle has gotten the needs of the serious book reader (As opposed to the gadget lover.) down pat. It's as light as a moderate sized paperback, I only need one hand to hold it and turn the pages, the e-ink doesn't flicker and can be read in the sun, I don't need to charge it more than once every week or so, I can keep dozens of books on it at a time, and it wasn't much over $100.

    The soul of a book is not in the paper, the soul of a book is in the words contained within. While I like the smell of books, and being surrounded by shelves of them, having something that makes it easier to access the words is no bad thing.

  12. Ian North

    Bloody luddite

    Pagers, Laserdiscs and 1990 cell phones all got superseded by superior products, i.e. mobile phones, DVDs and 2000 era cell phones, not because the people didn't like them. I have no doubt that the Kindle will one day belong in such a museum but I don't think it'll be because people don't like the concept, it will be because something better would have come along.

    Yes, I like books just fine but the Kindle (and eBook readers in general, lets not be brand specific here) is a really good concept. I got a Kindle for Christmas, I've so far loaded the better part of eighty books on it and can carry those books around with me where-ever I go. Can't do that with paperbacks.

  13. AgentWhim


    "Are you entirely unsatisfied with the digital publishing revolution?" No.

    "Do you curse your Kindle?" No.

    "you might be carrying your books out in a fleet of wheelbarrows" That's one of the reasons why not.

  14. Fuzz

    What an idiot

    Nice publicity stunt but seriously, pagers, laserdiscs and 90s mobile phones.

    The reason we don't use pagers anymore is because of mobile phones, the reason we don't have laserdiscs is because DVDs are better, the reason we don't have 90s mobile phones is because we have newer mobile phones.

    Kindles and other ebook readers will join this pile of gadgets once something better comes along.

  15. illiad


    rather stupid I think... will he also provide the rucksack / giant pocket to put your whole collection of 100 or more books in too????

  16. Anonymous Coward

    e-readers are terrible

    I tried an e-reader for a recent holiday. It was a fail on so many levels, just a few are:

    1) Really hard to clearly understand diagrams in books.

    2) OCR errors prevalent in many e-books.

    3) Can't lend a book easily to someone, especially if they don't have an e-reader.

    4) Purchasing process is a nightmare - especially with the DRM they use.

    5) Too expensive, given that you get something less than the book.

    6) Very difficult to archive.

    1. Ian North


      1 and 2) That isn't a failing on the part of the e-reader, that's a failing on the part of whoever did the conversion process. I've got a couple of ebooks with illustrations and diagrams, they were at least as good as the paperback equivalents.

      3) That depends on the device, surely?

      4) Purchasing an eBook from Amazon uses the exact same process as buying a paper book with the added bonus of getting your new book right away

      5) Depends on the book that you buy but I don't disagree entirely

      6) With the Kindle at least, all of your purchases are stored on Amazon's servers and can be downloaded and redownloaded at will. The device itself can be backed up onto your computer too. What's difficult to archive?

    2. Anon the mouse

      Point 4

      Purchasing is not a nightmare...... I accidently bought a book from the kindle store showing my sister-in-law how easy it was to purchase books.

    3. Righteously Indignant


      I've had my kindle for a few months now and it is invaluable for my daily 2 hour round-trip commute. I've easily read more books in the last few months than in the previous year...

      1. If you can't see the diagram clearly then maybe you need an ebook with a larger screen, like the DX.

      2. I've only seen OCR errors in books that I didn't pay for... If you know what I mean.

      3. I can email books to my mother quite easily - or buy them and send them straight to her device.

      4. Amazon's one-click could not be easier... Did you try it?

      5. Can't argue against this one - I do think they are expensive considering there is no paper or printing involved. But hopefully that means more goes to the author. Right?

      6. Umm... Again, try Amazon. All my books are stored on their servers. I lose my kindle I just replace it, register it and everything gets restored automatically.

      For those books you didn't buy you can archive them just by leaving a copy on you computer HDD when transferring it to your ebook of choice. Again, with the kindle you can email books to yourself - so you will always have a copy if you're as anal as me and keep all your sent items! :)

      Each to their own, but I love my kindle. I also bought one for my mother and she loves hers too. I'd recommend one to anyone who has a nightmare commute (the Moscow metro in my case) or plenty of time on their hands...

      I have the 3G version and it really does work anywhere - I downloaded a new book whilst sat in Atyrau airport in Kazakhstan (reading BBC news at the same time) without having to worry about finding (the non-existent) wireless hotspot...

  17. Cameron Colley

    "you might be carrying your books out in a fleet of wheelbarrows"

    Can I swap the other way around?

    That's pretty close to the reason I am considering an Amazon-owned library -- I don't have the room for one of my own, and can't travel with it.

  18. Aldous

    why do people think its one or the other?

    you can have both you know i really don't get the bile coming out of people (and commentards) "your a luddite" "trend follower" etc

    i have a kindle and a stack of dead tree, kindles great for somethings but for studying i'd rather use a text book. you dont make a faustian deal when you buy an ebook reader you know?

    btw if your worried about drm/formats download calibre its free and can convert any ebook format into another as well as strip out drm

    1. Rob Moir

      Both is good

      Thank god for this comment, I was beginning to think I was the only person who liked books AND my kindle.

      I have several books that I love dearly, that have pride of place on my bookshelf and which I can't see myself getting rid of. I think that I'll always want these books to remain as real books. I also have a lot of of cheap thrillers that I've picked up when on holiday or where I like the cover while shopping and these are where I think I'll be glad to have the kindle instead. Then there's the reference books - an e-reader makes it so much easier to search and add notes to these, a key benefit.

  19. bob 46


    I read a lot and I would like to get an eReader. I won't at the moment for 2 reasons. The books are often MORE expensive (new Iain M Banks, Pattern recognition, £8 for the hardback, £10 for the kindle edition) and the unneccessary inflexibility. If books can be deleted from a Kindle remotely, then the technology is there to allow book lending / sale / trading. I read a book, then decide to give it to my mate / sell it on ebay / donate it to charity. I just specify a "Kindle address" and the book is deleted from my device and transferred to the one I specified. Where is the problem with that? Do paper book sales suffer from the fact that there are such things as second hand bookstores? No, I don't think so. I think Kindles would be more popular if this was possible. I know I would get one (as long as they sort out the pricing - don't mind paying the same, but don't see why I should pay more!)

  20. Bill B

    Only downside of an e-reader

    is that you can't lend books.

    I'm hoping that eventually the publishers will lift themselves out of the middle ages and permit a mechanism that allows me to lend (or give) a book to someone. I don't think they would lose out. There's a few books I've read because someone has lent me a book and said 'Try this, you'll like the author'.

    And no, it wasn't Dan Brown. Come to think of it, that is another downside of an e-reader .. I can't give crap books to a second hand bookshop.

  21. Ben Rosenthal

    count me in

    for not wanting to have to carry a wheelbarrow full of books, or store them at my already book filled home with it's boxes and shelves and loft spilling over with the things.

    However if that sounds like your bag, I'll happily buy your kindle for real cash money, that you can spend anywhere in any manner you a shiny new wheelbarrow :D

  22. Fuzz

    lending books and book cost

    In the US you can already lend your kindle books to your friends for 2 weeks at a time, during that time you have no access to the book but your friend does. I'm guessing this feature will come to the UK store at some point.

    The problem with selling ebooks on is that the copy you get second hand is identical to the copy you get from the shop so there is no incentive to buy new. If you go on Amazon and a paper book is £3.99 new or £2 second hand then you can make a choice, an old book with a broken spine, notes scribbled in the margins and relying on someone putting the thing in the post or a crisp new copy backed by a reliable delivery service. With ebooks you'd always buy the cheapest.

    On book cost, this has been mentioned a few times before but in the UK we have to pay 20% VAT on ebooks so 16.7% of the books cost is VAT. Printing paperbacks isn't too expensive, I'd guess a very similar percentage around 15-20% of the purchase price maybe less. You don't pay VAT on paper books so the costs end up being very similar.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021