OK, so for a frugal living post I'm telling you to buy something expensive? Yep.
I bought a Kindle a little over a year ago when we moved our son to Nebraska. I am an avid reader. I go through at least a book a week. I have to read in order to shut my brain down at night and if I am a passenger in the car, I can't stand not having something to do. If I'm not knitting, I'm reading.
I am also come from a family that owns a printing company, and has for the last 94 years. Switching to an electronic media rather than a printed book was something I did begrudgingly, but now I'm thrilled I did.
I started with a basic Kindle. My final break-down point was that when I travel I typically don't take enough books and I end up having to buy at least one book, and usually at full price. I don't like doing that, especially since I don't re-read books. And books are bulky and take up valuable real estate in a suitcase!
I had it for nearly a year and I loved it. I always had enough books with me, and could simply pop it into my purse.
Here's the best part, I have never paid for a book on my Kindle. You may not know this, but there are THOUSANDS of FREE books available to download. Every genre is available. If you like mysteries, romance, historical, non-fiction, cookbooks, auto biographies, the classics, you name it.
For Christmas my husband and I each got some cash and my husband decided to buy the Kindle Fire. The Kindle pictured above simply does books and is not lighted.
The Kindle Fire is essentially a tablet, but not quite. In addition to books, it is also full color (the one above is only black and white), has wi-fi, e-mail, can stream video, has a touch screen, it's lighted (for reading in bed with the light out - YAY) and much more. The only thing I have found that it doesn't do is create documents, but it does allow you to open documents.
The regular Kindle retails for about $100, or less. The Kindle Fire is about $200.
Before I left on my Mommy Time trip to Houston, I also upgraded to the Fire. I didn't have to take my laptop along, and I still had access to everything I needed while I away from my home office. My "old" Kindle is now going to our daughter for her birthday in September. Just like the regular Kindle, I can throw it in my purse and have my books at my finger tips. I currently have several hundred books loaded. The Kindle for our daughter has about 200 books on it right now. It will have many more by the time she gets it. She devours books the same way I do.
So, where do you find out about free books? If you have a Kindle you can search on Amazon. Just type in "free Kindle books" in the search bar. I believe you can do the same thing with a Nook.
I have also found groups that I "like" on Facebook and they post free book links several times a day. Sometimes they are only free for a day or two, other times the links are good for a month. The ones I use are EReader News Today, Inspired Reads (Christian based books) and Free Kindle Books and Tips. These have allowed me to load hundreds of books on both the regular Kindle and the Kindle Fire. They also post links for Nook books as well.
Yes, the initial investment was "high", but the money I have saved, and will save long term, by not purchasing books, has paid for the price of the device many times over. The convenience factor is an extreme bonus. I am never without a book.