Whether you’re an ebook reader or you prefer physical books, Amazon’s latest announcement should come as quite the good news. Starting in October (1 month from now) Amazon is introducing a new program to bring very cheap and sometimes free digital versions of books when you buy the physical copy new on Amazon. At launch Amazon stated it will have a minimum of 10,000 book titles in the program. It’s calling this the “matchbook” program.
Prices and availability will be based primarily on the book publisher’s discretion. The digital version of the book for the matchbook program is in the Kindle format. This does not mean that you will need a Kindle device to read it (although I’m sure Amazon would prefer it that way), rather any iOS, Android, or desktop computer with the Kindle app/reader installed will be able to read these books.
Prices on bundled digital editions will range from free to $3. Amazon will be retroactively applying eligibility for bundles to all “new” book purchases (buying used books on Amazon doesn’t qualify for matchbooks) that were made on your Amazon account from 1995 and forward.
The New Paperwhite
In addition to the matchbook program Amazon also launched the next generation of its Kindle Paperwhite device. It boasts an enhanced display, processor, and other enhancements over its predecessor. The Paperwhite is arguably a better quality reading experience than physical paper on many levels. In several reviews the Paperwhite is said to have no eyestrain and because the display is not backlit it can be read in a dark room without causing any eye problems.
The new Kindle Paperwhite is available for $119 with ads, or $139 for the ad-free version. The ads are not entirely intrusive as they only display on the home screen so you only see them when you aren’t reading. Some of the ads are actually nice as Amazon frequently gives out $5 credit to spend in the Amazon MP3 store and daily deal reminders. If you purchase the cheaper version the ads can be removed later in the device settings at
- Menu > Settings > Device Options > Personalize your Kindle
A 3G variant is also available for an additional $70.