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My Digital Book Spending for 2012
January 20, 2013 - 9:00pm

Inspired by Nick Bilton's NYTimes article Disruptions: Impulse Buys, Straight to a Screen, I decided to add up exactly how much money I sent to Amazon in 2012 for digital books.      

Here is the breakdown:

Total digital book spending:  $832.59

Average digital book price:  $7.57

Total number of digital books:  110

Kindle E-Books:

Total e-book spending:  $331.78   

Average e-book cost:  $5.92

Total number of e-books:  56

Audible Audio Books:  

Total audiobook spending:  $500.81

Average audiobook cost:  $9.27

Total number of audiobooks:  54

I also purchased a Kindle Paperwhite ($119) and a case ($39.99).

Add it all up, and I sent Amazon (which owns Audible) a total of $991.58 for digital books and devices.   

Books are by far my largest content expense, as we don't pay for cable TV and I very seldom pay for apps. Netflix is $20 a month. That's about it.

This seems to be a relatively modest level of book spending. My reading habit costs me about $70 a month. 

The cost per book is driven down by pre-paying for Audible books ($9.50 a book with the Platinum plan of $229.50 for 24 books), and the number of Kindle Single's that I purchase.  

I've basically stopped buying paper (soft or hardcover) books for myself, as I prefer the audio and e-book formats.   

Nor do I make much use of my academic or public library for e-books or audiobooks. I would rather purchase the exact digital book that I want today, rather than have to either choose amongst the limited selection of library digital books or wait for a digital book to become available for borrowing.

Should I be worried that all my book spending is going to Amazon?   

Should I be concerned that my book content is locked up into Amazon's proprietary Kindle and Audible format?   

Now that Amazon has me locked into their ecosystem will they begin to raise the prices on digital books?   

How much did you spend in 2012 on digital books?


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