Have you spent more money on e-reading devices or on e-books to read on them? This is the question posed by a MobileRead forum survey, and the answers seem to be all over the map. Only a few dozen people have answered so far, so the sample size is too small to draw any real conclusions, but the most responders (11) say they’ve spent a hundred times more on e-books than on reading hardware, followed by a tie at 5x and 10x as much (9) and then 100x as much for the e-reading hardware as on e-books (8).
For my part, I took a rough guess at having spent ten times as much on e-books as readers, but the truth of the matter is that I honestly have no idea. I’ve been buying e-books since 1998 when I bought my very first one. I’ve bought from Alexandria Digital Literature, Baen, eReader, Fictionwise, Nook, Amazon, and various bundle sites. About the only places I haven’t bought any are Kobo and iBooks. I bought enough e-books from eReader and Fictionwise that I lost at least $200 worth when Barnes & Noble couldn’t transfer them all over to the Nook store. But did I mark down how much I spent on them? Well, no.
The question is especially interesting because it’s equally possible to spend nothing on e-readers or e-books. If I bought a desktop computer for other purposes but also bought e-books to read on it, would that count as an “e-reader” purchase? But on the other hand, if I bought a Kindle but used it strictly for public-domain and free e-books, then my ratio goes in exactly the opposite direction.
I’ve had plenty of e-readers through the ages, and many of them were fairly expensive at the time. But I’ve spent plenty on books, too. So honestly, how would I even know?
Do any of you know how much you’ve spent on e-reading hardware versus e-books? Let us know!