Why I Buy Physical Copies of My Kindle Books

1984 Kindle Hardcover

A few years ago I started doing something new: whenever I read a good book on my Kindle* I then purchase the physical copy.

The main reason I’m doing this is that I want to own books that I consider great. When you “buy” a book for the Kindle you’re essentially renting it from Amazon. This can go horribly wrong when Amazon deletes the book off of your Kindle because of a licensing issue, as it did with one of my favorite books, the above-pictured 1984.

I love the convenience of the Kindle. It’s easier to read on than a large book, especially lying in bed or while eating. It syncs to my phone. It’s delivered instantly. It’s just not permanent. And for books that I really care about I want to own a copy.

I want to be able to flip it open and read a passage whenever I want. I want to be able to lend it out without restrictions. I want to write in it, earmark pages, and otherwise manipulate it however I want. I want my books to still be functional and usable years from now, when Kindle and Amazon might not exist.

*Isn’t it amazing that my 5 year old Kindle still works great? The new ones are cool, but I haven’t really been tempted to upgrade. I feel like we’ve come to expect technology needs replacing every year or two. It’s refreshing to have a device with some longevity. As long as I’m buying books, Amazon is happy. The device stays out of the landfill. Win/win/win.