Is a Kindle worth it? It's a big investment, particularly if you use libraries instead of buying books.
But ... it is way cool.
Anyway, Jason Berlow of ZDNet's Tech Boiler made a first pass at whether buying a Kindle is justifiable for financial reasons. It's useful, but not really a solid financial analysis.
His analysis is lacking in a number of respects:
- There's no time value of money.
- There's no opportunity cost of your investment.
- There's no resale of your used Kindle.
So, I put together an improved spreadsheet that actually does a net present value analysis of buying a Kindle. The spreadsheet has some choice variables that you can set to the values that are best for you.
So, what's it show?
Not surprisingly, you're not going to get your value back with book savings, unless you buy quite a few.
But ... it's hard to justify a high discount rate for this sort of investment (unless you expect Apple to stop selling books you want in Kindle format). This means that if you use it for long enough, it's likely to be a good purchase no matter what.
Just like any new asset, if you actually have the ambition to resell it when you tire of it, your chances of getting your money's worth are much better.
Also, if you get a big warm/fuzzy out of getting a new gadget, then again, you'll probably find the purchase to be worthwhile.