How Owning a Kindle Has Saved Me Money

Kindle Keyboard

kindle review monthThe following is a guest post by Stephanie Yoder as part of the Kindle Review Month here on Her Packing List.

The first thing you need to know about is that I’m a voracious reader. A book-a-week reader. At home I devour my local library and scour used book stores to feed my habit. The second thing you need to know about me is that I’m a traveler. And the two don’t really fit together very well.

My shelves of books.
My shelves of books… not good for travel.

At least not until I bought my Kindle. For an entire year of travel in Asia I suffered. I searched hostel bookshelves like a scavenging vulture for anything of moderate interest, often reading books I hated just to have something to focus my mind on. I paid out the nose at used book stores in Laos and China for an english language book. I cried in Thailand when I had to leave behind unread books because my pack (check out Stephanie’s backpack review) was just TOO heavy.

So my basic keyboard kindle has been worth every penny. That initial $80 investment has saved me more than just frustration and back pain, it’s saved me money too. I no longer have to pay outrageous prices for english language books that I just leave behind when I finish. Now I have a huge assortment of books to choose from.

Kindle Keyboard
The excitement of an entire bookshelf in one small device.

Now I’ll admit, many Kindle books aren’t cheap either (particularly when you’re reading a lot). Some are really quite overpriced; luckily I’ve found a few really great tips to keep my book costs low:

  • Amazon Deals – Every day Amazon puts a new Kindle book on sale for $3 or less. Some look like total crap but every once in awhile there’s a gem. I try to check every day. Amazon also has a monthly selection of discounted books so check that too.
  • Non-copyrighted books – Any book published before 1923 is now out-of copyright, which means that you can download it for free! Read the entire Sherlock Holmes series, finally tackle Bleak House or revisit Jane Austen, all for free.
  • The Library – my local library at home in Virginia lends kindle books electronically to members. It’s a fantastic way to read recently published novels (although I often have to wait on the waiting list). Not all libraries offer this, but check to see if your local one does.

What makes all of this the biggest value though, is that I’m reading what I actually want to read- things that I am interested in and care about. I’m not paying $15 out of desperation for a book that looks marginally interesting. Reading isn’t an obligation, it’s a delight, and for me, that is worth every penny.

>> Learn more about the Kindle Keyboard on Amazon, or check out more Kindle user reviews right here on Her Packing List!

About the Author:

Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can’t sit still! Since graduating college in 2007 she has either been traveling or planning to travel. She’s lived on four continents and visited everywhere from the Great Wall of China to the Great Barrier Reef. She now writes and travels full time, blogging about her adventures on Twenty-Something Travel. She also tweets @20sTravel.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Roving Jay says

    I bought an Kindle Fire this year, and I love it – now I don’t have to make a decision on which books to take with me on holiday — I can take my whole collection!

    One of the most invaluable apps on my Kindle is Evernote — I’m a travel blogger and take a copious notes and like working on article ideas when I’m traveling. Even without wi-fi access you can still add content off-line and it synchs up next time you connect.

    If you like reading and travel a lot, any version of Kindle is worth the money.

  2. Rebecca says

    I agree, now that most big city libraries lend books electronically, I have been considering getting one of these things.
    But I do like the surprise of a book swap sometimes! Plus, passing a good book along to a new friend on the road is really fun.
    I’m still a bit mixed and since I don’t travel as much as I used to, it’s at the bottom of my to-buy list at the moment. There is nothing like holding a good old fashion book in your hand!

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