Amazon: Buy a Print Book, Get an E-Book, Too

As the New York Times “Bits” blog reported last month, the online retailer Amazon is launching a new program called “Kindle MatchBook, [which] lets its customers buy the electronic versions of books they have already purchased in print form for either $2.99, $1.99, $0.99 or free.” If you have purchased a print book from Amazon at any point since 1995, then (assuming the book is eligible for this program) you will be given the option to get the e-book version, too.

Now, this seems like a pretty significant development in that many readers — myself included — read their books in a variety of ways: in print, on a smartphone, on a dedicated e-reader, or on a tablet. And often its the same book being read as readers jump from one medium to the next depending on circumstances. So, for example, I might start a book on my Kindle, but then read several chapters on my iPhone while traveling, then return to the Kindle to finish it. The syncing feature of the Kindle app is quite nice and enables this kind of mid-book platform jump. Adding print to the mix just widens this kind of reading all the more*.

Having said that, I was disappointed to go to Amazon’s dedicated MatchBook page, click on the relevant link, and then discover that out of all of the books I’ve gotten from them over the last 10 years or so, exactly one of them is eligible for MatchBook. That’s right: one.


How many Amazon-purchased books in your collection are eligible for their new MatchBook program? Does this feature make you more likely to buy books from Amazon than from other retailers? Let us know in the comments.

* Of course, there’s no real way to sync your print book with the other platforms, but let’s not get hung up on that right now…

[Photo by Flickr user Nick Johnson. CC-BY]

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