So, I received a Kindle from Mr. Sam for my last birthday.
Some background, I am an avid reader, I often read one or two books a week. Before our personal finance awakening (2007), I often bought 4 books a month. After we started working on paying down our debt, I resolved to reduce my book spending, and decided I would limit my book purchases to my book-club book and airport book purchases. I filled the book purchase gap by using my local library, which is within walking distance to my home. For about three and a half years, I maintained my resolve, but slowly, I realized I was starting to re-read library books (which I do with my own personal library). Basically, while I had not read every book in my library, I had exhausted what I was interested in reading. I had read every book from every author that I like or had heard about. I had read every available book from the various year end lists (NYT best books of the year, Salon.com best books, The Slate best books, the Booker Prize short list, the Pulitzer Prize short list, etc.) The real problem being that my library, which is small, just doesn't have many of these books.
So last birthday, Mr. Sam bought me a Kindle, which had come down in price to about $150. And, if you are not familiar with the Kindle it is super easy to buy books. Too easy. If I have my Kindle with me, i.e. at book club or traveling, and I'm in a wi-fi hot spot I can simply purchase the book in about 10 seconds with one click ordering. If I'm not in a wi-fi hot spot I can purchase a Kindle book via my iPhone Kindle app. I can instantly gratify my book itch.
Since, I received my Kindle, I'm averaging 3.4 book purchases a month, which average in price at $9.99, so about $34 a month. $34 a month isn't much in the grand scheme of things but it does translate to about $400 a year and that is probably $300 more per year on books than I was spending before I received the Kindle.
So, what to do? I could decide that the $400 I'm spending on Kindle books is money well spent. Money well spent in that it is small amount of money for something I very much enjoy and therefore I should allocate the sum either in our spending plan or it comes from my allowance money.
Alternatively, I could impose a holding pattern on my Kindle purchases. I use "holding patterns" for many of my on-line purchases, including Amazon, but the Kindle is set up for this one click purchasing so I would need to figure out how to select my Kindle books without actually purchasing them.
I'm also considering hitting the library again, I'm sure in the last few months they have some new selections. I could probably obtain at least one book a month from my library which would reduce my Kindle spending by $10 a month or a $100 a year.