Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Cost of Entertainment

Amazon has released a new section of entertainment called "Kindle Singles" where short stories by famous authors are being offered for sale on the Kindle device. A great deal of controversy has arisen with this new offered feature, mainly with regard to the cost. The average price for one of these Kindle Singles is about $2.99. 

Too expensive for a mere short story? 

Keep in mind that I live in San Diego, so prices may vary. But let's consider how much you pay per minute of entertainment: 

-It costs an average of $3.00 to buy a coffee at Starbucks. Consumed in 20 minutes, that's $0.15 a minute. 

-A 3d movie costs $15 to go see. With a running time of 3 hours, that's $0.08 a minute. 

-Bowling costs about $10 (including shoe rental) a person. Bowl for two hours, $0.08 a minute 

-Your average person reads about 200 words a minute. Which means an 80,000 word average novel takes about 6.5 hours to read. Bought as a $25 hardcover, comes to $0.06 a minute 

-With the same reading speed assumption, a 5,000 word short story would take about 25 minutes to read. Purchased at $2.99, comes to $0.11 a minute. 

-Same reading speed. A 5,000 word short purchased at $0.99, comes to $0.03 a minute. 

-Same reading speed. A 1,000 word short would take about 5 minutes to read. Purchased at $0.99, comes to $0.19 a minute.

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