It's the same with my Kindle. I've downloaded lots of books - mainly the entire works by classic authors such as Henry James and Charles Dickens - but I haven't actually read any of them. The books I have read on my Kindle are the ones I paid for. And more than that, paid a reasonable sum for. (Your definition of what's 'reasonable' will probably be different from mine, but I don't think paying 99p is reasonable for a book that has taken an author maybe a year to write.)
People sometimes tell me that they've bought my books but haven't actually read them, and my standard response has always been, "so long as you've bought them, I don't mind". The flip side is that when someone tells me that they've read all my books from the library, it's hard to be thrilled. I've never been a writer who has said "I just want to be read" - I want to earn a living from writing!
But I wonder if I'm going to have to change my attitude. Someone buying a book for 99p doesn't seem much of an achievement if they don't actually read it. If they don't read it they can't tell other people that they're worth reading, and they won't bother to go and read the rest. Why should they, when they've already got a copy of one of my books waiting to be read?
It's not just about money. As a reader I'm handing over great wodges of my time to read a book. Whether I paid 99p or £7.99 for the product, it's taking up a lot of my leisure time. I want the book to be good because my leisure time is worth a lot to me.
I think anyone who says that they know where publishing is going is a fool. Things are changing too fast and what is true this week may not be true next year, next month, even next week. But a lot of the discussion around publishing - especially epublishing - is based around price. This year, when we've got new reading devices to fill, perhaps price is the key topic. I think however, that selling lots of books at rock bottom prices is a red herring.
What did I do last week? Bought two full priced books, because I wanted them. I've now read them both, along with another book that was lent to me by a friend with a good recommendation. That's anecdotal evidence. But many of the ebooks by best selling authors sell at prices comparable to their paperback price, and are doing well too.
I wonder if 2012 will see quality of reading experience coming to the top of the list, when we choose to be readers rather than just buyers. I hope so.