Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • LillyLou

    Hi Everyone!

    I have some questions about e-books:

    1) Does anyone buy e-books and print them?  Or, even better, print free domain books and bind them?  I don’t have a Kindle, or anything like that, and don’t care for sitting and reading a book from my computer screen.  But man, free books are aweful tempting (for example, Famous Men of Greece is available on the Baldwin Project web-site)!  I’m just wondering if it’s even worth it once you print and bind them.  Would it be more economical in the end just to buy the physical book?  And FYI, like most CM’ers, we rarely get rid of a good book, so another question I have for those of you who have printed and bound your books would be-

    2) how well do they hold up (btw, my children are 8, 3 and 1…)


    3) If you do print and bind your e-books, how do you go about doing that?  Do you print them at home and have them bound at an office supply store?  Or do you print at home and bind at home with one of those bind-at-home dealies?  Or any combination of the above?  

    Just trying to pinch some pennies where I can.

    Thanks for your input!



    I haven’t ever really priced printing e-books, but I imagine that printing, paper, and binding costs would add up quickly and it would be more economical in the long run to get a Kindle or something if you think you will be using a lot of them.  I don’t care for reading directly off the computer screen either, but the screen on the Kindle isn’t at all like that – that was one of the big selling points of the Kindle for me.   With all the free and inexpensive e-books out there, I think the $139 for the Kindle easily pays for itself.

    My 2 cents anyhow, FWIW.


    I recently printed the two Arthur Ransom books that are recommended here (they are out of print now) and had them bound at Staples. It wasn’t too expensive, BUT the books are short – only about 26 printed pages each. For the longer books, though, I don’t think it would be worth it.


    I printed a couple of books (The Treadwell reader was one, Planning your CM education was another), and then for one I got a presentation folder that has a sort of clip to “bind” it…  And the other I hole punched and put in a binder.  I have heard of people that use a pro-click binding system that love it…

    But for a lot of books, the cost of your paper, your ink/toner, then your binding method (or paying a company to) would really end up more than the book would…. unless it is an expensive book to just buy.

    I also have to say that the Kindle is worth the money if you can get it…  I have over 300 FREE books on my Kindle, and I haven’t “scratched the surface” yet


    We do print ebooks or free domain books and bind them at home with a comb binder.  We have an office printer, and printing works out to less than half a cent per page (that is including paper and ink).  We cut out cereal box cardboard for the front and backs (covered with something more attractive) so that the books don’t flop all over the place.  It works well for us.  Although I would love to just buy all the books, it doesn’t work well into the budget.  Also, we have one child who is an advanced reader, but has difficulty with small print.  This way is helpful, because I can adjust the font size.  You can pick up an inexpensive comb binder, and the combs are very cheap.  The books have been durable, though you certainly cannot treat them like hardcovers.  The only thing I find irritating is that they don’t look as nice in a bookshelf, but oh well. 


    I also purchase ebooks, and what I do with them depends on the kind of book. I’ve ordered reproducible curriculum ebooks and just print the pages I want to use…like worksheets and diagrams and such. I’ve purchased reference books and just keep them on my computer to reference as I need them. 

    Recently, I purchased and printed “Outdoor Secrets” in its entirety. I 3 holed punched it and put it in a binder. However, I find that I really don’t like reading it in this form. The binder is stiff and awkward in my lap…and it takes a lot of room on the bookshelf.

    More recently though, I purchased a Kindle. Already it has more than paid for itself because I can send any PDF file to it….like now Outdoor Secrets is on my Kindle and I MUCH prefer reading it in this format. With sites such as Gutenberg and Open LIbrary, with SO many free books in the public domain, the Kindle is the way to go for me. I also like pinching pennies, and while the Kindle was a large upfront investment, it is a long term money saver no doubt.

    I will also add that I live in the sticks, and our entire county-wide library system has essentially closed. The Kindle has replaced a lot of my library needs. 




    Thanks everyone!  Well, a Kindle is sounding more attractive.  Here’s the thing though: at some point it’ll be outdated, and, well, books stick around virtually forever…how do you plan to “keep” your digital books?  I’d like to have good books around for a loooong time.  Also, I just like books, I mean the physical books.  Do you get over the “I’m not really holding a book in my hand, but I’m reading a book and it’s a little weird” kind of feeling? 

     I appreciate ya’ll thinking it through with me.  What a funny conundrum; “do I buy a book with pages, or without pages?”  Sounds very Wonderland-y when you think about it LOL

    I do think that printing and binding the larger books is probably NOT the way to go, but I’ll keep it in mind for the smaller ones.



    I have a Kindle, but I also love to print and bind books. 🙂  I also buy used books at times if the price is really good.

    I take paper to Kinkos and have them cut it in half for me so it’s more “book size” – 5.5″ x 8.5″.  They charge about $1.50 per cut so I usually have a big stack done at once. I have some cardstock cut at the same time to use as my covers.

    Years ago I got a comb binder and 3 different size combs.  I’m just now about to need to buy more combs.

    I have a cheap Canon printer – got it at Walmart for about $30.  Black ink costs about $22 for a XL cartridge.  I just printed about 4 books – all about 170 pages (so about 85 half sheets- front and back) and I still have half of the black ink left.  That’s less than $3 per book for ink.  Even ordering used on Amazon you pay $4 just for shipping. 

    I print odd pages, then flip and print even pages.  I do about 20 pages at a time, so that if there is a mess up my whole book is not ruined.  After I bind it I cover the front and back in contact paper so it’s quite durable.  Here is an awesome way to bind books that I’d love to do one day:


    My comb binder only binds up to 90 sheets.  If I need a book that is larger than that I will buy used or put on the Kindle. I’m thinking of trying to find a larger binder.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but even though I have the Kindle, and I got it mainly for the girls for school, I still prefer to have the printed book instead.


    Forgot to say that I also have been printing other things, in addition to just those books – flashcards and cursive sheets and booklists and various homeschool aritcles, etc.

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