When I first heard about dedicated e-readers (like the Kindle or Nook), I didn’t think I was interested. I love books – physical books. I love being able to take them anywhere. I love being able to loan them to friends, and borrow them from friends and libraries.
I’ve since discovered that e-books and physical books don’t have to be an either-or thing; I enjoy them both. And that dedicated e-reader? Not necessary thanks to free reading apps that can be used on your computer, smart phone, or iPod. (Although I’ll admit, if you start reading them enough, it is nice having the actual reader instead of the iPod; I find the Kindle itself is a lot more pleasant for anything more than a few minutes worth of reading, and it handles jumping between several books with a lot more ease than the Kindle app on my iPod.)
And that fear I had over the cost of e-books, since I get the vast majority of my books from the library? Hasn’t been an issue. There are so many free books available (of, I will admit, varying quality). There are classic books that are in the public domain freely available. There are books by authors I want to support, and would buy in any format. And happily for me, my library now offers some e-books for loan. Not every book is available, but there are a lot, and certainly enough for as often as I use the e-reader.
All in all, I love e-books for light fiction and for anything I’m going to read once and would then return to the library. And I still love regular books – I’m not going to give up my physical books, but I’m delighted to have the option to read on my Kindle. Especially when traveling; no more debating with myself over just how many books I can squeeze into my bags, and terror that I’ll finish them all and be stuck with whatever magazines or popular titles are available in the airport or other stops.
And none of this even begins to discuss using a tablet as an e-reader; I know they prevent the super-small screen issues of a smartphone or iPod , but I haven’t ever tried to use one to read a book.
If you have a smartphone (or an iPod touch), and are interested in reading more by using it, Keren Threlfall had a great post about that, including a list of apps she uses for efficient reading.
If you’re interested in finding free-ebooks, there are several blogs where I learn about most of them:
- EReader Girl is a newer site that has regular lists of free or discounted ebooks (Kindle and PDF only)
- The Vessel Project has free or discounted books, in addition to reviews (in other words, not all of their links are to free or discounted books.) The books featured are all Christian, so I like seeing what they include, but the site itself has some design frustrations, so I’m frequently ready to stop subscribing to it all together despite the content I want to read. They do include Nook links, so if that’s what you have this is a good choice.
- Jungle Deals and Steals seems to link to a ton of free Kindle books, but the content isn’t screened at all, so if you’re opposed to certain types of books watch what you’re downloading. They also feature Amazon deals of all sorts, and I haven’t figured out a way to only subscribe to their book deals.
- There aren’t as many sites that feature Nook deals (at least that I could find), but the official Barnes & Noble Nook blog has a Friday Freebies series that includes some.
Do you read e-books? What’s your preferred method? Computer, smart phone, iPod, iPad, Kindle, Nook, or something else?
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