How do you carry your books on the go? A suitcase just for your books? Your spouse won’t be so happy about it unless she/he got one of his own. Thanks to technology, we have “hacks” that make our life more comfortable, and in this particular case, our reading life more effortless. I’m talking about reading apps.
I prefer to read <physical> books. The touch and the smell of a newly bought book are priceless, but since our world is moving fast, e-readers have become a great medium to read books. I was wary about reading books in digital; however, I gave in, and I love it.
Here’s the thing, you don’t need an actual e-reader like Barnes and Noble’s Nook or Amazon’s Kindle to read. You can do it using your phone. Nowadays, there’s an app for everything, and books are not left as an archaic thing of the past. There are plenty of apps you can download to your phone, and most of them have tablet/desktop apps to complement them, so you seemingly can transition from phone to tablet, to desktop, without missing the point.
Among the benefits of downloading those apps include (and for me the most prominent reason) the convenience of having books with you at all times. Waiting in line to pay, no problem, whip out your phone and start reading – instead of scrolling through Facebook. Between convenience and an easy way to keep your books handy and organized, these apps are an effective solution to carrying around books to, for example, vacation.
Another powerful reason is you get free books, sometimes even pre-releases, you get to be the first to read books. How cool is that?
So which apps and how you get to those free books?
There are different programs (Some may contain affiliate links, read more about it here):
1. Kindle has a phone app for Android and IOS, plus a desktop app that allows you to read on your laptop/computer. You do not need Amazon Prime, but I would recommend it because you get a phenomenal ROI. With it, you get access not only to the two-day shipping, but you get Free video, music, storage, discounts, and reading. This last one is the one I would like to talk about; with Prime Reading, you get to “loan” 10 books at any time that are included on the program, plus you get access to the First to Read program, where you get to choose one book, yours to keep, that is being released that month. So at the end of the year, you have 12 books of your own plus all the others you can read through Prime reading.
Besides, you get access to free books through Creative Commons. You can read Honoré de Balzac, to Leo Tolstoy, to Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, to F. Scott Fitzgerald for free, plus other titles from less known authors.
2. Books from IOS. This is a native app for Apple products and works the same as the Kindle app. You can buy books through the app, and it also provides a list of Free Books that is updated at least monthly, plus the Creative Commons books. So, you will never run out of books. This app has a cool feature that will read the book to you, so if you are into audiobooks, this is a similar way to do it.
The Kindle and Books apps are the ones I use the most.
3. Through your local library. Shocker? Nah! Libraries cannot be behind the technology; they are at the forefront for the people. I love going to the library, searching for new titles, holding the book, and skimming through its pages. Ahhh, all the feels! Okay, back to the topic. Most libraries are connected to OverDrive, an app that allows you to get e-books from your library; all you need is your library card. The downside to this method is that you may find yourself on a waiting list for a title. Still convenient, though. Some libraries have a limit on how many books you get, so check with your library.
4. BookShout is an app used by several publishers, including HarperCollins. By the way, by subscribing to their Newsletter BookPerk, you get a free book. The app gives free books as well as the option to buy them. This apps gives you metrics, for example, how fast you read and tracking your progress.
It is worth mentioning that the prices on all of these reading apps are comparable, so it’s a matter of preference for which one has the features you like the most.
5. Glose is a book app that Simon and Schuster use, and when you subscribe to their newsletter, you get a free book. With this app, you can connect with your friends and, like the other apps, buy directly from the app and get free books. It has a reward program to encourage you to read and also has a desktop app.
6. Digital Editions by Adobe. This is a free app, and it is used by many publishers. Some publishers and sites that giveaway books for free for a review use this reader. This one is the one I use the least, but worth mentioning because it’s the most versatile since it’s for all kinds of digital content. All you need is a free Adobe account.
There are more apps for you to read e-books, but these are the ones I can vouch for. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get free books, especially if you are on a budget. And there’s always the ultra-reliable library, where you can get your printed copies. Most libraries have the convenience of having online accounts, where you can order books and go there to just pick them up. Free of charge, of course!
Love or HateIf you drop a book into the toilet, you can fish it out, dry it off and read that book. But if you drop your Kindle in the toilet, you’re pretty well done. ~ Stephen King Click To Tweet
You either love e-books, or you hate them. This is an ongoing debate among book lovers—the convenience vs. the experience. You cannot compare holding a book in your hands, feeling its weight, the smell, the ripple of excitement to the turn of a page to the move of a finger flipping to the next page, the light on your face from a device, and no smell. But then we have the convenience.
I think nostalgia is very quickly replaced with convenience.Craig Mod
The convenience of having all your books with you, even if you complete your e-TBR, you can get more (free) titles with the touch of a button and a good wifi connection. You never go without something to read.
On which side of the spectrum are you? Do you love, or do you hate e-books? Leave me a comment below.