All Books are Not the Same

 “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ― Jorge Luis Borges

With the advent of the E-reader life has changed for want-to-be writers.   It has become easy to by pass the gatekeepers of what gets published and what doesn’t,  the editors of all the publishing houses, and self-publish.

In some ways this era of self-publishing  is good, because the big publishing houses have not always done a great job of recognizing a new author or genre.   The famous 50 shades series began as self-published after being turned down by big print publishing houses.   It was only after she self-published did she hit the NYT best seller list.    I think part of it is because because this major publishers want to find that next piece of great literature, or Pulitzer prize winning title.

Most people read for relaxation, and what they read is a guilty pleasure.  Most of what ends up on best seller lists never makes any literary milestones other than selling a ton of books.     Mr. Ranger Sir reads classic sci-fi, though that genre is becoming so much more segmented and specialized I am not sure what sci-fi means any more.  A friend reads everything Nora Roberts publishes.  Another family member devours biographies everything from celebrities to historic people who changed the world.   A cousin enjoys Christian historical fiction.  My mom and her group of friends swap pulp romances that they read by the hundreds.     I enjoy the “who done it?” with an imperfect middle aged female protagonist.

If you are a veracious reader it also an expensive habit.   Prior to the E-reader you depended on friends sharing books,  used book stores, rummage sales and your local library to make your addiction affordable.   With the E-reader it takes a little more effort to keep your reading habit from sending you to the poor farm. E-books are often not lendable, or if so only once!   Libraries are as a good of a deal as they were before you had an E-reader, you just need to get signed up and start checking books out.   There are lending sites for eBooks out there, though not widely use I have found success with one ( and will continue to put my purchased books out there, lending and borrowing titles.  I also watch the daily Amazon top 100 free books.   I have picked up titles that big names are a giving away for an hour or two.    I have also taken out many unknowns.   Some have prompted me to buy others by the same author.   Others were worth just what I paid for them nothing.    After a chapter and it is clearly not worth the read, I go to the end, give it one star and delete it.   Without taking a minute to rate the book, you are doing other readers and the author a disservice.   We all need feedback.   If you want to write a review go for it, but just giving it a rating helps to let folks know if free is good or not.   If you are the only one star it won’t make a difference, if you are part of a crowd who was disappointed the rating will help tell the story.

In the meantime summer is a great time for reading and relaxing may you find a great guilty pleasure.

Cost of eReaders

I have an eReader, a Kindle to be exact.   Many of my friends also have readers as well.   One of the things one needs to be aware of is that you have to be as smart with your reader as you were before you had it.   If you are a voracious reader like me you could go broke buying new books for yourself.

Prior to owning a reader I loved the used book and thrift stores for full-filling my reading addiction.   I still have a bag of books from my last stop at a used book store.   Now with a reader I can’t flock into the used book store and pick up some books for my reader.   Most ebooks are not easy to lend, but it can be done at least once for more and more books now days.  Instead I have had to teach myself new thrifty habits to meet my needs.

First the Amazon top 100 free, deals of the day and the under $3.99 bin are a great place to find books.      The really interesting thing is that if you watch theses three categories you will find occasional new releases in them.   I  many $15  books for ZERO DOLLARS.   I am not sure, but I think publishers allow unannounced freebies to get their books some exposure, good reviews or some buzz.  Now mind you this is not true every day, but if you are looking for a  way to kill a few minutes it is a great place to visit.

If you like me are trying to add some classics to your reading there are lots of sources for books that are free, as they are no longer protected by copyright.  There are lots of sites out there with those free for the taking.

Another source is your public library online.   There you can get in the que to read the latest books free.   Unlike the old fashion library you don’t need to go in or return them.   Way cool.    I  use libraries for research work, but I haven’t check a book out in years because they always go back late.   Now I am rediscovering the library.  I even made a donation to my local library because I really love the ebooks option and if I don’t pay fines how are they going to keep up the program.

If you are rural like me you do lots of  internet ordering and probably do a fair share at Amazon.   A friend introduced me to Amazon Prime.   She signed up for it because of the shipping program, but now with her Kindle she is also taking advantage of the lending feature that comes with that program.   I am not a Prime program participant, but her talking about how well the program worked for her I am thinking about it.

Another thing I do is visit publisher’s websites and sign up for their newsletter.  They are not giving away tons, but ocassionally I do find a gem.   Think of all the different thrift stores and rummage sales you scrounge for your books.

Lastly if you do need a brand new book almost all Kindle books on Amazon you can read the first chapter free.  I am not sure about Nook.    Before you plunk down your hard earned cash on that new book, take advantage of that free first chapter insight.  Depending on that first chapter goes you will know if you really do need that book right now or you can wait for it from your public library, or the price to go down.

I have more books that I have gotten the above ways than I can keep up with even with all the reading I do.   But I also can say that spending usually zero on a book, if I don’t like I have no second thought about the delete option.   Good luck in your quest to keep your book budget in line with your reader.   Let me know if you know of some other good resources.