Being the voracious reader I am, I tend to source my books from a variety of sources…

1 – Bookstores.  To be fair, I bought a lot more while I was living back in Vancouver because I truly loved the independent bookstore (The Book Warehouse) I used to frequent on a regular basis, often picking up some of the staff picks suggested by their employees (as opposed to titles,  ordained by the head offices of big bookstores, disguised as staff picks).  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good bookstore here in Toronto, so my purchase of actual print books has fallen off considerably.

2 – The iBook store.  This one is, admittedly, the easiest.  I’ll just search out the title I’m looking for or get something interesting from the Limited Time: $4.99 or less selection (Sara Perry’s The Essex Serpent for only $1.99!).  This is fast becoming my preferred way to read as I can do so late at night without need of a bedside lamp.  Instead, I just fire up the screen brightness to maximum, making it easy on my eyes while, at the same time, unfortunately, slightly irradiating my girlfriend sleeping beside me.  I especially like the fact that iBooks let me know exactly how many pages remain in a given chapter, giving me something to look forward to.

3 – Kindle.  Amazon also offers great deals on books, although you’ll be hard pressed to find them unless you know exactly what you’re looking for.  I mean, is it just me or are the “deals” offered on Amazon Prime the equivalent of bargain bin remainders?  After months of emails notifying me of the great prices on crap books I would never read, I just had to unsubscribe.  On the bright side, purchasing digital editions through amazon also allows me to read on my desktop kindle which is slightly less preferable than iBooks.  It doesn’t let you know how many pages remain in the chapter you’re reading and, occasionally, instead of offering an overall page count gives you a location number four digits deep that, presumably, can be translated into actual pages should one care to run the math.

4 – Scribd.  They call this the Netflix of books and, while not altogether true, it has come a long way since the days you could only read a maximum of three books a month.  THREE BOOKS???   I read that much in a single weekend!  Recently, however, the monthly subscription service allows you to read as many titles as you like from their vast library.  Granted, 75-80% of the titles in said library are crap, but there’s enough to choose from in the remaining 20-25% to keep you busy.  I like the fact that, like iBooks and kindle, I can read on my desktop.  Also, like iBooks, it lets you know how many pages you’re committing to when you start a chapter.  The only drawback with scribd is the paucity of new titles.

5 – The library.  About a month ago, I got my first library card in years.  Now, I can hop online and borrow digital books, everything from old classics to new releases. There’s no limit to the number of books I can read (although the total number I can borrow at any one time is capped at a very reasonable 30) and, best of all, it’s free.  For someone who probably spends $200-250/month on books, this is most appealing.  The only drawback here is that the limited number of digital books available force you to place a hold on the more popular titles, leaving you bound to the leisurely pace of slow readers.  I mean, holy shit, look at this –

June 11, 2018: How Do You Read? June 11, 2018: How Do You Read?

I’ve been first in queue, waiting on that short story collection, since last week.  I almost want to call the library so they can contact whoever has the books to make sure they’re okay.  Meanwhile that Gilbert King novel?  I won’t be reading that until summer of 2019!  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Your wait time/placement on a library‘s ebook holding queue should be directly proportional to how fast you can read.

Anyway, a nice variety of sources ensures my reading habit gets fed in a consistent and timely manner.

So, how do YOU read?

June 11, 2018: How Do You Read?

20 thoughts on “June 11, 2018: How do YOU read?

  1. I adore bookstores. I love the smell of them. I love to roam through the aisles and peruse the shelves and flip through the books. I admit, sometimes I read the first page and then the last page and then decide whether or not I want to read what’s in between. Of course, I always check to see if any of my own books are there, too!

  2. Almost randomly. I subscribe to e-mails and twitters for several publishers and editors of those publishers (and I have a few friends who have their own publishing company).

    Whatever looks interesting. There are few remaining authors who I will automatically buy their new book. But there are a few Steven Brust being one of them.

    Mostly, I scroll through those people that I know who are publishing/editing books and read those. There’s a few editors that I follow just so I don’t buy books that they worked on, too. It’s a decent time-saver, I can usually avoid really crap books easily.

  3. My preference is actually still paper. In fact, I just ordered from Amazon a paper copy of the one you recommended, “We’ll Fly Away”, and am waiting for it to arrive.

    I still prefer buying from bookstores though, both because they’re local (even if they’re a chain) and I get to actually *see* the book before I buy it. There’s nothing like actually seeing the book in real life to decide whether I really want to read it or not. I really do judge a book by its cover.

    I do have and have read quite a few books through iBooks, but I actually *don’t* like the backlit screen, even in dark mode, and especially before bed. And I find the device (either my iPhone or the iPad) a bit to heavy to be comfortable holding for a long period. It’s generally cheaper and certainly more convenient though, and great for reading while traveling.

  4. I always look at “staff picks” at my local library. They change it up every week and hardly ever pick a book from some “best book” list. I love to read. Unfortunately, my eyes are getting old. I’m starting to read more eBooks because I can adjust the text size – mostly use Kindle. You’re right, Amazon “suggestions” are annoying.

  5. I have a paper book by the bed that I read each night. I usually get through a page or two before I fall asleep. It takes me forever to finish a book like that. I’m currently reading The Bourne Identity and should be finished by Christmas. If I try to read during the day I start to doze off. Reading and sleep are just connected in my brain. 🙁

    I listen to audiobooks on the commute to and from work. If I choose long books the monthly Audible subscription is perfect for giving me a new credit around the time I finish a book.

    I’m currently listening to The Complete Sherlock Holmes (58 hours).

  6. Wonder books is a website featuring basically dead authors of clasics mostly science fiction that has gained the rights to republish their entire collection as eooks typically at $1.99 on several reader platforms. I also subscribe to bookbub and several other email magazines offering reduced pric s for ebooks.

    We’ve run out of room in our apartment for books and are loathe to part with them. I also love museum bookstores for their history, archaeology and anthropology books. I also love Independant bookstores. But they are dying in he Washington, DC area. You can talk to the owner or sales folk and they know books. We were just in Oxford, UK which had a huge bookstore like that and spent hours there. I like YA book suggestions most.

    I’m kind of picky about fantasy although I love certain authors and snatch up their works. I don like series or quest stories except for Zelazny and Simak.

    I read book reviews in and bean books as well as Locus.

  7. Paper books will always be my favorite. I love the feel of books in my hand, but I read so much that my book budget loves e-books best. I subscribe to several e-book notification sites for different genres. I agree with you about how slow moving the queue is for library e-books!

  8. My husband uses the local library for audio books. He drives up to 11 hours day, so free books are great for him, even if he has to wait a little for the ones he wants.

  9. Pretty much print only. I spend way too much time staring at a screen to want to read that way. I love my local library, and will invest in the “friends sale” that I get used books for $.25-1. I read them, then donate them back. Found a lot of great authors that way.

    I have friends who are published writers, and will buy copies of their books when they come out to help support them. My collection of autographed books is growing quite nicely.

  10. I’ve tried iBooks but the pages turn without me touching it. Granted my iPad is older but it did this when it was new.
    I require the enlarged text, so I mainly use a kindle paperwhite. It’s the easiest on my eyes. Kindle isn’t without it’s glitches either though. Have you ever had the kindle restart when you’re reading?
    Paper books smell wonderful but with my eyes, they are in my past. 😐
    Lately, I’ve been listening to Audible. Love Audible! If I have the kindle edition and the audible, I can switch back and forth. Both programs sync and keep my place. The future is here!

    1. I looked up on Goodreads and Audible. My total is 115 books read/listened to this year. I don’t have a goal. I love books!

      Next week, we have a cruise to the Bahamas. I downloaded “The President is Missing” by James Patterson/Bill Clinton. B.C. should have a lot of inside White House knowledge and Patterson is a smooth writer. I have high hopes for this book….

  11. For SF, in Toronto there’s Bakka, but for a nice general indie I like a place on the Danforth called Book City. There are other locations but this is best, and you can hit one of the good Greek places nearby once you’ve shopped the good shop. Depending on your condo location, there’s one in the Beaches and one in Bloor West. I think there’s another somewhere on Yonge but I’ve only visited those three.

  12. and if you’re in Bloor West, follow your nose to a coffee place at Jane and Bloor. You’ll know it when you smell it!

  13. I don’t read as much as I used due to family work etc. though when I do read I often prefer ebooks (iBooks/Kindle) as there are always available where print copies can be left behind when packing for trips etc.

    If you would like to borrow ebooks I recommend trying Hoopla via your public library, which doesn’t have the arbitrary limits placed on copies per library of a digital book. Instead they give you a total checkout limit per month (my library it is 10 per month) and the whole catalog is available.

    PS It looks like the Toronto Public Library gives you access (assuming that’s your library):

  14. I’m hoping once Patrick gets settled, I get my receipts done so I can do my 2017 tax return (deadline Oct 15), get the 2018 receipts in so I can do my 2019 tax return on time, I will be able to find some time to read again (things other than the blog). 🙂

  15. Apologies for weighing in so late with this. Its been one hell uva busy week here.

    I asked a heaping tablespoons worth of avid readers in our learning community
    and they all say, while there are some decent quality specialty stores inside To.,
    like Bakka Phoenix,
    the best, all genre, independent bookstore finds in GTA
    are in the surrounding suburb towns
    outside the hustle n bustle of the city.
    So when ya get settled in
    just commit to taking some mini 1-2 hour road trips further out into GTA
    this summer till you find a store you love.

    In the meantime here’s the latest releases from Book Wharehouse in Van.
    I’m fairly confident if you call the store manager directly
    and offer credit card, pay pal transaction or to mail them a check, they’d be more than happy to recommend some picks based on current interest and fulfill your special request to postal ship however many books as you’d like.

    Recommendations from our happy avid readers:

    Telephone: +1 416 366 8973
    (They do have a second location on Queens st but
    the large majority of readers I solicited for recommendations
    uproariously hailed the Spadina location
    as the one you’ll find yourself wanting to spend hours idling in).

    This reminds me of ‘The Tattered Cover’ bookstore
    when I used to spend much of my free time in Central Colorado.

    Its inner city/downtown Denver location was just okay/so-so.
    But its Cherry Creek (suburb) location
    was the one I’d spend 2-3 hours idling in
    and always trusted the personal/customized recommendations made by staff
    there based on my interests of the moment.

    Also surprisingly
    ‘everyone’ I asked said they like
    BMV bookstore.
    They have 3 locations.
    In your case it might simply serve as a good place to discover
    some excellent stories, written long ago, that have never been adapted to
    the modern screen.

    The BookShelf: Its located in Guelph.
    many of our avid readers recommend it.
    It specializes in Cinema, but has a quality all genre book selection
    and apparently is known for its highly enjoyable atmosphere.

    Pickwick Books. Located Waterdown/Hamilton area.
    Specializes in Rare, out of print, books. All genres.
    Our weaders say da staff there weely know dehr stuff, eh! 😀

    Happy Hunting.

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