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 –
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?