As you may have noticed I am obsessed with First to Read. They have a spectacular thing going here. You give your info, email.. the usual. In exchange you have the chance to either reserve a copy (if you have points/ get there in time), or go into a drawing for a copy of a book that is not released yet. Now, you don’t get to keep these, they do expire; but you get an obscene amount of time to read it. What do they want in return for their awesomeness? Your thoughts. Just a review, which obviously I love to do any way. These are all eBook. Now the drawback- my lazy butt has to wake up at like midnight and log on so that I can guarantee my book (I have roughly 1200 points), this stinks but it has a large following and it is first come first serve. They do have an email to alert you on the day new books come out, but mine doesn’t show until at least noon. After work, there are no guaranteed copies left. To bypass this, I recommend coming in daily, preferably morning. They will have a note sporadically to let you know when the next round begins. I find that that note goes away.
My library is awesome! I have an Overdrive app on my phone and tablet that allows me to link to their eBook selection. I think they share with about 40 other libraries, so the selection is pretty darn great. There is a spot where you can request books you don’t find, and your books are easy to download (I just get the Kindle copy and it shows up in my app) and will remind you a few days before return. You can renew, or just finish the book. It returns itself so there are never late fees. Drawbacks- about every 6 months I get locked out and have to contact the library to let them know I am alive and haven’t moved. Also, the waiting list can be murder. Not knowing if it would be my thing, I didn’t want to pay for 50 Shades of Grey; I was number 78 in line and they had 3 copies.
Sony books turned into Kobo years ago and they are a neat little store/ app. I loved the ease of the layout of their store, but I don’t like keeping my debit card on file so I was disappointed in the fact that I could not figure out how to keep gift cards on file and go by that. (Let’s face it, gift cards allow me to keep a firm grip on my addiction to books.) On the plus side, they constantly generate lists of books they think I would enjoy, and track my reading. There is a spot where you can see how many books/hours/ pages you have read. There are also little awards you can win by reading at night say, finishing your first book or series. So many different things! If there is a young person in the house, they might love that- it may, in fact, get your reluctant reader to look at books a bit differently.
Kindle currently holds my heart as far as stores/apps go. It is so easy to keep track of everything! As I am finishing a book in a series it will offer me the chance to give it a star rating from there, and offer me the chance to buy the next book. They make managing gift cards easy, once you attach one to your account you can reload it again and again with the amount of your choice. There’s even spots where you can give yourself an allowance- say, $5 every check goes here- or request one. This needs a debit or credit card on file obviously, but if you want to just keep buying gift cards from the store and loading them you never have to give them a credit or debit card. You can just shop from that! Now, the drawback I have found is that if you preorder a book, they don’t take the money until your book is out. Me, I preorder books to be sure I budgeted for my favorite authors. I have the money available right now! I keep track in a log of what I spend from my gift card because I don’t want to forget something that I budgeted for- it would be easier if I could just go to the website and see what I had.
Of course, Facebook is full of gems. I love the bookriot page, which has great pictures and fun stuff. They talk about new and coming books and keep me abreast on what might be worth a splurge. Then there is ifreebie books (just type it into your search bar) and they let you know about tons of free or cheap books. Choosy books does the same, and has a base of authors that will give you a copy of their book for the price of a review. You get emails from both of these. Drawback? There have been review rounds where I didn’t want anything.Also, daily newsletters. You may want to pick just one.
Who has an Android smartphone? There is an app called Free Books (fairly self explanatory) which allows me to catch up on the classics for free. Along those lines, Project Guttenburg is another. Really there is no drawback here. Free Books is easy to navigate and has a large selection of the classics.I am sure there’s the same for Apple and Microsoft, but have never worked with them. Have I missed any? Let me know!
choosy bookworm *comes with a few read-for-review options*
Bookperk * bargains brought to your email daily, free up to $5.00*
EBook discovery *comes with some read-for-review options*
First to Read *all read-for-review, but you only get the book for so long, and if you want to guarantee a copy you had best check with them before five in the morning.*
Bargain Booksy * bargains brought to your email daily, free up to $5.00*
EBook soda *bargains brought to your email daily, free up to $5.00*
Early Bird Books *discount and free books*
As I said, you may want to look at these and just pick your chosen few. I think I get at least five emails a day maybe more.