Posted in Book spots, bookish rambles, Uncategorized

Where to get the goods- pros and cons of many different eBook sellers.

As you probably know, I have a serious book addiction.  When Warren and I moved in together I had eight very large and heavy totes of books that filled four and a half book shelves.  He had a whole lot of tech… and we didn’t have a plate between us.  My O’hana came through (thanks mom and Uncle Terry) to help to provide the basics after figuring out that we were pretty shamefully underprepared as a couple in our twenties.  After the second move, having lugged all totes of books himself, Warren decided it was time I went digital.  This scared me at first- especially when he talked me into letting go of 3/4 of my library in lieu of a tablet and a large amount of eBooks.  Six years later, I don’t know how I did without it.  My libraries are on my tablet and my phone so I can take them everywhere.  There are times where I miss paper, but my back does not miss the duffle bag.  There were times in the past where I would  have six books- some to loan, some to return, and what I was reading.

In all this time I have gone through several sellers.  I have my Kobo account, Barnes and Nobles (Nook) and finally Amazon (Kindle).  I loved my Kobo account- I still do.  The interface can be very fun.  It logs the amount of time you read, when, and how many books you go through.  You earn trophies for these things.  I think this is more fun for a young reader- kids to teens.  It gives them something to work toward, and allows a sense of accomplishment.  The library is also organized for easy access.  The down side for them was that I wanted to be able to buy with gift cards to better manage my addiction, and it is near impossible to find a card for here.

This brought me to Barnes and Nobles and my very first Nook.  Back in 2010 they had a wonderful reputation for customer service.  The interface was just a touch more user friendly, and I could but gift cards at Walgreens.  Even if I preordered a book, the money came out immediately which allowed me to utilize the cards to best advantage.  Granted, I still had to have a debit card on file… but I told myself that was fine.  I also liked the ease in which they offered subscriptions for newspapers such as The New York Times.  I loved getting that paper every day on my Nook- and spending the same as I would for my local paper.  It also worked with my library so that I could borrow eBooks and have them there.  Sadly, in the last year they have had some serious issues.  We had our first falling out over a mistaken charge that I didn’t feel they handled well.  Then my husband bought me a beautiful windows 10 tablet.  I was so excited.  I got the app for Nook and slid it on there.  The pagenation was all wrong- I was missing whole paragraphs!  I called customer support and they told me to uninstall Windows 10, they were not going to work with that operating system.  This may have changed since, but that made me mad.  To this day if I try to use it on my phone it looses my place in books, hides books I have bought, and I can’t copy quotes to use in Litsy.

Which brings us to Amazon.  Unlike Barnes and Nobles I can have gift cards be my only form of payment.  I do not need a debit card on file unless I want one.  I can easily access my books and the library is neat and orderly.  Another perk is that most of my Netgalley books can be placed here.  It allows me to copy quotes to clipboard and then paste them to Litsy.    Honestly, the ease of access is wonderful.  I never have an issue with pagenation, or keeping my place.  As with the Nook I can buy newspaper subscriptions and get library books.  While I feel Nook customer support has gone down, I have never had an issue with Kindle.  My only complaint is that I often preorder books and they don’t take the money out until the day of release.  I have a checkbook ap on my phone where I keep track of book money for this purpose.

Now, for the read for review sites, I go to First to Read and Netgalley.  Both are wonderful.  First to read gets several books per session and allows you to use points you earn to guarantee a copy of the books you want- be quick though, there are only about forty copies of each book.  If you miss being able to guarantee your book you can enter a drawing, but you have an equal chance of winning the lottery… or at least it feels like it sometimes.  This is only for Penguin House Publishers.  Next is netgalley, whom I am obsessed with.  If you are part of the book community you can sign up and pick your genres/ favorite publishers.  They always have a ton of books on offer.  You find what you want and request it.  The publisher can approve or deny you.  Both sites offer a chance to read the book for free- usually before publication- for the price of a review.

I also subscribe to a few sites that will email me daily deals.  My favorites are Choosy Bookworm eBooks and ifreebie.  These will usually give you a good haul of books for $5 or less.  There are also tons of free book aps for those that love classics.  My favorite is Free Books by Digital Press Publishing.

To wrap it up- Kobo for the reader just starting their journey.  Otherwise, I prefer Kindle.  Netgalley is a bit more user friendly than First to Read, but both are awesome.  Facebook/Google will give you way too many options for email deal groups- just pick a couple.  Oh, and check in with your library about eBooks.

End ramble, and happy reading guys!

Amber

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