For the love of reading.

Disclaimer – I read all the time. I am not joking. All. The. Time. I read to and from workplace on the daily commute (when I am not driving), I used to read in the school bus, I read during nap times, I read while feeding my baby, I was the kid who got scolded for reading past bedtimes and for reading after lights out using candle/ torch/ streetlight/ moonlight, whatever was available (spoiling my eyesight in the process – highly not recommended), I read in the loo, I have even caught myself reading pamphlets and instructions on the back of shampoo bottles to pass time – you get the general idea i think so i’ll stop embarrassing myself further.

My fellow bookworms, this is for you. And for people who are not crazy about reading but don’t mind giving it a go here and there and even for those of you who can’t really get through a book without a sustained effort but would want to give reading an honest chance once again – this is for you.

I am sure you have your favourites with respect to the place where you buy books, what form of books do you like to read (paper books or the digital version), your favourite genres, the authors, your favourite websites where you download books etc., but if you don’t mind trying out something new every once in a while then read on.

Different forms of books.

In not so recent times it was a no brainer. Books are made of paper, written/typed with ink right? Not so today. Welcome to the digital world and electronic books – ebooks for short.

Ebooks can boast of the following pros backing them up :

  • As with everything digital it is readily available anytime, anywhere.
  • It is probably free or at least much cheaper than the physical hard bound version.
  • It takes up minimal space and not physical space at that. You’ll be surprised at how many books you can store in your phone (Don’t ask me. I have not reached the limit yet).
  • If you are reading on a decent e-reader then it most likely has a built-in dictionary and thesaurus to help you out with new words without breaking the flow of your reading.
  • You can highlight texts for later reference without spoiling the actual book (which in my opinion is a crime and should be punishable by law).

The only thing that I don’t like about the digital version is missing the feel of an actual book, the smell of paper, the sound of rustling while turning a page (though some readers might offer the sound as a feature). So if you are not a sentimental fool like me then ebooks might be your thing. And if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a chance.

Types of readers.

No I do not mean people and THAT variety of readers. I mean types of ebook readers.

The most popular ones are – Amazon – Kindle, Kobo and Barnes and Noble – Nook. These have a physical device as well as mobile apps for reading on phones and tablets and have their own stores with an endless collection of books – both free and paid. I have been happily using Kindle for many years now.
Apart from the ebook readers there are hundreds of websites offering free downloads as well as online reading directly from your internet browser no need to buy any device or download any app.
A few of the most famous ones (that I have come across) are :

Project Gutenberg
Google Books
Internet Archive
Smashwords
Wattpad (my most recent find and I love it already)
Scribd
24symbols

More about Wattpad

I came across wattpad while I was searching for fan fiction (Yes, I read that too. Challenging stare!). This platform allows users to read (obviously) and write and put your work out there as you write. There are many works in progress that you can read and provide feedback to. Works in reverse if you are a writer as well. You can write and get feedback from readers. There is a wide variety of genres if you are interested to check it out.
I have heard blurb is another site that works that way but I have not yet tried it out. From whatever little I know about it, I believe it is a self publishing site where you sell physical copies of the book but like I said I have not really used it yet.

Buying Books

Ebooks. On most of the sites mentioned above there are plenty of books available for free download however there are quite a few paid ones as well.

Paper Books. Apart from the digital ones, you can buy physical books online too – I like to buy from Amazon mostly since the price is generally the cheapest or you can try Flipkart, ebay or any of your favourite shopping sites that provide books.

Used Books. In addition, there are plenty of sites providing second hand/ used/ preloved books that are still in decent shape at a discounted price (yay…). My favourite is Bookchor (No they are not paying me for promotion, I just love the site). They send you sweet little handwritten notes alongwith each consignment and free bookmarks. I also like the packaging. The books are individually wrapped in plastic and are shipped properly packed with no chance of damage unless grossly mishandled. Another site I like is buyusedbbooks.in.

If you wish to take up reading or want your child to develop the hobby, I hope I have covered the basics. If you still have any questions or if you have some other favourites that are not included here do post it in comments below. Till then, Keep Reading.

Note – I live in India so if you are reading from some other part of the world, there might be some other sites that are more popular than the ones mentioned above. Keep looking for the one that suits you the best.

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