BreakingModern — When was the last time you picked up an old-fashioned book? If you’re like a growing number of American readers, you’ve traded in your paperbacks for a virtual bookshelf, where you can store thousands of books without cluttering up your home.
“For the next few years, publishers of eBooks will continue to find a growing market for readers seeking relevant and new content,” says Eddie Jones, founder and CEO of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
In fact, Jones points out that one-third of all tablet owners use them for reading, with tablet users consuming almost half of all eBook purchases. With an increasing number of households trading in PCs for mobile devices, eBooks will continue their gradual dominance of the market. However, unlike paper-based books, which can be picked up in libraries and used bookstores, eBooks aren’t quite as easy to get at a discount. Here are a few ways you can enjoy your eBooks without blowing your monthly spending budget.
EBook retailer Kobo provides free books and short stories through its free eBooks section. You can also find free books by browsing the category you’re interested in, then sorting by “Price: Low to High” on the drop-down box in the top-right corner. The free books will then be listed first. The best thing about Kobo is that the app can also read a variety of file formats, including EPUB, EPUB3, PDF and MOBI. Kobo also supports comic books in CBZ and CBR formats. The free app is available for download for Android on Google Play, Apple iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Amazon’s Kindle is the most popular eReader, beating out devices like Barnes and Noble’s Nook due, in large part, to Amazon’s overwhelming popularity with electronic book lovers. In addition to its daily deals and $2 books, Amazon posts a list of free eBooks on a separate page on the site. Among these, you can find plenty of classics, as well as contemporary books for download at no cost. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free app for Android on Google Play, Apple iOS, Windows Phone or Blackberry.
If you’re a fan of the classics, Project Gutenberg should be your first stop for free books. With more than 46,000 free books in its library, including Kindle versions, Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library. It serves as a collection of books that are in the public domain, which happens when a book’s intellectual property rights expire. You’ll need to follow special directions to get the books from the Project Gutenberg site to your Kindle, Nook, Android or iOS device.
More than 11,000 U.S. libraries now offer eBooks for Kindle and Nook. At one time, you had to have the Overdrive app for Android on Google Play and Apple iOS to facilitate this, but now both Amazon and Barnes and Noble connect directly to libraries for one-click downloads. The only downside to checking books out this way is that you’ll often have to join a waiting list, and some of the most-popular books can have hundreds of people waiting. Visit your local library’s website to see if eBook loans are provided to members.
If you’re spending a fortune on eBooks each month, these sites can help you save money and still let you read great books. As eBooks become more popular, the options provided by your local library will likely become more plentiful, making it the best way to get a full selection of the latest books without paying a dime.
For BMod, I’m Stephanie Faris.
Feature/First image credit: © Marcus Bormann
Second image credit: By Jorghex (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons