Frugal Fiction: eReads

Each month we use our FRUGAL FICTION post look to at different ways to make the most of your money and get more books for your buck! We take £8.00, an average RRP for a paperback, and see how much literature we can get for our money. We discuss accessibility, variety of books available, value for money and top tips.

Reviewer: Lesley

My £8.00 is not actually in my pocket this month… it’s just ‘virtually’ jangling there in the ether as I spend the monthly Frugal Fiction budget on eBooks.

Websites are springing up almost daily selling eBooks and I’m discovering that it is certainly a ‘frugal’ means to buy your books.

So with the magic ‘8’ in my mind I started off in Amazon. I admit to buying all my eBooks here at the moment as I have a Kindle.  Amazon is already known for selling books cheaply and with the arrival of the Kindle a couple of years ago the Kindle book store is no exception.  For me, the greatest thing about buying an eBook is that it is delivered immediately.  We are not limited to just ‘fast food’ anymore! In an era where  people want it and want it NOW the eBook downloads immediately and you can delve straight in.

With over 700,000 books to choose from I can be on this site for ages browsing around to my heart’s content. I’ve been delighted to find many books are free on Amazon.  I can download a lot of the Classics, including; Pride and Prejudice, A tale of two cities, Jane Eyre, Treasure Island, Dracula, the list goes on and on. 

Most will be familiar with the Amazon interface. It’s fairly easy to use and under ‘Bestsellers’ you’ll find lists of ‘Top 100 paid’ and ‘Top 100 free’, new releases, Editor’s Picks, Bargains etc.

There are also newspapers, magazines, and blogs you can subscribe to which will automatically download and drop into your Kindle each day/week/month when you go online with it.

There is a vast sea of sites out there and it will be case, I’m sure, of different strokes for different folks… but  I want to mention a few of them.

I was impressed with Kobo. http://www.kobo.com/  Kobo says it has millions of titles, and I loved the navigation and interface of the site. Kobo calls itself a ‘device neutral platform’ as you can download eBooks to your smartphone, desktop or tablet by using a Kobo app but it isn’t currently compatible with the Kindle. However you can download as a pdf. Kobo also sell their own eReader. This is such a great site with reasonable prices and I will be downloading the Kobo app to my iPhone for sure.

Other goods sites are:
http://www.ebooks.com/
http://www.whsmith.co.uk/
http://www.penguin.co.uk/

Really I’ve found the list is endless.  If you have an eReader then it’s best to research which site best fits your device.  There are so many to choose from but I’m convinced you will find books to suit all budgets!
The new releases and best sellers tend to be at the pricier end of the scale but there are so very many bargains to be had and literally thousands of books at around the £1 to £2 mark. Each site also offers free books.

How I spent the Frugal Fiction of £8.00:
C. J. Box – Three weeks to say goodbye  –  £3.49

Susan Alison – White lies and custard creams  –  £0.97

Victoria Connelly – A weekend with Mr Darcy – £0.99

Cecelia Ahearn – Where rainbows end – £ 1.99

That’s a total of £7.44. Not bad for 4 books. And four books that I have available to instantly read without having gotten up from the sofa!

When you factor in the huge number of free eBooks out there… you could keep stretching that budget forever!

Advantages:
Instant download. You fancy a book, you find it, you download it. Et Voila… away you go.
I love the accessibility and convenience. E-reads can be stored easily on many different devices whether that’s a laptop, desktop, smart phone, tablet, e reader…
I’ve now added the Kindle app to my iPhone and therefore can access my ‘books’ on my phone should I want to when I’m out without my Kindle.
I think the prices are great.  New releases are pricier but I’ve already noticed a book I spent quite a bit on when I first got my Kindle for Christmas last year is now a third of the cost.

Disadvantages:
As much as I love my Kindle and it’s my preferred platform for reading now, there is still something very special about buying and opening a brand new PB the first time. As my Kindle is in black and white and I skip to the beginning of the book I rarely take notice of the cover anymore… the very thing that used to attract me to a book, and then I discover it with excitement the next time I’m in a bookshop with an ‘ah… that’s what it looks like!’. 
A little research is necessary to ensure you are buying books from sites that definitely support your particular device. Not all do.
There are still a lot of books out there that aren’t available as eReads yet. You may have to wait a while for a favourite book to become available.

I’d been waiting quite a while for a couple of my favourite reads to be available on Kindle. Finally I checked the other week and Hooray, they were.

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One Response

  1. I am thinking of investing in an ereader soon, and this blog has been really helpful! Thanks =]

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