Posts Tagged ‘eBook’

2nd Blog Birthday: Handmade eReader Cover

IMG_1788The very talented Sam has created this gorgeous eReader cover for one lucky reader

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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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Around the Table: Book Formats

AROUND THE TABLE: We love to get together as a team and discuss all manner of book related subjects.  On the 3rd Sunday of the month we take a transcript of one of these discussions or copy and paste a Facebook thread (which has been corrected for spelling and typos) and post it on our site. This month we are looking at different book formats.
Caroline: I’ve been thinking about my The Very Hungry Caterpillar review (here) about preferring the board book where preschoolers are concerned. Given the choice would always choose the board books for their sturdiness alone, although I also love how the thickness of the pages promotes independence in little ones.
Very Hungry CaterpillarLesley: I love board books. We have The Very Hungry Caterpillar in ‘board book’ format and the boys love poking their fingers through the holes and I love that they can really get to grips (literally!) with the book without fear of ripping it. We’ve had to say goodbye to a couple of books recently, because they’ve been damaged purely by enthusiasm!
Jane: We also have the Very Hungry Caterpillar board book which is a great format for a book that encourages lots of touching and handling! Some of our paperback pop up books are starting to look a little worse for wear whereas the board books seem to go on and on!
Karen: Board books are synonymous with ‘baby’ though. I do remember that first glow of pleasure when you see a child pick up a PB or HB and has the patience and dexterity to turn each page at a time. Because of the fragility of PB and HB books you’re more likely to try and instill greater care and respect with them than you do with board books.
Kindle, Wi-Fi, 6Helen: I go with you on the board books, they travel well too. We take them in the car and everything! Thinking of travelling, that’s one of the things I love most about the Kindle. Taking dozens of books on holiday and only having to pack one small device is fantastic! It fits into a small bag really well too, just in case I ever get a spare five minutes…..!
Lesley:  I agree with you Helen – it’s great to take as many books as I like on holiday without having to lug a bagful around with me. Mind you…having just returned from our hol’s I have to say I seemed to have less time than ever to get into a good read! But that aside… I really love the Kindle format. There will always be something very lovely about opening a new book for the first time – I love the smell and feel of a new book but there are just so many pluses to the Kindle that it’s my preferred format for reading for sure.
Jane: I have to say though that for me nothing beats a good old paperback… that feeling of opening the first page of a brand new book, the smell of the fresh type on new pages, not to mention trying to hold out on having a sneaky peek at the last page! Not having a Kindle I can’t make a comparison, although I can see obvious advantages to not lugging 3 or 4 books on holiday!
Caroline: Only 3 or 4 Jane?! I just LOVE books. The kindle is by far my favorite gadget. So much better than trying to read eBooks on your phone or computer, the electronic ink is amazing; when I first got it I was so absorbed that I kept trying to turn the page at the corner! I agree that for me there will always be a place for paper books. The major disadvantage of the kindle is that (in the UK) there isn’t a facility for book sharing.
Helen: Yeah, I agree, I could never give up books! Kindle is just sooo practical sometimes.
Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)Caroline: I love owning books, part of that is the look of them on the shelf, although I confess that if I really love a book I will buy it in Hardback to keep. At one point I owned Twilight in paperback, hardback and audio book!
Presently I will look for a book I’m interested in and then buy it in its cheapest form whether that is paper, audio or kindle.
Karen: I am slowly bending towards the joys of a kindle but not quite there yet! Although I have not researched thoroughly, I just can’t see how they can ask the same RRP as paper books. I’m the same with movies and music and like you Caroline, will only purchase an electronic copy if cheaper than other formats and not something I’m likely to want to ‘treasure’ in a more tangible form. Audio books are not my thing at all sorry.
Caroline: When my children were small audio books were a godsend. Ava was an unsettled baby and so I spent many hours pounding the pavements, in an attempt to induce sleep, listening to audio books. Then when I was breastfeeding Seth they were a godsend to keep occupied at three in the morning! Now the kids are older and keeping me on my toes it’s not very practical for me to listen to audio books but I find them immensely helpful occupying the kids.
How to Be a Pirate (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (How to Train Your Dragon))Karen: Up until recently, I never bought audio books and only used one gifted to us on a couple of occasions when feeling too lazy to read a bedtime book! I have bought How to be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell and narrated by the lovely David Tennant as thought it would be useful for car journeys?! It’s a little mature currently to keep my preschoolers interest but hope that in the future it will be a story the whole family will enjoy listening to when we do our numerous long journeys.
Caroline: We have a copy of Hairy Mcclary narrated by a very gorgeous, very Scottish David Tennant.  One for the mums?!

Helen: I love audio books too, listened to loads myself, but also great in the car for the kids! Makes a great change from nursery rhymes!

MatildaLesley: I’m not really into audio books, but I have got a set of Roald Dahl stories on CD and my son Jack has really enjoyed listening to them on his CD walkman. A few years back they were also enjoyed as a family on long car trips. I will save them for Josh and Sam and maybe look at getting others… but as I said, it’s not been my thing so much.
Jane: I must admit I’ve never tried audio books myself or with Morgan but after reading your comments about them I think it might be something I should try out – especially for those long car journeys! Something a bit different to listen to other than the usual ‘Are we there yet?’!!
Caroline: As far as this conversation is concerned I think that we are most definitely there!
What is your favourite book format? What is your opinion of eBooks V’s Paper books? Do you listen to audio books?
We would love to read your thoughts.
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