At the end of last year I reflected on the way I’ve changed reading, the different formats of paper versus electronic books, and that it’s as much about how we access and read as well as what we read.
Now I wanted to reflect on the way I’ve changed what I read, not just on what device or platform or medium I read it.
Kindle, and the way you can buy with 1-click, makes it so easy to forget how much you’re spending. After a few impulsive purchases (one good, a couple not so) I now tend to pay attention to what I’m buying, and how much it’s costing me in the long run, but if you don’t it is all too easy to spend too much.
But the kind of books I’m reading has changed hugely too. When you spend out between £6-9 per paperback it was a good measure of my reading habit on how many new books I had, and that I must choose a good one as I’ll be re-reading it several times. Now, with ebooks between £0.99 and £2.99 (my preferred range when I’m looking for new authors) I can be more open and daring. I can afford to try something different, be a bit daring, as well as a little flippant. I mean, £0.99 isn’t much, is it.
Since I got my Kindle I’ve also started reading, and looking for, book series. The easy ones to mention are the Hunger Games and Dragon Tattoo series, but I’ve found other great authors and series of books that, once started, just suck you in for another edition, like:
- the hero of Scott Mariani’s book Ben Hope (15 books),
- Ryk Brown’s Frontiers Saga (14 books, and accompanying Net Cast series that’s just started),
- Ryan Winfield’s Park Service,
- Bob Mayer’s Area 51.
You get the picture.
But the beauty of the Kindle is that I can also send other ebooks and documents to it that are not from the Kindle store. I’ve also started working my way through this list of 100 books every child should have read before leaving school: some I’d not heard of, some I read at school, and some I’ve read since, but a good portion of them I’ve not read. Yet. I think this may be my mini-project for 2016 … read them all?
The great thing is many are out of copyright, and therefore available for free if you know where to look, like Project Gutenberg – like Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
So, by setting up my Kindle so I can email documents to it and by making sure I download the MOBI formatted book, I’ve added the books to a collection and am working my way through them steadily. I can still make the most of the bookmark and highlight/notes features on the Kindle.
So, that’s how I’m finding and reading books now. Even at £0.99 or thereabout I still look for value and quality but, like my Netflix box-set binges I like and look for something I can get stuck into, a series of story’s and characters that develop.
Not everything is like this though – many documents and online ‘books’ are available from people who’ve self-published and made them open – books like Dannah Boyd’s It’s Complicated, Audrey Watters’ The Monsters of Education Technology, among many.
What about you – has your reading habit changed in this enlightened age of availability and ease? Are you reading more or less?