I have grown to love e-books/digital reading almost as much as a physical book, so much so I wanted to share how to become a digital reader.
There are a billion articles that discuss the negative “things” about e-books/digital reading, BUT like with most things in life, there are many good things about the digital age of reading.
- You can carry a whole library in your pocket
- You can search for an e-book/audiobook and check it out from your local library on your device AND read it
- Buy a book/audiobook and instantly have access to it
- You can share quotes, passages, and your highlights from what you are reading with fellow readers online
- Can share digital content easily
If you want to ease into the digital reading world below are 5 ways to start 🙂
1. Be Open-Minded
You can read both physical and digital material and still be a reader. You can only read e-books and still be a reader. What type of media you decide to read is your decision, but be open-minded to what else is out there.
E-books/audiobooks take up less physical space, can go everywhere with you, and are affordable. Physical books take up space, vary in price, and cannot go everywhere with you BUT can be loaned out to friends and marked in.
How you experiencing reading depends on YOU. If you are not willing to learn how to use reading apps, an e-reader, or how to negative online stores you probably won’t be able to enjoy digital reading. If you can scroll through social media feeds, you can read an e-book. If you can order a product from an online store, you can read an e-book.
Crossing into digital reading is not difficult. Most of us are reading articles, blog post, and emails every day–why not a book? OR get super adventurous and dive into the audiobook world.
2. Pick Your Reading App
How will you read your e-books/audiobooks? There are oodles of apps available for Apple and non-Apple devices. Below is a basic list of popular reading/listening apps. Most of them are free to use, but some require you to buy e-books or subscribe to a membership program.
- LibriVox app–Free audiobooks
- Overdrive/Libby–Free, need a library card
- Hoopla–Free, need a library card
- Kybook 2-Free, will have to download digital material to read
- Kindle App–Free, buy ebooks to read, read with library loans, PDF files/documents
- Kobo App–Free, buy ebooks to read
- Nook app–Free, buy ebooks to read
- Walmart’s App (partners with Kobo)–Free, buy ebooks/audiobooks
- Comixology–Free, buy comics or subscribe
- Google Play Books–Free, buy ebook/audiobooks
- iBooks–Free, buy ebooks to read, PDF files
- Scribd– a Paid subscription to ebooks/audiobooks
- Audible–a paid subscription to audiobooks and original content
If you do not like apps, there are a few e-readers out there. Here are the big three I compared for a long time before settling with a Kindle Paperwhite:
3. Reread A Title You Like
E-reading is a different experiencing than reading a physical book, so start with a book you know you like or you have been really wanting to read. You want to make e-reading a positive experience.
If you want to dive right in, consider reading memberships like Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 a month or borrowing e-books from your local library. Kindle Unlimited runs a promotion frequently for a .99 subscription for three months.
There are a few audiobook apps out there and memberships. I like to use Librivox for free audiobooks, these are only classic books and plays. If I want to listen to a newer book, I check out my local libraries before I consider buying it. I have used Audible for audiobooks. Audible is cost efficient if you are planning on keeping a library of audiobooks, but the price and perks may not be for everyone.
I started e-reading the classics in iBooks because they are all free and I have an iPhone. I did not feel comfortable buying contemporary books until I was for sure I was going to like and stick with reading e-books. It took two years for me to discover which reading app I like most (kindle) and to buy an e-reader (kindle paperwhite).
4. Read beyond e-books!!
If you find you are struggling with e-book/audiobooks, try making a small change like reading the news online. I have an iPhone, so I use the New app. I am sure there is an android app that is similar. Once you feel comfortable reading online, give e-books another try.
If you love the e-book experience branch out to the digital subscriptions of newspapers and magazines! I promise, almost everything is online now so don’t limit yourself to just books. Also be sure to look into audiobooks, you can read them from free through your local library, and there are a few online membership programs you can join as well.
5. Join Your Local Library
I cannot stress this enough. If you read my post, you will notice there are few when I do not encourage you to join your local library. Please please please do yourself a favor and join your library. I promise your local library uses at least one of the following apps to loan digital media: Overdrive, Libby, Hoopla.
9/10 the librarian can walk you through how to set up the app, or give you a handout that explains the process. Once you have your library card and an account with Overdrive/Libby/Hoopla, you can check out any ebook/audiobook you want! It is truly magical ALL FOR FREE and no late fees.
What if you still don’t like it?
Digital reading may not be for you. I have read recently physical book sales are on the rise and book sales as a whole. It looks as if physical copies of books aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
BUT if you live in an area where it is not easy to get books or you have limited access to books, you should strongly consider joining the e-reading world.
If you are interested in more reading apps check out my list of 5 apps every reader needs.
Are you a digital reader? What are your favorite apps or websites? Do you use your library card to borrow books/audiobooks?