There is a Kobo in the house, and while I’m now convinced that ebooks are not Terrible Things, given the choice, I’d still reach for a ‘real’ book. The only times I prefer an ebook is when I have to travel for a long period of time and when I just have to have a book right now. (Disclaimer: though I don’t mind an ereader, I still find reading on the computer screen or tablet uncomfortable.)
One must admit that going the electronic route has its advantages, mainly in the form of having access to books that may not be available in the market otherwise. This doesn’t just include the latest from my favourite authors (I’m still waiting for Val McDermid and Ian Rankin’s newest novels to grace the shelves in India, which in any case I wouldn’t buy e-versions of since they are more expensive than the paperback is likely to be), but also books from smaller publishers and self-published works.
Time for another disclaimer: quite a bit of the latter is of questionable quality—though sometimes you spot a great idea that is let down by a lack of editorial input—but it is possible to come across a fair variety. Having said that, you do need a lot of patience to trawl through the rubbish-type-stuff, for which you may be rewarded with some amount of decentish free or very cheap reads.
So how do I find ebooks? One way to do it is to haunt Amazon’s Kindle store or Smashwords.com. The other way is more efficient: signing up for book recommendation services. I use three of them:
Though, of course, there must be many others out there.
The way it works is simple. You sign up with your email ID and then select the genres and subgenres that float your boat. There may be options to filter explicit results. That’s it. Now you can expect a daily digest to grace your mailbox with the day’s recommendations and most exciting deals. While Book Gorilla only caters to the Kindle market, the other two will recommend reading options for almost any reading platform. And yes, it is possible to get some really good deals, including great discounts from the bestseller lists.