I am such a paper person that I still use a paper planner instead of my phone, hoard blank notebooks and journals and get excited at the office supply store. I love the feel of a book in my hand and flipping through magazines half reading and half just enjoying the pictures.
I also love a bargain!
Digital books even without a portable e-reader
A while back I discovered that without purchasing a kindle I could start benefiting from the digital book platforms out there. I downloaded the kindle app to my ipad and have been enjoying cheap or free books for months now. I still buy paperbacks faster than I can read them all (second hand when I can get them), but especially for non fiction or freebies it is great to have them on my ipad. I can highlight key points in those non fiction books. When I get a dud free / cheap book I feel no guilt simply deleting from my kindle library.
If you don’t have an ipad you can still download the app for free to your phone, ipod or computer. Other book platforms are around so you can choose to have 1 or several to take advantage of things offered for the kindle or nook etc. I have downloaded more than 280 books this year for myself, my husband and my kids. In total I have spent less than $30. When we travel later this year we will all have access to a variety of books that can be accessed on my ipad or the kids’ ipod touches as the full library is there for all. No more book lovers’ dilemma of leaving behind books that weigh a ton when you go on holiday.
My best book resources and tips so far:
- I have tried several sources to find freebies, but none have been as good as Pixel of Ink so I only follow them now. You can receive email updates daily from their various lists for adults, juniors, power reads (non fiction), cooking, and Christian books. I found the first three to offer me more than I will ever need. You can also follow them on Facebook.
- Some offers are not valid outside the United States and others are hit and miss with what countries they include. It is just the way it still is with digital products and, while I find it frustrating, I am grateful to finally not have to pay $15-30 minimum for books here.
- Deals do not stay valid indefinitely. If you see kindle (or nook etc) have a book on offer don’t assume it will still be there in 2 days. Some are gone within 24 hours and others go and reappear in the future. If it is free or super cheap better to grab it immediately and delete later if it is a dud.
- You can manage all your books within your Amazon account if you need to move things between devices.
- Amazon maintain a list of their top 100 bestsellers for both paid and free books. This is updated constantly so you can find freebies any day of the week.
Digital magazines create the biggest newsagent you can imagine
The other change I made that shocked even me is buying magazines online. Again, there are various options out there and you may need more than one platform. In my case I use the zinio app* on my ipad for 99% of my magazines to date, but some magazines are exclusive to each platform and I also used the newstand on my ipad to get additional magazines.
Why I am happy to turn my back on my beloved print magazines
- I can now access international titles easily (no need to find where they are stocked), cheaply (no crazy air mail pricing like O magazine on newstands at $18 a pop) and on time (I get my US magazine the same day everyone else does).
- I can get great deals on subscriptions – I get emails from Zinio when they have promotions on and often there is a further discount of 20-50% off the already good digital price. I check both the Australian page and the American page before purchasing as the prices are often different. There is nothing blocking my US purchases and I have often saved even more doing this.
- Magazines do no get lost in the mail – I have had to chase up publishers many times over the years for lost or very delayed issues. With digital all of my magazine subscriptions update within 24 hours of each other with the latest editions.
- I can buy 1 magazine as a “subscription” rate and cancel anytime if I want to try out (paying less than the single issue price still).
- You can purchase back issues of your favourite mags with one click.
- They have an “explore” function which loads cover stories from a range of magazines each month for me to enjoy for free.
- I can click through links within articles and ads and immediately check out a product or related article (including links to referenced articles in earlier editions I don’t own).
- It can be truly interactive. I subscribed to Self magazine (that one required newsstand rather than Zinio) and the pull out exercise cards that appear in each print issue are interactive in the online edition. Instead of simply reading a description of how to do an exercise it has a clickable video that has a demo of the move and any variations listed.
- I can bookmark pages in my magazine to come back to later (they appear as a list) which comes in especially handy when you bookmark recipes to try, presents you want to get, or articles you know you want to read later.
- When travelling I can take as many magazines on the plane as I want and even order them as late as the boarding gate.
- I get rewarded for purchases (after my recent purchases totalling around $25 I received a voucher for $10 to spend – that is an awesome bonus!)
I don’t love actual “online magazines” myself although there are plenty out there. I prefer being able to read offline, but if you want to explore some of the web based mags this round up by Pip Lincolne from Meet Me at Mike’s is a good starting point.
So tell me – do you read digitally now, are you hybrid or are you still in the land of purely paper passion? if you have any favourite digital magazines or online sources share them in the comments!
Find your simple,
Linking up with Jess for IBOT – check it out!
Current giveaway: win one of 3 copies of the book Career Mums
Image credit: Zinio
* referral link – this link will give you $5 to spend at Zinio and if you use it I will also receive $5 to spend (edited to add this link AFTER I shared how fabulous it was – happy to find a way to give you free money to spend at Zinio)