The way books are published and consumed has changed more in the last decade than it did in the previous hundred years… and yet, for the most part, the (basically awful) Amazon Kindle is the only new innovation in reading that most people are aware of. The good news for anyone who doesn’t enjoy wrangling poorly-formatted romance novels onto expensive, DRM-locked pieces of hardware? Amazon is not the only choice. In fact there are dozens of new and interesting ways to get your monthly, weekly or even daily reading fix. Why not try one of the below…
Get A Book On Subscription
We’ve already reviewed a couple of The Pigeonhole‘s titles, and so can attest to the quality of fiction on offer from them. Unlike other publishers though, they don’t simply unload the book on you and let you get on with it. When you sign up for a particular title you receive a chapter a day, direct to your inbox or the Pigeonhole app. You can then read along with others, leave comments on the text, and enjoy an array of supplementary media in addition to the text itself. Not only that, but – in line with The Pigeonhole’s mission of making reading a more communal activity – you can also create your own private book club to read along with friends.
Download An Interactive Book
There’s an ever-increasing range of book-based apps that take storytelling beyond simple words on a page, and invoke various other forms of media to make reading into a multi-sensory experience. Some feature ambient music to set the mood, while others use illustration and animation as part of their narrative. A few even come with puzzles to solve or secrets to discover. iPoe and iLovecraft are highly recommended for fans of classic literature, but you can also try the Interactive Fiction Database for a huge range of titles that will play with your expectations of what a book can be.
Listen To An Audiobook
More books than ever before are now available in audio format, thanks to the rise of services such as Amazon’s Audible. Sign up, and you can download a book each month to listen to on your phone, tablet, laptop or other device. Excellent, independent publications like Pseudopod and Escape Pod are also worth checking out for a mix of short and very short audio fiction to fill in any gaps. But what if the title you’re after doesn’t yet have an audio version? Reading apps, like eReader Prestigio, often come with a text-to-speech option that will read the text aloud to you on demand. Although the quality is nowhere near that of a human reader, it’ll do the job until a real audiobook is available.
Sign Up For “Netflix For Books”
Scribd is often said to be following the “Netflix for books” model – you pay a subscription fee, and gain access to their entire catalogue of titles, allowing you to read as much or as little as you like each month. It has a pretty excellent range of books available too, with a catalogue that runs from the latest offerings from the big five down to a host of obscure, independently published projects. For heavy readers this is likely the most economical option, but given that Scribd offers a thirty day free trial (during which you can read as many books as you wish) there’s nothing to be lost by giving them a shot.
Subscribe To A Book Box
A number of subscription boxes for physical books are now available. Sign up to The Willoughby Book Club, MyBookBox, or The Book Drop, let them know your preferences, then sit back and wait for an appropriately themed read to arrive on your doorstep every four weeks or so. Apart from allowing you to enjoy the pleasantness of a physical book, these services also introduce you to titles you might otherwise never have picked up. If the services about don’t quite suit your tastes, do shop around – there are dozens of different options, with book boxes that focus on everything from Young Adult literature to horror.