Finding stuff to read

May 29, 2008

This might seem rather redundant, but it’s worth recording.

I’m a fiction nut. I love finding and acquiring new things to read. I like buying books, I like getting books, I like finding books. I also like giving people books, but that’s not relevant. Here are my main methods of getting stuff to read.

  1. Bookshops
    Yes, this is pretty self-evident. There are few things I enjoy quite as much as spending time in my local bookshop, combing through the shelves. I lose a lot of money at that place.
  2. Second-hand bookshops
    Maybe not as self-evident. I’m lucky enough to live near a huge second-hand bookshop. I don’t lose quite as much money at this place, but I do get a lot more books. A lot of people dislike these places on prinicipal–they like having something new, and the idea that someone else owned a particular book before them is repulsive. I can understand that, but the only thing I like more than a new book is an old book. I have a volume of Milton’s work which is over 100 years old, and has pencil notes scrawled in it by one of the previous owners. I got it from a little second-hand bookshop in a small town in Devon, and it’s one of my favourite possessions. Give second-hand bookshops a chance–especially if you’re on a tight budget.
  3. Libraries
    I used to live in my local library. Due to circumstances, I hardly visit now. However, libraries are perfect for people who are still figuring out what they like, or people whose wallets can’t keep up with their reading habits.
  4. Project Gutenberg
    If it’s public domain, it’s online. Project Gutenberg has an extensive collection of classic works, free to download. If you don’t mind reading from your monitor, or you have a love of printing lots of stuff, this is the place for you.
  5. LibriVox
    This is something of an extension of Project Gutenberg. If you don’t like reading from your monitor and you’re not keen on printing lots of stuff, but you love listening to audiobooks, LibriVox is where you want to go. Free audio versions of public domain works. There are a number of truly excellent readers. There are, however, some truly abysmal ones, as well. Still, it’s free.
  6. Podcasts
    If you’re into ‘genre’ fic, you might have heard of Scott Sigler. He recently had his novel Infection picked up by Crown Publishing, and it was released in April 2008. He started by giving his novels away online, and lots of other authors are doing the same. Check out Podiobooks.com for the best of what’s available online. All the podcast novels listed there are also available for free.
  7. Serial novels
    The penny dreadfuls of our time? Hmm, maybe. Either way, there are a lot of novels being serialised online. Anyone can decide to give their work away for free-all they need to do is set up a blog, and they’re off. I’ve yet to run across a directory that weeds out the best from the rest, so I don’t have a reliable resource for quality fiction (and when I say ‘quality fiction’, I’m basically referring to typos/grammar/spelling/other technical issues, as most everything else is subjective), but will make sure to keep track of any gems here.
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3 Responses to “Finding stuff to read”

  1. Evo Says:

    Scott who? Kidding. It’s been great having him beat the drum for the whole movement.

    Thanks for listing Podiobooks.com as a resource!

    Evo
    Podiobooks.com

  2. storyist Says:

    No problem!

    You guys are doing some awesome work. The more people who hear about you, the better :)

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