3 New Ways to Read for Your Wallet and Your Watch

Pundits like to bemoan the death of reading in the Internet age. While books have to compete with more and more digital entertainment options for our shrinking free time, we’ll always have a place in our hearts for good old paper and ink. For kids who grew up with Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, the lack of free time (and even bigger lack of money) that comes with attending college and working for the first time can really cut into that old book-a-day habit.

If you’re among the 86 percent of Americans who, according to the United Nations, work more than forty hours a week, it can be next to impossible to find the time to keep up with Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons…and that’s without considering A Dance With Dragon’s $30 price tag. Fortunately, even though we complain about computers killing printing, the modern world has come up with more than a few ways to make reading easier on your wallet – as well asyour watch.

 

Get a Library Card

There are more than 16,000 libraries nation-wide. Even the smallest have hundreds of volumes ready to go home with you, for less than the price of a latte. If the price tag on that glossy new hardback at the bookstore makes your wallet weep for mercy, there’s probably another way to get your hands on it: a trip to your local library.

The Internet may have stolen some of their business, but American libraries are still going strong.  A Pew research survey found more than 90 percent of Americans still love their public libraries for the access to books and technology, and the boost to literacy and the love of reading. Libraries have been eager to move with the times as well: many have offered movies and video games for decades, and even more are  offering music and e-book downloads along with their shelves stuffed full of books. Even if your local library can’t compete with the Boston Public Library’s 9 million volumes, chances are they’ll have something to take your fancy without taking your money.

 

Embrace the E-book

The recent boom in epic fantasy has been great for readers…but a little hard on trees, with some bestsellers clocking in at close to a thousand pages. But once again the digital revolution is here for you: welcome to the age of the e-reader.

Digital books available for download make it easy for a young person with a busy life and a tight budget to carry an entire library’s worth of reading material in their pocket on a daily basis, and the lack of printing costs make e-books cheaper to buy: Huffington Post’s survey of e-book prices across multiple online markets found that most e-books top out at $9.99, and are often as cheap as 99 cents, or even completely free.

Some book lovers prefer dedicated e-readers, tablets with glare-free screens, adjustable fonts, and other features to make electronic reading easier on the eyes. If you don’t have the money for a new electronic, never fear: you can find an app for reading books like the one from Nook on just about any device with a screen, and transform your smartphone into a portable library to keep you company on that long morning commute.

 

Audiobooks for Hands-Free Reading

E-books are great if you take the train to work, but what about the driving commuters among us? Or those with vision problems, or other disorders that make reading difficult? Why not pay a professional actor to read it for you?

Although audiobooks have been around for decades (back when they were called books on tape), they’ve seen a spike in popularity as digital distribution becomes easier and easier. Without the cost of packaging long novels on two dozen CDs, audiobooks are cheaper than ever as well, and just as easily downloaded as e-books thanks to a wide variety of apps and distribution services. There’s even several “Netflix-for-audiobooks” style services available, giving you access to a huge variety for a subscription fee. So whether you’re driving home for the holidays, doing the dishes, or just need a bedtime story to drift off to, audio books are a great hands-free option for keeping up with your favorite fictional worlds.

 

In Conclusion

It can be hard to find time for old pleasures in the modern world, but fortunately for book lovers, books are doing a pretty good job of keeping up with technology. In fact, in the digital age, it’s easier than ever to find new ways to enjoy your old favorites and find new ones, delivered straight to your pocket or read aloud for your pleasure by Sir Ian McKellan. It’s a pretty good time to be a bibliophile.

 

 

Tags: Audiobooks, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Visual Economics, E-Book, E-Reader, Sir Ian McKellan, Read Wallet, Read Watch, LA Splash Magazine, Splash Magazines, Got Anchored Online Magazine, Diversity News Magazine, Steven Escobar, Gisele Rebeiro, Los Angeles Online Magazines, Diversity News TV, Diversity News Radio,

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