The cultured mind. Part 3 | 628
The cultured mind. Part 4

On reading for free or almost for free | 627

[ 4 min read ]

Diary of an artist, Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#627 (countdown)

Copy of Copy of Copy of Adulthood smooth& tasty.

Woke up 5:10 am

Started reading free e-books on iBooks. Until recently I used only my Scribd app to read e-books. It cost me USD 6,99 per month (when you pay semiannually, when you pay monthly it’s USD 8,99). A month ago or so I decided that I will discontinue my paid Scribd membership and look for other ways to read e-books. Together with my decision to cancel my feedblitz paid membership (which handled e-mail subscriptions on my blog — there were no active readers, it showed that nobody of the tiny handful of people who subscribed to my e-mail list actually opened the e-mails; by the way I too no longer open the e-mails which come to my inbox because I subscribed to an e-mail list), it saves me USD 15 per month (which I consider a lot — 12 x USD 15 equals USD 180 annually).

I am still willing to pay for a book from time to time, and, if I can say that anything will ever happen for certain, I will go back to my paid Scribd membership. They improved the app recently (there are much fewer bugs and it is way more stable nowadays) and I like it even more now, and USD 6,99 per month is still a very good deal when you can read multiple books per month (multiple books simultaneously).

The best thing about a paid membership like this is that you can try any book (start it) and if it doesn’t suit you you can stop and jump to some other book and you don’t pay for each individual book. You pay the monthly fee and that’s all. This is of course unimportant if you want to read classics which are available online for free on Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, Open Library, or iBooks for example. But if it’s a paid book you want to read and you started and then abandoned it, and found some other paid book you want to try out (book which is not in public domain — can’t be offered online for free) then you can end up paying a lot of money for being such a grasshopper. If you don’t know what book you want to read (you want to try out authors you never read so far) it can cost you a lot monthly. And that’s why having a paid membership on a site like Scribd (it doesn’t have to be Scribd — that’s the one I tried and found OK) pays off.

There are many free e-books online (books which are in public domain) and only recently I found out that finding them in iBooks app on my iPhone is also possible and by no means it is a pain in the ass. The best thing about it (for me) is that when you searched for a free e-book by a certain author (let’s say Leo Tolstoy) then the app will recommend similar titles to you (based on the search and download history of other readers) and for the most part they too will be free e-books (by the same or other authors). It’s a good way to explore the library of free e-books by very famous, famous and less famous authors.

The next great thing about iBooks which I just discovered is that many books can be bought there cheaply (cheaply to me means for USD 1 or less). Those will not be the newest books, which should be obvious I guess, but still a great option when you want to read and your budget is tight. Some of the cheap books are available for free elsewhere (or even within the same app — they will have a different cover and maybe there will be something extra in the paid version, but basically it will be the same book / story), so it’s always worth checking if you won’t pay for something which you can have for free. Sometimes though it’s worth paying a small amount if reading the free version is a pain in the ass (if the free file doesn’t open properly, or there is some other issue with it and your device slows down or frequently becomes unresponsive because of it, or if all pages are JPEGs which makes reading a real hassle).

Books I’m currently reading:

Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters (on iBooks)

End of a Berlin Diary By William L. Shirer (on Scribd — weird thing, could still read it on my Mac)

YouTube videos and movies (since my last diary entry):

Hitler’s Circle of Evil: Season 1: “The Berghof Set” (on Netflix)

Hitler’s Circle of Evil: Season 1: “The Madness of Rudolf Hess” (on Netflix)

Hitler’s Circle of Evil: Season 1: “The Rise and Fall of Reinhard Heydrich” (on Netflix)

The Crown: Season 3: “Olding” (on Netflix)

Inequality — how wealth becomes power (1/3) | (Poverty Richness Documentary) DW Documentary

Music for this writing session: Luciano Pavarotti (on spotify)