Favorite Book Related Websites

As my first post here on Adventures of the Library Girl, I have compiled a list of my 5 current favorite and frequented book related websites.  Some of these may be well known and some may be a new discovery to those who read this list.  I’ve included descriptions from the sites themselves where available–as indicated by quotations–and written my own otherwise.  To explore these websites, simply click the name of the site and follow the link.  I hope you will find something new to feed your appetite for a good read.

Project Gutenberg

Description:

Project Gutenberg offers over 49,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.”

Favorite Features:

Every single book is free and once I download it, I can read at my leisure.  I never have to check the amazon price or try to hurry and catch the deal.  Also, because a lot of these are much older and more obscure books, I tend to download whatever sounds interesting and take a chance on it, which has greatly expanded my preferences.

Possible Downside:

These books don’t come with descriptions.

One Hundred Free Books

Description:

“It’s a place designed for readers looking for a great deal on great books, and who are ready to read them using the world’s most popular and powerful ereading software and devices. It’s a place for you to discover tomorrow’s best-sellers before the price goes up. It’s an online library with books you can keep forever, most of them absolutely free and the rest priced so low it’s almost criminal.

It’s a place that started as a list of one hundred free books (the name really did make sense once upon a time), and that now contains an ever-evolving selection of ereading material across all genres (though we’re sticking to English-language titles for the time being).

It’s a place for free (and almost free) books, plain and simple.”

Favorite Features:

This site is very user friendly and publishes new lists of favorite free e-books and deals thrice daily through their Facebook page.

Possible Downside:

If you see something you really shouldn’t hesitate, because sales and promotions go off and the price changes sometimes.  The site will warn you to check the Amazon price before completing your transaction.  This is also targeted toward Kindle users, but don’t let that put you off just because you don’t have a Kindle device.  You can download Kindle for PC for free on Amazon.

Book Bub

Description:

“BookBub is a free service that helps millions of readers discover great deals on acclaimed ebooks while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans. Members receive a personalized daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by our editorial team. BookBub works with all major ebook retailers and devices, and is the industry’s leading ebook price promotion service. BookBub was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.”

Favorite Features:

I love the lists section of their blog.  This is how I discovered the Poldark saga, which resulted in getting maybe a little too into PBS Masterpiece Theatre for someone of the ripe young age of 25.

Possible Downside:

I think this site is really starting to cater more to book deals than free e-books and perhaps isn’t as user friendly to new users as OHFB.

Kentucky Libraries Unbound

Description:

Kentucky Libraries Unbound is a digital media library available to patrons of Kentucky public libraries.

Favorite Features:

Where to begin…  I think the feature I’m most excited about is the audio books.  I think it’s fantastic for those whose vision is impaired, but also great for multitasking or avoiding eye strain.  It would be wonderful to listen to get your reading fix during a migraine.  You can also add currently unavailable books to your wishlist and watch for them to become available or place a hold and put yourself onto a waiting list and receive an email when a copy becomes available and even have it automatically borrowed.  There’s also a whole section for Kentucky books.

Possible Downsides:

The biggest possible downside for anyone reading this list would be that you need to have a library card from a Kentucky public library to have access to Kentucky Libraries Unbound’s virtual library.  In the interest of full disclosure, other possible downsides are potential waiting lists for popular books and other media, and a limit to what you can place on hold or borrow at any given time.  The limits, however, are very reasonable and should never cause a problem for most patrons.  As with any library, media is borrowed for a set time.

Goodreads

Description:

“Who We Are

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love. Goodreads launched in January 2007.A Few Things You Can Do on Goodreads
  • See which books your friends are reading.
  • Track the books you’re reading, have read, and want to read.
  • Check out your personalized book recommendations. Our recommendation engine analyzes 20 billion data points to give suggestions tailored to your literary tastes.
  • Find out if a book is a good fit for you from our community’s reviews.”

Favorite Features:

This is an excellent site to use even just to look up book titles and find descriptions or favorite quotes from books, but it also has a social element to connect with friends, other book lovers, and even authors.  I haven’t taken advantage of this one as much yet, but I’m pretty excited to explore a little more and take advantage of its different features.  I’ve even seen where authors have answered questions from readers there.

Possible Downside:

This site has a lot of features, so if you’re not as well accustomed to social media, it would be pretty difficult to navigate, and even if you are it might take you a little while to figure out how best to take full advantage of everything it has to offer.  Also, I personally just really hated it when I connected my Goodreads account to my Facebook account.  It automatically friended all my Facebook friends who had a good reads account, some of whom I didn’t talk to as often, and some who just weren’t very active on the site.

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