Trying New Things

Another odd post that doesn’t have much to do with me updating book progress, unboxing, or reviewing. I’m starting to try a lot of new bookish things lately. I’ve been kinda frustrated at how I can’t always access things I’m passionate about when I want/need through my digital library loans. This is particularly true for some of my anticipated releases of 2021. I want to get these books, but I don’t want to preorder them and risk ending up with multiple physical copies with my book subscriptions. (I’m still keeping an eye on newsletters to try to see if I can manage to get a special edition of these.) There’s so many wonderful books I want to read, but my library just isn’t offering them or has too long a waiting list. I want to mainly keep supporting my library, but there are other projects I am involved in which mean I need to be a bit more flexible about where I get my books. I’d also like to avoid having to buy a physical copy of books I can’t be sure I’ll like. The nomad life since college has really changed me. I think I’ll be more willing to invest more in going to bookstores. I’m also trying to break away from Amazon for ordering books as much as I can.

Audiobook Libraries

Audible

So, I know this is a huge sponsor for a lot of content and a lot of people love it. I personally have a lot of issues with the usability of it.

The app and cloud player are completely different. They have different ways of displaying your progress, they have different functions, and they don’t always sync well. While I like the sleep and chapter progress of the app which is missing from the cloud version, I do end up missing the overall progress display.

They are trying to lure me into staying with various badges. I do love being able to earn badges, but not enough to stay.

I originally did this only intending to use it to see if I found the mixed media approach to a particular book effective. There was a 30 day free trial which works perfectly for me doing this experiment. I probably won’t keep it after that but there are a few items I couldn’t find in a different service I’m trying which I’m worried about not receiving in time. I’m not overly disappointed if it turns out that I’ve decided not to continue with this service and just cave and buy the exclusive edition book and listen to a “re-read” of a book I didn’t enjoy elsewhere.

LibroFM

This is a pretty cool service. So, like Audible, you can gain a “credit” for an audiobook each month you pay for membership. I joined using a rep code, so I even got a free credit. (Thanks Oliviareadsalatte!) I sadly don’t have a discount code for you; my referral link would only grant me a credit, so I’ll only share it at request. So I got Court of Miracles for now and preordered The Last Graduate. It wasn’t very hard. I don’t really like that you can’t use the app to redeem credits or search for new books. Membership isn’t required, there is a la carte purchasing. What I love about this service is that it splits profits from the sales with Independent Bookstores. You can search for a specific retailer, or allow the proceeds to just get distributed to all. It will also give you updates on how your specific purchases have benefited these sellers. With membership, there is a bit of discount when doing a la carte purchases as well. I haven’t fully explored their collection, but two of the books I was worried about having on time weren’t listed there which means it’s not a complete supplement the way I’d hoped. I got my purchased audiobook right away, and at first glance it seems like it has the features I want on the app. It doesn’t seem to have a webplayer, but you can download the tracks and play them on different services, like iTunes. I kinda dislike that the chapter titles aren’t listed in their player. I love that you can support independent stores, but still not perfect. I wonder if I switched which bookstore to sponsor if that would make a difference?

Bookstores

Book Depository

This seems really cool! The idea is that you can order books from other locations, which means that you can get a lovely UK cover if you dislike the US edition (looking at you, Six Crimson Cranes! You really did the US version dirty with that lovely UK edition) and it doesn’t charge shipping. The book I ordered February 2nd just moved from “Processing” (trying to find a copy to) to “Dispatched” a week later with 5-8 business days of travel time if I understand correctly making my earliest estimated delivery 2 weeks later. The email update also said I’d be able to track my package, but I’m not seeing this in the order status page I’m taken to. It’s not the biggest deal, but it aggravates my obsessive side when it comes to order tracking. A few days later, they followed up with a tracking link for the courier, but it still hadn’t arrived to the courier and would have to wait maybe 48 hours for an update. It finally got an update on the 18th of “It’s on the way to the carrier!” The book itself was now listed as “unavailable” shortly after ordering so I’m not sure how I feel about this. I might need to run another test to see if it works better and determine if it was the popularity of the book which was the issue. This is a bit concerning for books I’d want to try to get quickly. I’ve heard of this from quite a few BookTubers, so I want to hold out hope.

Moon Palace Books

This is actually the Indie bookstore I’m sponsoring with LibroFM. Again, one of the little links I see in Oliviareadsalatte’s videos when I’m looking for the links of the books to add to my Goodreads. At this moment, I chose them mainly because of her and the fact that I like the name. I preordered the Anthropocene Reviewed with them. Nothing super fancy going on with their site, but the colors are very pleasing. I also ordered The Dragon Republic late on the 15th to check out how their process is. Pretty simple, nothing fancy. Got confirmation of shipping the next day and a tracking link for the courier. It’s just arrived five days later. It had a cute sticker of the shop’s logo on the seal, which was a little sad since I didn’t want to damage the sticker.

Once again, I may be switching my Indie bookstore support as I investigate the area where I hope to settle down once employed.

Still looking for ways to optimize my reading experience. I’m currently using Libby, which isn’t perfect, but has a lot of features I love for the very lovely price of free. I had a bit of audiobook issues at the beginning of the year, but otherwise, not too bad. It just has the normal issues of library sharing. I do still plan on using it and signing up for the library where I end up which might also help because I do miss physical books a lot, too. And honestly, while these audiobook services are pretty cool, I’d prefer e-books instead. I know KindleUnlimited could be a solution, but again not really looking to support them and still only has a limited offering which doesn’t include my desired titles. A bit disappointing, but not the end of the world to not have a solution yet. It also wouldn’t end up helping budget concerns as these all are paid services. I’m glad some of these books are so popular and that there are so many people using my library.

I’m curious, what bookish services do you enjoy? I’d be willing to try them out.

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