Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Cheapskates on the Move, Chap 1 eBooks

Or "Things we learned living on a boat (and can use on the RV)"

I'll start with something easy then move gently towards more delicate topics (ie. Doing dishes and taking showers)

eBooks:  We both read a lot.  We love our Kindles.  While The Captain can be happy with the occasional book-book from the marina swap pile, I primarily read on my Kindle.  The best part of eReader's are the classics available for free through public domain.  In the US, in general, 70 years after the death of the author, their works are not restricted by copyright. Think Moby Dick, Dracula, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens or Edgar Allen Poe.  Project Gutenberg was one of the first and largest efforts to digitize public domain books. (For ideas, go to their Top 100 list at The only time I opt to pay for a book available in public domain would be books translated from other languages ie. Anna Karenina, then more current translations are worth the money.

Another important thing we learned before we left on the sailboat is that libraries are catching up with the ebook lending.  You can get online, find a book, reserve/checkout and download from anywhere.  

Our hometown library had a much improved selection since our first generation Kindle, especially in new releases.  We also learned that the neighboring county had a reciprocating library card (with a much bigger selection) for free.  When we sold our house (and our library memberships expired), we could continue a non-resident membership for $50 (unless you have a family member willing to share their library card).  Check with your library, former library, neighboring county or the Free Library of Philadelphia (an early adopter of ebook lending) for online, non-resident registration.

A newer feature at our library is listing pre-releases for reserve, so sometimes I'm reading the new Stephen King as soon as it's released.  Otherwise, I keep a "deep" reserve list going so I'm never without books.  When we're somewhere with internet and there's not much on my reserve list, I grab a bunch of books that are available off my wish list.  (Another great feature of a Kindle vs reading on an iPad or iPhone, unless you turn the wifi on, they can't take the library book back, even if it's expired!)

Kindle Unlimited:  Many people ask, "What about Kindle Unlimited?"  Personally, I don't think it's that great of a deal. It used to be, as a part of your Prime membership, there were a number of books you could borrow for free.  However, it has now been spun off into Kindle Unlimited which is $9.99/month or another $120/year!  This doesn't include ALL Kindle books, and many are self-published books you may not be interested in or books that would otherwise be inexpensive to purchase.  (You still get one book per month as a part of Prime's Kindle First & a limited amount of books can still be borrowed.)  If you aren't picky about what you read and like a bargain, I recommend eReaderIQ, Bookbub or Amazon's Kindle page full of daily & monthly deals, instead.


  1. There's a ton of free Kindle book sites. My favorite is Freebooksy. I haven't paid for a Kindle book for a long time.

    SV Kintala

    1. Thanks for the reminder, Deb. I've been mostly using the library. I should have done more research before posting ;-)

  2. I've just been trying to find more books in a tight budget. Thanks for this!

  3. I've just been trying to find more books in a tight budget. Thanks for this!