Change. Not everybody likes it, including myself, but sometimes it’s really quite necessary. And that’s how I felt about my reading rut around this time last year. Not only was I getting frustrated with the titles I was choosing (ie poor writing), but I got tired of being touted the same kinds of books over and over again by my then Kindle account.
For some reason, like YouTube, Amazon thought that all I wanted to read were romances. Sure, sometimes I liked to indulge in a light Georgian era flirtatious romp, but not all the time. So while I was getting rid of all my online shopping accounts, I decided to also get rid of Amazon. Prime went first, then finally I switched from Kindle to Libby. In today’s Blogtober post, I’m going to take a look at the pros and cons both eReader services.
Consistent new releases. This is one of the things that got me into money trouble last summer: all the new, consistent releases. But that’s what I also like about the Kindle program: they get all, and I mean all, the new book releases. Whether you choose to purchase the book or wait for it to become available through Kindle Unlimited, you’re definitely going to have more options with Kindle than with Libby.
Unedited self-published works. A book can have a fantastic cover but be a crap story inside. A book can have a crap cover but a fantastic story instead. I’ve been burned by the former one too many times on Kindle. Now I am absolutely not knocking self-publishing whatsoever. There are some fantastic authors out there who have done their due diligence. I’m talking specifically about the ones who are only out there to make a quick buck. I guess that’s the beauty of Amazon publishing, right? Anybody can do it. Doesn’t mean that just anybody should…
Availability of older titles. A library is a library. They’re not always privy to receiving new titles like book sellers are. Many times these titles are either donated by its patrons or ordered by the librarians. The wait can be long for new titles to be released in the library system, if they ever appear at all. If there’s something you really want to read, especially if it’s a non-fiction title, send a request to your local library. They have their ways!
Timed borrowing. Let’s face it. Libby is, at its core, a library lending app. While I love the concept for physical, printed books, I think this is one area Libby can improve upon. For an eReader program, it’s kind of antiquated. For example: a few weeks ago I decided I wanted to read C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe again. But, it being so popular, the app told me I was going to have to wait TWENTY-TWO weeks. That’s right. WEEKS, not days. That’s like, half a year of waiting to even borrow it. So while the timed borrowing does encourage me to actually read the titles on my Borrowed shelf, I still think it’s a bit, well, antiquated.
The ability to read horizontally. I touch upon this same concept a bit in a Libby Con below, but I’ll include it here as well because it’s such a huge pro for me. I absolutely adore the fact that Kindle allows me to rotate the screen to my eReader readability preference: horizontally. I also always have the blue light protector on, so I’m not killing my eyeballs even more than I already am with my 24/7 use of technology. Call me crazy if you like, but I have always been a picky reader!
Constantly recommending same titles over and over. A Kindle – I have such a love/hate relationship with you! But only when it comes to your inability to recommend anything but the same titles over and over and over again. I don’t think much more really needs to be said on this topic. Yes, I know they have genre categories one can scroll through. I just think they need to tweak their algorithm a bit.
Supports local library systems. If having an Amazon account for books (or at all) isn’t your thing, but you still want to reap the benefits of electronic books, then Libby is a great option to have. Not only are you giving reads to your favorite authors. but you’re also supporting your local library system. You can stick with one library, or you can switch things up based on your zip code and what libraries are part of Libby’s eReader program. I know I’m lucky in that I have dozens of libraries in Allegheny County that I can choose from, but not everyone has that luxury. Look at the websites for libraries in your area; some of them will list other eReader apps they do support. Another pro: You can still read them if you’re on a plane!
Unable to rotate the screen. It’s such a simple thing, but I do a lot of reading in bed before I sleep. It really seems to be the only time my brain is willing to let me enjoy a story without fear of interruption. Let’s face it – I live in between two relatives. I get interrupted a LOT when I’m not at work. Not that that’s always a bad thing. I digress. I love reading on my stomach, propped up by pillows, with my phone leaning against the headboard. As such, reading horizontally is way better on the neck than it is having to place the phone vertically. This is one of the main reasons I use my Kindle app over Libby at night.
For a time I may continue to use both eReaders, but I think for now I’ll continue weighing the pros and cons of each. I’m a simple girl who prefers having as few choices as possible because – and I’ll be the first to admit this – I get confused quite easily if there are more options than what I need. Take me to a restaurant with ten choices and I’ll be a happy camper. Give me a ten page, laminated menu with unlimited combinations and I’m just, well, not having it. So at least, for today’s post, I only have to choose between two eReaders: the Kindle or Libby. Which will you choose?