In the June newsletter I asked everyone how they are currently reading books – especially during current life circumstances. As I know so many people are reliant on public libraries Here are the responses:

Susan: Hi ….love the newsletter
How I read my books is physical , usually second hand paperbacks . I love looking in charity shops for used books for me they seem to have more character than a new one

Jan: I “read” by audio. I do not understand why this method of reading does not receive more attention. In today’s world of multitasking what better way to do that than have an audio book playing while you play or work? The availability of new releases in audio form, or the completeness of a series in audio form is frustrating. I download my recordings from the state library, and they don’t have audio versions often times but will have the digital print copies. I prefer to do my listening on a MP3 player, and even those are hard to find today.

Carole: Because our library’s have been closed for so long I had some books on my Kindle that I started to read. I read The Murderer’s Son. It was so good I am now finding my way through the rest of the series. The sixth book is coming out this week. It is a British mystery and the characters are extremely interesting. This is one you should start with the first book because each character develops through the series and some add-on. I got the books through Kindle Unlimited.

Carol: I use Libby on my tablet which I access through my local library. It gives me access to a network which taps into many libraries throughout my state (Ohio). I’m guessing other libraries in other states have something similar. It’s the first time I have read any books digitally and I am very pleased with this site! It is fairly easy to navigate with many helpful features.

Carl V: I prefer, by far, to read a book that I have in my hands. I love the fact that something is physically there and I can put it on one of my shelves (I greatly prefer hardcovers, as does my wife). We have 44 bookshelves (not book cases) that are throughout our 950 square foot house. Most of those (28) are for my books. I have about 25 books in my kindle unlimited library, and quite a few of those I intend to purchase when I can. My wife reads quite a bit on Kindle, she in fact is the faster and more vociferous reader, but she only buys and keeps those books that she loves or is enthralled with the author. I enjoy reading my kindle, which becomes my “read it and see if it’s worth buying or if the author themselves is worthy of my time.

My Mother instilled a great love of reading in me, by buying books for me to read in the summer. She would give myself and my other 3 siblings (yes, 4 of us, each two years apart in age) books that she believed would interest us, say somethIng to us or take us to a place we’d never visited. I have read some of the greatest literature known to man, whether it was history, peoples lives, autobiographies, non-fiction and fiction and everything in between. I have my parents, especially my Mom, to thank for it.

I hope we are all enjoying this time off and are burying ourselves in adventure after adventure in this time when we need the information, the release and the getaway that books provide.

Debbie: I am strictly an audio book ‘reader’. I listen to 2 or 3 at the same time. My favorite sites to get audio books is the local library sites. So many books to borrow from – all just a click and a down-load away. I am also an subscriber – but only for those books i really want to listen to and just can’t find at any local library source. They are a bit pricey. I am a reader who likes the listen – but not to own the book. there would be no room left in my house for me if I had to purchase every book i ‘read’

Vicki H: If there’s a reading format, I use it. My home is filled with hard copy books, both personal and borrowed from the library before shut down. I don’t use an ereader, although I have. I prefer using my 8″ tablet. I have the apps for Kobo, Kindle, Nook, and Libby from the library all downloaded on it.

I also use Libby to download audio books to stream from my phone and Overdrive if I want to download the book to a MP3 player. I’ve used audiobooks for so many years that I can remember reading a Stephanie Plum novel on cassette tape.

I haven’t tried some of the newer reading apps such as Hoopla. Since my “shelves” are full at Kobo, Kindle, and Nook, I hate to add yet another reading app. I don’t like the Kindle interface in their app on the tablet, but it useable. Of the three interfaces I prefer Kobo. I like Libby, too. It’s easy to track when books are due as well as readability.

Also, you asked about other good time travel book recommendations. One of the best classics is Time and Again by Jack Finney. One of my favorites is Thrice Upon a Time by James Hogan with a scientific bent. Although much more a woman’s novel, Mirror by Marlys Millheiser is also excellent.

Al: I like having the “hard copy” in my hand. I’ve tried to read electronically several times, but to me, it’s just not the same. The imperceptible rustle of turning the page; the smell of the paper and ink that wafts towards you as you thumb the edge of a new paperback and the comforting weight of the latest hard cover bestseller in you lap as you settle in to your favorite spot. There is nothing like a book.

Madeleine: I prefer virtual books unless I am traveling and then I use my Kindle Fire and listen to audiobooks while driving to our destination. I love your newsletter and website and love to read the full series of an author that I love and a character that I love. My best friend in Texas buys certain ones and I buy certain ones, we read and exchange by mailing them back and forth to each other. Since she has more space, she has turned a huge closet into a library for our books–alphabetized by author and series of course. Many are cozies. I also lend a neighbor here in Georgia the books before mailing them to Texas. She gives me books that her brother in law gives her–mostly of the ilk of Michael Connelly, Greg Iles, etc. I am an avid reader and have been since forever. In first grade, I won the award for reading the most books–202 (my street address at the time). My father took me to the library weekly and they weren’t baby books either.

To me the best narrator of any series in an audiobook is Will Patton being Dave Robicheaux. He is great. We have listened to most but it is hard to find abridged (my husband doesn’t like anything over 8 hours). Another good narrator is Dick Hill reading the Harry Bosch books.

Keep up the good work and I am very interested in what you think of the new Hunger Games book and if it is worth my while to read it. I loved the series, but sometimes ones done later aren’t up to standards. “So many books, so little time.”

Liz: I read on my Kindle and IPad only. If you live in Pennsylvania, you are very lucky to get books online all the time. If you belong to a local library, which doesn’t always have the books you want, you can join the Free Library of Philadelphia. They have almost everything I want. If they don’t have a book, you can recommend it and they will soon have it. You can put up to 5,ooo books on your wish list. I never seem to have a problem getting books I want.

wuv: I have to have a book in my hands. My Library has had curbside service which has been great. Thanks for the great column

Sally: In my Lifetime I never thought I would see my Library close until further notice. My Childhood Library in Northern Ohio closed in 2019 due to Thugs with a Gun hanging out by the Entrance mocking People that wanted to enter the Library . Their reasoning to the Police ……they were bored. Poor Darlings.
The Library in the Town I’ve lived in now for 34 years is closed due to COVID19.
I am new to OrderofBooks. I came across it searching an Author’s name. I’m glad I stumbled on it.
I love your Newsletter and I too do not like Humidity. You can wave to me as I’m on the American side of Lake Erie.
In answer to your Monthly question …….When I read a Book it has to be physical. I’ve tried reading with my iPad but I don’t care for that…’s missing something.
I have to have the feel of the physical Book…….the smell of the Book…..the feel of the Pages and physically seeing my Bookmark pass the middle of the Book. I’m up there in Years and I’m old School. I’m determined not to let Technology take away my one last connection to a life without Technology.

tammy: I alternate reading on my kindle, borrowing books from the library or buying them from Amazon. I love the feel and smell of old books and miss the used book and cd stores.

Kathy: I love reading and during the quarantine I have read several. A few days ago I went out to my travel trailer to get books I had stored for the summer (before all campgrounds closed). Well I found about twenty books, but the one that caught my eye was “Rosemary Cottage”. I absolutely loved it. I read all my books physically. Most of the time I check them out of the library, but with them closed, I have been purchasing on line. I don’t own ereaders, Kindle or tablet even though some day I hope to. My husband was sick, so at night you would find me laying in bed reading by flashlight and keeping an eye on him.
This is the first book I have read written by you. Immediately I was on line looking for more to purchase. I now have about seven books coming. I am very anxious to receive them.
I also love Cathy Glass books. They are about children she has fostered in her home. But I often have trouble finding them.
Thanks for the great book. I have all ready found a complete list of your books and will be reading all of them.
I loved your idea for your daughters birthday. I am going to tell my daughter about it. She has 4 of my 12 grandchildren.

Barbara: I have an ereader but love being able to hold a book more. I guess a love a page turner of a book versus a page.. well what .. swiper. To look at a book with a bookmark holding my position gives me a joy that I cannot truly express. That little piece of what have you holding my characters place.. holding my dream of dreams all by itself. Waiting patiently for me to flip the next page. To finish one book and start the next book. An ereader cannot show you that little glean of what is forthcoming. How much of my dream is left

Rhea: Hi, I used to be a firm believer in “real” books – the hard covers, the ones you put a bookmark in, the kind you see displayed on your shelves. But then I lost a lot of my vision and couldnt read those books. I was also in a domestic violence situation and books were my escape so I started reading e-books. Not only could I make the font, spacing and margins fit my needs but I could make the screen black which is really helpful for light-sensitive people.

Still I miss paper books, with author signatures, and seeing all my books on shelves. But we adapt as we must and I’m grateful that Kindle has lots of options to help the visually-impaired. I don’t think it’s fair that e-books cost more than paperbacks though

Sybil: I read almost exclusively on my Kindle although I have had to resort to the old-fashioned paper books occasionally when I can’t get the eBook I want to read. My eyes are getting so bad I’m going to have to start thinking about audiobooks. At one time I was almost blind with a AMD bleed and I had listened to some of them but I wasn’t impressed with the voices of the readers and I agree with Keith. Who can’t order a Dos Equis cerveza? I do admire the people who volunteer to do the reading though. It just seems like there should be more screening.

In the Readers’ Mailbag for June someone mentioned Robert Crais. When I was reading the Michael Connelly books (Harry Bosch) I was also into the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike books. The third “C” was Lee Child (Reacher). I ran thru the Harry Bosch books until he got old and I sort of lost interest. Fortunately the author invented Mickey Haller and I picked him up again but I feel he’s dated. I’ve about run out on Reacher too because all of a sudden he seems to be too big, too harsh and just too much to stomach. I just read “Cleaning the Gold” written by Child and Karin Slaughter. I’m going to look at her books next. This is one way I find new authors to read.

I recently read a couple of Stuart Woods books and they read like a sixteen year old boy with a wet dream. I am thoroughly sick of all the women he (Stone) beds and all the airplanes and houses and boats he owns. This must be what they call ‘escapism’. I don’t understand how he gets anything done.

I picked up a hard copy of a Nora Roberts book recently just because it was there. I had avoided her because I felt it was ‘chick lit’ but I was surprised and delighted to discover she had written a plethora of books which I have gobbled down as I have been shut in with the pandemic.

Other authors I have enjoyed are C. J. Box, Craig Johnson, Jeff Lindsay (Loved Dexter), John Sandford (Virgil), John Grisham, Oh just anyone who can write a good story.

Lissa: I have had good luck with Cloud Library – only downside is my iPad is not authorized so I have to read on my iPhone
I also love Michael Connelly/Bosch – watch the TV series also – am up to The Narrows #10
County library is allowing appointments to pick up books requested as they come available but its a long process so
I am working my way through books I have purchased & not read (more than 75!!)
Take care & stay safe . . . .
Thanks for your newsletter!

Kenicia: I read books with pages so I can have the satisfaction of turning them, using my bookmarks, and gauging how long before I finish. Percentages on an e-reader just aren’t the same. I do enjoy audio books as well. Music can get tiresome when driving back and forth to work. I have listened to e-audio books when CD editions are unavailable. My mp3 player does not lose its place in the car, but when hooked to a speaker in the house, it does not. That is a definite disadvantage!

lore: I resisted the Kindle for a good while and once I bought one still only used it sporadically. However, once a harsh winter set in I was hooked because I could not be caught without a book to read just because inclement weather hindered my ability (or desire) to travel to the bookstore or library. I do still frequent the library, though now that my kids are older, not as much as I once did. The store and library still serve as a type of destination for browsing and occasional purchases. Independent bookstores are still great places to find new authors, but once I find a new author, I tend to read an entire series on Kindle.

Corinne: Hi Graeme, this was a great question!

These days I read almost exclusively on e-reader and audiobook.

E-reader: I use my kindle at home and the kindle app on my phone when away. I use bookbub to find cheap books, I buy books on Amazon, and I use Libby for my local library, although the selection seems really limited. (Small town library)

Audiobook: I listen to books while driving, walking the dog, doing yard work, and even at my job for the first two hours until I need to listen to the walkie for instructions later. I buy audiobooks from Audible and I also get them from the library. I also use Librivox for public domain audiobooks. I have found some fantastic stuff there!

I have replaced most of my book collection with digital, but there are some old favorites I will never get rid of, and also there is one of those ‘little library’ boxes now at my local park that I like to peruse. So I do still read some ‘real’ books!

Cate: I am keen on ebooks! I read 6 to 7 books weekly so I enjoy using Overdrive to borrow ebooks from the local library. I’m probably their best customer! I help other Kindle readers learn to access Overdrive as it’s a great way to borrow books.
I occasionally read books on my iPad as some library ebooks are not available in Kindle books.
I also have started to read ebooks on Glose which carries the Simon & Schuster published books. I often get free books from the publisher each month. Not sure how that happened but it’s a great bonus.
On a rare occasion, I’ll read a hardcover book but only if I can’t borrow the Kindle version.

Michele: I guess I’m old school because I prefer physical books. Perhaps it’s the throwback sensory of checking out the maximum allowance from the library as a kid and then devouring them in a race with my best friend to see who finished first. I like the feel, smell and sounds of turning pages. My fingers still have memories of flipping through the library’s card catalogue.
I have a tablet, but after daily use I turn to what brings me comfort every night before falling asleep. A good physical book is like a glass of warm milk.

Bev: To answer you about how the pandemic is affecting my reading–not at all! I’ve been borrowing ebooks from libraries for years, and frankly get a little peeved when I have to go to the library for a hard copy because an ebook isn’t available. If you are adventurous, you can borrow not only from your local libraries where you have a library card, but you can also get temporary cards from various libraries around the country because of the pandemic and physical libraries being closed! What a bonus! To start, explore county libraries in adjoining counties to where you live. For example, I live in Palm Beach County, FL, and to my south is Broward County. They will give any resident in FL ecard privileges even when not in a pandemic. A friend of mine who always bought ebooks can’t thank me enough for all the money she is saving. Then, you might google something like ‘largest ebook libraries’, or something similar, to find a list of libraries that have a lot of inventory. Not all libraries are equal. You can try to sign up for a library card at those. Nothing ventured… Another good resource for ebooks that are a bit older is It’s completely free and available to anyone. Happy reading!

Graeme, I decided to read the Hunger Games books, but when I saw that the author had an earlier series, I had to start there. The Underland Chronicles was engaging enough, and I was glad to have found it. Finally, the Hunger Games came available from a library (I had it on hold at about 5), and you are right, the movie really did it justice. I’m almost done, and look forward to the rest of the series.

Glad your daughter’s b’day turned out enjoyable for all!

AJ: Hey Graeme, I am exactly like you, read everything on my kindle, buy from Amazon. Use kindle unlimited when possible. The only time I read on my phone are the very rare times I don’t have my kindle with me and have some time to read – usually when it gets left on the charger, which thankfully it only requires about every 8-10d

Carmen: I’ve been listening to books for years.. used to get them from the library in cassette form then later CD. Now I’m dating myself but no matter… I always wanted to be able to knit, crochet or watercolor or the craft of the moment.. or just walking miles for excercice, and read at the same time. So when my mom recommended BOT (books on tape) as they were known back then, I jumped at the chance and never looked back! What a treat to listen to a story being told by a narrator who brings the characters to life! Nothing like it! I will say, I borrow 90% from my library, which by the way, now I can get 10 books a month vs 7 because of covid19 so that is a plus! I use mostly Hoopla and Cloud Library download to my phone and I’m good to go.
I also read tons on my Kindle with Kindle Unlimited. I always seem to have ten checked out at once! Lol but I’m sure you know how that goes.. right now I’m enjoying two series that I’m totally invested in. Detective Inspector Munro (Scottish policeman)and Charlie West by Pete Brassett love the characters and humor. And the other series by L.J. Ross the DCI Ryan series.
So to sum it all up, I love mystery series, my Hoopla and Cloud Library and my Kindle never go anywhere without them!

BTW, Happy Belated 13th to you daughter! Sounds like everyone had fun! Albeit a few extra pounds but a small price to pay and your wife got a cooking vacation! That’s a win in my book! Lol

Chris: I’m happy to share how I kept reading through this pandemic when the neighborhood libraries closed down for a while. I’ve enjoyed using overdrive, which is a way to check ebooks out from the local library. I’ve found that they have a pretty good selection and so I look there first if I’m searching for a book. The best thing is that if I have to wait for an ebook to become available, they will let me know when it’s ready for me to download. When the book needs to be returned, it is done automatically, which makes it easy. They have many audio books as well as ebooks. They have limits on how many books you can check out at a time and how many books you can have on hold, but they are reasonable. Another way I’ve gotten online reading material is through Amazon Prime, which lets me read a wide variety of books as well as magazines. And, of course, I purchase the books and ebooks that I really want to keep through Amazon. Reading has kept me sane through these last few months of uncertainty.

Carl: I have always read physical books and will continue to do so. The tactile feeling of the paper and being able to go back anywhere in the book at a moment’s notice to look something up can’t be beat. Years ago when moving across country from Florida to Colorado I listened to audio books which helped make the time go y but it wasn’t the same. The one time I really enjoyed a book on Cd was driving back from Cali to Colorado with the family after going to LEGOLAND. The kids were between 7-11 years old and we stopped in Vegas to get the new Harry Potter book. That was the longest time EVER the kids were so quiet! lol

Raley: Your question is “How do I read?” I’m blessed to have a library right across the street from my home in Waimea on Kauai. I’m cursed because it’s been closed since April 10th due to the pandemic.

I’ve got a nice supply of my John Grisham favorites to reread. Funny how much more detail you pick up the second time around, when the plot is only a secondary concern.

About the only good thing to come out of this wretched pandemic

Pam: Hi, Graeme. Good to get the newsletter as always.

I have tried digital libraries – lots of different ones. I have had problems with them. Mostly, you can’t get brand new books as they are too much in demand. I want the new ones so I buy them myself. If they aren’t ones I’ll share with my friends, I will get the physical book from the library. I use Amazon to find out when they are releasing and request them right away so I am close to the first on the list to get them. Supposedly, I can request a book and am not to be notified when I can download it. That doesn’t happen very often. One of the problems – it’s a book that just sounds interesting but I’m not really that into so when I don’t get notified, I’ve already forgotten that I wanted it in the first place. Again So Many Books, So Little Time.

I really don’t like audio books. I get distracted, want to back up, but it’s too hard to find my place in the book without being able to scan it. I like to listen to my Kindles as I’ve mentioned before. Text to speech is awesome, but of course, the book is right there so if I get distracted I can easily find my place. I read Jane Harper’s first book, The Dry that way. I had it checked out from the library, but didn’t get it done in the three weeks I could have the physical book. Again (reading too many books at the same time.). So I decided to go for an audio edition, which I could actually download right away. I couldn’t match up where I was in the audio book compared to where I had been in the physical book. I’d thought the audio would include a digital copy so I could do both read it and hear it. That’s what I get for thinking. I did manage to get through it and it was a good read so there was no loss there, but it reads slower than I do, and there’s way too much theatrics that slows down the story. My brain supplies all the theater I need when I read.

Digital books are a great way for many people to read. Of course, internet access in much of rural country is sketchy at best so where I live no everyone has access. Plus, there are many people who do not have access to computers, phones, or tablets so that makes it hard as well.

Perhaps, (US person here) Congress or whoever will actually take note about the inadequacy of technology in the rural areas and do something about it. I, for one, am thankful that I have enough to allow me internet access and the wherewithal to purchase books, or as you said, hello Kindle Unlimited.

I did buy Replay, which arrived late last week. Our libraries are reopening and the books I’ve been waiting to read and return have to be finished pretty quickly so Replay will have to wait. It looks very promising. I look forward to it as I do so many of your recommendations. I am going to also look into Lockdown by Peter May.

One of my. Good retired teacher friends stopped by this morning on his way home from the hardware store. We both laughed about people who are complaining about so many little things. We both have read books and more books for years and continue to do so. How can you ever be alone or bored when there is always another book around the corner? It’s comfortable to have good friends with whom you can always pick up a line of conversation centered around the books you have read. Whether you have seen that person in the last twelve weeks or not. Books rule.

I’m glad you figured out a way to celebrate your daughter’s birthday. That sounds like an excellent alternative. There will be plenty of sleepovers and chances to hang out with friends in her future. Home and family, and delicious food are a great way to pass the time.

Michael: Hello, and very cool question.

Unless I am forced to do so, I will never read a book using an e-reader, or any other electronic device. I will read books as I did as a child on up, a physical book.

A hardcover or paperback book shows the accomplishment of an author putting pen to paper. It has weight, size and I still have the excitement of turning a page, getting to the next words the author wrote.

I don’t care about changing font size, swiping left or right to go page by page. It’s too cold an experience.

I would rather hold a hardcover copy of Stephen King’s The Stand than read it on a lighter e-reader, its not the same. Yes, there is a price difference from buying a physical book and buying the digital version. But I don’t care, give me the actual book – it’s worth paying more.

Mary: On the question of how I read in this lockdown I use whatever I can. Luckily I have purchased really cheap books from my local library’s Friends of the library book store before the lockdown. There are over 200 books on the shelf. However being just a mite OCD about how I read series always in chronological order I’ve had to purchase some books from thriftbooks on line and Amazon. I read both real books of paper or use my kindle. Though our library buildings are closed I still can get some kindle books from DMZ. Not being very good with technical stuff I could also use Hoopla from our library during lockdown but I haven’t figured out how to do that. Luckily our library has opened curbside pick up so I can place holds on books and pick them up outside at a table and still social distance. They sanitize the books and hold them for 24 hours before giving them to the patrons. Being 72 years old and having some underlying issues I need to be careful and I need to be frugal. There are a few books that my library doesn’t have in their collecdtion and the kindle price is too dear so I’m waiting for the library to open their interlibrary loan again. Then I can get those books for $3 each instesd of 14 on amazon kindle. I’ve always been a library user from the age of 6.

Martina: I read on my Kindle since the libraries are closed. I have so many books on my Kindle- that’s a good problem to have! I had used Overdrive, but I always had issues with it. I now use Libby from the library which is fantastic! I have a library card for 3 boroughs and if 1 library doesn’t have the book, I try the others!
Once the libraries reopen, I really want to start getting books from there, but I’m a little nervous about any germs on the books! I always love to hold a book, but I have to admit that the Kindle is very convenient. The only flaw with the Kindle is there’s no “ new book” smell!
Thanks for a great site and good books!

Lynn: Oooo…my Kindle bill is not pretty!
With that said…BRAVO! my local library(ABBE Aiken SC)…they are doing drive-by pick for phone in or email request…they let you know when they have your books-drive to parking there- call the desk- they bring books to a table! It’s awesome

Louis: Good morning to all: I am luckier than some, having our upper mid west library recently open only for electronic order and pick/up. Five days a week, 9 to 5. Typically, the staff takes less than 24 hours to “pull” the books and call me. I may be old fashioned but I like a book in my hands. Have I checked out Amazon and its Kindle sale promos? Of course. Since college times and recalling long ago high school days with our town library though, the vision of owning a back lighted, thin, plastic device does not make me leap at it. It is tempting and I do understand how fine it would be to have The Goldfinch or War and Peace in an efficient device such as Nook or Kindle, etc. Maybe in the future but not now. One other thought – I like taking an old friend off my book shelf and revisiting the story again from time to time. Travis McGee comes to mind. I do believe I hear my phone ringing…….

Linda: Good newsletter as usual. Question how do you read your books? Well, I have my own little library of 6 bookcases-lol. , plus I buy from Thrift Books and our second hand shop, plus Amazon Kindle and Bridges Overdrive free books. I got a kindle for Christmas so am obsessed with it. I order books on Bridges Overdrive, but the most popular books take several weeks or months to get. I still like the service, however. It is just like going to the library without the steps. Some day I must start the Bosch books. I have quite a collection of them, but other books just keep getting in the way. This month it was Lisa Gardner’s two latest ones. Just now finishing up “Never Tell” and it is a smash hit as usual. I love D.D. Warren books. I ordered a second hand copy of Replay, so will give it a try on your recommendation. Looks promising. There are so many books out there worth reading. I did start a book this month and quit, which is something I hardly ever do. It was “The Library”. It was a very detailed look at the start up of libraries and the fire of one. I found it too boring for my taste. I really don’t like non-fiction unless it is a good mystery/murder. So, I sent “The Library” back to Bridges Overdrive and felt good I had not purchased it. Have a lovely beginning of summer, stay cool.

Liana: How do you read? Physical or digital? Ereader or tablet? What apps and resources do you use?

I can’t stand reading on my phone nor tablet because of battery issues. My favourite way to “read” is via digital audiobooks on my laptop! Audible is the most popular choice. Sometimes authors will promote their books in exchange for reviews, or they work with a website that allows readers to sign up for a code. It’s a win-win situation if the author wants feedback and a reader gets to choose what they want to listen to. There is no time limit, but my goal during quarantine is to get as much listening time in as possible. I also tried out Audible Escape for a month. It was great since I could borrow up to 10 titles at a time, but the selections of what I liked (from listening to the samples) were quite limited, so I ended up cancelling the service. I actually found that I have wayyyyy too many audiobooks in my Library already so it wasn’t not worth it for me to sign up for another service. This is also why I don’t subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. I also use Prolific Works or Bookfunnel to find new ebooks. From there, I will usually search for that book in audiobook format, or go to the author’s Amazon page to check out their other works. My public library also uses Overdrive, though the drawback is that lots of titles are currently signed out so there’s a long wait time.

Kris: Hi Graeme! I love that you ask this question in this medium, social media discussions of this tend to get a little snippy between the “only REAL books” and “e-books ARE real books” crowds! It will be nice that people can respond without being “@”-ed!

I read paper books nearly exclusively. I find holding a device to read tiresome, and I just get a thrill out of the soft “sush” of turning pages. I prefer to get hardcovers from the library just for condition issues, but if it’s a “must-buy” author, I buy the book in paperback when it comes out, whether it’s trade or mass-market sized. I never purchase hardcover because it takes up way too much space on my already enormously crowded bookshelves. I have had a thought to want to try more audiobooks, but just haven’t bit the bullet. The library lends books on CD, but firstly, my car doesn’t have a CD player, and secondly, I have a 20 minute commute, so it seems a little silly.

Kelly: I read primarily on my Kindle now. I swore I would never switch from physical books but the ability to read at night without a light won me over. My husband sure does appreciate it too.I still don’t buy books though. I use Overdrive and borrow from my local library. That has been very helpful for my wallet since I no longer have late fees. I love that new books get dropped into my box as they become available. I recently received a kindle paperwhite for mothers day and I love having the ability to read in bright sunlight, especially by the pool. What I don’t like is that I cant read through overdrive on it. I like being able to sync my books on multiple devices, phone, Kindle fire, and paperwhite. I read everywhere I go! The Kindle app makes it much more difficult to utilize Overdrive and my library. Its doable but a bit of a pain. I like reading directly through Overdrive much better.

Kat: i was getting all my books from the library. i never did warm up to my kindle. i have my own ‘library’ of books i can read again, good thing my memory is going so i dont remember and can read them again!

i’ll look forward to hearing what other people are doing in your next news letter

the thought of library books is making me nervous, all those germs from who knows who touched them…not sure what i’ll do in the future, may have to make friends with my kindle after all! our libraries are still all closed anyway

Karen: Hi, I am digital all the way. I have had a Kobo for years and I get all my books from the library. It saves a ton of money, especially for a paperback novel that I am not likely to reread. It also saves me a ton of space. I have a small house and nowhere to keep a library of books.

It is also great for vacations of course. I used to have to pack an extra bag full of books. Now I can fit all those books into the pocket of an existing bag. I still like the feel of “real” books, but this is just so much easier.

Have a good day and stay safe.

Joyce: I read real books when I can but I also read a lot of E books. I have a Nook from Barnes and Noble. I use Overdrive to borrow books from the library and I also subscribe to Book Bub which has a daily offering of ebooks. Some books are free and others are very cheap.
I just finished reading “The Watchman” by Robert Crais. This is a Joe Pike story. It was excellent. I am a big fan of Crais.
I am also becoming a big fan of “Order of Books”. Love your newsletter! I am finding new authors by reading it.

Jennifer Y: We are e-book readers, almost exclusively. The exceptions are hardback versions of cookbooks and of Edward Rutherfurd’s insanely long epic novels. I’ve been reading books on my Kindle since 2009. It seemed awkward at first not to have actual pages to turn, but by the second e-book, I was hooked! Too bad I didn’t discover library checkout for e-books until 2015. We would have saved a TON of money! We have signed up for online books through 3 local libraries, but also watch for e-books at sale prices through BookBub and author sites. The best thing about getting online books through the library is that my husband and I can both read the same book at the same time on our Kindles, while being at different places in the story. Best thing since “Skip Ads”!

Jennifer: Hi there,

You asked for feedback on checking out ebooks from the public library.

I got into this years ago because I live overseas, but I keep my library card active in Maryland, where I come from. I’m a voracious reader and I really can’t afford to buy everything I want to read.

At first, I only checked out audiobooks because I had an mp3 player but not a reader.

About +/- 10 years ago, I got a Nook. I could check out books on there with 3M (which is now known as Cloud Library). About 5 years ago I switched to a Kindle Fire. I’m on my second of those and I check books out from both Overdrive and 3M.

I find that 3M tends to have more popular titles and fewer of what I would describe as classics (by that I mean not only old classics, but even books that were best-sellers a decade ago). This is not a hard and fast rule, of course, just a general observation.

I really prefer Overdrive. They are trying to get me to upgrade to their new app called Libby. I tried it once and really didn’t like it, so went back to Overdrive. For one thing, when I switched to Libby, I lost my entire Wish List from over 5 years of using Overdrive!

I get the BookBub newsletter of free and low cost books, as well as your newsletter, of course, and then I get all my friends’ referrals on Goodreads. So first thing I go to Overdrive & Cloud Library to see if I can read them for free. If Overdrive doesn’t have it, you can recommend that the library acquire it, and sometimes they do and you get put on the waiting list for it immediately. If neither Overdrive or Cloud Library have what I want, then and only then will I consider buying it — and usually I don’t because there are plenty of other books out there!

Yes, there are waiting lists. Your correspondent complained that she had to wait 7 days for a book. That’s because each library pays for a license for so many copies of books. For a best seller, it might be 50 copies but a couple years later they may only have 10 or fewer of that same book. And ordinary books they might only license 1-3 copies because they aren’t in great demand. You would have to wait for a popular book if you wanted it from the brick-and-mortar library; I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have to wait for an ebook either! (I always have the maximum number of books checked out on both services, so I’m not twiddling my thumbs while I wait).

I hope this helps you to evaluate the value of checking ebooks out of the library!

Helen: Hi, Graeme

I usually buy my books (I love books) from as I am a Plum member, which allows me to collect reward points to apply against purchases and allows me free shipping and 10% off my purchases. However, I also purchase books from, located in the U.K., which offers great discounts on books and never charges for shipping – whether you order one book or 100 books. I, too, buy books from, but only as a last resort as books from Amazon are more costly and the order has to be at least $35 to qualify for free shipping — I refuse to pay for Amazon Prime.

I thoroughly enjoy your newsletter and eagerly await their arrival in my email box.

Keep up the good work.

Barbara: I have never gone for a Kindle or e-reader. I am reading a few books online to join some library Zoom book clubs but I don’t really want to read an e-reader. For one thing, I read before I fall asleep and I have heard that a computer screen such as an E-reader has will wake me up. (I have a friend who manages an e-reader in bed, by turning the screen to a sort of paper white, or yellow white, which she claims cancels the blue screen effect.) I just like a physical book. I tend to have a LOT out of the library, and one of the libraries I borrow from allows me to renew a book so many times I keep it for about 6 months, so I was dreadfully back-logged when the libraries closed for the shut down. Now, I must return a large amount of read books, but that is OK, I am almost done with the back log! But no matter what, nothing can replace a real book or paperback in my hands.

Barbara G Meyer

The cats are on day 3,721 of their stay at home quarantine. They have some lessons for us amateurs. Lessons like: Nap early, nap often. Seek out sunbeams. Eat on a regular schedule. Keep yourself clean. And most importantly, it’s OK to run up and down the apartment screaming when it all gets too much. Just take a nap afterward.

Ginny: In my city (Orlando, FL) the libraries accept used book donations and then resell the books, and profits are donated back to the library. The larger libraries have used bookstores in a section of the library, usually run by volunteers (usually $1 a book), and the smaller libraries have either a bookshelf or a book table in the library. Sometimes the libraries have sales; one quarterly sale sells books for $3 for a full tote bag – can’t beat that! Needless to say, I always have stacks and stacks of books just waiting to be read . . . If you live in an area that doesn’t do this, maybe see if you can get it started at your library, or in your area. Because I have to say, if you love books, Orlando is one of the best places in the world to live, or even just to come for a book-browsing visit, all because of the library book stores/sales. (The libraries and bookstores are closed right now but presumably they will re-open someday! But I haven’t run out of good reading material yet.)

Dwayne: I read almost exclusively with my Kindle. I have 3rd gen Kindle ( the one with the push buttons) and I think about upgrading sometimes but I can’t give up on the old familiar. I’m not sure if I could get along with a newer model. I’m also not which screen or delivery method I would like.
I said almost exclusively because I do use my phone or tablet when it is convenient, such as waiting someplace or traveling. I also prefer to use hardcover books for technical work and research.
I never thought I would adapt to an e-reader but it was easier than I expected and I love having the entire universe at my fingertips.

Donna: I prefer actual books and have enough to last me through the library closure, but there were a couple of titles I wanted to read so I used the library’s digital service Hoopla to read a great police procedural novel ‘The Snow Killer’ by Ross Greenwood. I use an app on my iPad and I can make the font bigger for my old eyes.

I didn’t get to read the next book in the Maj Sjowall/Per Wahloo series as it was checked out digitally and I’m on the waiting list. The entire series is called ‘The Story of a Crime’ and I think I found out about it through a tweet from Stephen King. The first book ‘Roseanna’ came out in 1965 and goes up to 1975. Excellent crime fiction books.

Donald: I hate to read on a digital platform, I love hardback books. When I have an author I love, I look for everything that author has written to purchase (if the library does not have it – ours is open – YEA) at either EBay or Alibris. I was introduced to Alibris by the staff at the library and you can find a book in what format you want and a flat shipping fee after the purchase. Helpful for harder to find books for me.

Deborah: I typically read on my PC using the Kindle app. Reading on my phone or tablet is too hard on my neck and eyes (usually triggering an intense headache or migraine). However, I haven’t read a book in a couple of months. Instead, I listen on my Kindle using Audible. It’s much easier on me physically plus I don’t have to worry about the pronunciation of names, etc.

I don’t like to get books from the library or Kindle Unlimited. I like being able to get a book on Amazon or Audible and reading/listening on my schedule. Plus, it’s nice to have the books to go back to (especially for a series to refresh my memory of what has happened).

I rarely buy a book since I can find a lot of freebies. I have an Audible subscription and use my monthly credit to get a book. I am also subscribed to author Robert Thornhill’s newsletter and he sends me a code for each of his Lady Justice books. For Amazon, I am subscribed to the following newsletters which offer a plethora of free/discounted books:

Book Sends:
My Book Finds:
My Book Cave:
Love Kissed Cozies: lovekissedcosiescom
Free Booksy:
eBook Daily:
The Fussy Librarian:
eReader News Today:
Free Kindle Books and Tips:
Robin Reads:

I typically download anywhere from 10-15 to 50+ books each day. The latter is usually around the holidays when many authors have sales. I used to get some authors books from services like Instafreebie and Bookfunnel or PDFs but didn’t like that they weren’t automatically put into my Kindle library and when I’d switch devices I’d have to download them again (if they were even available). I didn’t like using the apps for those services either. I also used to download books from Barnes & Noble, All Romance Reads, Kobo, and a few others but they were such a pain to get onto my Kindle and, again, they weren’t put into the library.

Debbie: I used to swear that I would only read hard copy books, but I have changed with time. Now, I order digital books to read with my Kindle app on my cell phone. Quite a difference. I get daily deals on BookBub, Book Safari, Amazon. I try not to pay more than $1.99 per book (unless it is a new book from one of my top 3 authors). Happy reading.

Don: The day before our Gov. clos tred the state, I was fortunate enough to pick up 4 Large Print Bosch Novels. I have shared them with my wife. I also have purchased several thru e-Bay. I also added purchased some Grey Man stories, although it turns out that my wife thinks they are unreal. I also purchase the latest Reichs thru Amazon.

Bill: I read primarily on my iPhone using Overdrive or Libby. I also use a Kindle reader.

Christop: I love your newsletter!

I am a books on tape kinda guy. I listen to approximately 80 – 100 books a years so quite frankly it gets expensive. I love audible as it has virtually any title that is available but at a discounted price od !!.95 per book that’s a real budget buster. I have since gone to my local library (which uses Hoople) and found that alot of books on my wish-list I can get for free. Limit is 5 per month. Also in the mix is Chirped and Google play but on for what’s on sale as they are more expensive than Audible for those not on sale.

Keep up the good work, I always get some good ideas on what author I should check out.

Hang in there during the pandemic. We are getting close to opening up again.

Bonnie: I have always loved “real” books. I was against getting a Kindle until I donated 800 books to the local rescue mission. I had always bought used books and that meant I spent $3200 for those books. I read three or four a week and I realized how much money I could save by having a Kindle. I first begin with Kindle Unlimited and then found about The Free Library of Philadelphia overdrive site. You must live in Pennsylvania to be able to access it. My local library has a site but it’s quite limited.

It took a while for me to get used to reading a book online. But four things stood out. I only had to carry the Kindle with me instead of always having a book in my purse. When I went on vacation I didn’t have to take 12 or 14 books along. The amount of money I saved was incredible. And if overdrive does not have a book in stock, if I am able to make a recommendation, it orders it for me and sends it to me when it’s in stock.

Occasionally I will purchase a book. I have six bookcases that are filled with my favorites from the past. There are also short piles of books on tables and cupboards and so forth. Books add warmth and personality to a room. But I always purchase used books because of the price and the fact that I am recycling.

Rod: Really enjoy your newsletters, and I often read the books you suggest. Big fan of Michael Connelly, too.

We live in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and have many Andrew Carnegie endowed libraries. We have a very good local library that lends ebooks through Overdrive, and I do most of my reading on a Kindle paperwhite, and also use the kindle app on a desktop and a laptop. Before the quarantine, I suppose I read 50-50 paper books and kindle.

Before the library closed, I usually read 2 books at once – one on kindle, and one paper. Do you read more than one book at a time?

Nancy: In response to how I’m reading w/ closed libraries, (or I should say, how I’ve BEEN reading because ours just reopened today; I’ve already place a hold on several books-yea!!) there are piles of unread books laying around our house (no exaggeration). So this has been a great opportunity for me to dig into that pile, & not be distracted by what might be available at the library. That has been fortunate because reading digital books is not my cup of tea. Tried it, don’t like it. Besides reading too much other stuff on a screen all day, a physical book in my hands is much more inviting. Hope your library opens soon!

Mary: I do not like to read on my kindle or phone because I am on them enough, checking e-mails, etc. So, I like ordering or buying books, preferably paperbacks, to read. After I read them, I lend them out or donate to Houseworks – a store that sells things to raise money for the homeless.

Caroline: Hi Graeme! In reply to your question concerning book consumption, I read some on my kindle via amazon mostly because they offer quite a few outstanding titles at a free or discounted prices as well as providing digital credits on product purchases that are not urgent. I have friends who utilize the library for their digital books. I do not, mostly because there is a yearly fee to belong to our country library (we live in rural area of Missouri, so the library is small). I probably should give that another look. However, I’m an old fashioned gal, who adores paperbacks and hardback books. There’s something so special about holding a physical book in your hands and turning the pages. I even go back to recheck facts, character names and descriptions and look at maps that are associated with the story which helps me to understand the action. That is not an easy thing to do on a kindle. So color me as an analog book lover trying to get along as best I can in an increasingly digitized world.

Tom: Good morning Graeme. It’s kind of strange, but I seem to be reading a bit less during these times. Then again, maybe I am reading more web-site related material than actual books. I have been reading a few books I have had for laying around for years. I also bought a few on Amazon to read with a tablet. I also get a few from the library and read them using Overdrive. Overall, I have plenty to keep me busy for quite a while. I will probably read a few more Bosh novels and I recently watched season 6 on Amazon. Then I decided to re-watch all 6 seasons. Yeah, the humidity can be terrible, but sweating a bit can help the body eliminate some of its toxins

Lois: During this quarantine time, I have been reading the same way that I would if it wasn’t a sad time with the libraries closed. I read my physical books, or my kindle. I have found though that I really enjoy physical books over my kindle these days. I have over 3k on my kindle, thanks to all the free books I get from emails and have won too many ebooks from Goodreads, which I am very grateful for. I moved several months ago from a wonderful tourist town where there was a huge library that had a book store to this little town with a really small library, so I wouldn’t even be frequenting like I was before I moved. I basically have my own library at my house anyways. Thanks for the newsletter.

Karen: I am up early because my cell phone keeps pinging with updates on the civil unrest in my area. I read exclusively on my Kindle and first check Overdrive for books where I sometimes have to wait for several weeks to get the book delivered if it is popular. If I can’t wait or Overdrive doesn’t have the book – then I buy it from Amazon.

Elizabeth: Hi,
I’m so fortunate that our local public library has resumed circulation of print books and DVD s. During the shutdown, I read books I had checked out through overdrive. Some were better than others. The selection is much more limited and it really didn’t increase due to the great increase in demand. Most of the books I was able to download through kindle which made it easier to read than the 2 by David Rosenfelt that I could only read in the browser.
Hopefully your library will resume circulation soon.

Claire: I have and use a number of sites/apps for reading and I’ll list them and what each offers:

Overdrive. Pretty much this is my digital library to borrow ebooks and audiobooks. I don’t use it that much anymore because my library
doesn’t have that many books readily available. Waitlist times can be as long as several or more weeks.

Scribd. This is a pay to read books. Like the Kindle Unlimited, except it carries a lower monthly fee and they also have other content such as sheet music and other documents. You also get perks to Pandora (ad free,) TuneIn Radio (ad free), and a host of others. They have books from the BigFive publishers which is really nice.

Glose via Simon&Schuster. I don’t particular like this one because they don’t have an app for my Kindle Fire. However, I can read books on my Kindle with an internet connection (through the browser.) One of the benefits is that every month they email a list of books of which you can download one for free.

NetGalley. This is where you can request to read Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of books yet to be published. The books are all digital copies. You do need to write a review for each book that you get approved for and you should have a social media outlet to which you can post your reviews (i.e. Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) The publishers also prefer that you post your reviews to a retail site once the book is published.

BookSirens. Similar to NetGalley.

BookIsh First. Almost like NetGalley, except every week they feature one or two books in which you can read an excerpt, then write a first impression. You then can enter a raffle for a physical copy of the book. You also collect points for writing an impression, and writing reviews. You can use the accumulated points to claim a physical copy of a book that you really want.

Of course there’s the standby Kindle First, and Prime Reading.

That pretty much covers what I use. I’m on the fence with Edelweiss Plus which is like NetGalley because I’m afraid I’ll be overextending myself due the written review requirement.

Andy: Loved your story of how y’all handled your daughters’ birthday! Stories like this that really give me hope in such contentious times.

Now, on to something else… a response to one of your reader book suggestions – the Brother Cadfael series. The author (Edith Pargeter using the name Ellis Peters) was a linguist-scholar which may be one of the reasons it is so timeless, even though it was written about an age long past. Did you know this 21-book (and 3 short stories) series was turned into a 13-episode television series (all available on DVD), a stage adaptation, and a 6-episode run on BBC Radio 4 (all of which are available on cassette and/or CD). So I think we could safely say it was rather popular.

On to your question of the month – how do I read books? Well, there are two methods – one with my eyes, the other with my ears. Sorry, quarantine seems to have me thinking I’m funny or something! Really, I use my phone for both audiobooks and usually for print as well. When not going old school (words on paper), I use the app “ReadEra” with one of the classics downloaded for free from the Gutenberg Project ( Since most of my audiobook collection (over 3,000 titles to date) are converted (or are being slowly converted) to digital I’ve found the app “Folder Player” to be the easiest. Both apps have a night mode (black background, off-white text) which I use constantly because it both saves battery life and reduces eye strain. They’re also both freeware, which really supports my very cheap nature, though I believe in subscribing when using apps as heavily as I use these. Sorry Apple users, they’re both only available on Android. I listen to audiobooks except when my task is either too noisy (like mowing the lawn) or takes too much concentration. My phone (a Galaxy A10) has good volume for some settings, and has great battery life, but both these can easily be solved by pairing it with a decent Bluetooth speaker. While there are a LOT of them out there, it’s taken me a while to find some favorites that I’ve stuck with now for a couple years. I have two that I use almost exclusively – the H2O3 by Altec Lansing which is small, water resistant, and hardly noticeable when clipped to my belt with a carabiner (included). Although perfect for most uses, it’s only 1 or 2 watts but with a battery rated at 6 hours it usually outlasts me. If I need something with more volume I switch to the Rugged Rukus (RKS200) by Eton. I believe it’s got an output of 5 watts, and while it checks in at 1.5 pounds which is much larger than the H2O3, it doubles as emergency gear since it has a built-in solar recharger and big battery so I can even charge my phone off of it during power outages (which down here in North Carolina we need to be worried about – hurricanes anyone?).

Speaking of audiobooks, my wife and I have really been enjoying the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. We’ve the first four on CD, and love them so much we’re getting numbers 5 through 8 via our local library digital download service and the online service The narrator is Gerard Doyle, who has a great flair for voices. Even more importantly, he delivers the text honestly and makes the story world quite believable, even though magic and intelligent creatures are part of everyday life. I guess you could say he plays the straight man and trusts you and the author to take you where the author intends, instead of using his voice to emphasis what HE thinks you shouldn’t miss. It’s the hallmark of a great narrator.

As always, thanks for your newsletters – invariably I find something funny, interesting, and tantalizing.

Ayesha: Love the mohawk, you should definitely keep it! I didn’t do anything drastic to my hair during iso but my eldest daughter cut her hair extremely short! She had natural ringlets that everyone found fascinating. The short curls are cute but what I always referred to as her “Koori curls” (displaying our Indigenous heritage) were gorgeous… 😢
Anyway, our local libraries have finally reopened, but during lockdown we could login to reserve books and request to have them delivered. I did reserve a couple of books which weren’t available to read online, one was delivered (since returned) and the other arrived just after the library reopened so I had to go in and collect it.
Usually I prefer to read physical books, but I do use Kindle. At the moment I’m reading a couple of physical books and one which was emailed as a pdf by the publisher (for review). I attempted to read it on my phone when it arrived but the publishers watermark across the pages was making the text separate on the phone so I switched to reading it on an iPad. I prefer physical books because if there’s photo or artwork etc inserts it’s easier to refer back to while you’re reading…
I also put in requests for the library to buy books if they don’t have a book listed in their catalogue online, which some people may not be aware you can do (not sure if it’s true of all libraries, but worth a try). If you’re waiting for a book to be released you can still put in a purchase request with your local library ahead of publication and (hopefully) be first (or high up) on the reserved list when they do get it in.
I read too many books to buy all of them myself or I’d be chronically broke!

Dub: Hello Graeme, I’ve just started an old series of books by Craig Johnson, about Walt Longmire, a Wyoming Sheriff. The series started in 2004, and the most recent was this year. They’re easy reads and interesting as well. As far as reading methods, I think I have all the bases covered. From hardbacks, some purchased, some from the library, kindle reading, my iPads, again from the library, and paperbacks/hardbacks from the annual book sale here in Aiken, SC. Can’t beat it, paperbacks $.50, hardbacks $2.00. I work the sale prep and we usually have over 100,000 books to sell, all donated. Proceeds go to the Amer Assoc of University Women to award scholarships to needy students.

Margaret: Primarily audiobooks downloaded to my phone through Libby. Also I have a subscription to Scribd.

Can your subscribers suggest books written by people of color? My ‘have read’ list is overwhelming books by white authors. My favorite genre is cozy mystery, but I’ll read all kinds. Thanks

Penny: First of all I really look forward to receiving your emails! Thanks to you my TBR list is growing!

I trade off between reading a real book and reading on my Kindle! Kindles are great especially when traveling as you don’t have to carry books and add weight to your luggage! But since I have been reading since I was young you can’t beat the feel of a book in your hands!

Our library has started “curb side pickup”. You go online and put the book you want on hold. They then call you when it is ready and they put it on a table outside bagged and checked out to you!

I also have Kindle Unlimited. This is a great way to check out new authors without spending any money!

You really need to check into Kindle Unlimited!

Thank you for having such an informative website!

Paul: I exclusively read books on my kindle although when I am out of the house and have the time, like waiting for a haircut, I read On my phone using the kindle app. I don’t find the text too small.

I get about 90% of my books as ebooks from the library. I only buy books from authors that aren’t available in the library or books my wife wants to read. I have tried three different libraries and have found that the selection varies a lot. The library I currently us, Hillsborough cooperative in Tampa is excelent. It has the best selection of the three I have tried. The overdrive app, used to download books from the library, is very easy and convenient to use. It allows me to create a wish list, place holds on books and recommend new release books to the library. By recommending books, I am first in line to borrow the book when it is released . As I read a book in a series, I place the next book in the series on my wish list. Right now I have over 100+ books and 70+ authors on my wish list.

Laura: Nowadays I primarily read on my tablet using the Kindle app. I use The Libby app to borrow from my library, but I download the book from that to the Kindle app because I am so used to the way Kindle works that it is distracting to try to use different ways to scan the pages. I have Kindle unlimited and buy some ebooks from Amazon. I still buy or borrow hard copy books, but usually to add to my collections or because I can’t get it in ebook. My 86 year old mother is an avid reader, all in paper or hard back no digital books. She still gets her newspaper every day. Love your emails. Thank you so much for taking the time.

Shelly: I read on my Kindle through two different libraries. One is the NY Public Library from Staten Island. The other is from Monticello, NY. I read from either one, which ever has the book I want is ready first. If it’s a book I really want, such as a new book, as in Robert Galwich, ( J K Rowling) books, she has a new book coming out in September), then i will be forced to buy.

Jan: I was a staunch defender of books until I borrowed from my local library a trilogy that was over 900 pages. It was too heavy to hold especially if reading in bed.
At that point I purchased a KOBO e-reader. I was then hooked on ebooks.
I now read ebooks on my Samsung tablet. I download from my local library using LIBBY or purchase from KOBO or find free or low priced ebooks on BOOKBUB.
I love your recommendations and go looking for my next read on your recommendations.

Bob: Good question –
Reading :
I read both paper and digital. I enjoy the feel of the paper so that’s probably an age issue but I do love digital especially since it saves your place, allows you to underline and highlight, and then allows you to search on those that you noted. Even with all that though sometimes it’s just nice to feel the paper.

I float between but I think are the three easiest to find books and listen. First, there’s no question that audible is the easiest and has the broadest selection. If you like listening to books I would suggest one of their annual programs. Besides getting to keep the book you also can pause it go to something else and come back to the exact same place at any time. That alone is worth it.

Second I would say that Libby by Overdrive is the next best. It has an excellent selection and can save money when you can find the book there and not have to buy it on Audible. The issue is you have to wait sometimes or you have to finish it within an allotted time slot. They have upgraded their functions and made it much more user-friendly but sometimes when they do that they cause problems with the download and being able to retain the download without problems in locking up. They’re getting better but still need a bit of quality control.

Third is RB digital. This app is directly linked to your library card and therefore does not have the selection of the first two. Nonetheless it does offer things the others don’t unless you pay for them. For instance the Great Courses. If you can find a book here it’s good but it also does not have the user-friendly nature that the other two do. That being said it’s worth having as it does have some selections that are not available on Libby. Almost everything is available on Amazon but at a price. Libby and RB digital are free. There are other apps but I find these are the three best.

I hope my reply helps. Enjoy and remember go to order of books to find out how best to listen to a series😉

Vadonna: I read both digital books and hold-in-my-hand books.

A couple of series authors you might like:

Cynthia Jarrod-Engles Absolutely great for all us Anglophiles

Rebecca Tope Cozy British mysteries set in the Cotswolds

Ivan Doig

Gail Tsukiyama

Cheryle: Thank you so much for your newsy newsletters. I love that you have added the mid-monthly edition.

I read mostly from the library. The Billings Public Library is such a progressive library with books that fit my reading habits that I find it hard to buy books. But as you pointed out with libraries closed what did I do? I had just checked out about 10 books so I read them first. Then I have a wall of books in my home office and I started reading those which I had been promising for years to do. Then our library started doing curbside pickup which has been a lifesaver prior to their reopening July 1. So I have survived. If I did not have so many books on hand I would have been ordering from Amazon and B&N, but heard there were delays there. I am a print book reader so I could have tried using my tablet but I prefer print.

Since I read extensively from the library and save thousands of dollars every year by doing so I support my local library by donating money to our Foundation and Friends. I also donate my used books to our Friends for their used book sales. I am also a volunteer as Library Board Chairperson and Secretary for our Friends group. As a Senior Citizen I have more time than I do money so this is my way to repay for all the enjoyment I receive through the library services and programs.

Tom: I tend to use my Kindle most of the time. On occasion I will use the phone and I also take out the real thing a few times a year because you just can’t beat the feel of a real book. I source a lot of books through BookBub but that can be hit and miss sometimes despite good reviews on Goodreads and also direct from Amazon.

Sylvia: I prefer to read books with pages that I can turn. And I usually save ebook reading for when I travel. I have my own collection of books at home but mostly I enjoy going to the local library. For me there is something about wandering through the rows of shelves looking for that new treasure (or 2) to borrow and bring home.

Once our library closed back in March. I decided it was a good time to return to ebook reading. I do have a few books on my Kindle app that I purchased through Amazon. But what I enjoyed most was using an app called Libby – a library digital app. There are hundreds of ebooks to browse. I find the app user friendly – you can search by genre, set personal preferences, etc. You can add books to your wish list which makes it easier to find them later. You can also download a free sample to read. And similar to the library, you can put a book on hold and you get a notification when it is available.

I feel very fortunate that our local library reopened yesterday (June 15th), with a few new restrictions of course, but at least it is open. I will be heading there this week. But the Libby app will remain on my iPad because you never know when you need a good ebook to read.

I really enjoy your newsletter. Thanks for bringing it to us.

Lois: Thanks for asking this question. It gives me the opportunity to sing the praises of Audible. I have been a member since 1999. Why, you might ask? I love physical books and have a lot of them in our home library. [My husband reads a lot too.] However, with fibromyalgia, it is a slow process to read. It is hard to hold a book for very long and my eyes get tired quickly. I first discovered books on tape. They increased my reading immensely, although they were quite expensive. Using the library helped. This slowly changed to books on CDs. Audible has made it even easier. I read while doing other things. I read just before going to sleep or if I wake up at night and can’t go back to sleep. I listen exclusively on my Kindle and use the sleep timer.

To a lesser extent, I also get books on sale from Chirp. I listen to those on my Kindle and desktop.

Audio books have been a true blessing over the years. I would miss the richness reading adds to my life. I recommend reading this way to everyone. I have developed the ability to listen while deleting email. There are a lot of things needing doing around the house that also allow us to listen to books. I take full advantage of that time.

Thank you for the work you do. It is an invaluable service.

Joe: Greetings from hot and humid Florida.

Currently the vast majority of the books I read are on the Kindle app which is on my iPad. Originally I started with just the Kindle. I actually prefer the Kindle for reading because I think it is a better quality device. However, having it on my iPad with all the other stuff that’s on that device is much more convenient, especially when traveling.
I purchase the books from Amazon directly and from Amazon through BookBub.

In addition, on my iPad, I have Book Shout and iBooks through Apple; slightly more than 50 books total between the two. Whereas on Kindle there are more than 250 books, several of which are the complete works of an author.

One thing that I do differently than most people, I have anywhere from seven to ten or more books started at any given time. Only one of the books typically would be a hardback. Since about the age of ten or eleven, currently I am 77 years old, I started to read more than one book at a time. Basically. I rotate from one to another – reading a wide variety of literature. I find this more challenging and a good way to keep the mind active.

I trust that this answers you question. Take care, stay well, and keep reading.

L&L: Dear Book Guru,
Just in time for our “Lockdown”, you hooked us on C.J. Box.
We learned with the first one we read, “Long Range” we needed to read them in order.
Can not put them down.
Great characters and settings–Farcus will become a classic character.
Plot moves quickly.
And this author occasionally refers to a book or an author who I have also read.
Thank you for keeping us from cabin fever during the pandemic.

Marilyn: I utilize the library 99% of the time. Rarely purchase books unless they are discounted or used or free e-books. Given the restrictions due to the pandemic, my library just opened back up June 1 having closed March 17. You have to request books by phone or thru your library account via internet & when your request is processed the library calls & your requests are in a bag with your name on it in the library foyer. You can only request books from your home library. Requesting from the system isn’t available as yet. So, one is limited on obtaining books to read, therefore, I have resorted to my Kindle (on my phone (books that I obtained that were free) & the Cloud Library. My husband felt sorry for me that I was reading from my phone (I was comfortable doing this) so, he bought me a tablet. I prefer a hardback book but one must adjust to the “new normal” during these unprecedented times. Happy reading everyone.

LeAnne: I read on my Kindle and real books. I signed up for Bookbub daily listing of Kindle books on sale either Free or .99 to 2.99, rarely pay more than that. I get them from Amazon. I currently have over 550 books on my Kindle! As for real books, I browse used bookstores, especially the Clearance shelves. I have some favorite used bookstores that often have hard to find books or that sell hardcover books for under $3. I also check Thriftbooks for deals. I never pay full price anymore…I can always find deals elsewhere.

I am into series reading; Louise Penny, Deborah Crombie, Margaret Truman, Jacqueline Winspear, Eliz. George, Alan Bradley’s Fluvia, and others. I also like Baldacci, Connelly, Silva, Flynn and for a break from suspense, cozy mysteries.

As for eReaders, I have no problems with my Kindle books. I don’t use my tablet at all for reading.

Mike S: I really enjoy your newsletter and look forward to it.

I, as many, find myself reading more than ever these days. I’ve accumulated quite a number of books of all sorts over the years, many that I received as gifts and/or just never quite got around to reading but now I am rediscovering them with delight. I often tend to pick one depending on my mood or whether it’s one I want to save for those times when I wake up at night and can’t get back to sleep. During those times, I especially like to listen to Tony Roberts read Stuart Woods books that I have downloaded from the library and/or Overdrive onto my small MP3 player (no reading light required!). His books are light enough and because I am very well acquainted with his characters over the years, it’s somewhat comforting to hear them in the middle of the night, like getting together with old friends.

If there are any silver linings with the this virus situation, for me, one is having much more time to read and without feeling guilty!

Nancy: I have been reading for the past three years using Overdrive and in that time have borrowed over 500 digital and audio books. Before that I had purchased about 400 books from Amazon for my kindle (all I could afford – wish I knew about Overdrive sooner). I am an avid reader of 2-3 books a week. I also love being able to listen to books on my daily hour long walks, long drives and even 1 1/2 hour drives back and forth weekly to take care of my grandchildren.

Pam: I want to say “Thank you” for this newsletter and for all you do to create and maintain it! I enjoy seeing authors that I like on here and it is great when you mention one that I know I like but had forgotten about. Your descriptions have helped me find new authors and series as well!
I read mostly on my old, but still reliable kindle paper white. I love it. If I’m studying, (usually Christian non fiction), I like the real deal so I can mark them up and write all over them. Just not the same as “highlighting” digitally.
Really appreciated this months Series list!

Pat: I read/listen to books on my Kindle Fire. I use several avenues to get audiobooks. I happen to belong to two libraries and use Overdrive or Hoopla. Have never had problem with Overdrive although I may need to wait for a popular book. I have problems with Hoopla. I cannot download a book only listen while online; therefore if I’m not home I can’t listen and since I listen a lot when either I’m driving or waiting at the doctors while hubby has an appointment (hubby has Stage 4 Renal cell cancer and we go to Moffit several times a month). I also have an Audible subscription and never had a problem with it. I sometimes have a problem with having too many credits. I always look forward to their 2 for 1 credit specials.

Doris: I currently read mostly on my Kindles. When I first received one as a gift, I didn’t really like it. ( I now own two..). I preferred holding a hard cover book in my hands, being able to turn back a few pages and check out a character’s introduction a chapter or two previously, etc. However, as I found more and more books from my local library were available on Kindle, I found that climbing into bed in the evening was a lot easier without a hard cover book, reading when the power went out was a breeze and I grew to enjoy reading on the Kindle more. It also was more than helpful to pack and carry multiple books on vacation without worrying about loosing them on my Kindle.

Occasionally I encounter a book I want to read but it is not in the Kindle format at my local libraries, but rather just ereader or an auto-book. These go on my list of making the trip to the library and borrow the hard cover or put them on my “wish list” and provide that to my grown children who always want to know what I would like for my birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day…

Kathy: There is something about holding a book, turning the page, placing a bookmark and laying it on my lap to catch 40 winks that I love. My iPad is fine when I’m away from home and in a panic to find a book.
At present I’m reading The Treacherous Net by Helene Tursten. It is eighth in a series.
I would love to hear of other Scandinavian authors recommendations.

Pat W: I am exclusively paper. I buy a lot of my books from used bookstores and charity shops, but for certain favourite authors (mostly Canadian), I buy new. This is partly because I don’t want to wait and I want to be sure to get the book as soon as possible, but also because I want the authors to get their royalty payments.
During the pandemic, I have found that I don’t want big, dense, difficult books. I also know that I have far too many books as I’d been “stocking up” for retirement. So, I’ve been focussing on reading through the stack(s) with a view to (1) easy to read and (2) likely not anything I’d want to keep for a re-read. I currently have about seventy books ready to be donated when things open up again. Feeling good about that and will continue on the purge of the non-excellent books even after lockdown. (One exception to this rule, I hope to reread the Inspector Gamache series before the new one comes out!)

Pat: Hi, I read 99% Kindle and have Kindle Unlimited. I’m very prone to hearing or reading about a new book and then I want it instantly!
I’ll go to Half Price Book Store but only if I know what I’m looking for–otherwise it’s too overwhelming with so many books at fingertips! 🙂
Love the column….

Roxanne: I read physical books and ebooks. I read on my phone, my tablet, my kindle and my iPad. I use hoopla and over drive from the library. I haven’t had any problems with hoopla.

Karen D.: Maybe I’m just too old fashioned, but I still read hard and soft copies of books. I am on a computer so much, that I just can’t bear to be on another electronic device. I love the feel of a real book; being able to go back over pages I want to reread for content, and to quickly be reminded of a certain character in the story to which I initially paid little heed. And no matter where I go, I always have a book in hand, reading at least a few pages while I wait for a doctor appointment, vehicle service, or riding in the truck. I have quite a large book collection and keep an excel spreadsheet to make notes about all the books I’ve read, and not read, comments, and when I have read them and reread them. And for those that I never want to read again, where and when I have donated them. I also have a passion for cooking and baking so have bookshelves of cookbooks, where there is nothing better than jotting down in them when I’ve tried a recipe, how I might change the recipe in the future, to whom I served, and rather or not my husband says “don’t put this on your wanted list”. Thanks for asking.

Joyce: I read mostly digital books on my iPad (I also have a stash of my favorite paperbacks for when I wanna feel paper in my hands). I have three basic sources of digital books.

In order of preference:

Jenny: There is nothing better to me than a real book written on paper that I can hold in my hands to read (preferably paperback!) At the moment I’m reading Julia Spencer Fleming and loving them. Thank you for the recommendation.

My husband and I listen to books on CD as well, and have all our favourite authors – Connelly, Silva, Harlan Coben, Grisham, Lee Child, James Patterson, Baldacci, Kyle Mills, you get the drift! We can go back to where we both remember from the evening before so easily. Really do not like reading from any kind of other technology. With our library closed for so long, we had a really dry spell and have finally been able to order some books.

Thank you for the extra newsletter ! Hope I have no spelling mistakes!

Eugene: I prefer a book to Kindle or any form of ereader Tablet, phone or computer reading only if I can’t find a specific book in a store.
Love reading!!!
Thank you for your emails as I find many book ideas from you and all your followers.

Eileen: I read exclusively on my tablet. It is a Lenovo (Andriod OS) and was less expensive than a Kindle and still gave me accesses like a tablet. I had been using Libby for book check outs from my local library, but it began not wanting to display content. Overdrive began to have the same issue. For now I have found the Kindle app to be fine with library check outs. I preferred Libby as it kept a history of books I had read and had easy menu options. I’ll take any app that will allow me to check out books from my library. Thank goodness for eBooks, eReaders and libraries that allow you to check out books for free (tax dollars at work). I could not get through this pandemic without books!

Cynthia: read a great deal and so use the library for most of my reading material. Ensuring I have enough reading material during the pandemic could have been challenging. I very much enjoy reading from a book instead of on a screen but purchasing my books would put me in the poor house :). A couple of years ago I was given a Kindle as a gift and accessing Overdrive on it means I can get books from my library. I do still prefer reading from a book but there are advantages to using the Kindle – easier to carry in a purse, lighter to pack a dozen books when travelling and books get delivered to my couch. I expect the Kindle will continue to be part of my reading experience.
Thanks for all the information I find on your site.

Brenda: I get 95% of my books and 100% of audiobooks free from the public library via overdrive, 3% free from Amazon (not Kindle Unlimited) and 2% I buy from Amazon or Christian

Love, love, love your newsletter and couldn’t survive without! Please never stop!

Alice: How I read books: paper books from GA public library system & from book sales, e-books & audiobooks on my Kindle fire or Sony reader sourced from BookBub, Audible & Chirp.

Fran: My husband and I read paper and Kindle books almost equally. We then advise each other as we know each others tastes. On hot days you can sit on the porch in the cool of the night, leave the lights off and lighten you Kindle. It also works in Motel rooms which have notorious bad lighting.
He bought “Pandemic” and “Geome” by A.G.Riddle on the Kindle. Talk about timely. They were both written in 2017, and you will find 2020 right in there. I do not want to give away the plot but you will find out a little how the WHO and CDC operate in emergencies. We could not put them down.
We also got 4 more of another series he did (for 99 cents) and are looking forward to that.

Carol: I discovered Kindle many years ago and love it. It travels with me wherever I go cause it’s so easy to pop into a purse or backpack or pocket (a large one!).

The Fire Tablet is heavy, but I enjoy reading on it because the screen is larger and the list of books read and books to read is easier to access.

I have found in my 83 years that people are either Kindle readers or not!

Thanks for all you do for all of us.

Jane: I get e books from my library with no trouble at all. I have downsized and am limited with space so the e books are great! Read them on my I pad and when finished return them to the library. A win-win for me. I must confess I still do buy a few books I want to reread and keep!

Stuart: I prefer reading on my current Ipad and a Samsung Tablet prior to getting Ipad bypassing the hassle of going to the library and worrying about returning a book. I have three sources for free books. One is Kindle using their app. I also have two library memberships using Overdrive. One here at the Waxahachie, TX library and one at the Brooklyn, NY library. Between the three I can normally either borrow right away or go on a wait list. From time to time there isn’t a free Kindle and neither of the libraries own the digital version. In that case I will recommend the book and move onto a different read.

trekifreak: I use overdrive through my library. Use a nook tablet for reading and my phone for listening.
Yeah ,sometimes it can be a long wait which I blame the bookmakers for being so tight and the readers who all want the book now. Even old books (30 40 years) there have been 2 3 weeks delay. Recently I’ve been re reading books in order of favorite authors.

Sue B: I have always shaved my head and donated my hair to cancer. Just before pandemic went to hairdressers cut it and dyed it instead.
My daughter (13 years old) shaved hers to support her aunt with cancer and she keeps being called a boy (even I have called her by her brothers name, from the back it has been hard to tell)
During pandemic I decided I should put a new modular and remove the old trailer we was living in not a lot of time for reading and it been a disaster. Hard to get things down due to the virus, should have thought this through a little more, live and learn.
I have shown you my many book shelves and spent a lot of time getting the whole series to a lot of authors so I am reading the series by a physical books. I go to book sales at libraries, just can’t afford to buy new so it takes time to find all the ones I need. I have no wifi due to no hydro we r going on our 2 Nd month. The whole moving thing, we really are enjoying camping in our own yard staring at our new home that we r unable to live in.
Due to people sitting at home people have been selling their book collections so I have started a couple new authors that I am hooked into such as Linwood Barclay.
Keep up the good work

Susan: Hi Just wanted to let you know that I too had only purchased from Amazon for my kindle. Well about 6-8 months ago I decided to enroll In my local library to borrow books. It took 6 months to get one of the titles which I enthusiastically read. A month later 3 titles all became available at the same time. I started reading the first and suddenly the library decided to put through an upgrade to their program. To make a very long story short, the upgrade changed colors, fonts and the ability to turn pages to a 10 minute chore. My kindle is messed up, the 3 books went back to the library unread due to time constraints and The library is “looking into the problem”. When I can remove the library program and speak to Amazon for help in restoring my kindle, I will never consider borrowing books again!

Deb: I read mostly – 95% – on my Kindle. Some books I just want to hold in my hand. I tried the local library system, but in our small metro area you had to jump through a lot of hoops, including, for some mysterious reason, having to apply for a new card. Kindle Unlimited rarely has the books I’m interested in. So I just continue to pay and pay.

Liked the Mohawk, but your head looks cold!

Julie W: I am normally a physical book reader and huge user of my wonderful local library. Even though my state’s libraries closed down with the pandemic, my library continued to fulfill requests. Once a request becomes available, they go ahead and check the book out then put it on a cart in the building vestibule for pick-up. It’s great! Even so, I have also started using my Kindle more – especially since discovering an app called Libby. I associated my library card with the app and the interface makes it very easy to place holds and borrow. I am currently working through the Robert B. Parker Spenser series in order (thank you Order of Books!) and enjoying the near instant gratification of having the next book ready on my Kindle without having to leave my chair!

Sue N: Having my library closed was the hardest thing for me in our stay at home. I get most of my books from them and a few from Overdrive to read on my tablet. I recently started the Louise Penny Inspector Gadget (sorry I couldn’t resist) series. I was on a long wait list at the library so I was happy to learn that a friend has many of her books. Happy again to be stocked. Unfortunately I can’t read them in order, but thrilled to have them now in any order. I love your newsletters.

Sue H: I always read on my tablet. I prefer to use Libby but something use overdrive. My library also offers Axis 360 but I don’t like it. Fewer options for size of font and the page sometimes rolls away. If all else fails I will read a hard cover book.

Stephanie: Hi Graeme, This is one of those questions that can be labeled “personal preference”. For me, I read actual, not virtual books. There is nothing like having a book
in my hands and turning the pages. I tried one series a while back on my iPad – but just didn’t care for it. It didn’t have the same ‘zing’ for lack of a better word. But
different strokes for different folks, as they say.

As an aside, I was a bit surprised to see that Lucas Davenport (John Sandford’s protagonist) dropped off your list of ‘favorite authors’. Or perhaps he was never
on it. In any case, I love Virgil Flowers as well, but Lucas is who brought this series to life and he, like Bosch, remains one of my favorite characters. I’ve read the
Connelly series all the way through twice but you’ve sparked an interest for me and I think I will start it again.

I just finished “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger. This is a powerful book written by an exceptional writer. I just ordered his first four books in the
Cork O’Connor series from the library – thankfully, it just opened back up.

Things are opening up here in Florida, however, the Covid cases keep going up – so as much as I want to, I’m not ready to stick my neck out and visit
a restaurant or pub (unless its outside).

I went rather far afield from your question

Sally: Thankfully I was told about Libby prior to the shutdown. What a life saver.
You just add it as an app, note any of the libraries where you have cards. Once you choose a book you have the option of reading on your phone or Kindle. You can adjust font size, dial in your reading preferences, put holds on books, rate books, etc. You can read a sample of the book, return books when you’re finished or want to bail.
My Mother moved in with us for 2-1/2 months and I was able to link her phone to my account.
It doesn’t have every book and popular ones you may have to put a hold – just like the regular library.
I LOVE the library, you should definitely check it out. I told my librarian that if she sold chocolate I wouldn’t have to go anywhere else!!
Keep up the great work, I look forward to your emails and usually read one or two of the new to me authors.

Rubie: Good morning,

Thank you for putting together your newsletter. I always look forward to reading it!!!

I read on my kindle 95 percent of the time and a print copy occasionally. For entertaining myself while on the treadmill, I still use my original old kindle which does text to speech. Just don’t want to use my phone or pay for the audible. It is great to follow along on the kindle with touching it and I am just plain cheap.

Rosemary: > How do you read? Physical or digital? Ereader or tablet? What apps and resources do you use?

I usually prefer actual books, but recently had a wonderful experience with a Kindle/Audible combination of Trevor Noah’s ‘Born a Crime’! That was my first experience with having both Kindle text and the audio of a book.

I could glance at the text to follow along with Trevor reading the book. Very helpful for those South African names and phrases. He is an excellent reader and of course that enhanced my appreciation.

So occasionally I will read using the Kindle app on my tablet to read books from Amazon or from the library, but most of the time I’m trying to reduce the backlog of books in my house.

When I’m knitting, I like to listen to audiobooks on CDs or even in extreme situations, on cassettes! Streaming isn’t a good option with my DSL internet connection.

puzzlen: I read almost exclusively by Audio book. I have access to two libraries and haunt them looking for books.
I am embarrassed to say that I have collected 12 Creative Zen mp3 players (5@ 60gb and 7@ 30gb) over the years
and I keep them so full sometimes I have to delete a book to add a new book. Need I add that I am slightly OCD, I
say with a chuckle.
I use your newsletters each month to search for new books and new authors. I stick mostly to the mystery-thriller
genre. Authors from other countries bring a different perspective that I thoroughly enjoy.
Some authors do not publish on Audio book or one of a series will not show up, so I use my notebook to take care
of that.
Keep up the enjoyable newsletters each month and enjoy Harry!

Priscilla: Interesting question: so how do you read books. About five years ago I converted from my Kobo e-reader to audio books, exclusively. Finding time to sit and read wasn’t working for me so I tried audio books and haven’t looked back, pardon the pun. The convenience of listening when driving alone in the car, or gardening or doing household chores has allowed me to enjoy many more authors and novels. And the pleasure of having someone read me to sleep is a bonus. Kobo is my source for audio books but Audible (Amazon) is a source as well as “AudioBook Cloud” from the public library.
So sit back in your lounge chair, close your eyes and “read” a book.

Pat: This is my first email to you. I have just found Order of Books. I am enthralled with your whole site. I love to read and have been known to stay up until I finish a book I really enjoy. I have a new Kindle but I really love to hold a book in my hands as I read. My taste in reading material is eclectic.
I read almost anything when desperate except sci-fi. I recently read a book called Road to Liberation by multiple authors. It was six different stories about WWII some pretty graphic. I love history and I am a family historian so since my fathers served in WWII I read this book. It’s not for everyone but it really reminds you that schools really don’t get to teach much about our history. I was shocked and saddened after reading these stories. They are fiction but historical fiction that helps you understand how it really was. Thajnks for listening and thanks for thi8s great site.

Pam: I’ve been reading your newsletters but, sorry to admit, not responding with feedback.
First, I’ve been so happy to read that you went back and tried again the Harry Bosch series. You and I had discussed the series several months ago and, at the time, not into it. I’ve read them all and they continue to be a favorite.
I recently began reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and am totally obsessed with the series. I have #11 sitting on my coffee table waiting for me now.
I’m truly like to have a “real” book in my hands, but have used Overdrive on my tablet. I use my library for all of my books. With the pandemic, the libraries were closed until last Monday but they did offer a drive-thru pickup window. Thank goodness!
I do enjoy your newsletters and use your site frequently. Thanks to you for both.

Mishawn: I have been re-reading some of my favorite books that I have on hand and also downloading from Amazon. I am discovering new authors that I have never read before and enjoying it!

Matt: My mom was a reader who insisted that I learn. So by the time I was 5, I was eagerly diving into The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift books, as well as any comics that came my way. I’m 68 now so I spent many years with a book in my hand or pocket before the electronic option came along. I tried, but I wasn’t able to get away from the thrill of turning pages. So now that I am retired, I am trying to keep my book spending as low as possible. I’m a fast reader and a normal 400 page paperback will last me about 4-5 hours, usually spread out over 2 or 3 days. I collect and therefore keep 98% of the books I buy so I make regular visits to a couple of used book stores with my list in hand, on my phone actually. My favourite is a place called Neighbour 2 Neighbour. It is a non-profit that accepts items as donations, books included, resells them and uses all the income to help families that need groceries, home staples, medicines or whatever. They sell used paperbacks, generally in good condition, for $1.50 each, and that allows me to get 10 books a month. They don’t have a huge selection, and some months I don’t find 10 that I need for my collection, but I can always find 10 that I want to read. When I don’t have a new-to-me book to read, I will head to a section of my bookshelf that I haven’t visited for awhile and do a series re-read. I have a few series that have been re-read a couple of times.

Mary: Hi again!

I read from my Kindles (I have 4! Never have to stop if the battery is low. ☺️). I get my books mainly from the library, as Jefferson County, Alabama has a library co-op, so we get most of the good ones. Occasionally I also find some Prime Reading books that cut the wait line at the library. I am a Prime member, but no longer take any of the Prime First books, as most that I have tried seemed to be self-published & in-edited or poorly researched. Am retired and about to move beyond the “mid 70s” age, so the free library book lets me broaden my reading opportunities without narrowing my pension.

Love your newsletters & have found many of my favorites through your recommendations and reviews. Thanks for nurturing my reading adventures!

Marty: I agree with you. It is so easy to order from Amazon, receive the book immediately, and read on Kindle with any size type I wish.

Lois: How do I read. I have many physical books and more on my kindle that I bought several years ago. I have found though, that I really love the feel of a book. I receive many emails with free book links also that I download to my kindle. I bought the kindle because of the lightning so I could just close the cover of the kindle while lying in bed, then I wouldn’t have to get out of bed or even roll over to turn a light off. I find though that even with the many great books I have on my kindle, I forget that they are there because I can not physically see them. I have one stack of my TBR sitting on my nightstand which is where I put the books that I am going to read next. I think it is an out of sight out of mind thing.

Loretta: It makes my day reading your columns, thank you so much. BTW, I read ebooks on my iPad.

Linda: Since I haven’t been going much of anywhere the last 3 months, I been a voracious reader. I own a Kindle Fire 7 & a Kindle, so when I order a new book, it goes to both of them as well as my cell phone. That way, if I’m reading all day (as I did with the entire Outlander series) & I run the battery down on one, I plug it into the charger & pick up the next device to keep reading. At bedtime, though, the recommendation is to not use a device, as it can interfere with falling asleep, so I keep a paperback book in the bedroom to read while my husband takes his time to get ready for bed after walking the dog. The kitty lies on my chest & I read while she purrs. My next book upstairs is DUST by Philip Pullman. I love his writing! I met him when the sequel to the Golden Compass came out. He came to the United States for a book reading/signing & was at a local bookstore. I figured the place would be packed, so I went an hour early, as did another lady. She & I had him to ourselves for that hour! He was delightful! I’m a retired teacher & I’ve used his books in my classroom, too.

Kat: i like reading hard back and paper back the best. i have a kindle but hardly ever use it. im just used to holding the book and turning the pages, kindle is not the same. i am currently re reading what i have when i have time, which is hardly ever now that im taking care of my 90 yr old mom full time in my house. i used to get library books but i think about germs now and doubt i’ll ever be able to do that again…im not sure about the future, the kindle might be the only way i can read new books. i dont buy books, all the ones on the kindle i get free. lots of free kindle book sites out there

thanks for asking, keep safe, dont venture out too much too soon. i like the hair cut!

Karen: Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your site and emails…. so, how do I read? I mostly read on my Kindle, rarely on my iPhone unless I’m waiting in a long Costco line. I love, love ‘real’ books but I find it very tiring on my older eyes to read words off paper so the Kindle is a blessing for me. I have over 3000 books on my Kindle so in an attempt to save money I use Kindle Unlimited and always check there to see if the book I want to read is available. I also use my local libraries extensively to see if they have ebook copies of a book I want to read. I’ve even made recommendations to them and they’ve bought the books I wanted to read. Occasionally, the books I’ve borrowed can only be downloaded to my iPad as there is no Kindle version available and that’s usually the only time I read on the iPad. Our local county library has a massive collection of ebooks and I am so thankful for that! Since I’m retired and read constantly I really appreciate being able to save money. They also have a massive audiobook collection and I listen to books when I’m driving or working around the house in one spot for a while. There are some great audiobook readers out there. I also find it a crime against nature and so totally wrong that all the Ebooks I buy from Amazon don’t really belong to me so I will do whatever I can to avoid buying ebooks. Though I sometimes don’t have a choice when a favorite author releases a new book. Anyway, I know this is probably way too long…but we love to talk books, right? By the way, I sometimes preview books for my grandchildren and have several books that were incredible and I really enjoyed and would recommended even to adults. The Mo and Dale mysteries by Shelia Turnage (I bought the hardcovers and loved the audiobooks, which I borrowed from the library). Right now I’m reading Wish by Barbara O’Connor which is a great story set in the South about friendship and family. And a Newberry winner, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry about the Danish resistance movement in WW II that saved 7000 Jews. A great, inspiring story. So, way more than you wanted, I’m sure. But, keep up the good work!

Joyce: I read in bed so like the feel of a book in my hand. I buy books from the sale at the library and occasionally buy a new book on Amazon. Since the self quarantine I have been buy all my books new. I have a reader, but it just isnt the same.

Joanna: I can’t imagine reading without turning pages…and I keep buying books (usually used)…
Thank you for your newsletters…

Donald: I am a hard back book reader if possible. With the library closed, (that are back open here) I was ordering books using Alibris and E-bay. I love paper in my hand and I do not have to worry about battery life or cracked screen.

Debbie: Good afternoon from the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I check out as many actual books as I can from our library because funding from the county is based on usage. We have a small library and need all the $$ we can get! Also, there’s just something wonderful about holding a book in your hands. That being said, I also check out a lot of ebooks through our library’s OverDrive connection….and of course I buy the occasional book from Amazon. Especially if it’s one I’ve been waiting for and it’s not available locally. Am currently reading Riviera Gold, Laurie R King’s latest installment in the Russell/Holmes series. Bought it on Amazon…just couldn’t wait for the library.

Thanks for being a great source of inspiration and information for all us bibliophiles

Elizabeth: Love the question since it’s very timely for me. Until the library closed I read print book checked out from our public library. I had to transition to kindle books. There selection wasn’t as great and there were fewer copies of new releases with increased demand. I’m so glad circulation has resumed. I’ve never tried audiobooks since I think my mind would wander too much as it does during podcasts. I almost never buy books for myself though I give them as gifts. Lots of readers in our family. I also occasionally put books on my wishlist at Christmas.

Eileen: Hi Graeme. I so enjoy your newsletter, very happy you went bi-monthly.

I read exclusively on a Kindle. Last fall I read an actual paper book, and

Decided it was too cumbersome and there was no light. I do borrow books

From 3 or 4 Libraries, using Overdrive. In Pa. as long as you belong to one Library you can

Borrow at any library in the State. I also make the best use of Amazons free books thru Kindle


Also some authors let you download directly from their site, ie Lars Emmerich.

Denise: You are rocking the Mohawk, friend! Keep it for summer.
I smile when you mention Harry Bosch. Love the character and all of Michael Connelly books.
As for reading format, I was always “has to be a book-book!” Since I read through all my library books, I finally had to charge the KindleFire and start reading that. I use Overdrive and buy books from Amazon and Bookbub. Wow! Really like it. The ease and less distracting of reading with it…seems with a physical book I would look up when turning a page and get distracted.
I think when the library opens up I will continue to read both formats.

Don: Of mature years, I only read printed books even though my sons have given me 2 Kindles.

I simply do not do well on a screen.

Clair: You need to update your avatar with a mowhak!😂

Regarding this months question, I always read my books in the printed version, there’s no comparison! During our lockdown I have been ordering from Amazon and in the last few weeks as it’s easing have been walking to various gardens in my village that have been selling!

I have also reread my entire Karin Slaughter collection, Will Trent-what a series!!!

All whilst supervising my ‘bored’ 12yr olds home schooling! Can wait to get back to work for a holiday, haha!

Keep up the good work, your newsletters are amazing fun and lighthearted yet amazingly informative!

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: How Do You Read?

2 Responses to “Reader Mailbag: How Do You Read?”

  1. Angus McCoy: 4 years ago

    I love real books, and audio/CD books. During the day, I usually read a real book and, at night I listen to a story before going to sleep. This sometimes turns into not getting to sleep because I have to find out what happened. I have read books my entire life. As a teen, I was bored to death and knew I had to find something to do….I went to Library and asked for suggestion. The Librarian suggest a nice long book…..Count of Monte Christo! That is still the best book I ever read. I love thrillers/crime/mystery, WWII and enjoy Baldacci (the best), Grisholm, Silva, Carr, Winspear and any great-sounding plot. To all readers, I send my regards. Thank you for featuring “Order of Books” – I really enjoy it.


  2. Mojave Son: 4 years ago

    I still prefer reading actual books. You know, those things that come with words printed on pages inbetween hard or soft covers. Old School rules!


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