BookBub: My New Favorite Thing

Image by Wiertz Sebastien. Retrieved in Flickr. Used under Creative Commons' licensing.
Image by Wiertz Sebastien. Retrieved in Flickr. Used under Creative Commons’ licensing.

Have you heard of BookBub? It is a daily email service that alerts you to limited-time free and discounted eBooks that match your interests. What is really a game changer for me is the fact BookBub works with all major devices and eBook stores. Not so very long ago, I felt a need to declare which “eBook camp” I was in, which drove the type of device, but not anymore. This is competition at its best! And, when you download the book, it is in the book collection you have already created with your favorite eBook store. And, you don’t need an eBook reader to read your free book either.  You will be told which mobile app will allow you to read the book. For my purposes,  the Nook and Kindle Cloud Reader apps on my iPad suit my needs, then when I log in to either my Amazon account (Kindle) or my Barnes & Noble (Nook) account, the book is there, depending on who I “bought” it from. Do I own a Nook or Kindle? Yes, but I don’t even use my Nook anymore. I wanted the e-ink technology, which means I have to sideload content, which is a pain. I will use it in the summer when I am reading outside and can’t see a screen with glare. And, I find that if I turn the brightness down on my iPad, I don’t mind reading a book on it one little bit!

So, why is this a game changer for me when I have not been too keen about buying eBooks in the past?

  • I do not typically invest in  new books, as I can’t justify the cost when I seldom read a book twice.
  • In my way of thinking, buying a used book is a very disposable transaction. That is, if I pay $2.99 for a used book, I often read it, then send it right back to Savers or Goodwill where I got it for someone elses enjoyment unless I believe it is outstanding and worthy of my bookshelf!
  • In the past, I borrowed my “worthy” books to lots of people, but now, as more people are buying eBooks, my home bookshelf is not serving the same purpose.
  • Now with BookBub, getting the books free or for under $2, gets me the content, but removes the clutter from the house too. Downsizing feels good.
  • I can more easily read electronic books in bed too; not as much weight, no page turning forcing different positions in bed either, and I can read in the dark too!

Check it out, BookBub only features books that are bestsellers or written by a bestselling author, were published by a top-tier publisher, or have received strong reviews from critics and readers. However, it is quick turnaround, you almost always have to buy the same day you receive the notice. Please don’t write me off just yet as “going to the dark side”, I still put myself on waiting lists at the public library for very specific items I need. But, the long lines can feel even more discouraging when so much content is so readily available through services like BookBub!  What impact lies ahead for libraries as the user experience is so immediate and painless?