Category Archives: General

10 Ways to Find the Best Books to Read on Your Subject

We live in an age where we are overwhelmed with choice. It can sometimes take a great deal of time to find a great book to read on your subject, but thanks to the age of the internet it is now simple to find great books. You just have to know how to look. Here are some great sites to use

1. Goodreads

This is one of the best known community review based sites to help you find books. It was launched in 2007 to use reader reviews to build up a system of book recommendation. The original idea was that if you are looking for a book, you really want to ask a friend for a recommendation. The concept grew rapidly and now you can not only see which books your friends are reading, but ask for personal recommendations based upon your reading preferences. There are now more than 50 million users making this one of the largest sites of its kind.


2. Look at Prestige College Sites

One way to find great books on your subject is to see which books are recommended by the prestigious colleges. Many of these colleges now have online open source learning. You can find out which books the recommend by going to their website and looking which are on the reading list.

3. Take a Look at Coursera

Coursera is an online learning resource where you can find great online courses from great colleges such as Harvard and Yale. For some of this you can access the reading lists online.

4. Go to a Book Store

This may seem like obvious advice, but there is nothing quite like seeing the book for yourself before you buy it. The assistants in the book store may lead you to a great book about your subject. If a book isn’t in stock, they can usually order it for you.

5. Visit the Library

What could be better than a free source of books? We sometimes forget this very obvious resource. A library may have exactly what you are looking for, and of course the biggest benefit is that you can either use the library facilities and read the book there, or borrow it and take it home for free.

6. Amazon

This is the biggest online resource for the purchase of books. Another excellent facility is that you can rent textbooks – this can be considerably cheaper than buying new books.

7. Shop at Alibris

Alibris is another well-established book seller online which has been in business since 1998. Not only do they have a huge selection of books available, but they support Independent Book Sellers. They have new and used books for sale.

8. Look at Chegg

This is a site which offers big discounts on student textbooks. Readers can leave a review, and books can be either purchased or rented.

9. Get a Great Deal on Abebooks

This is another site offering a huge choice of textbooks for sale and for rent. You can also sell old textbooks here.

10. Ask Your Friends

This is the most traditional method! The internet has opened up a big wide world, but sometimes there is no substitute for simply asking your friends for suggestions.



Paper vs Digital Reading – How to Figure out What’s Best for You: Part 2

The Paper Book Just Won’t Give Up

Digital books are unlikely ever to completely take over and make paper books extinct. Paper books have a very long history, and are most likely to still be with us many years into the future. Why might you still want to make the choice to read a paper book?

We have become accustomed to reading from computer screens – digital readers are an extension of this. They give the reader a more compact and convenient way to read a book. However, they also give us the opportunity to get distracted very easily. The Kindle Fire and the iPad both gives us the ability to search the internet, check our email or post on Facebook. This makes it very easy to get distracted from the thing which we were aiming to do in the first place – actually just read a book. How can you keep concentrating on that new bestseller you have just downloaded, if you are constantly thinking about what your latest news feed is saying?

One way to get over the distraction problem is to buy a dedicated digital reader which does not allow you access to the internet. There are plenty of options for this, the most popular of which is the Amazon Kindle.

Even if we get over the information overwhelm problem we will still keep coming back to paper books. Why? Sometimes it just feels so much better to read a paper book!

One very different thing with reading on a digital eBook is that you have much less of a sense of place than you do with a paper book. What we mean is that with a book you have much more of a sense of where you are in the story. A digital reader may have markings at the bottom of the page, but somehow it just doesn’t seem the same.

Studies have shown that it is more difficult to take in and retain information from a digital reader than it is from reading a traditional paper book. You may not get the depth of understanding and enjoyment from reading from a screen as you do from a paper book.

Lack of sleep is a serious issue and many researchers believe that reading from a digital source can inhibit sleep and cause sleep patterns to be disrupted. Sleep disorders are thought to be responsible for many other serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The light emitted from a digital reader is known to disrupt the production of melatonin – a hormone which is important in establishing sleep patterns. Some studies have shown that people who read a digital reader have sleep patterns which include less time in deep sleep, so that they wake up less well rested. It’s something to think about as to whether your late night screen reading is making you more tired.

Studies have shown that reading a paper book can actually make you more relaxed and fall into a deeper sleep more quickly – the exact opposite of reading a digital book.

Your choice of reading media may also have a serious effect on your stress level. Studies have shown that reading a traditional paper book can reduce heart rate and help people to relax. EBook readers may have the opposite effect. The ability to switch from one thing to another on a digital book can heighten levels of stress.

Only you can decide whether a digital or a paper book is the best choice. A digital book is a very convenient thing, but there really is nothing like holding a real paper book in your hands and settling down to read. You just don’t get that warm feeling that you get with your favorite paper novel. The best solution? Maybe just not to make a choice. An eBook reader can be really inexpensive these days. There is no need to take a risk – just go ahead and buy one and try it out. We bet you never completely turn your back on the traditional paper book. Somehow that just wouldn’t feel right.

Paper vs Digital Reading – How to Figure out What’s Best for You: Part 1

The way that we read books and information has changed dramatically over the past decade. It is not so long ago that it you wanted to read anything we had books, newspapers and magazines. Paper was the only option. The only choice in books was whether to select the paperback or the hardback version.

The digital age has changed all that. Now the traditional paper media which served us for so many years is being over taken by digital readers. How do you figure out which is the best option for you? Really the only way is to try out a digital reader for yourself and see if you like it, but there are definitely some pro and cons that may help you make a choice between the two.

The Attraction of Digital Readers

There are many who would say that reading in the digital age has increased choice. You have a potential library of millions of books to choose from. However, that amount of choice has created problems of its own. The digital age gives us the ability to select a book quickly. We have lots of help with our choice from reviews from fellow readers. We can log into a multitude of different sites to find out what our friends are reading to see if we want to make a choice from their recommendations. The whole process can take minutes or hours depending upon how caught up in all the reviews you want to get.

The choice can at times be overwhelming, at other times appealing. With the digital age, instant gratification is perfectly possible. No having to wait for delivery or driving out to your favorite book store.

You can own thousands of books on one simple reader. Think of all that saved space in your home. No more shelves of books that you read once, or buy on impulse and never read at all, taking up valuable square footage in your apartment. One small digital reader is all you need.

The impact on the environment is also less if you buy a digital book and leave the book on the shelf in the store. The environmental impact of the publication of a traditional paper book is much more than that of the digital alternative.

So far the digital book seems to be the ideal answer. Why would we ever want to read a paper book when the digital age offers us this incredibly convenient alternative with a choice of millions of books within our reach?