For a long time, I resisted the idea of reading books on a screen. I didn’t have a tablet. I didn’t want a tablet. I was perfectly content with my library of printed books.
And then I made a major move from Chicago to Washington, D.C. Hauling all of those books was a nightmare. Finding space for them in my new neighborhood was even harder. I literally had to turn down awesome apartments because they didn’t have enough room for my books.
I didn’t want to add more books to the library, so I finally broke down and bought an iPad Mini. I couldn’t believe how much I liked it. It didn’t have the same feel as a book, but I could carry hundreds of titles everywhere I went.
This is when I decided to sell all but my favorite books. By going digital, I was also going minimalistic.
Switching to a new format forced me to learn about new places to buy books. The websites were easy to find, but they were inconsistent. When I found eBooks.com, I knew that I had finally discovered a site that met my needs.
EBooks.com is an online bookstore that specifically deals in electronic formats.
Top Features of eBooks.com
There are plenty of websites that sell ebooks. I’ve used several of them, but I keep coming back to eBooks.com. I thought about it for a while, and it seems that there are a few features that make eBooks.com more useful for me than those other sites.
I have pretty diverse tastes when it comes to books. When I was young, I basically on read science-fiction novels. As I got older, I discovered that there were other types of books that were just as interesting as the crazy ideas from Heinlein and Asimov.
Today, I enjoy a variety of fiction and non-fiction books. Science history has become one of my favorite genres. I even have a fondness for 20th century philosophy. Yeah, I know. That doesn’t exactly make me the coolest guy in town. It does, however, mean that I appreciate booksellers with huge, diverse catalogs.
One of the reasons I keep using eBooks.com more than other sites is that it has the books I want to read. For a while, I tried to use more sites just to make sure I was getting a full range of experience. I kept coming back to eBooks.com because I couldn’t find some titles elsewhere. Eventually, I decided that it makes more sense to just start shopping at eBooks.com. Who wants to waste a lot of time browsing subpar catalogs from other dealers?
I know that ebook files aren’t exactly large. Compared to music and movies, they’re tiny. Still, I’m impressed by how quickly I can download books from eBooks.com. It’s almost instant.
Good Reading Suggestions
Since I read a lot, I tend to run out of books quickly. That means I need suggestions!
EBooks.com is a great way to recommendations for all kinds of books. The site has four categories that I usually turn to when I want to discover something new:
- Just Arrived
- Featured Titles
- What We’re Reading
What We’re Reading is probably my favorite section. It always has a few titles that I have never even heard of.
The Bestsellers section is pretty good, too. It’s not just that this section tells you what other people are reading. It breaks the books into categories so you can explore the types of books that you’re currently interested in.
The Bestsellers categories I look at most include:
- Science Fiction
You can also look for romance novels, self help books, and books about religion. That covers most of the big categories, so practically anyone should be able to find a few good recommendations there.
Some people balk when they see how many books I read. They want to know whether it’s expensive. Considering all the knowledge and hours of entertainment that you can get from a book, I’d say that it is a very cost-effective option. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than going to the movies or hitting a bar.
The next section is devote to eBooks.com’s prices, so I’ll write more about this subject there.
Just like going to a bookstore, the prices at eBooks.com vary from title to title. I’ve bought novellas for just a few dollars. I’ve also spent at least $30 on a large cookbook.
I find that the prices are often a little lower at eBooks.com than they are in the bookstore. That makes sense, though. Publishers aren’t paying for paper and ink. They also don’t have to pay for printing. Those savings should get passed on to the consumer.
Luckily, it looks like most of the publishers selling on eBooks.com understand that.
Criticisms of eBooks.com
When it comes to digital books, there are a couple limitations that you simply cannot get around. The publishing industry has made strides toward embracing digital formats, but it seems to have a paranoid attitude that could hurt your experience.
EBooks.com, like all other booksellers, have to abide by these conditions. It doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Still, I have some criticisms that I think are valid. You should make sure you know about them before you buy books from any online seller.
The thing that probably bothers me most is that you cannot return digital books. I know that “return” is a weird word when talking about digital materials since it’s not like you ever have physical possession of the book. Still, you are buying content. It seems that the law should apply to that content just like it does the content in printed books.
It doesn’t look like that’s the case, though.
If I buy a book from a local seller (not many of them left these days, but there are a few), I can take it back the next day simply because the book doesn’t meet my expectations. Let’s lay it on the table: some books are terrible. They’re too bad to read. Even some of the books that get rave reviews aren’t enjoyable at all.
Unfortunately, that is not a good enough reason to return a digital book. This isn’t eBooks.com’s fault. Publishing companies set the rules, and they will not accept returns.
The only way you will get a refund for any of your purchases is if eBooks.com makes a mistake. Let’s say you get the wrong book or the book is missing content. You can get refunds for those problems. If it’s because the book falls short of your expectations, that’s just too bad for you.
The other thing I don’t like is that you cannot copy and paste a lot of the material in ebooks. Again, this isn’t a problem specific to eBooks.com. In fact, each publisher gets to decide how much text you can copy, paste, and print. Some of them have decided that readers don’t get to copy a single word.
To me, that makes some ebooks inferior to their print versions. This because especially problematic when I want to write in a book. When my book club meets, I like to have notes that I can reference. If the publisher won’t let me print so much as a single page, I can’t do that. It’s quite annoying.
I really hope more publishers realize these limitations and start making changes to meet the needs of readers.
Customer Support for eBooks.com
EBooks.com has a useful FAQ that should answer most questions. I’ve only run into a couple of minor difficulties while using eBooks.com. I found the answers I needed in the FAQ.
That means I don’t have direct experience talking to customer support representatives.
If you do need to contact customer support, though, you can do so via email or phone. The company has a toll-free number, so you won’t have to pay any long-distance charges.
FAQ About eBooks.com
Most of the materials from eBooks.com are available as EPUB and PDF files. These are the most popular formats used by Apple, Android, Kindle, and Blackberry devices. You can also use the site’s online reader through most Web browsers.
As someone who reads every day, eBooks.com has helped me save money while enjoying a wider range of books. I don’t think you need to be a voracious reader to benefit from this site, though. It has plenty of popular titles for people who just like to read on the beach or while falling asleep at night.
If you like using a tablet to read, then I have no doubt that you will appreciate the value and selection offered by eBooks.com.