← 🔑

How I Read Without Amazon

Physical Books

It's hard to beat a good local library for browsing, if you're lucky enough to have one. I'm fortunate enough to find a lot of books through mine, both physical and digital. Want to use your local library? Library Extension tells you if your local library has what you’re looking at, while WorldCat allows you to search virtually every library out there.

Library Extension WorldCat

Want to support a brick and mortar alternative to Barnes and Noble? Bookshop or IndieBound can help with that. Failing that, there's always Powell's, which is one of my local bookstores and also one of the largest indie bookstores in the world. I am, again, priviledged to have access to many local bookstores, offering both new and secondhand options. I also get cheap used books from BetterWorldBooks.

Bookshop IndieBound Boardgaming (for gaming stores) Powell's Better World Books

I don't always buy hardcopy books- I've moved enough times in my life that I really value the ability to own an ebook library- but I also enjoy owning really beautiful books, or having physical copies to read we're having Family Reading Time (yes, we're really that twee I guess) and I'm putting my screen down because my kid can't really tell the difference between me on my phone reading a book and me on my phone messing around. I especially like graphic novels in hardcopy, and I tend to buy MG and YA books I'm interested in so that they can hang around in case my kid gets interested in them later. I did a lot of exploring of my Dad's paperback collection when I was a kid, and I want to make sure my kid has that opportunity.

eBooks

The rest of the time, I tend to go for ebooks. The joy of never not having a book has not dimmed since I was trying to get books on my PalmOne, and I love having my entire Calibre library available on my phone, should I need it.

Smashwords eBooks.com Weightless Books Subterranean Press Book View Cafe Leanpub Standard ebooks DriveThruFiction Scarlet Ferret Baen Angry Robot Books Kobo

While many of the older books on Kobo have DRM, recent purchases I've made from them are downloadable and I was able to load into Calibre.

TTRPGs

DriveThruRPG itch.io

DRM-free Bundles

HumbleBundle StoryBundle Bundle of Holding

Goodreads Alternatives

LibraryThing BookWyrm (fediverse) StoryGraph Hardcover

Fanfic Ebooks

It's free! It's sometimes better than the original! It's often queerer than the original! How can you go wrong? First of all, I like to download fics in ebook format when I can:

Archive of Our Own

The AO3 has almost everything represented, it's a huge resource, and it has built-in magical epub/pdf/mobi downloads. Love it.

Ebook Library

This doesn't have a huge selection but it's curated and the fics are formatted individually. I've read fic I wouldn't have read otherwise because it was collected here.

For stuff on other fanfic archives:

FanFictionDownloader

Downloads a multichapter story from fanfiction.net, fanficauthors.net, mugglenet.com as a single epub. For when I hit a fandom that's still heavily on ff.net.

Fanfiction Lightweight Automated Grabber

Web-only downloader for fanfiction.net, and some Twilight archives.

For stuff that's on LiveJournal, deviantArt or other websites:

dotEPUB

Saves a webpage as an epub. Short and sweet. In dA, I make sure to use "download as HTML" and then save from the plain HTML doc that opens.

Instapaper

You can use folders to collect a bunch of webpages on a theme and then save them as a single epub file with a table of contents. Good for fics with chapters in multiple LJ/DW posts. Also sends to Kindle.

Other pages:

Ebook Formatting Tutorial

Is what it says on the tin. Great reference.

Where To Buy Ebooks Other Than Amazon

Jess Mahler's page, which inspired me to post my own round-up of links

← 🔑