eReading Recommendations

by Affinity Consulting Group on May 10, 2018

By Jeff Schoenberger

Two things often in short supply for lawyers are time and money. Harried schedules chase away things lacking immediacy. One thing I sacrificed was pleasure reading. Between family, work, and other commitments, sitting down to read a book was a lost joy. Thankfully, within the last several years, books have adapted themselves to our chaotic lives. Here are some ways that you can find time to read and learn while still moving at a frenetic pace.

  1. 1. Pocket / Instapaper / Safari Reading List
    For those looking to enjoy web-based articles on the go, without the annoying ads, I recommend taking a look at Pocket (www.getpocket.com), Instapaper (www.instapaper.com), or iOS Safari’s built-in Reading List (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT200294). Each of them is a variation on a theme. Safari’s feature is free, while the other two cost nominal monthly amounts. Each allows you to “save” a webpage, such as news article or blog post, for later reading. The webpage is downloaded and saved, usually in plain text, sans ads and other annoying Internet dreck. As you save articles, you create a customized “newspaper” of stories you’d like to read. The app keeps them handy, in a single location. Whenever you find yourself with downtime, just fire up the app and read an article. It’s a great way to take that “sometime I’ll read this” pile of articles, and put them someplace you can read them, even without an Internet connection.
  2. Kindle / iBooks
    In the decade since Amazon launched Kindle in November 2007, it has grown from a single hardware device to an entire ecosystem of software and devices across all major smartphone, tablet, and computer platforms. Now that books are electronic, we can easily read a bit, whether you’re curled up on the couch, waiting at the doctor’s office, or just standing in line at the grocer. In addition to reading everywhere, digital books offer the opportunity to highlight and take effective notes in a way far superior to writing in a book’s margins. Additionally, with both Kindle and iBooks (Apple’s competitor to Kindle), you can import PDFs or other non-book documents into the app for easy reading right alongside published works.
  3. Audible
    For those on-the-go non-stop, Audible turns the time you would otherwise be listening to inane DJs and turns it into reading time. Audible (www.audible.com) is a subscription service where, for $16/mo., you get a new audiobook of your choice. Audible has apps for iOS (and CarPlay), Android (and Android Auto), Kindle eReaders, and even Echo/Alexa speakers. No matter whether you’re stuck in traffic, at the airport, or just out for a walk, you can incorporate audiobooks into your daily routine.
  4. Overdrive – This service is a combination of eBooks and audiobooks. Best of all, it’s free. Really. Overdrive (www.overdrive.com) partners with libraries around the country to provide electronic resources to patrons. If you’re a member of your local library and they’ve partnered with Overdrive, you can reserve eBooks in Overdrive or Kindle format or audiobooks in Overdrive format, download them, and read them over the lending period for free in the Overdrive app available on iOS and Android. There can be waitlists, as with any popular title at a library, but you get books and audiobooks in modern, digital formats, that you can read for free. What’s not to like?

 

 

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