When Oyster launched in 2013, it claimed to be the e-book version of Netflix, offering customers an all-you-can-read lending library of around 100,000 books for a monthly subscription of $9.95. A year and a half later, the company seems to have realized that a buffet of sometimes unheard of books isn’t exactly what consumers are looking for. So in an attempt to bring the latest and greatest titles to readers, the company now plans to secure its foothold in the e-book market with the launch of a retail component aimed to compete with Amazon, Apple and other online booksellers. [More]
If you’re having a difficult time falling asleep after reading a few chapters of the latest can’t-put-it-down book, the bright light emitted from your eReader may to blame. [More]
You spend all day at work staring at a computer monitor. Then you come home and relax by glaring at a TV screen or squinting at a book or laptop. That sort of routine doesn’t give your eyes much of a break, so it helps to take measures to make things easier on your beleaguered peepers.
In the Information Age, the speed-reader is king. The faster you read, the more information you’ll be able to process and put to use. While skimming has its advantages, you always retain more information if you actually look at every word.
Readers used to loading up on free ebooks they download through their libraries will have fewer options available. Penguin announced it will keep its new ebooks off of the OverDrive lending program due to security concerns.
It seems that in the world of comic books, the equivalent of getting a sports car and a mistress when confronted with mortality is a wholesale shake-up that includes renumbered issues, new uniforms for its heroes and a focus on digital delivery. DC Comics, the home of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, is attempting to reinvent itself in the face of falling print sales before it’s too late.
Have you worked retail? You might be amused by a new book called Hello Do You Work Here?, a collection of illustrated true stories about crazy-making customers.
Imagine trying to buy a book from Big Generic Bookstore and watching the cashier add $5 to the sticker price. “What are you doing?!” you cry out, waving a fist menacingly at him. “You look like you can afford it,” he says back to you with a hint of entitltement. That’s basically what a publishing industry expert said in a piece he wrote last week about ebook pricing.
Walmart just tried to undercut Amazon on, of all things, books. They’ve announced that they’re now selling the “top 10 pre-selling books” for $9 each, with free home delivery. Amazon has responded by dropping its price to $9 on the same titles, but their free shipping doesn’t kick in until you buy $25 worth of merchandise (or pay the annual fee for Amazon Prime). Price war!
Great news if you enjoy books, but have the puny attention span of a person raised on television and the Interne—oh, look at the kitten!
Frugality is all the rage in the bookstore aisles these days, and Sarah Beckham of the Austin American-Statesman has sifted through the masses of butchered trees to point out three that may be worth a look to help you trim your budget.
Here at Consumerist, we love libraries. They’re like some weird, old-school version of Netflix, but with books! And free! That makes them one of the most cost-effective sources of entertainment and reference material around. Unfortunately, Ohio may gut the funding on this public resource if the proposed state budget goes through.
It’s been a little over a year since Amazon released the Kindle, and now publishers are finally getting the chance to set their own pricing on ebook editions. The result has been a slow creep in pricing on some titles—in some cases to levels above the price of a paper edition of the same book—for a digital edition that you can’t resell, give away to someone else, or read on any other device. Kindle owners have started to notice, and now some of them are complaining that Amazon overpromised the $9.99 bookstore concept to move Kindles.
To make sure you’re paying the right amount on your monthly water bill, you should know how to read your water meter and compare it to the amount your utility company thinks it should charge you. As several readers pointed out previously, in some cities you can even do your own meter reading and call in the number each month. “But how do I read my water meter?” Here’s how.
Paul wants to know how his gas company can get away with estimated meter readings instead of actual numbers, especially since they lead to much higher bills. “This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of,” he writes, “And we are hoping that The Consumerist will be able to help us out.” It’s pretty common practice, actually, and the solution is to call the company and request a real reading as soon as possible.