My DRM-Free Year, Month 7: Humble Bundle and other subscription fun
August 1, 2013 | 12:25 pm
By Joanna Cabot
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July was a busy reading month for me. Some of my reading time was sucked up by the textbook-free online course I was taking, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed learning without a book. All the readings could be conveniently clicked from within my Web browser, and from there, they could be not just read, but saved to Evernote for searching, annotating and organizing. Very useful!
July also saw the release of a new e-book bundle from the folks at Humble Bundle. I love the concept of what they do—you can pay what you want for a bundle of stuff, but if you pay more than the going average (which fluctuates as the Bundle progresses) you can unlock bonus content too.
They do software bundles (which don’t interest me) more often, so I was thrilled to see another e-book one. I got it primarily because I wanted “The Last Unicorn” by Peter S. Beagle, but I paid the average to unlock a bonus book by Wil Wheaton too.
My first actual completed read was “Machine of Death,” a short story anthology with a concept that so intrigued me, I dove right in. I liked the book a lot; you can read my full review here, and I definitely plan to purchase the sequel.
I also have been enjoying my Toronto Star eReads subscription a lot. That is another intriguing business model which I think we’ll see more of in the coming years: It’s $1 per week, they email you a link to the new book every Friday, and there you go. There isn’t an a la carte option, but for such a low price, I can deal with the occasional clunker.
The topics this month were all over the place: There was an absolutely horrible one about the royal baby from a columnist I loathe who is crass, curmudgeonly and old school. There was another about the polio epidemics in 1950s Ontario. This week’s e-book allegedly offers everything I ever wanted to know about raccoons, which for me is not a whole lot.
What I especially like about this series is the length. They are all designed to be read in about half an hour, which means I can read and enjoy and not start feeling overwhelmed about falling behind on them.
Delphi Classics also had a 40 percent off sale which was too good to pass up. I got the complete works of Rider Haggard and Guy de Maupassant for about $3. I haven’t looked at them yet, but it’s on my to-read pile.
That was it for this month! My schedule is a little more relaxed in August so we’ll see what I wind up reading.