August was a busy month, reading-wise. I threw a wrinkle in my reading, as well, so the month gets two Reader’s Notebook posts. In Part 1, I discuss why I read what I read. Part 2 will cover the books themselves.

I’ve begun running into the big downside of the Kindle: the expense. I had been rolling through books so quickly that I was buying more than one a week. Thus, I decided to spend the month exclusively reading either free or low priced books.

I had scanned the free book section on Amazon many times before, but the offerings seemed to fall into four categories:

  • Science Fiction. I can handle good sci-fi, but there is the fear that free sci-fi books will suck.
  • Christian fiction. No offense to my more religious friends, but not my bag at all.
  • Romance. Also not my bag.
  • Classics. While there are a lot of old classics that are out of copyright and available for free, I have to be in the right mood to tackle these.

But after committing to a month of low cost reading, I dug deeper and found a number of interesting reads to keep me occupied. In fact, I still have several queued up that I bought for less than $3 that I’ll sprinkle in-between my $10 reads.

I’ll sum up the month as a qualified success. I read a couple books that were brutally bad. I read a couple that were excellent. The rest were all solid. I also learned you have to be careful with Amazon user ratings of these cheaper books. One especially bad book received great user reviews. After finishing the book, I went back and reread the reviews to see if I had missed something. It was only then that I noticed most of the reviews were clearly by people who knew the author and were trying to pump up the book’s average rating. Oh well. I spent less than $1 on that one, so I can’t complain too much.

Oh, and I knocked out seven books this month. That’s pretty solid.

I’ll spend most of my time reading standard priced volumes, it’s nice to have the option to mix in some cheaper books without sacrificing too much in quality.