I obviously am a bookworm, and I try to read at any chance I can get. However, due to the rising costs of expenses and the lack of financial resources, I don't get to buy the latest releases. A cheaper alternative such as second hand bookstores or swapping my old books is the way to go. Sadly, public libraries are a scarcity here, so that is an option that I haven't really explored yet.
One alternative is ebooks. I have to admit that I am somewhat of a purist, prefering the actual printed and bound book to an electronic one. For one, I like the feel and smell of book. For another, I didn't really have a portable reader so I couldn't carry it around. I still would have to read the books via a computer.
I did have a Sony Ericsson P800, but it could only read text files, which meant a whole lot of converting and editing before I could read one book. HTML was also possible, but sometimes the viewer just won't open.
Since I got my Nokia smartphone, the option for ebooks has expanded considerably. I recently installed Mobipocket ebook reader and loaded the ebooks I had in my digital library. I can now read while on the train, or while waiting in line without the extra weight of a book in my bag.
The Mobipocket reader is easy to use. It is recommended that the Desktop Reader be installed in your PC. This will help you organize and copy ebooks to your mobile phone, where the Mobipocket reader is also installed. The Desktop Reader will detect your phone once it's plugged in and will ask you if you want to tranfer any of the new books you have from PC to phone. It will also convert your files to the mobile format.
The Mobipocket reader responds pretty fast. My settings are at default and I haven't tried tweaking them yey. I like how the software works. Say I was reading something earlier, but had to close it. Or maybe I decided to read a different book for the meantime. When I open the previous book, it will automatically go to the page that I was was in. Neat huh?
The software is free, and the site also offers some free ebooks for download. However, for more mainstream and popular titles from well-known authors, you would have to buy them. Mobipocket's site offers these books, as well as sites like Amazon.
I still prefer actual books, but having this software in my phone is still a big convenience.