No matter where I am in the world, two things I always have with me are a journal and a book to read. Even when I’m at home in Dallas or San Francisco, they’re never far from my grasp.
In San Francisco, both accompany me throughout my day riding along in my city-sized purse, squeezed between other daily essentials — probably my breakfast to be eaten at the office and definitely my yoga clothes for after work. I like to know that I’m prepared to write down what’s been rattling around in my head and that I always have a good way to pass the time when plans change.
Overall, I’ve been slow to convert to reading ebooks. When I read before bed I like to be as far from a screen as possible, enjoying the feel of the paper either in my hands or propped sideways on a pillow as I’m curled up under the covers. I’m also a big note taker while reading. I underline favorite passages, dog-ear pages, and star sections in the margins.
That said, I’ve come around to ebooks, especially when I’m traveling, on the bus, or unexpectedly delayed and reading on my phone. It’s a different kind of reading for me, lighter and less full of note taking, but I’ve come to enjoy it just as much.
So I was surprised when I was introduced to a service that filled a reading need I didn’t even know I had…
It’s called Scribd, and I’ve been explaining it as Netflix for books. Their official description calls it “your personal digital library, where you have unlimited access to the world’s largest collection of e-books and written works,” with more than 400,000 books from over 900 publishers. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and any web browser. The books sync across your devices, and you can download a book to your device to read it offline within their app.
They recently announced partnerships with Lonely Planet and Wiley of the ‘For Dummies’ series, expanding their library substantially. When paired with their existing relationship with HarperCollins and many others, it makes for some great reading options.
A weekend trip to Vancouver a few weeks ago was the perfect way to get started using Scribd and Lonely Planet’s Vancouver guidebook. With a few trips coming up that require some research and planning, I’ll be using their guidebooks for Portland, Hawaii, and the Grand Canyon next! So far it’s been a great way to have access to guidebooks without having to buy each of them individually and then lug them around in your bag or suitcase.
Giveaway Promo Code & My Collection on Scribd
Scribd has generously provided Far & Wise readers with 3 months of free reading (regularly $8.99 per month). You can access it by clicking the link below:
You can also check out my Far & Wise Collection on Scribd, which is filled with books that inspire a sense of adventure, capture unique historical moments, examine food as a means of nourishment and as a part of culture, and a few that will make you stop and think or reflect on the bigger picture. Some of them I’ve read and loved, others I’m looking forward to reading.
A screen shot of the a few of the books in my Far & Wise Scribd Collection.
The Power of Now, Lost in Shangra-La, Flow, and Letters to a Young Poet are few of my favorites in the collection.
I’m looking forward to finally (!) reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, cooking from Rick Bayless’ Authentic Mexican and The Food 52 Cookbook, and learning more about The Story of Sushi. And, after reading an earlier book by Petie and Don Kladstrup about how the Nazis plundered the French wine industry during WWII, I’m also really looking forward to reading Champagne: How the World’s Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times. They tell riveting, impeccably researched stories!
I’m excited to share this with you and to hear what you think of Scribd and my collection in the comments!