Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Kindle Unlimited vs. Owning Books

July 30, 2014

This week Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited, and it’s all anyone who uses a Kindle or ereader can talk about. For $9.99 a month, you can read over 600,000 thousand titles and thousands of audiobooks. I know I would sign-up. I live in a small town where book selection is limited even at the library. I like the sheer variety Kindle can offer and while the choices aren’t going to be the most popular or newest titles, I’m excited to try new authors and genres. Not everyone is as thrilled with Kindle Unlimited as I am. Some people call it a glorified library card. Others see it as a game changer for the publishing industry. What impact will this massive online library do for the future of book sales? Will people be willing to buy a single title at a cost which is sometimes more expensive than an entire month’s fee? When you’re a teen and have a limited (or non-existent) income is $9.99 a month even an option?

I can’t answer those questions, but in talking to friends about how Kindle Unlimited could change the future of ereading, I did realize two things about myself. One: I love to read, but I don’t want to buy every book I want to read. Sometimes, I’m drawn to a book like a moth to the flame because of the beautiful cover. I have no idea of what the story is, but I want to read that book because anything with such gorgeous artwork on the front has to be good on the inside, right? Any disappointment for this way of decision-making is quickly forgotten the next time I see another gorgeous cover. Sometimes, I choose a book based on the title, or a recommendation from a friend, or I’m trying a new genre, or a multitude of various reasons that have nothing to do with what the book is about. I read a lot of good novels, but they’re not so good I’m going to re-read it until I can quote passages if need be. There are books I simply don’t want to pay for and keep forever.

The second thing I realized is there are books I want to own. I want to hold the book in my hands, smell the paper, feel the raised letters on the cover. The sound of each page turning adds a little more excitement to the story. The physical copy of the book adds to my enjoyment of the story. Everyone who’s walked into a book store and stands just inside the doorway so they can draw in the intoxicating scent of thousands of books knows what I mean. This isn’t an argument for print vs ebooks. I like both. I read both. In my opinion, one isn’t better than the other. Print and ebooks fill different needs for my reading desires. Ebooks work for me when I want to read the book but might not want to keep it forever. Print books are for when I really, really want to own the book because I know I’m going to linger over the words, the artwork, and the story over and over again.

Here are two picks for YA novels I have to own.

The Undertaken Trilogy by Ari Berk


They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree.

After Silas Umber’s father disappears, he learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. Silas’s search for answers leads him to his father’s old office where he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history–and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father–no matter the cost.

I received a copy of LYCH WAY, the third book in The Undertaken Trilogy, to review for Fresh Fiction. I read four pages, closed the book, and immediately ordered DEATH WATCH and MISTLE CHILD from Amazon. Those four pages convinced me that I absolutely had to read the first two in The Undertaken Trilogy before I could read the conclusion. It wasn’t because I wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on in the story, but because author Ari Berk had created a world so beautifully written and detailed that I did not want to miss a single piece of it. You won’t want to miss out, either.


It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, might be a normal boy, if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. Living in a graveyard can be lonely, but if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK GRAPHIC NOVEL is broken into two volumes. Volume One contains Chapter One through the Interlude, while Volume Two includes Chapter Six to the end with each chapter illustrated by a different artists from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles and talent.

Call me a fangirl, but I literally squealed when I learned THE GRAVEYARD BOOK GRAPHIC NOVEL was coming out. Volume one released on July 29, 2014 and Volume 2 will be out September 30, 2014. Neil Gaiman is one of my automatic buy authors and The Graveyard Book has been one of my favorites for years. I absolutely can’t wait to see how graphic novel artists envision this world I’ve loved for years.

Tell me, dear readers, what books do you have to own?

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