Adventures in Links — September 11, 2015 (Reading Resources)

Photo taken from Ugly Dog Books

Photo taken from Ugly Dog Books

Theme: Reading Resources

After last week’s post about libraries, it should come as no surprise that I love reading. In fact, I’ve never been able to adequately express how much reading means to me and what it’s done for me as a person, though I’m sure I’ll keep trying. But I do want to let people know that there are a lot of online reading resources available to them that are completely free and completely awesome. Some have actual texts, some allow interactive reading and writing, and some simply offer recommendations. Either way, I’m sure one of these links will be helpful to you in your journey through the fabulous world of literacy. Enjoy!

Whichbook is a book recommendation generator that allows you to choose what kind of genre/emotion/aesthetic you want to read and how important that genre/emotion/aesthetic is to you. It doesn’t give you actual books that you can read on the spot, but it does help you find your next work, which can be important for the reader who’s read everything before.

Another recommendation site is What Should I Read Next? It’s a simple if somewhat ugly web site that generates tons of recommendations based on past books and authors you like. Once you click on a title, it opens up an in-depth list of dozens of recommendations and links you to Amazon to buy it (not that you have to, of course – that’s why we have libraries!). It’s user-friendly and offers pretty good suggestions.

List_ChallengesA funnier, more interactive option is List Challenges, which, as the name implies, contains lists that actually challenge you to read/watch/whatever that thing. The link above takes you directly to the book section, but there’s also ones on movies, food, and travel (and among). Give it a try. You’ll totally get sucked into it.

My favorite way to track what books I’m reading is Goodreads. For a bibliophile like myself, it’s a great resource, allowing me to keep a running tally of what I’ve read, get tons of really good recommendations, and even play trivia games and enter book giveaways. It’s also been operational for over five years, so you don’t have to worry about suddenly losing your book lists. I’ve had that happen to me before. It’s terrible.

Now, if you want an actual link that provides you with actual books, etc to read, you have to check out Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg has over 49,000 titles (mostly classics/older works) that you can read 100% free. So if you have to read a specific book for class but don’t want to shell out $5 — $20 apiece, this is a really good option.

If you’re into classics and want to read Shakespeare but don’t want to shell out $50+ for a hardback of his complete works, click here. It’s a really good collection of all his works including his plays and poetry. It’s a no-nonsense site without any frills, but I’ve used it before and love it. You can easily navigate the various acts and scenes of the plays and find your place when you come back. It’s a great resource.

Graphic property of Poop Fiction

Graphic property of Poop Fiction

So maybe you want something to read while you’re in the bathroom doing whatever it is folks do in there (How would I know?), but you don’t want to open up the slow-ass Tumblr app and feel weird about texting people when you’re on the toilet. A great option is PoopFiction, which will generate content for you to actually read while getting down to business. You can also choose the length of fiction you want to read depending on how long you think things will take. The content is pretty good too featuring short stories by Tolstoy, James Baldwin, and Charles Skinner among many, many others. So the next time you have to schedule a very special meeting, give PoopFiction a try.

If fanfiction or fan-made works are your thing, arguably the best site out right now is Archive of Our Own, a nonprofit, fan-run site crammed with videos, artwork, podcasts, fanfiction, and more. It’s completely free to read and has basically every fandom and genre, but you’ll need to get a recommendation from a user to join and post.

Finally, a good resource for locating web comics is Webcomics Hub, a massive index of web comics. You can browse the site via genre or look at recommendations. There’s no fee to sign up, and you don’t even have to sign up if you don’t want to. Clicking on a web comic will take you to a description of the comic plus a link to the comic. If you’re like me and run through web comics really fast, this is a great resource to keep discovering new ones.

But maybe you don’t like any of these links and just basically want a shitpost of a ton of different links for you to try. Well, then have I got the link for you. If you click here, you’ll go to a massive Tumblr post with links for free books, textbooks, research books, and more. Then, if you click here, you can go to another Tumblr post with links for free textbooks only. Unfortunately, the list is so long that I can’t really vouch for all of the links. I can tell you that Online Textbooks for Free, Wikibooks, and Bartleby are good, but you’ll have to click on all the others are your own discretion. Have fun!


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