Books today are not as we knew it. They are not just printed pages – they are e-books read in various platforms that digital natives choose in terms of selection, formats, and payment methods.
Celebrating the written word in all its forms, the 37th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), happening on Sept. 14-18 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, rounds up top retailers for digital reading:
Bestsellers. For the widest selection of titles from the big publishers, mainstream retailers such as Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks and Scribd are the best sources for digital bookworms. Pricing is often competitive across these ebookstores, which usually have proprietary reading apps for books purchased from them.
Indies. The mainstream retailers often have sections for independently-published works, but there are also sites dedicated to indies. Smashwords (smashwords.com) is one of the world’s largest distributor of ebooks by independent authors and publishers, and books purchased from the site can be sideloaded to any e-reader or device, and opened in any ebook app.
Go Pinoy. For those looking for Filipino content, Vibe (vibebookstore.com) is a digital bookstore with Filipino publications priced in pesos. Vibe also has its own reading app on Android, iOS and Windows.
Magazines. For periodical readers, there’s a wide variety of subscriptions available on Zinio, Google Newsstand, and even iTunes. Thousands of periodicals are available on these apps, covering news, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, travel, art, hobbies, and many more, with fresh issues delivered wirelessly.
Audiobooks. Audiobooks have enjoyed popularity for decades, especially among drivers and commuters, and multitaskers who listen to audiobooks while completing other tasks, such as household chores or exercising. Retailers like iTunes, Audible, Downpour and Scribd offer a wide variety of downloadable audiobooks that can be downloaded and played over a variety of devices.
Comics. Comics buffs need not go to the comic book store to get their hands on the latest issue of their favourite series, as these can be downloaded in minutes on comic book apps like Comixology or Marvel. These retailers also have their own apps tailored for comic book reading, with features like pinch and zoom functions, guided views, and brightness control.
Picture book apps. For children’s picture books, technology is a whole new ballgame, with publishers now developing dedicated storybook apps for both iOS and Android. These apps are made appealing to tech-savvy kids with interactive functions for readers, such as narration, recording, animation, and mini-games.
Serialists. For readers who prefer serialized reading, Wattpad remains a popular avenue for free reading. Radish Fiction is another app for serials, with a curated selection of authors and chapter purchases.
The MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., the Book Development Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and the Overseas Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines. MIBF’s co-located events include the 1st Philippine International Conference on Teacher Education from Sept. 13-15, which tackles the shifting roles and challenges of the 21st century educator; and the Best of Anime 2016, from Sept. 17-18, the ultimate event for anime lovers and enthusiasts. For more details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail [email protected]. ADVT.