Since I got my Kindle, I have become a fan. The problem though for new owners (once they get used to reading books a new way) is finding books at an economical price.
Frankly I won't be buying any bestsellers for my eReaders. The price isn't competitive considering you can resell a paper book; but an eBook, all you can do is loan it or delete it.
What I have discovered though is there are a lot of economical reads out there especially if they are by writers who either wrote for a publishing house earlier and got their rights back; or are indie writers-- going ePub instead of corporate. The problem is finding them. Since I've learned a few ways, I thought I'd share them.
First of all, of course, is buying old classics especially if you can get them in collections. They are usually quite reasonable and you then have, whenever you want it, access to writers you probably would not want to have on your shelf for the space they'd take up. An example for $2.99-- Complete Plays of Shakespeare or for $.00-- Leaves of Grass-- Walt Whitman.
The free ones aren't always the best deal though as a table of contents, making it easier to navigate, is valuable and usually still only a couple of dollars. With almost all of these books, you can get sample pages to determine if the text is as you want. Some classics have been scanned; and although you do get the book, it can be harder to find anything in it. I got a wonderful research book on Oregon history free that way, one I couldn't buy today anywhere; so it was worth it being a scan as I do have the information at least.
As you are thinking what classics you might want, there are also sales. I regularly check Daily Cheap Reads where all the books are under $5 for the day. You never know what you will find. They are a mix of nonfiction, fiction, Christian-- Some by well-known writers and from publishing houses. I have yet to see a current best seller though.
Always check when you go to the link to be sure the book is still on sale for that price. Recently I bought Giants, the Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer. I paid $1.99 for a book otherwise listed at $9.99. I won't know until I read it if it's a great read, but I didn't invest much if it isn't.
Then there is hitting the Amazon Forums. My favorite is the one for authors where readers are welcome-- Meet Our Authors . Sort down through the topics to threads. They are there for non-fiction and pretty much any genre you might wish. You will find a link to the book as well as a promo for what the book is about. Mostly authors who post there are independent and not from a publishing house which is why the prices are generally better.
You can check quality of writing from these independent writers by looking at samples which should be free. Frankly if an author didn't offer a sample, I'd avoid them. Samples can be the first chapter or scattered throughout the book. They pretty well tell you if this is a well edited story and whether the style of writing is something you would like.
In researching this, I came across this site which looked good-- 5 Websites for free Kindle books. It had one website that covered classics. I haven't perused it much yet, but I will when I have time.
I know a lot of you don't want to give up your paper books. That's fine but think about this kind of reading as an adjunct. Lightweight, easy to get a book fast, bookmarking possible, and easier on your eyes than a computer (although when you buy a Kindle, you can read it on your computer if you prefer. I don't as I spend too much time looking at a computer screen already).
And if you aren't ready to try the eReaders just yet, bookmark those cheap sites as someday you might be glad you have them :)