Why give a book five stars?


I usually read with my Kindle although occasionally I still read paper books.

Sometimes I use the Kindle app on my iPad. I  often post comments about books I’ve read on the Amazon book page and on Goodreads but only for books that I think deserve four or five stars.

I expect that any ebook I’m going to read will be correctly formatted and if it isn’t I don’t download it. I expect that the ebook will have been rigorously proof read and if it hasn’t then I don’t download it either.

It’s easy to tell if the ebook is of a good technical standard if you read a few pages of the free sample.

I always read the free sample of an ebook before downloading so now rarely start reading an ebook I don’t enjoy. And if I’m not enjoying reading it, I stop. Life’s too short to spend time reading books that are not compelling – apart from War and Peace which I’ve been trying to read for years and am determined to finish one day.

And that’s my main reason for five stars: compelling.














and credible.

In other words:

I had difficulty putting the book down to go and do other things;

I kept thinking about the book while I was away from it;

I continued to think about the book once I’d finished reading it.

A four star book will have the same technical high standard and also be a good read but it won’t have that wow! factor which keeps the book buzzing in the reader’s mind when the Kindle is switched off.

I’ve read lots of excellent novels, short stories and novellas by self-published writers.

Certainly in the first months of owning a Kindle (back in early 2012) I downloaded some books that weren’t presented well enough and several that didn’t appeal to my reading tastes particularly when I was carried away by the large numbers of books being offered for free. However, I’ve rarely paid for an ebook that I haven’t gone on to finish and enjoy reading. And the technical standard of self-published ebooks now is as good as traditionally published books. In fact, some trad published back catalogue books are very poor in terms of formatting and don’t justify their often over-inflated prices.

It’s worth remembering that ebooks are subject to VAT at 20% in the UK compared with print books which are zero rated.

0% VAT for print books is right but it should be the same for ebooks. When you’re buying an ebook it’s worth knocking off the VAT and you’ll probably find what good value for money some of them are.

All my Amazon reviews are on my profile page and here are direct links to my 10 most recent five star books.

Whisperings and Wonderings: The Grumblings of a Gargoyle
by Lynn Gerrard
Link: http://amzn.eu/fppHGR0

A Surprise for Maureen
by Jonathan Hill
Link: http://amzn.eu/4Zzl1DO

Patient Zero: Post-Apocalyptic Short Stories
by Terry Tyler
Link: http://amzn.eu/8CFlAy0

Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938, Ninth Revised Edition
by Stephen E. Ambrose et al.
Link: http://amzn.eu/aFBXKDb

The Vanishing Game
by William Boyd
Link: http://amzn.eu/9rujJiC

The Malice of Angels: Esme Quentin Mystery
by Wendy Percival
Link: http://amzn.eu/4mUow7E

The Labyrinthine Journey (Servant of the Gods Book 2)
by Luciana Cavallaro
Link: http://amzn.eu/cuASeii

Parallel Lies
by Georgia Rose
Link: http://amzn.eu/6WexvGc

Girl in the Castle: a girl, a castle, a ghost – fall in love with a highlander
by Lizzie Lamb
Link: http://amzn.eu/9SB1HBq

Baby Dear: a gripping psychological thriller
by Linda Huber
Link: http://amzn.eu/11kg97z

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like my Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/ with details of a free Kindle download.





Do you read ebooks or paper?


We were talking to a friend the other day who doesn’t read ebooks.

He got quite heated in defence of paper. He seemed to think it was an either / or question. Which it isn’t.

We read ebooks and we read paper books.

However, here are some good reasons to include ebooks in your options if you don’t read them already.

You can read a free sample of any book you’re interested in before you commit to paying for it or investing your time in it. The sample is a lot longer than the number of pages you would probably be able to read for free in a book shop. Although, of course, if you’ve still got access to a public library you can read the whole book for free. That’s assuming the library has the title you’re interested in on their shelves.

With an ebook you can make the font size bigger so you won’t need reading glasses any more.

An ereader is light and easy to carry around. It will hold hundreds of books and is fantastic when you go away visiting or on holiday as there are no restrictions on the amount of books you can take with you.

The battery on my Kindle lasts for about fifteen hours if you turn off the wifi and it’s easy to re-charge quickly.

There’s an integral dictionary in the Kindle which is easy to use and very convenient.

One of the great thing about ebooks is that new ones are always available.

Not only can you download them from your favourite ebook retailer at all hours of day and night and on every day of the year but you don’t have to wait for a re-print of a runaway bestseller either.

One night we watched the third episode of BBC4’s Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds: A Tale of Three Cities written and presented by the uber-cool, stunningly articulate Dr. James Fox. The final city to be explored was New York in 1951: Marlon Brando, Jackson Pollock, Thelonious Monk and Jack Kerouac featuring prominently in the programme which ended at 10pm. We were talking about the programme for about half an hour before acknowledging that neither of us had read Kerouac’s apparent masterpiece On the Road. A couple of clicks later we were being mesmerised by the opening sentences and an Amazon One-Click after that and we were both in possession of the book. And were well on the way to putting right a great omission in our joint literary education.

If you don’t want to buy a Kindle or other ereader, you can get a free Kindle app for your iPad, phone, laptop or whichever device you have. There are more details about this in You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books on my Cabbage and Semolina Blog with some great quotes about ebooks.

Whether you read ebooks, paper books or both you might be interested in some of the facts in Do you still read fiction?

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like Literary Chocolate!


Book of the Day at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com/ with details of a free Kindle download.