Scribd Subscription Service

Think of it as Netflix for books.

For $8.99 a month, you can read any and all of a growing number of books in Scribd’s subscription service. No, not every book and document in the Scribd library is available for subscription reading, but there sure are enough to keep me occupied for a long time. My favorite mystery authors – Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayer, Jacqueline Spear and Georgette Heyer – are all there.


The subscription service helps authors too. Each borrowed book generates a commission for the author. Why is this interesting? Because it isn’t just publishing houses who can publish and sell their works on Scribd. More on that coming soon.

Reading on the iPad

Today I have two delicious reading apps to tell you about – and both are free. First is the MagCloud iPad app which makes reading magazines like Irish Roots or Festivities a delight. MagCloud is a publishing platform focused on magazine-style publications. With MagCloud, publishers can produce beautiful magazine-style publications in both print and digital (PDF) format. And, like other self-publishing platforms, there are no up-front costs to use the platform. You control the design and content and can choose to offer a one-of-a-kind publication or a recurring one. But back to the iPad app . . . it makes reading these gorgeous publications a most enjoyable experience. The publication automatically adjusts to the iPad’s orientation showing a two-page spread in landscape view and a single page in portrait view. There is even a browser built into the app so you can follow links in an article to view the linked site, then return to the page you just left.

Colored Pencil magazine as seen in the MagCloud iPad app.
Colored Pencil magazine as seen in the MagCloud iPad app.

The other app is Documents by Readdle. If you already have ReaddleDocs, this is a totally re-designed update. With it you can do just about anything. It reads office documents, email attachments, PDFs – even books. You can view photos – and movies – and even listen to music. It can edit text files, organize and store files, share files using Dropbox, Google Docs, iCloud, Box and other services. And, it can download documents from the web and even save articles for reading later. Whew! If you find this interesting, you might also enjoy some of their other apps – like Scanner Pro [free & $6.99] and PDF Expert [$9.99].

A page from Family Tree Magazine's PDF edition as displayed in Documents app.
A page from Family Tree Magazine’s PDF edition as displayed in Documents app.