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Ascent Publication

My Digital Library is My Most Valuable Asset and I Paid Practically Nothing For it Out of Pocket

A large percentage of today’s society doesn’t value reading. I find that incredibly sad and quite frankly it worries me. What’s even more discerning is even those who could not tell you the last book they read or so much as picked up, still do plenty of reading. Except it’s almost on accident, by default really. The same people who claim to “hate reading” and are so quick to tell you how it “makes them tired” — spend hours a day mindlessly reading pointless Facebook statuses from people they haven’t seen since High School and Twitter updates from celebrities they don’t even like. They read, just nothing of value. Nothing in which adds anything remotely meaningful to their lives.

Roughly four years ago the app Google Opinion Rewards was introduced to me by a relative. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the app, it is an android app that sends short consumer based surveys to users in exchange for Google play credit which can be redeemed for books, apps, and movies in the Google Play app store. This app has added infinite value to my life. I have acquired a total of 121 books on Google Play alone as well as countless free samples of others. All of which were primarily purchased with the $105.14 in play store credit in total I’ve acquired for answering two and three question surveys.

Many of these books I discovered or found on sale through the email subscription service BookBub, which emails you a daily list of three or four books a day that are on sale for typically under three dollars or less on Google Play and Amazon Kindle. I recently picked up The Daily Stoic, co written by one of my favorite authors Ryan Holiday for $1.99. A book filled with daily stoic meditations and bits of wisdom from greats such as Marcus Aurelius. The fact I paid less than $2 for a book filled with infinite wisdom and practical advice for people from just about any walk of life is bittersweet. Sure, I was glad to get a deal on it but it saddens me such a book was priced so low yet there is a plethora of average women selling subscriptions to their premium snap chat, where they just take off their clothes for a fee of up to $35 a month. It just speaks to what our society values as well as our values as a society.

I have acquired books that have changed my life for ninety nine cents. Books that have helped me not only think and write better but live better as a whole. The one that sticks out the most and which I’ve mentioned in previous posts is “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. It’s 42 pages were life altering for me. It changed my entire way of thinking and perspective on life — for less than a dollar. A dollar in which I acquired for answering a few series of quick questions about where I have or haven’t shopped lately.

Additionally, I’ve purchased every book written by some of my favorite authors such as Ryan Holiday, Michael Lewis, James Altucher, James Allen and Wayne Dyer. Many of those I paid cash for, simply because I didn’t want to wait until I acquired enough Google Play credit to read them. Although I believe I purchased James Allen’s entire collection of twenty one books — all in one book — for a total of what I recall to be about $4 earned through Google Opinion Rewards. There is very few places on earth you can find such a vast amount of profound wisdom for less than five dollars.

What I love about my digital library is its convenience. The fact it’s always with me, right there in my pocket. One of the benefits to reading books on Google Play or Kindle is being able to look up any words I’m unfamiliar with by simply touching the word and holding down. I can highlight passages in a single swipe, without ever breaking out a highlighter — all of which are easily accessible since they’re transferable to Google Documents. When I moved to North Carolina with all my belongings by bus and train last summer before abruptly and unceremoniously moving back a month later, my digital library added no extra weight to my travels but a ton of value as well as provided a wonderful way to kill time on the seemingly endless 9 hour bus ride each way.

I don’t covet nice or expensive things, mainly because I don’t own many. Instead, I appreciate the things that add value to my life and have the potential to help me bring value to others — regardless of what they cost. I’ve discovered a means to collect a limitless and ever growing amount of books, one that works for just about any budget, including no budget at all. This is a system anyone can take advantage of, simply by downloading the Google Opinion Rewards app and signing up for BookBub. I write this in hopes more people will do exactly that and find a way to pull as much value from it as I have.

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