Written by Salina Jivani
Ever wish you had a free virtual library right at your fingertips? After the birth of Kindle, this sounded like a dream to me. I’d often find myself lazing in bed on Saturday mornings, sighing wistfully in hope that someday I’d be able to skip the trek to the library and simply whip out my phone and find an arsenal of stories just beckoning to be read.
When Kindle first came out. I was enthralled at the prospect of having literally millions of books just clicks away from my eager eyes, ready to devour them all. But I knew I had to pay for those books and then what if I didn’t like them? So I gave up on the dream of reading for free.
But, hey, what can I say—dreams really do come true! With technology transcending new spaces and bringing everything one step closer and more conveniently to us, the fiction space, too, has benefitted from this evolution. Now writers can read millions of readers—for free. And if you’re an avid reader and want the convenience of reading directly from your tablet, PC or device, there are dozens of platforms out there that cater specifically to you. And the best part is—yes, you guessed it—you can read for free!
Wattpad was the first platforms of its kind I’d ever heard of. Because it’s been around for quite a bit now, the volume of stories in its virtual library has exploded. You can find lots of different kinds of fiction and particularly YA and science/fantasy-type stories. But that’s not to say those are the only kinds of stories this platform houses. On this platform, like the others we’ll discuss, you can choose to read either completed stories or stories in progress, which means you can read each chapter as it becomes available by the author. If you love reading, you’ll for sure find something to your liking on their virtual shelves, so give them a browse.
From a simple Google search, this one seems to be pretty popular, and that’s probably because it’s the oldest of the three fiction databases listed here. Fan Fiction opened its virtual doors in 1998 and has been up and running ever since with the number of stories housed at an astounding number of 8 million! If you want to start with a platform that’s got the most stories out there, this one is it. Plus, it’s the perfect platform for bilingual readers because it has stories published in over 30 different languages!
This is the baby of the three, but such a unique and fun platform! Radish has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since it opened its doors—and it’s not hard to figure out why. The neat thing about this fiction platform is its value for its writers, who can choose to list their stories for free, freemium or premium. The latter two options cost Radish coins to readers who want to keep up with the latest chapters of the story. But the success of this model so far is astounding! Radish writers are hand selected and can write by invite only based on their writing skills and aptitude. This coupled with the opportunity to receive pay for their writing means that Radish writers are inclined to churn out their best works, decreasing your chances of picking up a crappy piece of work. Also, for readers who want to earn coins without having to pay for them, Radish provides plenty of opportunities through Twitter and their website for you to claim free coins on a frequent basis, simply by correctly answering a few quiz questions about particular stories on their site.
Remember reading is great for you—better than spending all those hours glued to the TV like a zombie!—so be sure to get a good dose of daily reading into your schedule. And if you missed our earlier post on the benefits of reading, access it here!