Money Matters Team

Paper v digital

By Money Matters Team 29/04/2016

Are you a Kindle connoisseur or partial to a paperback? We've found the best ways to get some quality reading material this summer.

Editor and keen reader Amanda Morgan gives us the lowdown.


Character? Web-based book-swapping community.

Plot? You upload the titles of books in your collection that you're happy to swap and add a wishlist of books you'd like to read. Then you check out who else on the site has the book you're after and initiate a trade. With thousands of books to choose from, it's reader heaven.

Footnote? Free to join, all you pay is postage for sending your book.

World of Books

Character? Online secondhand bookstore with a strong eco ethic, championing recycling of books over sending them to landfill.

Plot? Literally an online bookstore that 'won't cost the earth'. There are over two million books in stock so you're bound to find something to suit.

Footnote? Free UK delivery, books are individually priced.

Amazon Marketplace

Character? Offshoot of the retail giant where 'normal' people can sell books and more.

Plot? Don't ignore that 'Used and New' button when you're searching on Amazon – it's a portal to getting the book you want at a really good price. You choose the condition – like new, good, acceptable, etc – and you pay accordingly.

Footnote? Some books start from as little as 1p plus postage.


Character? A web-based 'what sort of book do I fancy reading today?' search engine.

Plot? You play with sliders to decide if your book should be happy or sad, easy or demanding, even safe or disturbing, then the site serves up recommendations based on your choices. You also get the option to 'buy', usually from Amazon, or 'borrow' by linking direct to your local library. Genius.

Footnote? Free.


Character? A Twitter-scanning tool that grabs book recommendations and titles being tweeted about by your followers or the people you follow.

Plot? Scans your Twitter feed and then emails you weekly with the books popping up on your timeline. The suggestions you get depend on how 'bookish' your Twitter connections are, but it's a great way to get the heads-up about some reads that might have slipped under your radar.

Footnote? Free.


Character? Mobile app that curates the world's best independent, cult or classic mags. 

Plot? If you're over Cosmo and had enough of Stuff, this app is a virtual indy newsagent on your device, giving you access to some of the coolest 'coffee table' style mags. Not your average read.

Footnote? App is free, with monthly membership from £5.99.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.