On this page, I am going to explain how I find novels on Ridibooks. I am using BL novels as an example but it can be applied to all genres. In addition, I am assuming that those reading this guide are mtlers looking for a way to read Korean novels. If you can actually read Korean then there are a lot more options open.
What is Ridibooks?
Ridibooks is one of the official sites that can be used to read Korean novels, similar to Kakaopages, Naver, Joara etc. The thing I like about Ridibooks is that it is more friendly to an international audience than the previous sites I mentioned. For those sites, registration and figuring out how to charge money to buy the novels can be a pain since it requires either a Korean ID number or phone number, or both. It was hard work even for me, who can read Korean but isn’t a resident of South Korea.
There are some ways to do it that you can find by googling. I won’t go into it here. Then after you finally manage to get an account and charge some money, you buy a chapter only to go find that the format is an image and you can’t read it! Google translate doesn’t work and you can’t copy and paste. The only possible way is to screenshot the images and find a decent OCR that extracts the text and hope there aren’t many mistakes in the extracted text.
Meanwhile, Ridibooks is easy to create an account. It doesn’t ask for any of that information and is a simple registration form. In addition, google translate works for the registration form so you can easily figure out what each field is asking for.
Ridibooks also gives many options to recharge Ridicash, their currency used to buy chapters. Unfortunately, there is no Paypal but it does give the option for overseas credit card, allowing those overseas to recharge. Charging different amounts will give additional bonus points and there is an event at the start of every month where you get double the amount of bonus points. My recommendation is to recharge at the start of every month to get the best bang for your buck.
How to Find Novels
If you go to the home page of Ridibooks, you will see a menu bar at the top with different genres written on it. The last option of BL. If you click on this, it will take you to a page with various BL recommendations.
You can use this page to find various recommendations based on the cover or title that attracts you. I am going to show you a slightly different and what I consider easier method to use.
If you look at the above image of the menu bar, you will see three lines on top of each other next to ‘normal’. If you click on this, it will expand the menu and you will see the below image:
If you look closely, you will see that there are various options for BL such as BL novel ebook, BL web novel, BL manga ebook and BL webtoon. Now, if you are a Korean reader then all the options are open to you. However, if you are a mtler then your options become more limited.
The manga/webtoon are definitely out since you won’t be able to read them, although if you just want to look at the images then that is an option. Next, I will talk about BL novel ebook and BL web novel.
Ridibooks actually has two types of novel formats, ebooks and web novels. Ebooks are like published ebooks/light novels. The chapters are combined together into one long book. Meanwhile, the web novels has the normal chapter format. That isn’t the only difference between them. The ebook requires you to download Ridibooks e-book reader and read it using this program. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow google translate or copy and paste so it can be hard for mtlers to read. There are ways around it if you google but it requires a lot of hard work.
The easier method and what I generally do is to only look at the BL web novel. This format is chapters so it is updated more often and it opens the chapter in your browser, where google translate works. You can’t copy or paste but it is easy to get around this with reader mode or a google extension that allows copy and paste.
You can choose between different genres or you can just click on the large blue bar that says BL web novel and it will take you to a page for combined genres.
There are several ways to search for novels on this page, such as by new books, best sellers, free books etc. It has the ratings and the total number of chapters released so far below the cover so it gives a lot more information than JJWXC.
If you see the 19 circle on the cover, this means it is a 19 plus novel and you need to be above 19 in order to read the novel (I think this is Korean age so 18 based in International standards, but I’m not certain about this. You might need to double check). This is the same for all Korean novel websites but once again, Ridibooks is a lot easier to verify your age.
When I did it, I just had to send them an image of my passport with the birthdate showing and I could cover up any other identifying infomation. However, I did the age verification a few years ago and I heard they have changed it now. There is a guide if you google it and I think it is still fairly easy based on what I briefly saw. It is just that instead of sending them an email, there is a form to fill out.
To get to the age verification section, click on the person in the menu bar (image below) and this will take you to your account page.
Once on this page, there will be several options on the side. Click on the 1:1 inquiry.
This will take you to another page and you just have to select something similar to ‘adult certification for overseas customers’. Then it will take you to the form that you have to fill out.
So that’s it for how I find novels on Ridiboks. My main suggestion is that if you are machine translating, stick to the web novels format for easy reading. A lot of ebooks will have web novel format anyway (although not all).