I love books. I read constantly, and my house has many bookshelves (although not as many as I had at one point).
Online Is Easy
Online bookstores are easy to use…as long as you know what you are looking for, and you don’t need to browse the book, or compare books. Unfortunately, this can mean that sometimes you end up with not-so-great books that were recommended to you, but don’t fit your reading style or desires at all. Online books also cost money, even if you get them used.
Using the Local Library for Books
My local library doesn’t have everything I want, but I can go there and browse for whatever grabs my fancy. I can also ask the librarians for recommendations.
If I know a particular book I am looking for, I can order it through the online reservation system, or request an inter-library loan if my local library doesn’t have a copy.
An added benefit to using library books: I am forced to read them in a timely fashion, instead of letting them moulder on shelves until I “get around to them”.
Other Things From the Library
I have known for years that you can borrow movies from the library; our local has a great selection of kids films that we made heavy use of. But there are other services that I recently came across:
- Language Resources. My local library allows me access to Rosetta Stone, an language-learning resource, for free. Buying the Rosetta courseware runs in the hundreds of dollars.
- Audio Books/Downloads. I’ve always known about the books on tape, but recently my library started offering MP3 books for download and listening to. The downside to this is the service they use doesn’t support the iPod, so I have to use an older MP3 player.
- Ebooks. I’ve read copyright-free ebooks for years, but the local library also offers ebooks of recent material for checkout. This can be viewed from any computer, once I established an account.
I am enjoying rediscovering my local library, with all its services. I urge you to check yours out as well, and see what they offer!
Photo by svenwerk