As I'm 36,000 feet in the air working on writing my column, I thought that now would be a good time to write about the ways the library can travel with people on their summer vacations. Having eBooks and eAudio available to me 24/7 is so useful when I find that I am in need of something to read or listen to.
The great thing about traveling with the library on your phone or tablet is that wifi and a data connection are not necessary to read books or to listen to audiobooks that are already downloaded to your device. It also means that I don’t have to tote around the weight of lots of books; I'm one of those readers who has five or six books checked out at one time just in case I finish a book early or am not in the mood to read a book I started.
Did you get a shiny new device over the holidays—or have you had one for a while and not explored many of its possibilities? Are you a reader—or a listener? Use your gadget to bring books to you, anytime and nearly anywhere. After you set up your device, it’s very easy to browse our virtual shelves and make your selections. There are never any late fees because books return themselves. Automatically. Another very cool thing about eBooks—you can change the print size to personalize your reading experience.
Novelists have bills like the rest of us. They could be writing novels and need auto repairs but cannot wait until they get the advances on the novels. What to do? Short pieces, book reviews, and articles in magazines help a bit. Writers with a journalism background will publish a collection of pieces filed from a war front; others have something they cannot work into novels and publish the ideas separately, as essays. Either way, readers win.
The Miss Silver mystery series, by Patricia Wentworth, was written in the 1930s and 1940s. Like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Miss Silver is genteel, a spinster, and an avid knitter. However, the similarities end there. Miss Silver is a professional investigator who is more similar to Sherlock Holmes than Miss Marple.
EBook and eAudio fans, rejoice! We recently increased checkouts and holds in OverDrive to seven each, up from four! Don’t forget this applies to each card in your household. The same card can be used to check out books in different formats to go to multiple devices. For example, one card can be used to check out a Kindle book, an eAudio MP3, and an eBook that you read on your smart phone through the OverDrive App.
A few times every week I’ll have customers approach me after searching our public catalogs and ask, “What does it mean if it says it’s an ‘eBook?'” When I explain, I always take care to emphasize that an eReader, tablet, or smartphone is not required for most of our digital materials in print—all that’s needed is a regular computer with a modern Web browser and active connection.
Thanks to our OverDrive ebook database, you have 24-hour access to a diverse collection of popular titles you can download instantly to your eReader, including the Amazon Kindle and Kindle apps. At the moment, users can have up to four titles checked out at once. The good news is that these eBooks can be returned early when you're finished with them, freeing up a space to your download limit. However, Kindle users may have noticed that Amazon has recently made a subtle change to the manner in which Kindle books are returned early.
The BARD Mobile app allows our Talking Book customers to access Braille and talking books directly from NLS (BARD). BARD offers a collection of nearly 50,000 books, magazines, and musical scores, with new selections added daily.
BARD is up and running again despite the government shutdown. There has also been a mobile app set up for iPhones or iPads. You can obtain the free app from the Apple iTunes store.
Through a partnership with the Library of Virginia, we now offer Zinio for Libraries, a free digital magazine service from Recorded Books (RBdigital) and Zinio.com.
You have access to full digital copies of nearly 200 popular magazines! Browse from our collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines you can download.
Current Issues - New issues are released at the same time as the print edition and are ready for immediate download. (Back issues currently not available.)
Easy browsing - Search for your favorite magazines by title or category.
Manage your collection - Checkout and read magazines instantly on your computer (PC or Mac), or access magazines on your portable device.
- No limits - Check out as many issues as you want and keep them in your account as long as you wish.
You can access Zinio magazines using a Windows or Mac computer, as well as a wide variety of Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows phones, tablets, and mobile devices, including the Kindle Fire and Nook HD/HD+, using a free Zinio Reader app!
In the past I have lambasted Barnes and Noble's Nook products for a number of reasons, but none of them have to do with device itself. I dislike how eBooks purchased from B&N are encrypted with the credit card number used to purchase them (don't forget that number!). I dislike how stripped-down the app selection is. I dislike their severe lack of media offerings. But the device itself? It's got good specs! Nice HD screen, decent processor speed, expandable storage, slick design—it's got all the makings of a great tablet, save for the fact that it has been tethered exclusively to Barnes and Noble's horrible business practices. But that has now changed with a significant price drop and the addition of the Google Play app store. If you're on the fence about a tablet purchase, I now have to actually, grudgingly recommend the Nook HD over everything else!