Tag: e-readers

Aug 08

No More Overdue Books: Getting Digital with your Local Library

E-Readers 41

Greetings, Bookworms!

I’ve told y’all a time or twelve how much I adore reading on my kindle. (Sorry physical book purists, this post will be of no interest to you. You have my full permission to daydream about unicorns and puppies and singing penguins.) One of the biggest drawbacks for me when I first got the kindle was that I had to pay for all my books. Sure, there were free classics, which is great, but a girl cannot live on classics alone. There are always free titles available too, but the only stuff I wanted to read I had to pay for.

Now that Oyster, Kindle Unlimited, and all sorts of other services claiming to be Netflix for books are floating around out there, it seemed a good time to remind the internet of an older, awesome service for free e-books. It’s your LIBRARY! Holla! My local library now carries an entire digital book list on their website that I can download straight to my kindle (and they have since like 2011.) The service is powered by OverDrive, which is compatible with most e-readers and tablet devices. The best part? You can NEVER forget to return your book. They’ll just take it back if you forget to renew or return it.

digital library

My friend Joules (of Pocketful of Joules, you should be reading her blog) asked me to put together something approaching a tutorial on the subject because she got confused and frustrated when trying to figure out how to get library books on her kindle. I am NOT an expert on the subject, and I can only speak for my experience with my library, but a little googling has revealed that OverDrive powers the majority of the e-book library programs, so I think the process is fairly uniform.

First things first, check out your library website. They may or may not have access to this service. My town, which, despite my claiming I live in a cornfield, has access to this. If you live in a super small town, you might be out of luck, for which I apologize on behalf of library kind. You will probably need a pin number in addition to your library card number, which you should be able to request pretty painlessly from your library. That’s it. I was going to put together a tutorial, but then I realized the folks at OverDrive have already done it and they did it better than I would have. CLICK THIS LINK! 

As much as I love this service, it’s not ALL sunshine and rainbows. My library doesn’t always have EVERYTHING I want to read. And, because they have to legally treat their digital copies like physical copies, there are often long wait lists for new releases. BUT.  Oyster and Kindle Unlimited have some serious limitations too (like the fact that some of the big fancy publishers won’t play nicely with them) so it’s all relative. At least the library option is free!

Tell me Bookworms- do any of you utilize your library’s digital offerings? 


Aug 20

Top Ten Tuesday: Tools For Easy Reading

Audio Books, Blogging, E-Readers 54

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s Tuesday! This week the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish have taken a new tack, I shall be listing the top ten things that make my life easier as a reader and blogger. Cool right? Here goes…


1. Kindle Paperwhite. I know that there’s still a lot of debate concerning “real” books vs. e-books. I think you should read whatever you happen to like. I will tell you that for me, the Kindle is delightful. My house is not huge so physical book storage can be a problem. I love that my Kindle easily fits in my purse (even if I don’t want to carry a gigantic bag.) It stores all the books I can handle and I love it! Plus, the e-ink they figured out looks a lot more like a book page than a computer screen. They’re magical.

2. Capital One Rewards Card. Why? I use the card for day to day expenses (yes, I pay it off every month. Geeze, Suze Orman, get off my back!) The points I accrue I cash in for Amazon gift cards. It’s how I fund my reading habit.

3. Digital Library Books. I was SO STOKED when Amazon began allowing Kindle books to be used as library books. There are some drawbacks, of course. Kindle library books are treated as though they’re physical books- if they’ve only got one copy of it, you’re going to have to wait. However. I can still take books out from my local library without worrying about picking them up or returning them on time. No late fees when the title simply expires on the expiration date. Plus, it’s one less errand I need to run. Ain’t nobody got time to run errands.

I love you, my Kindle!

I love you, my Kindle!

4. NetGalley– I’m sure you’ve noticed in many a post that I mention I’ve received a copy of a book via NetGalley. NetGalley is a service that provides “professional readers” (I know right?! I’m a professional reader?!?! Can I put that on my resume?) with advanced copies of books in exchange for reviews. I love this system because it’s very low pressure. I actually like the relative anonymity of the system. I want to be honest about books (though I do try not to be mean.) I find it harder to be honest if I’ve got a rapport going with an author and then the book falls flat for me. With NetGalley, you’re working with the publisher, and not directly with the author which is awesome, because I don’t like conflict. Eeep!

5. Book Lights- This is less of an issue for me now that I’ve got that glorious Kindle Paperwhite (which has a built in glow feature) but book lights are the best. I do the majority of my reading in bed and Hubs typically falls asleep before I’m ready to turn in. Having a light that doesn’t illuminate the whole room is the key to a successful marriage. Or something like that.

6. Goodreads Are you on Goodreads? It’s a social media site dedicated to book lovers. You can track the books you’ve read for the year, keep tabs on ratings, and chat with other users. Admittedly, I don’t do much on the social side of Goodreads. I mostly use it to keep track of what I’ve read, but I love that if I get off my duff, it’s got a ton of other options. (Want to be Goodreads friends? Search for Katie Kelly. Profile pic is Wormy McSmartypants!)

smarty mcwordypants

7. Feedly This is what I use for my RSS feed. It allows me to keep tabs on ALL THE BLOGS! It doesn’t matter the platform you’re blogging on, I see it all on Feedly. Sweet right?

8. My iPhone. I’ve got a WordPress app on my phone that allows me to do a lot of this blogging business on the go. Plus? It’s got an Alice in Wonderland cover on it.

9. Audio Books- It’s wonderful to be able to listen to a book while on a long drive. Radio stations can be unreliable when you’re driving a long distance. It feels like the ultimate multitasking. Yay audio books!

10. Penguins. Not really, I just needed a number 10. But seriously, how awesome are penguins?!?!

What about you, Bookworms? Are there any accessories, programs, or websites that make your reading life go more smoothly? Tell me about it!


Aug 28

My Mom: A Bookworm with a Bad Memory and a Credit Card

Personal 17

My mom is a bookworm. A bookworm with a bad memory. And a credit card.

I obtained at least a third of my book collection by “shopping” in my mom’s bookshelves. She an I had an agreement. If I was able to find multiples of any given title, I got to keep the spare. It doesn’t sound like this sort of thing would happen very often, but I would routinely leave my parents’ house with a shopping bag full of extraneous books- the spoils of my mother’s overzealous bargain hunting.

My mom has been a reader for as long as I can remember. She’s on a first name basis with the librarians and always has a long list of titles she’s waiting to check out. It got to the point where they would call her if there was a new release out they thought she’d like.

As the years went by, our little Chicago suburb grew from a motley patchwork of strip malls amongst fields and farmland to a size where it could support a large bookstore. This gave my mom the flexibility to buy books as well as borrow them, all within a mile of her house. She’s also a sucker for a bargain. Remember Borders? I think my mom bought every bestseller in their 3 for the price of 2 section for years. She bought so frequently that she’d forget which ones she already had and would buy them again. This is how I came to possess such a large swath of Oprah’s Book Club selections. (I have never personally purchased anything written by Anita Shreve, though I’ve read a decent chunk of her catalog.)

I stacked the “doubles” from my mom until the pile threatened to topple. This is NOT all of them, unless my dad is reading this. Dad, this is all of them, plus a couple I threw in just to make my blog more dramatic, K?

I’m not sure my dad ever knew the extent of my mom’s dual purchasing, but he sure as heck noticed the stacks and stacks of books piled on the floor when nothing else would fit into the overstuffed bookshelves. Christmas of 2010 when my parents purchased a Kindle for me, my dad stealthily ordered a second one for my mom. This hasn’t stopped her library habit, but now she buys her books online (much to the relief of the overworked bookshelves.)

I was having a conversation with my mom the other day about how I’d started a blog. It went something like this:

ME: Yeah I started a blog about books and it’s been fun so far.

MOM: I’ve been reading it and I’m so impressed a the number of books we’ve both read! We must have similar taste!

ME: Mom. Seriously?

MOM: What?

ME: You know why right?

MOM: What are you talking about?

ME: Do you have any idea how many books I got from you because you’d purchased multiple copies of the same thing?!

MOM: Hahahahahhaahahahaha

ME: I’m not even kidding.

MOM: Well I guess it’s a good thing I have a Kindle now. They don’t let you buy the same book twice. A warning pops up saying that you’ve already downloaded that book.

ME: Sigh. You know this from more than one experience, don’t you?

MOM: Hahahahahaa! Yes!

Ladies and Gentlemen, my mom. Responsible for my love of reading, though luckily, NOT my memory.