(Disclaimer: Yes, there are affiliate links below. This means that I might make some cash if you click on them and buy stuff. But the words would have been the same otherwise.)
I’ve written before about how I’m a bookworm. While I’m not nearly as much of a prolific reader as I used to be, I still love to read and try to do it as much as I can.
Many years ago, I switched to reading primarily on a Kindle, and then to the Kindle App on my iPad. Yes, I still love the smell of a new book in hard copy, and it’s impossible to get an author to sign an ebook. But with moving around so much, and being tired of traveling with numerous books in my bags, ebooks are ideal.
That doesn’t mean that the books are cheap, though. Even reading less than I used to, I’d spend a decent chunk of cash on books. This often meant that I didn’t take as many risks on books, or read fluffy, trashy novels. But not anymore!
A couple weeks ago, I saw a tweet telling people to cancel their Audible subscriptions and get OverDrive audiobooks instead. This sent me on a mission to find out more.
OverDrive is a way to link into your local public library. But they made a much more user-friendly app called LIbby.
Libby helps you easily find which ebooks and audiobooks are available at your library. It has an incredible audiobook player, as well as an easy option to send the ebooks to your Kindle if you prefer.
It is seriously super easy – I was able to check out one book and place others on hold. When the hold book became available, it was automatically added to my Libby shelf where I could send it to my Kindle app quickly and easily.
I never knew my local library had such great stuff. I get to read and listen for free while supporting the library and the authors that I enjoy.
Back to Twitter, there was another tweet and article doing the rounds about how Amazon should take over for libraries. I think it’s built on a fundamental misunderstanding about the space public libraries fill in our society. They are more than a repository of books. They offer employment help, give people a safe place to go, expose readers to a vast array of books they might not otherwise find, plus they have free Wifi. Yes, this kind of Utopia does exist.
Coming out of South Africa, I can see all the privilege in my local public library. It is clean and beautiful here, with tons of excellent, new books available, and more added all the time. When I went to the local library in my affluent area of Joburg, they didn’t even do a kid’s story time anymore because of lack of funding.
My library here has run a reading challenge, offering extra rewards if you and your kid read for an average of 20 minutes per day. They host all kinds of extra events for kids and adults.
But most of all, they have a vast selection of excellent books and audiobooks. I’m now able to take more risks with my reading, and generally just enjoy more incredible media, all for free.
So, if you spend a fortune on ebooks or audiobooks, or you would like to read more but don’t have the resources, I highly recommend Libby. It has freed me up to enjoy all the reading I love for free. Plus, I never have to worry about returning a book late, because it’s all easy with a tap on the app.