As some of you might know I’m a bibliophile who is addicted to both print and ebooks. I’m also a tech geek so I have an Amazon Kindle, an Asus Netbook, an Apple iPad, and a Sony Pocket eReader. Though I love the smell, feel and look of real books, I am quite fond of the portability of electronic books. The best part of having a Sony eReader is the fact that I can electronically check out a book from my local library. Right now the selection is a bit limited, but I’m hoping as more and more people get eReaders, electronic borrowing from libraries will become more popular. I particularly like the fact that with eborrowing I don’t have to get a library book that somebody abused. I don’t know how many library books I have checked out that were stained, reeked of cigarette smoke, were falling apart, missing pages or were just plain nasty. No such thing with eborrowing.
Another great thing about eborrowing is that you can get some of the latest bestsellers without having to pay for them, just like you would checking out the latest paperback from your local library (free is not exactly true because your taxes are paying for it, but you get what I’m trying to say, right?). My local library, the Decatur Public Library, is part of the LibraryOnTheGo system. This system allows library patrons to use their library card to check out ebooks for one or two weeks. After that the books are no longer viewable on your electronic reader. You can “check out” up to three books at a time, and just like a regular library book, you have the option of returning the books before your due date. Returning ebooks electronically is a really neat feature because then you’re not stuck with having to wait to borrow a new book.
Eborrowing is very convenient. If it’s pouring down rain outside and you don’t feel like trekking down to the library, it’s comforting to know that you can just borrow the latest bestseller from the confines of your own home and curl up on your sofa. This is also very useful for people with mobility problems. The LibraryOnTheGo also allows library patrons to download audiobooks and other media with their library card. Pretty neat if you ask me.
If you don’t have a library card you can always find free ebooks online. I visit the MobileRead Forums every day for book tips, news about electronic readers, and for suggestions of where to find free ebooks. I suggest you check them out. Happy reading!