“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin,
Books are an incredibly useful tool that I think often don’t get the credit they deserve since the boom of the internet. From old-fashioned books of paper and ink, to e-books and audio books, you can literally learn or read about every topic under the sun.
- biographies; diaries; how-to’s; manuals; text-books; self-help books on: finance, real estate, investing, debt management, employee management, stress management, time management, health management; blah blah blah..the list is never ending.
- sci-fi; horror; romance; mythology; historical fiction; fantasy; mystery; fairy tales; and the ever growing list of dystopian/post-apocalyptic tween series’ of a strong female lead struggling to choose between two boys while also saving the world.
Mr. RRR, remarkably, has a penchant for dull and monotonous books; aka the first list of books (barring a couple of series that he particularly enjoys). I, on the other hand, have an overwhelming affinity for the second list. Seriously, just typing out the types of non-fiction almost put me in a deep slumber. But, not too long ago, I was the prime candidate for buying book after book. Whether it was a physical copy of a book or a digital e-book; I would see one at the store (particularly Target because they usually have those 20% off stickers on their books, which somehow always managed to work on me) and I would just have to leave with it. Well good people, I’ve seen the error of my ways and I’m here to share with you the source of my salvation. It’s as simple as taking your money saving little ass down to your local library and get yourself a library card!
I know what you’re thinking, “Seriously? A library card? What are we seven?” or “Who has time to go to the library and peruse through aisle after aisle of books?” One, you don’t where to start. And two, you just don’t have that kind of time. The resolution to this issue? An app called Overdrive.
To all of the book lovers and avid audiobook listeners, you’ve just hit the proverbial jackpot. This Overdrive app lets you connect to your local library’s digital collection. I have yet to come across a library that doesn’t have this (but then again, I’ve only checked the libraries in the vicinity of where we’ve lived). The beautiful thing about this app is that it lets you download books straight to Overdrive, your Kindle or Kindle app on your smartphone. And, luckily for us, it has a wide variety of all types of books, even the boring ones that Mr. RRR prefers. It also lets you conveniently download audiobooks right on the app. Of course, this is much smarter to do on wifi to preserve your data…but you already knew that, right?
Wait a second, did this cat say free audiobooks?! Yeah I know! They’re usually at least $20 in iBooks, or you have to buy this and that and earn credits towards an audiobook. This digital library is just like a brick and mortar library, except you can do everything with just the touch of your finger, cuddled up with your little fur baby on the couch in your pajamas, sitting on the throne at home, or sitting on the beach bored because you just finished the only book you brought. Literally anywhere you are, you can check out and download books (I’ve even done this while abroad when I ran out of reading content. We just wandered to an internet café, and I located and downloaded my next novel before we even got our frappés).
For the sake of setting realistic expectations, just know that everything is how you would expect from a library. You can “check out” books from 7-14 days, audiobooks from 7-14 days, and video from 3-7 days. It just depends on what you have as your lending settings on the app and what limitations that the library has set up. Also, a useful tool available is that you can enable automatic checkout so when a book becomes available that you’ve had on hold, it automatically checks out to you, and notifies you. I always have a number of books on hold, and I look forward to the email that indicates that I have a new story to immerse myself in. The automatic aspect also applies the books that you have checked out, they will return to the library once your allotted time has been spent.
Funnily enough, my grandmother is the one who introduced me to this app. She loves to read, and is often on her kindle. And the way that she gets all her books on her kindle is by using Overdrive. I guess that’s where I get my love of reading from. On a personal note, I NEVER fathomed that I would like audiobooks. Someone once told me that they listened to them and I literally laughed at them. But, ironically, once I tried listening to a few and saw how into-character some of these narrators get, I was hooked.
But, all it takes to get started is getting on your bike or taking a walk down to your local library and getting yourself a library card. Next, download that wonderful app called Overdrive and use the credentials on the library card to setup your account and you’re all set for hours and hours of free entertainment, and more books at your disposal than you could read in a lifetime.
If you’re not into technology, or reading on your phone gives you a headache, a library card is still hugely beneficial. You can obviously still checkout books, audiobooks, movies, and some libraries are expanding and letting people check out items such as: small kitchen appliances, home and yard tools, musical instruments, various types of electronics, and so much more! Not to mention that practically every library gives you free internet access and tons of other resources. Other benefits include less impact on the environment, connecting people with their community, offering free classes and seminars, and maintaining historical data about the cities they’re located in.
At this point, I’ve laid out tons of benefits of getting a library card, and I have no other forms of coercion left at my disposal. I have armed you with all the information necessary and you now get to choose to use it for good or evil.
*Disclaimer- I promise we aren’t being compensated by Overdrive or our local library for writing this glowing article. We just genuinely believe in the benefits of both, and hope to spread our enjoyment to others.