Friday, April 3, 2015

How To Read Your Favorite E-Books - Free, Without Becoming a Pirate.

Have you forsaken paper books and transitioned to electronic media. I actually prefer E-Books. I know there are many people that love the feel and look of the hardback variety. For me, E-Books are much more convenient. I can keep hundreds of titles in my pocket and read any of them on multiple devices (Smartphone, Tablet or Computer). The reader knows where I left off, let's me enlarge the fonts and highlight to my "heart's content". I don't need to make a time consuming, gas burning trip to pick up my book - it's only a finger click away. Some of the e-book formats are proprietary, so I can't easily read a Kindle Book on a Nook or IBook reader. This, however, is just a minor inconvenience. Generally, e-books are less expensive, but not always. Lately, I have been accuring my e-books - free, and you can too.



In most localities, a Public Library Card is free for residents. You already know that you can go to your local library and "check out" paper books, but not everyone knows that e-books are often available, as well. Many Public Libraries now allow you to "check out" digital books. You establish an account, login to an App on your device, pick your book, and download it - free. You may have to wait for that Best Seller, the same way you do with the hardback edition, but you can do it all from your easy chair. You will be allotted a "Borrowing Time" - maybe 2 weeks, and then you will have to "Return It". How do you return a digital book? Just click a button.

The size of the E-Book Collection will depend on your locality. Some are just beginning the process and others have extensive choices, including audiobooks. You will need to find out which specific Reader App (3M Cloud, Overdrive, etc.) your library uses and install the App on your device(s). Generally, you will be able to read your book on your Smartphone, Tablet or PC. Mac, Windows, Android, IOS (Ipad, Iphone) are all supported. In most cases, these Apps are simple to use and their feature set is similar to the IBook, Kindle or Nook apps that you have been using. The only disadvantage that I have found is the inability to load a book on one of the e-ink type (ex Kindle Paperwhite) devices. These are excellent for reading in direct sunlight.

When you buy a Kindle, Nook or Apple Book it is delivered immediately. The process is exactly the same for the Library E-Books, with the welcome exception, that they are free. I know what you are thinking - Suppose I am late with my e-book return? You may be able to renew it, otherwise you will, likely, receive a fine - perhaps a line item on your Local Tax Bill. Some things never change.