Saturday, June 20, 2015

You Can Rent EBooks from the Library and It's Changing My Life

Let's get one thing straight: one of the only reason that this Resolution isn't killing me slowly, is the fact that I can get books for free from my local library... and, as I figured out about two months into this especially awful form of self-denial, I can get them in ebook format, too.

That's right... it's called Overdrive, and its a special program for libraries that enables patrons to rent ebooks remotely, through their Amazon account, and have it downloaded directly into their preferred Internet-connected platform, including your web browser (for those of you more used to reading fanfiction, lol. Just kidding).

Here's just a handful of the perks of such a great service:

  • You can rent them remotely, ie, comfortably from your desk in Seattle. Like, I can be laying in bed with no makeup on and yoga pants on a Wednesday morning, or dead-tired after a long day of running around on a Thursday night, and I'm easily able to pick up a couple of new titles in either case. 
  • You can get access to new, in-demand fiction quicker than in-person. Because it's in an ebook format, and the online platform still isn't as popular as checking out books in-person, there's a greater chance of you snagging that hot new title. 
  • And if you can't manage to be the first to snag it? No one will judge you for the fact that you've just placed twelve different holds on various titles (which, as it turns out, is pretty necessary). 
  • They've got audiobooks on file for download, as well, which is super convenient if you've got an iPhone or an Android phone, with their accompanying app! Need knew listening material before you go on a run? Download it instantly! 

That doesn't mean that there aren't any drawbacks, however...

  • There are still a limited amount of copies to be checked out at any one time, in terms of what's available in the ebook pool for everyone's enjoyment... which are usually all the titles you want to read. Most of the new stuff, you have to pick up just as soon as its made available, or you have to place a hold (which is how the aforementioned "12 of them" comes in handy). 
  • There's also a more restrained amount of books that are actually available for checkout, because they can't make the full catalog available for readers, but, like the library stock itself, keep things pretty carefully curated. A lot of classic titles are up for grabs, but the newer stuff... you may have to wait a little while. 

But really, that's it. That's all the drawbacks.

It is, for the most part, an incredibly useful service, and I've already used it several times, with both Katie Cotugno's 99 Days, as well as a couple of titles that'll be popping up on the blog in the near future (and one that I really can't wait to hear more opinions on... you'll see what I mean).

(PS. Somewhat belatedly, I realize this honestly sounds like an endorsement. It is - in the means that I effing love this program - but judging from the fact that this is available for free to literally everyone, I don't think I'm enjoying anything from it that anyone else isn't also able to get... so it's not. Get it?)

Does your library have Overdrive, or a similar kind of service? Do you use a different kind of rental service, like Oyster, for your ebook reading? Let me know, in the comments below! 

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