I want to read all the books. ALL THE BOOKS.
But with limited time (and money), how in the world can I read all of the bestsellers, recommendations by friends, and career development books?
Despite news that e-readers such as the Kindle and iPad have decreased physical book usage, research has shown that libraries have accommodated more patrons in the past eight years.
There are many reasons for this, such as free internet access and programs in the libraries, but the reason I still love my local library is that it is so convenient to read books for free. Whether it is an actual book, an eBook, or an audiobook, the library has adapted to new technology to continue delivering the goods.
Related: Figure out which book you need to read next based on the skill you want to build!
A little background first: I have a long daily work commute.
For the past five years, I have worked in a job that requires not only driving time to and from work but also drive time between accounts. To pass the time, I listen to the radio, podcasts, and audiobooks. I love being entertained, and my commutes are much more productive when I am learning something new.
A daily commute is not unique to me. According to the 2013 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau, more than 95% of American workers commute to work each day.
Luckily, radio and podcasts are free. Easy peasy. But finding new, bestselling books to enjoy in the car is not as easy. For a while, I checked out audiobooks on disc from the local libraries, but the selection left much to be desired. I also subscribed to Audible*, but after about a year I couldn’t justify the $15/month fee.
To be fair, Audible sells you the books for much less than you would buy them individually; if you want to keep copies of the audiobooks, it is a valuable service. You should at least use your free book credit to see you like Audible‘s service.
And I still LOVE browsing through bookstores and picking out a few books that I want to keep forever or give as gifts. But for books that I wanted to read but not necessarily keep, I hadn’t found my solution yet.
And then MY LIFE CHANGED.
Okay, a bit dramatic. But at my local library, I learned how to use the digital library. Similar to a physical visit to the library, the digital library allows patrons to check out eBooks and audiobooks. If the copy is available, you immediately get the book on your chosen device; if the copy is checked out, you can place a hold (up to ten at a time).
There are hundreds of books I still want to read, and being able to queue up 10 checkouts and 10 more on hold at a time is phenomenal! There is even a wish list to track all of the books on your “to-read” list.
Since I read or listen to about one to three books a week, the free library works best for me. I do still buy books on occasion, but I love my library solution for exploring the bestseller lists.
As a resident in your town or county, you pay for those library resources through your taxes. Take advantage of that amenity! Find out if your local branch partners with a digital library service (ours uses Overdrive) by asking in person or poking around on the library’s website.
Now go forth and READ!
Take the new knowledge from your favorite development books and level-up your career with our free career resource library.
*This post contains an affiliate link for audible’s free trial. As a bookworm, I only recommend books and services I have tried and would recommend. See if it is right for you, and enjoy!