Time.com recently highlighted three free services that most people who could benefit from aren’t using.
One program they highlighted was free e-book lending at libraries. York County libraries have a free e-book lending system (Check it out here), and if you’re not using it, you’re definitely missing out.
I use it all the time. Anytime I want, I can simply log on, scroll through and check out books which will then be instantly be delivered to my Kindle. York libraries use the OverDrive system for this, like most of the libraries offering these systems across the country.
It’s amazing. But apparently, a recent Pew Research poll found that the majority of Americans don’t even know about these programs:
“Some 62% of those surveyed ages 16 and up said that they weren’t sure if their library offered e-books or not. Of those who regularly read e-books, just 12% have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.”
What the problem? Well, there are a couple – the library system will replace the Amazon.com Kindle store in your life.
For one thing, while the OverDrive system has a good number of books, it doesn’t have nearly the selection Amazon.com has. It’s like Netflix’s “watch instantly” – is there stuff to watch? Yeah, but you’re probably going to have to dig around to find something good.
Plus, the really good books – the Amazon.com best sellers and whatnot – can have long waiting lists. You see, the library only has a certain number of digital copies it can lend out, and that can lead to long waits. (On last check Fifty Shades of Grey has something like 250 people on the waiting list).
So yeah, you’ll still have to shell out every once in awhile for some reads – but all in all, I’ve found the digital library offerings great. Usually there’s something good available, and if not right away, I’ve been able to easily use the “waiting list feature” to secure my reads.
I’ve saved probably $200 borrowing books instead of buying.
Do you borrow e-books from the library? What do you think about the system?