If you’re already a fan of e-books and e-reader devices, feel free to skip the next paragraph. However, if you haven’t already joined the 21st century literary revolution, consider this:
The price of e-readers has dropped dramatically in the past few years, with basic ones available for around $100 and advanced options starting at $200. Sure, that’s a bit of an investment, but when you consider how much cheaper e-books are (around $10 for most titles), the reader will pay for itself in about a year. And that’s not even considering the perks of reading free e-books available at your local library!
Whether you’re a long-time e-reader fan or a new one, free e-books from your local library are an option any bargain-hunter can’t overlook. I love ‘em. Heck, I can’t even remember the last time I bought a book. How simple is it? Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a free library membership at your library. This is the only time you’ll have to go to the actual library. Before you leave, ask for a quick five-minute tutorial on how to use the library website to check out e-books.
- Once you’re back at home, log on to the library’s website to browse the selection of e-books and add books to your “check out” list.
- If the book is available, you can download it to your e-reader and start reading. If it’s not available (you might have to wait a week or two until other people are done reading it), you’ll get an email alert when it ready for you to download.
- After you’ve downloaded the book, it’ll automatically “expire” from your reader after 14 to 21 days (check out periods vary). That’s right, no more returning books and no more late fees!
If you don’t feel like buying an e-reader, but you already have a smart phone or iPad, you’re in luck. Apps like OverDrive (available on iTunes), allow you to locate a library or school nearby, browse or search their eBook collection and, after entering a valid library card or school ID, check out and download the title directly to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
OverDrive can also be used to wirelessly download books for the Nook and Kindle e-readers. In other words, no more connecting your e-reader to your PC to download books – not that it was ever that much of a hassle!