Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Library Books for Your Kindle?

I think I must be one of the last Americans to use the library system. Not just for books, but for DVDs...




...and CDs and audiobooks. As a member of the library system, I also get 5 free mp3 downloads a week via Sony's Freegal service:




All kinds of cool. But one thing I've found problematic is downloading e-books to my iPhone.


It's not like I have some obscure phone that nobody in the world supports. The iPhone4 is THE cell phone. I have the Kindle app on it, so I should be able to read library books without going through an obstacle course to get there.


Currently, I have to use an app called Bluefire to get the books. I go to the library's website, sort through the very clunky lists of e-books (most of which are unavailable because they're checked out), download the book to my computer, then go find a particular kind of file and add it to a section in iTunes where I tell my computer what to sync to my iPhone. Seven days later my book has expired.


No, you didn't read that incorrectly. SEVEN DAYS to read a book. Okay, so I can read most books in seven days, but that's still a lot of pressure. What if I have a busy week? What if I'm in the middle of another book I want to finish up first? Why can't I have it for three weeks like normal books?


Needless to say, the recent news that library books will be available for Kindle later this year put me over the moon. If I can send it to my phone's Kindle app the way I send books on Amazon.com to it, I'll never read a paper book again. Of course, according to the news stories I'm reading, checkout will only be for 7-14 days, but maybe they'll let us renew?


THIS is the future of the American library system, folks. Libraries are becoming more and more electronic. If the Kindle deal applies to the Nashville library system, I'll officially have a library membership I actively use, while never setting foot in an actual library.


I'll go for that!

26 comments:

D U Okonkwo said...

This hasn't come over to the UK yet (I don't think) but I already know it will be an adjustment. I've been reading all the news about it, though.

I went over to the library only the other day to pick up some books. That old tradition still works for me. I'm definitely still a hard copy paper person.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

The last I looked, our local library only loans out lame ebooks (i.e they don't loan out YA books I want to read as an ebook). I usually just put books on hold (which I get to keep for 3 weeks plus can renew them 3 times unless they're on hold) and go to the library with the kids so they can borrow books, too.

Diane said...

I din't know they did free music downloads. Eeek! what will be next? Isn't the library almost putting itself out of business with all this e-stuff? :O)

HappilyFlawed said...

I will most likely never have any of the good new techology so im also one of the people who will always be reading books with pages you can turn down. they are running that commercial and im the girl who wants the real deal not another electronic device.

Jessica Nelson said...

It's pretty cool, I think. I always am going to the library and getting movies for my kids.

Renee said...

This post makes me want to cry.

Stephanie Faris said...

Diane -- I think the library systems are evolving to keep up with the times. The library system is funded by taxpayer dollars. Who's to say it has to be a brick-and-mortar business? Why can't our tax dollars fund something that is essentially a large website filled with things you download for free? They save on staff, building costs, etc. All it involves is licensing rights and some really top-notch web designers... I wonder if eventually the library system will become one big national thing...all library systems alike like all the radio stations Clear Channel owns. They'll just create a master website template and all the other library systems will use that...

Stephanie Faris said...

HappilyFlawed -- For me, it's a matter of availability. Because I read 1-2 books a week (mostly children's books), I just can't afford the $7-$20 each e-book costs. So I still go to the library. The library's e-book selection sucks rocks, to put it mildly, but the few I've downloaded to my Kindle app, I've LOVED. I can read them anywhere, the text is (usually) large enough for my not-so-good eyes, and I love scooting my finger across the screen to change pages. Plus, I'm an anti-clutter person. We live in a VERY small house that is subject to flood at any time...so the more things I can have on my phone, which is always with me, the better, the way I see it.

Neuffj said...

I just went to the library two days ago, so you aren't the only one out there! I want a kindle so bad. Although I love the smell of a new book, the feel of it in my hands.

Julie Musil said...

I still use the library all the time! I order the book I want online, it's shipped to my library, and voila! I don't have a Kindle. I downloaded the Kindle app for my Mac, and still can't figure out how to get the book there. I'll have my 14 yo look at it for me :D

But I agree, electronic is definitely the future (well, and the present, except for dinosaurs like me)

Heatherlyn said...

SHouldn't more than one person be able to download and read an e-book at the same time? I mean, in theory.

I know lots of people who use the library for the dvds, books, cds. My problem is that I would use the library but seem to have issues getting late fees. I know that there is an easy solution for that problem but the problem remains. :)

Kim said...

I received a Kindle for Christmas, and thought books would be inexpensive to download—maybe lesser known titles are cheaper (?), but the books I've wanted to read have cost as much OR MORE than an actual hard copy. So, at this point, I still prefer to check out books at the library.

Helene said...

Seriously, you have no idea how much this excites me!!!! I just downloaded the Kindle app on my iPhone and I love it. I'm more of an old-fashioned person when it comes to books...I just love the way they feel in my hand, love the smell of them...never thought I'd like a Kindle. But the fact that I can get any book on my iPhone and have it conveniently with me at all times is perfect!!!

And soon being able to get library books on my iPhone....wow!!!! Can't wait!!!

Grand Pooba said...

As I was reading this I was thinking the same thing, maybe they'll let you renew? I can't read a book in 7 days, I'm lucky if I can get in 2 pages a day!

PS I'm having a giveaway fro a $50 GC to Target so come enter! It's for a good cause!

Marsha Sigman said...

No, you are not the last. I am obviously the last.

And it's right around the corner. I have no excuse.

Lynn Benoit said...

I'm one of those dinosaurs that likes to read books made of paper. Technology is great and I'm all for it but dang it, I'm just not ready to go from reading a book to reading a kindle!

Karen Peterson said...

As soon as Nook introduced their share feature, I knew this would be the future of library borrowing and I was very excited about it.

Beth Dunn said...

I don't know that I could read a book on my iPhone. But the free music sounds like a great deal!
xoxo
SC

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I'm too afraid of migraines to attempt to read on an iPhone. Kindles, I can handle :)

Sherri Hunt Smith said...

That actually sounds like a library idea I could live with. I have lost a million library boks/ movies becaus I can't make it back to the library. Hmmmmmm..... mayby that is one reason to get a kindle....

Savanna said...

I wish our library had all that!

(Florida) Girl said...

I am still addicted to paper books. I guess I will need to get with it at some point.

Karen said...

Steph, wow, that is amazing. I don't have a kindle or iphone. But somehow, this old school girl loves to hold the pages of a book in my hand. I can mark and reread, get it autographed, too.

But I'll probably follow the crowd eventually. :)

Burgh Golfer said...

Downloads? I guess I need to get to my local library and check out all the new fancy things they're offering these days!

Dave said...

Not having a Kindle, iPad or iPhone we rely on good old paperbacks for our reading entertainment, which our local library do an excellent job of supplying with service. One week does seem very short for a loan book, of any kind. - Dave

Missed Periods said...

I'm always late to come to new technology. I think I was the last person on earth to finally succumb to the cell phone. Now, I'm addicted. I can't even imagine reading an ebook, but knowing me, it's only a matter of time.