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!