A bad picture of my really good Kindle!
As a book lover and book collector I've been a bit suspicious of electronic reading devices like the Kindle, IPads, and the like. I am not alone in feeling that way, but how one feels about progress, or the lack of it, hardly matters: things change, and we change along with them. Three things happened to make me appreciate, if not embrace, these new reading devices.
The first was being given the gift of a brand new Kindle by my friend Sharon Sloan, Director of the Carroll County Literacy Council. Sharon is a self-described nerd of the highest order and couldn't stand the idea that one of her close associates was such a techno-dope. The second thing was learning that my recently published novel Semi-Faithful: More Coffee with John Heartbreak sold more copies as an e-book than as an old-fashioned trade paperback. As a reader I may prefer holding an actual book in hand, but as a bookseller I'll take any a sale.
The third, and main reason I've come to appreciate these new reading devices, is that our libraries have jumped on the technology wagon and have made a vast array of e-literature available free of charge to library cardholders. Since Sharon's gift of a Kindle, I've probably read as many e-books (several dozen) as I've read traditional book forms. And best of all, there is a bountiful collection of all genres available. Here's how it works:
Go to your library's web page (mine is Berryville) and look for the Library 2 Go icon and click on it. That takes you to a page that lists various types of books available such as fiction, non-fiction, biographies and so on. Sign in using your library card number and pin number, and then select the electronic format you want: e-books of various kinds, downloadable files directly to your computer, audio books, and so on.
Once you find a title you want, click on it; you'll be taken to a page where you can download the title in the format you want. Since these free materials are available through special arrangements with Amazon, you'll have to have an Amazon account: sign in to Amazon and click on "Borrow Book" and watch the title as it is loaded onto your device.
Finding books this way is fun and relatively easy. A few minutes ago I downloaded Cormac McCarthy's Cities of the Plains for re-reading, and Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt. I have two weeks before my "books" are automatically returned. There are never any late fees!