Check this out: a Kindle download

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I don’t own an e-reader, –There’s something about holding a book, the smooth or sometimes rough feel of paper partnering with finger turning the page–and that new-book smell; the book’s your friend even before it begins telling you its story.

That said, this weekend I plan to put aside my current hardcover and try out my public library’s downloadable catalogue. It’ll be my first e-book, the end of a three-year holdout–a lot longer if you count Michael Hart’s  first e-book–because this is an offer you and I can’t refuse.

How can we? It’s free. We like free.

After a lot of wrangling, and you can imagine resistance from some in the publishing industry, Amazon has negotiated a deal with public libraries across the country, including Mid Columbia Libraries and the Richland Public Library, so library card holders can now download selected titles from Amazon’s e-reader catalogue.

You can now borrow a Kindle book. Just like you borrow a book from the library. After a specified number of days, the e-book simply disappears. You don’t have to return it. No late fees. No chocolate or coffee stains you have to explain to the librarian.

And if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download it to your Android or other smart phone (with the free Kindle app), tablet, or your home computer.

All you need is your library card.

You do have a library card, right? Please tell me you have a library card. Because they’re free, too.

Downloading library books is not all that new. The local branches have been offering a downloadable catalogue for a few years now, but with the advent of  Kindle and other e-book readers, iPads and other tablets, and smart phone apps, libraries are hustling to keep up with the demand. “The downloadable collection has seen demand increase 305 percent over last year,” says Michael Huff. He is the collections and merchandising director at MCL. He is the man in charge of how the library spends its million dollars earmarked for what we check out. Huff says MCL currently has 20,000 titles in its downloadable catalogue, and that includes audio books (something to download on your phone before that long drive over Snoqualmie Pass this Thanksgiving).

To celebrate and promote this deal with Amazon, MCL will hold a drawing at the end of the month. Two winners get a Kindle. To get into the drawing , download a library e-book–automatically you’ll be entered every time you do.  You can also enter at the MCL website and through the app on the Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Facebook Page.

I still like to roam the library stacks, nose around the new books section, and imagine one day my novel will be there, too. But when I can’t swing by the library during the week, and the library is closed on Sunday, now I can hop online and search its cyber aisles.

And I don’t have to shave first.

Check it out, and happy reading this weekend (and make sure your kids get their 20 minutes in,too).



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5 responses to “Check this out: a Kindle download

  1. Jaclyn Gotch

    Library books on the Kindle are fabulous! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you give it a try!

  2. Kristina McRae

    Thank you for your help on Facebook. I just wat to let you know that I enjoyed your blog and that I appreciate you taking the time to let us know that local libraries allow you to check out ebooks. I do not own any kind of device that will allow me to do this yet, but now that I have this information I am looking forward to getting one.

  3. I received a Kindle from my dad last Christmas and I LOVE IT!!! I especially love it for reading magazines. I always felt bad subscribing to magazines as I throw them out after reading them and that seems pretty eco-unfriendly. I was also exceptionally happy when my local library started offering them. I had been reading e-books from the library, but I could only read them on my smartphone – which is not as easy to read with my ageing eyes as the Kindle.

    Additionally, the Kindle is perfect for reading outside in the sunlight. It’s e-ink is perfect. Another nice thing is that Kindle has a lot of freebies or almost free items to download. I highly suggest anyone get a Kindle.

  4. I own two eReaders, one of which is a Kindle. I find I like them for fiction, not so much for non fiction. While I, too, love the feel of a real book, the smell of the paper and ink, I find real advantages to the eReaders. They are light weight (weighing less than a mass paperback) making them easier to hold, I can change the font and size to something my eyes like, and when I travel, I can load as many books as I want into the eReader to take with me, and not add hundreds of pounds to my luggage. Will they take the place of hard copy books? I hope not. I hope there is room for both in our world.

  5. I only recently got a Kindle because I noticed that some of the e-book versions of textbooks for my classes at WSU Tri-Cities are sometimes 50-60% off the price of a physical book, and being a college student, ESPECIALLY with how things are today, I am looking for ways to save money in every nook and cranny I can. But I am enjoying the Kindle, and have checked out four books (Stephen King) from MCL already.

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