Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Library Nook

One of the reasons I've been carting my own personal library with me across the country is that many of my favorite books have not been accessible through the public libraries in my neighborhoods.  The branch library near my first apartment in New York, for instance, was small and had very restricted hours.  The library nearest to my current home, although now part of the Maricopa County Library System, was originally a private library made up of donated books, so its inventory is missing some entire fictional genres.  Until now, a private library and inter-library loans seemed the only answers to this dilemma, but I'm happy to say that my new Nook is also helping to bridge the gap.

I mentioned earlier that I had downloaded the app that allows me to borrow ebooks from the library system, and I used it for the first time this week.  Every week I get four "tokens" from the library that I can use to borrow books.  Books are worth one, two, or four tokens, based on their popularity and other factors.  Each ebook can be borrowed for two weeks and then renewed if necessary; renewals generally do not cost any tokens.

A few days ago I browsed the mystery ebooks available and was delighted to find that many of the works of Georgette Heyer have been digitized.  Heyer was a contemporary of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and wrote both historical (Regency) romance novels and English country house mysteries.  I have almost all of the romances - in crumbling paperbacks dating from my high school years - but none of the mysteries, which I never bought because they were available from the public library in Sioux Falls.  I was delighted to re-read one of them (not available in hardcover through my current library branch) as my first borrowed ebook.

The only drawback to this system is that I can already hear a little voice in the back of my head saying, "You can use the Nook to find new authors whose books you'd like to BUY!!"

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

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