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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Online libraries!

I’ve been so sad about leaving the library behind.

One of the great loves of my life here is the Toronto Public Library.  And once we leave, we will lose access to its amazing physical collection of books of all kinds.  But I also take huge advantage of its electronic “lending” library to take out free audiobooks and ePub ebooks of all kinds, for me and for the kids, and with English books being more scarce in Israel, that’s something I could really use. 

Of course, if my membership is up to date, I’ll be able to keep using the service for a while, but soon enough, it’ll expire… and then what???

So it turns out that there are a couple of libraries in the US that offer memberships to non-residents a library card, including access to their electronic holdings, for a nominal yearly fee.  The full list is here on Wikipedia. (who’dathunk there’d be such a list in the first place???)

The best of them seems to be in Philadelphia, which has a non-resident membership for $35 a year, which allows full access to their Overdrive site for eBooks and audiobooks.  I don’t know if the collection is as large as Toronto’s, but it seems like a good deal.  Even if you only use it a few times, you’ll have saved as compared to buying eBooks and audiobooks online.

Speaking of audiobooks, I was investigating Audible, an audiobook site from Amazon, which – as far as I know – is available worldwide.  That service is $15 a month and includes one free book a month; you pay for any others you download.  However, they do offer a free trial month (which includes one free audiobook), so I joined for the trial month and downloaded the audiobook of Susan Wise Bauer’s History of the Medieval World

I have been wanting to read it, but not wanting to read it, if you know what I mean.  It’s a VERY big book, and listening to the audiobook is a painless way to absorb at least a bit of the information before we embark on our homeschool medieval studies with Story of the World in a month or so.  All of which is another subject for my other blog.

So what’s my point?  Oh, yeah – free audiobook!  And $35 library privileges, worldwide.  There is hope for post-aliyah literacy after all…

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