I’ve mentioned before that I like to listen to books on my iPod.
My mode has been to get books on CD from the library, load them on to iTunes and then upload them to my iPod (people always ask if that’s legal – rest assured that I delete them when I’m done). This is a pretty good system, but it can be a little time intensive, what with the importing one CD at a time and then also trying to remember if you were on track A1 or A11 or C28b (hello, 21st century problems, lovely to see you).
Happily, I have found a new option (not that the CD method will be tossed out on its backside entirely). My library system used Overdrive Media, where there are hundreds of titles available for download straight onto your iPod. And these are legitimately awesome books too – new ones, YA ones, award winning ones, classics, children’s books. It takes a fraction of the downloading time that manually importing CDs does and they go into the “Audiobook” section of your iPod which means that it bookmarks where you are in the book and you can return straight to it without searching after listening to something else (or, in my case, switching between two books).
I know what you’re thinking. “Well, yes, Janssen, it’s all well and good for YOU, since you clearly have the best library ever at your fingertips. But my library is the size of a postage stamp and is made out of discarded beer cans.” Think again. I’m willing to bet you have access to such a system as well.
My friend Julie called a few weeks ago to ask about my audiobook listening and I asked her to tell me the name of her library. While she told me how tiny it was, I googled it and within seconds had discovered that her library had the same feature. With more titles, I noticed jealously.
The Provo library in Utah and the one I went to in Texas both use another version called “NetLibrary.” Same basic idea. My parents’ library system uses the same one I do (Overdrive Media).
The titles are checked out for only 2-3 weeks at a time, and only one person can have a book out at any one given moment, so you may have to place a request for it and wait for it to come in, but with so many titles, I never have trouble finding SOMETHING I want to listen to. And they are adding titles constantly.
Also, these are very fine recordings, the same as the ones you would get on an audio CD, not read by someone who doesn’t actually read very well but is willing to do it for free.
I am rather addicted to browsing the website now, patrolling for new titles, putting items on hold, and listening to my currently checked-out titles as I fold the laundry or vacuum.
Check out your library and see if it offers this service (search for Overdrive Media Libraries by state here) I’ll put money on 90% of your libraries doing just that (only a penny, though, because I am cheap).