Monday, January 31, 2011
I don't know why, but it takes me a while to catch up to new movements. Most of you probably already have a Kindle or some kind of digital reader. Not me. It's not that I believe that I have to hold a real book--arthritic joints often make this difficult, especially with the bigger volumes of nonfiction that I like to read. No, it's mainly that I can't stand the idea of paying for digital books.
Before you suggest the lists and lists of books that are free to download, I'd suggest you look at those lists and tell me if you would like your reading limited to older classics and newer romances.
Long ago, I cleared out my personal library so that it only contains fiction books I like to read again and again, or certain kinds of books I like to refer to frequently, such as cookbooks and books on the development of language. Besides, we live in the dusty desert, and fewer books means less dust, sitting there and making me feel guilty. But, as a librarian (retired, but still a librarian in my heart), I am a confirmed library user. I love to drag home piles of books to read--all for free.
But those Kindles--so lightweight, so portable. So nice for trips (and we're planning a wonderful trip that I will tell you about later this week). With all that in mind, I started digging around my library's website to see if they made any free book downloads available for digital reading devices. Sadly, they didn't, but I did make a great discovery. [Later note: I went back and rechecked the library website and yes, they do have downloadable e-books, over 3400 of them. They are, however, the usual classics, but I could read a few, I guess].
Free downloadable audio books! Thousands of of them! 3,107 at last count, and more being added all the time! In spite of a kind of clunky interface, the list can be sorted by author, title, subject, or by latest titles added.
It took me a while to get over my disappointment that my Mac will only accept MP3 files, and that a great many of the books were in WMA format, whatever the heck that is. (I really know how to find out, since I'm a librarian--did I mention that already?--and you can find out, too, right here). But I bucked up and soldiered on, and found that I could still choose from tons of titles, download a book in just a few minutes, and then move it to an iPod very quickly.
Laugh at me if you will, but I've finally caught up with the rest of the world. I can knit and read! Well, I can knit and "read!" I can do the morning mile and read while walking! Perhaps I could even dust while reading...
I'm still thinking about that Kindle, though. Do you have a digital reader preference? Have you found a good source for free downloads?