Now that I’ve got a new job and a new home (although something of a transient one) I decided to solidify my residency (besides the usual vehicle registration/driver’s license/voting things) by getting that oft-neglected of public privileges: a library card! I promptly borrowed a book, but not in the traditional manner. No no, I stepped into the future (of today) and borrowed a book digitally. The process was surprisingly seamless, thanks to Amazon’s partnership and the fact that I own a Kindle. I felt so high tech and stuff, and it’s always good to cut down on handling big old, smelly books. Actually, libraries make a lot of sense since I never re-read a book anyway and have gone through tons of effort to discard the tons of books I’ve accumulated over the years. There were just a couple of hiccups with the process:
- The list of books available to borrow is embarrassingly lousy. It’s kind of like looking through the list of discounted (and free) non-public domain titles available through Amazon; tons of stuff from fly-by-night publishers and authors you’ve never heard of and probably suck.
- In the olden days, you had to keep track of when the books were due or else incur the late return fee (a staggering 25¢/day at the New York Public Library!) Now I get a nifty reminder from Amazon that the book will be automatically withdrawn from my Kindle in a couple of days. This had the added benefit of stressing me out just enough to finish reading the damn thing. So, nice that I’ll avoid any fees but lousy to have my e-mail nagging me.
Overall, it’s been a pleasant experience.
- “Check it Out” from Reading Rainbow @ Vimeo
- Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-book Tug of War @ The New York Times
- Librarian Problems @ Tumblr