This week we’ve been celebrating National Library Week. As a book-lover, going to the library has always been an enjoyable experience. I have fond memories of renting stacks of Judy Blume, and participating in my hometown’s summer reading challenge.
But now e-readers have taken over. Kindles, Nooks, iPads and other devices are common-place for many readers where books can be accessed with just the push of a button. But even if you don’t want to buy the e-book full price, subscriptions services allows customers to access their catalogue of e-books for a monthly fee (similar to Netflix). E-readers are easy, convenient and fun to use, so how does a public library stack up to these subscription services?
E-books are available. If we’re just talking about e-books here, many public libraries have gained large e-book collections that you can read with a variety of devices, including your Kindle. You don’t even have to visit the library to check the books out. When the book is due it simply disappears from your device avoiding any late fees. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
More titles available. Services like Amazon Unlimited and Oyster have thousands of titles in their collection, but surprisingly, not a lot of recent best-sellers. I looked up the top ten books on the current NY Times Best Sellers List for fiction. Searching in both my local library’s catalogue and Amazon Unlimited, the public library have significantly more titles available to rent. Out of the ten books, Amazon Unlimited only had 1 available, while Nashville Public Library had 7 e-books and 8 printed books available out of the 10 listed.
Um, hello? It’s free. This is a no-brainer for me. I read a lot of books. If I bought every book I wanted to read, I wouldn’t have enough money to eat or pay rent. Even using a subscription service seems a little silly. Why pay money when the public library offers the
same more titles for free? In addition, many libraries offer events, classes, programs and children’s activities all free to the community. How awesome is that?
Long wait lists and late fees are something to consider when using a public library, but ultimately the good outweighs the bad. It’s free, the titles are endless and you can rent in a variety of formats. Perhaps these subscriptions services are worth the money, but just I can’t see it. Public libraries are great resources in our communities so why not take advantage of all they have to offer?
Do you rent from the library or do you use e-book subscription services? Comment below and tell me why. Happy reading this weekend!