Thanks Chicago Public Library!

I’ve been sharing with you my love of the library and my obsession with my new Kindle. They have now morphed together. This morning as I was going through my Twitter feed, I discovered the Chicago Public Library is now offering e-books for my Kindle. Yes I shrieked with delight in my apartment, causing my two cats to look at my like I was insane.

I read the Sun-Times article and was pleased to know that the Chicago Public Library has multiple digital copies of the best-selling books to borrow. All you have to do is log onto the site and enter your library card number and zip code. 3,546 books at my fingertips for free. And I don’t have to worry about late fees! Sign me up now.

I immediately logged onto the Chicago Public Library site to view what was available and I was not surprised to find myself looking at a wait list for many of the best sellers. As Jen commented on my post about the potential Amazon digital library, many people don’t want to wait on these lists. That’s fine for you all, but this girl is adding herself on the wait list now. The nice thing is is that the site shows you how many copies of the e-book are available and how many people are on the waiting list.

Since I have gotten my Kindle, I have been devouring books like crazy. I’m a firm believer that the more you read the better you write.  This discovery is going to feed into my desire to read and desire to write. Winter in Chicago is coming and I think I just figured out what I’m going to do holed up in my apartment when the snow comes.

My View on the Potential Amazon Digital Library

I saw a tweet come through on my feed this morning about Amazon wanting to launch a subscription-based library for the Kindle. As a new Kindle owner, I thought the idea would appeal to me. It doesn’t. In fact, it disturbs me.

I can’t imagine having to pay to access a library. As I shared with you in an earlier post, I grew up in the library. We have free public libraries across the country that are starting to adapt to digitally published books. Why pay for monthly access when you can still borrow a digital book from the good old fashioned library?

The obvious answer is convenience and availability.

Fine, if you want to pay for your subscription, do it. But reports are saying that Amazon wants to make it available to prime members. I am not paying $79 a year to rent books.

Why Amazon? You already let Kindle users share books for two weeks. Most of the classics are free. Sorry, this subscription thing is not for me.

My other concern, also addressed in the article, is how authors are going to be affected. As I have started to blog and have become more active on social media sites, I have had the opportunity to connect with a lot of authors. I understand publishers are leery about this idea, but how will this impact those who are self-published writers and have e-books through Amazon? Are they going to be included in this “premium” library? Would they even want to be?

It will be interesting to see if Amazon goes forward with this idea. What do you think?

Is a Library a Library Without Books?

I was a library junkie when I was a kid. I grew up spending my summers with the Chicago Public Library, first completing the summer reading program and then as a volunteer. I love the smell of books and browsing the shelves for a new find. I still do.

I saw the headline “Is a Bookless Library Still a Library?” on the Time website. Colleges are now creating bookless libraries with lots of seats and computers that have access to the library’s collection of electronic materials.

I suppose this was bound to happen with the advances in technology, but it poses a few great questions. What happens when a server goes down or a power outage happens? How do you access any materials? How do you archive your materials?

I’m old school and I know it. I like being able to make notes on paper and highlight things. Those techniques are what helps me write and outline the point I want to convey to others. Sure you can do all of that on the iPad and the Kindle. Some of you would probably call me a tree killer.

As I wrote in an earlier post, I still love to write drafts out on a legal pad or a journal to outline my thoughts. I couldn’t think of being in college and not having books to put notations with Post-It notes.

What do you guys think? Is a library a library without books? Or is it just a study room? Do you think that bookless libraries are going to be the new trend? Leave me a comment below or tweet me.