Library Corner – eBooks at the Library

26

Empowering individuals to build a stronger community


Carol S. Lewis

I’ve been a giant fan of libraries for practically my whole life. Ever since I learned to read (a LOOONG time ago), my mother would regularly take me to the library to choose a stack of books. The earliest public library I remember was in an old two-story white frame house with wooden floors that creaked.

I still remember the intoxicating sight and smell of that old library, with its shelves and shelves of books—magic to me. I loved books so much I worked in the book publishing industry for many years. When ebooks came along, I wasn’t exactly hostile to them—I could see their many advantages, especially for textbooks, which tend to be heavy.

But for my recreational reading, I resisted ebooks, even after Amazon introduced the Kindle e-reader in 2007, with its improved paper-like screen. I was too much in love with the feel and smell and look of “real” books. When several of my equally book-crazy friends made the transition to Kindle or Nook ebooks, however, I finally decided it was time to give them a chance. And, yes, I became a convert—partially, at least. I still buy, read and enjoy print books, but the advantages of ebooks are numerous: you can carry around a library of thousands of books in a tiny lightweight device, ebooks are usually cheaper to buy, and I can read them in bed at night with the light out so my husband doesn’t realize how late I stay up reading. (And the tablet device I read my ebooks on doesn’t hurt my nose as much as a print book does when I fall asleep and drop it on my face.)

I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I only recently found out that you can borrow ebooks from the library, a thrilling fact that I believe is going to help my book budget tremendously! I just went through the sign-up process and borrowed my first ebooks from the library, and I’m going to share that entire process with you in a later column, in case you are not aware of this great service of our library, or perhaps are a little nervous about navigating the e-world. In the next column, I’ll provide the details, but in general all you need is a valid library card from our library, computer access, and you need to register with the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library (MFRL) system, which our library is part of. You can either do this in person at the Christiansburg branch of the library system if you go over that way, or you can fill out a paper registration form at the Craig County Library and they will mail it in for you, which is the option I chose. Several days later, I received an email from MFRL asking me to confirm my subscription to their list by clicking a button. They also will mail an information packet to you. And voila! You will have access to a LOT of ebooks (and audiobooks too)! Stay tuned into the weekly Library Corner for more about ebooks!

Date to remember:

July 21 NIGHT SKY PROGRAM (rescheduled due to cloudy conditions) We are hoping for a clear night to enjoy the planets and stars with the experts! 8 pm Craig Valley Baptist Church Picnic Pavilion. On route 615 just before you turn into the Field of Dreams

Books and Baseball- Ongoing through July for free tickets to Salem Red Sox games. Inquire at the library.

Thanks to Carol Lewis for contributing to the Library Corner. If you have a story about libraries, past, present, or future please send your material (500 words or less) to craiglibrary@swva.net. Please note our new email address!