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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

let's hear it for the bookie!

I did it all for the [bookie]
The [bookie]
So you can take that nookie
And stick it up your, yeah!!
Stick it up your, yeah!!
Stick it up your, yeah!!

Did you hear the news yesterday?  Barnes and Noble debuted it's Nook Simple Touch, an e-reader with a touchscreen much like the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition.  And, that means that the regular old now-obsolete Nook is on clearance on ebay for only $99.  Oh My Wow!

Imagine... thousands of books, all at your fingertips!  And all you have to do is... pay for the device and then pay for each book (except for the few free ones) and then hope that all the things that you paid for don't vanish into thin air.  Hmmm.  Sounds like a money maker... for somebody.

Okay, I know that eReaders are useful in some situations.  Take, for instance, the woman who gets neck strain from holding up several hundred pages of paper all bound together.  Or, perhaps the lady who wants to read on the train, but only has one purse in which to carry her essentials.  Guess what?  Nook and Kindle are both available as FREE smartphone apps.  Ha!  That's a hundred dollar value, there.

I even use the Kindle app on my droid from time to time, mainly when I've forgotten to throw a book in my car.  I can see the perceived value in e-books.  I really can.  I almost bought into the myth that I had to have one.  Imagine the convenience!  Buying a book in one click!  No more drives to the bookstore to wander amidst the shelves, thumbing through selections at my convenience.

However, I very rarely purchase books anymore.  When I do, they are mainly for my kids or non-fiction that I will absolutely refer back to time and again.  (If I renew a library book more than three times, I realize I need to buy it).  But, look!  There!  I gave away my secret.  Nearly all of the material that I read nowadays comes from the library.  Why?  Because it is free. 

Oh, how I love my local library system.  There is a library in nearly every neighborhood to which I typically drive.  If I'm not going out anyway, and do not wish to burn the gas just to drive to the library, I can reserve books online and have them dropped off at a library kiosk right up the street from my home.  I can read nearly anything I want, though I may have to [gasp] wait my turn for the most popular titles.  And, again, as long as I remember to return the books on time, I don't pay a dime.  How convenient is that?

Also, the libraries offer loads of free things for the kids to do all year round.  From Lego clubs to Family Movies, to musical performances and picnics and egg hunts, the library isn't just for storytime anymore.  And, when we just drop in and there isn't anything going on, the kids can always play at the train table, work some puzzles, use the computers, stare at the fish, build with mega blocks, or OH MY! read!  This week alone, we will visit the library three times.  The children really do adore these outings.

What's that?  What about the germs?  Wash your hands. 

What is your local library like?  How often do you visit?

Song Credit: Nookie by Limp Bizkit
Photo Credit: early primer, St. Thomas Public Library, Money Money Money

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