Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where Are All My Books??

So I'm packing.  Because we're moving.  Not because I just love to pack.  It happens, but that would be weird.

And guess what is the bulkiest, largest section of my material life?  That's right, my books.  I have two giant bookcases full of books and one mini one.  Not to mention several giant tupperware storage units underneath my bed.  Those mainly just have books from my childhood, however.  So I may leave them behind for now, but who knows?  I get unreasonably attached to books and I might not be able to let them stay behind.

Anyhow, this poses a bit of a problem for my reading habits.  You see, I am reluctant to keep checking things out from the library right about now.  I don't want to accrue more fines, I don't want to have to track them all down before moving, and I have a few I have to check out for work purposes anyhow.  It has been very hard to put down my natural inclination for checking out as many random books as possible.


And it is called The Greater Phoenix Digital Library.  And if you have a library card with any of the Maricopa libraries (i.e., Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria, etc.), YOU TOO CAN USE THIS AWESOME RESOURCE.

It's easy peasy and you can get to it from the Scottsdale Public Library webpage.  Here's a handy link:

I'm going to issue a warning right now.  This website is NOT, I repeat, NOT for popular novels.  If you're thinking you're going to find a copy of Mockingjay, keep looking.  I suggest just camping out in Barnes & Noble, drinking a cup of coffee and having a muffin, and just taking a few hours out of your day and reading it right then and there.  At breakneck speed.

The GPDL works much like a regular library, except it's digital.  You check out books for a set period of time (usually 14 days), and when your time is up, it's gone from your computer.  And they only have so many books, so when someone checks it out, it's out.  Hence why anything super popular is probably not a good bet.  But what if you're like me, and you really enjoy reading obscure books?  You know, those tomes of classic literature that nobody in their right mind downloads in ebook form and then wades through on their laptop.

For example.

I was jonesing for some Alice in Wonderland, and I was lamenting to my hubby the fact that I had already packed my copy.  BUT THEN I REMEMBERED THE DIGITAL LIBRARY.  There were like 8 different version of Alice, and they came in lots of varieties -- ebooks, PDFs, WMA audiobooks, mp3 audiobooks. . .different people reading them to you. . .(where's Levar Burton??).  And then I remembered that I really wanted to read the copy of Alice that I got at the British Library, which is a special manuscript version of Carroll's finished product.  So no dice on Alice, but then I remembered it was time for my annual Dickens summer read!  Yay!

The bonus about loving Dickens -- one of the library copies was (and I had never seen this before): always available.  Yay classic literature!  So I promptly downloaded it and cannot wait to get cracking.

So here's the moral of today's story: if you have a really hard time getting physical print, it is okay to settle for electronic if you have no other choice and if you are hurting for some reading really really badly.

Otherwise, pick up a book.  It doesn't need to be charged.

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