To be clear, I'm talking about the ebook – exactly what would cost me $ 15 on Amazon. Most libraries have partnerships with one or more digital lending services, so you can conveniently borrow library reading material from your PC, phone or tablet.
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The following applies to getting started:
- A library card
- A compatible device (iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone / tablet, Kindle reader, Kobo reader)
Yes, that's it , Next, you should visit your library's website and look for something related to e-books. It could be called "eLibrary" or "downloads" or something else, but should lead to at least one of the two most important lending services: Hoopla Digital and OverDrive. You can use your library card to sign up and / or create an account.
OverDrive provides access to e-books and audiobooks, while Hoopla adds music, comics,to the mix
What types of books can you expect? Here's the clue: just like the actual library, the choices may be somewhat limited, and you may have to wait to read the books you want. Because just like in the library, there are a limited number of titles for each title.
At Hamilton, for example, I had to be on a waiting list with OverDrive (the book is currently not available at Hoopla). That's because there are only 10 digital copies available in my library and currently 17 people are interested in lending them. Fortunately, OverDrive notifies you when a title becomes available in your Holds list, and you can even choose to have the book automatically checked out.
From there, you can download the e-book with a Kindle (or Kindle app), a Kobo Reader, or the Overreader Ereader app, Libby. (We've seen lesser compatibility with Kindle with OverDrive lately, possibly due to the fact that Kobo and Kobo are now owned by rival Rakuten.) It's available for Android and iOS, so it can find, reserve, and check out books  When a book is checked out, it usually takes 2-3 weeks before it has to be "returned". This happens automatically as soon as the return date occurs. At this point, the digital copy will expire, which means that you will not be able to access it unless you need to check it out again. (Note, however, that you may end up at the bottom of the queue again.)
Hoopla works similarly unless there is no option to read on the Kindle. You must use the Hoopla app. It is a mostly usable reader, although it is limited to three font sizes.
The key to this is that before you buy an e-book, check that it is available in your library. And if not, you may find something else that you enjoy reading. You certainly can not beat the price.
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