One of the things that I will miss when we leave for our round the world adventure is my local library. I did not really discover or come to love my local library until after I had Sydney. Admittedly, before having a child I was one of those people that if I found an interesting book I would just go out and buy it – resulting in piles of books read only once. I did have a library card before Sydney, but I cannot really think of a time that I checked out books. After Sydney was born, I was looking for free activities which I could do with her and found reading time at our local library. This turned into a weekly routine of going to the library and checking out children’s books. Now that Sydney has started school and we can no longer attend reading time, every Tuesday after school Sydney and I will walk down to the library to check out books. Sydney always comes home with a pile of books, some entertaining, and some kind of strange. Through this routine I have enjoyed discovering some great children’s books. Who knew that Geronimo Stilton or Percy Jackson could be enjoyable to read as an adult? I have also come to enjoy watching Sydney select the books she likes, asking the librarian whether they have such and such book, and be so excited about reading the book she got. For a while now Sydney has been asking for a library card and just recently I finally agreed to let her get one. It was a very exciting moment for her filling out the information for her first library card.
As we established this weekly routine of going to the library, I began to look around and realize how much free information is available to us for free! I love the fact that if I am interested in a subject such as traveling, photography, cooking or whatever else is currently holding my interest, I can do a search and find numerous books on the subject. The only drawback: at our local library you can only have 15 holds at a time. Luckily for me, I have commandeered Jason’s library card and can now have twice as many holds. But, I am not too greedy and do occasionally allow him to place a book on hold.
So, back to my original point on how much I will miss my locale library when we travel. I was initially nervous about what I would do for books while we are traveling. Though, Jason has had some luck with book exchanges at some of the places we have traveled to, that plan seems a little too risky for me. What if I am not able to find a book that looks interesting that is in English? I definitely cannot lug around an entire suitcase of books with me; Jason just won’t go for that. Mailing books also seems like a really expensive proposition and unreliable. Fortunately for me, last year my mother solved this problem as she gave me a Kindle e-reader for my birthday. Since this generous gift, I have taken my Kindle on several trips and found it worked out great. Advantages to the kindle: it’s small, portable and I can find a book wherever I am as long as there is a wireless connection. Taking the Kindle around the world seemed like a viable solution. But then I started thinking about the cost, I could easily spend $40+ a month in books just for me. That would not include books for Sydney or Jason. Given the cost, this would not work with our tight budget. When I first received the Kindle, I noticed the library had ebooks that could be checked out. However, I could not figure out how to download the ebook onto the Kindle. Recently while in the library, Jason pointed out a pamphlet on how to download library ebooks to the Kindle. Success! Since I have come across this pamphlet I have been able to request and download books. I am so excited to think that I will have access to a bit of home around the world… my local library.
With the popularity of ebooks it is only a matter of time before every public library offers free ebook downloads. So, if you are looking for free ebooks, be sure to check with your local public library.