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Apr 11, 2016

Support Your Local Library

(Raises hand) Hi, my name is Sharon, and I have rediscovered the library.

Even though I live in Germany, I am considered a Florida resident (because taxes and whatnot) and can use the local library (Sarasota County) to check out and read ebooks.

It's been a wonderful thing, enabling me to read ebooks that are priced too high for my current book budget: I am semi-voracious reader and go through 2-3 books a week (fiction and non-fiction), and while I also still gladly read printed books, I love my Kindle Paperwhite (many reasons, one of which is I live with a Sleep Diva, SD for short, and the Paperwhite allows me to read in bed, with the lights out, far into the night without disturbing either the SD or the cats) and so am always looking for new ebooks to read.

Examples of ebooks I recently checked out and read and really enjoyed:

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, by Mike Brown
Sized 12 Is Not Fat, Meg Cabot
Raven's Shadow Trilogy, Anthony Ryan
Mistress of Rome, Kate Quinn
A Bullet for Cinderella, John D. MacDonald

That's just a few of the ebooks I've read since I started using the library late last year. My Goodreads goal for this year is 82 books (up from 80 last year), and while I did come down to the finish line last year, I'm already 12 books ahead of schedule partly due to my newfound library pleasure (not guilty, not a bit - well, maybe a little because reading does contribute to my procrastinating just about everything else).

When I was a kid and through my teen years, before I could actually afford to buy any books, the library was my bestest best friend. After I started earning money, I could occasionally buy books - paperbacks - and later a few hardbacks (remember those?). After moving to Germany, book buying became the only way I could keep up with my love of reading. Before Amazon (and before e-books), I would schlepp suitcases full of books back from the U.S. with me every trip. Amazon enabled me to buy a lot more books, and enabled me to buy them without the horrendous shipping charges. Ebooks were an even better solution for a long time, but they weren't available for all the books I wanted to read, by a very wide margin.

Since ebook prices for traditionally published ebooks have skyrocketed in the past year or so (don't want to go into the whole why and who and whatnot, but this and this and this are articles which discuss it), I've felt sad because, despite most indies (i.e., independent or self-published writers) pricing their ebooks in a (for me) affordable range, in addition to offering periodic discounts and freebies, there are still traditionally-published authors that I'm eager and happy to discover and/or keep reading. 

And with my library card, now I can. Even in Germany (Note: German libraries also have ebooks on offer, but not usually enough of the books that I want to read in English).

And thanks to a new program from Library Journal called Self-e, some indie and small press books are being offered to libraries throughout the U.S. through Library Journal's curation process. I am happy and proud to say that the first three books in my Schattenreich series: Primary Fault, Shaky Ground, and Double Couple, have been approved and are available for libraries to offer in ebook lending programs.

So if your local library has access to the Biblioboard Library (through Library Journal) and subscribes to the Self-e program, you can check these books out for free. For free! Yay! The librarian at your local library should be able to tell you more. I'm confident that the last two books in the Schattenreich series will also soon be available. 

I'm hoping this will get my name out there to more people, even though I don't receive any compensation at this time for my ebooks being available through Library Journal (for me a win-win when readers go on to buy the books in print or digital and pass the word on to other readers about my books). For readers it's a pure win-win. Great books from indie and small press authors at a great price: free. Yes, there are lots of free books available on the Internetz, but not all of them are available (yet) through your local library.

So support your local library! Go do it. Right now.

photo credits

Springfield Public Library via photopin (license)

Book via photopin (license)

A young girl reading via photopin (license)