Your E-Book Reader Isn’t Going To Last Forever – Is Your Library Backed-Up?

The other day, I was boxing up some books and moving them to another room, I have far too many books, and the bookshelves are taking over my entire house. It’s time that I dedicate a room just for this purpose and call it my personal library if you will. I was joking with a friend who came over to visit that it is as if I’m collecting dinosaur bones, as if this is a Museum.

You see, in the future we may not be printing our books, and while we may be saving trees and putting electronic books into e-readers, it still may not be the same. Let’s go ahead and talk about the longevity of a paper book, and the reality that you could lose your electronic versions, and then be left without.

Now so I can make my point, I’d like to ask you a personal question. What is the longest computer, cell phone, personal assistant device (PDA), or electronic storage device that you have owned? I bet the answer is not more than five years. Okay so, today you have an e-reader and thus, there is a good chance in five years you will no longer own it. If all of the books that you put onto that e-reader disappear when the device breaks or you cannot reload them onto a different device or multiple devices to store them, then your entire library could be lost.

If you are wise and you might take up one of the cloud computing offers so you can have your entire library stored in the cloud. But what if the cloud goes down, the company goes bankrupt, it gets hacked, bomb, or there’s a natural disaster? Worse, what if you fall on hard times and you don’t pay the monthly fee, in that case you won’t be able to get to your e-book digital library, when that device they are on goes kaput. If you have a ton of books, and I’m literally talking about 2000 pounds, so it really is a ton, they may be bulky, and take up quite a bit of space, but you will always have them. The books will outlast your lifetime, unless your home is flooded, burns to the ground, or is vacuumed up by a tornado.

Indeed, I think you are starting to understand my point here, and I wonder how come so many people are ditching their physical libraries for e-readers without taking all this into consideration. It is possible that the Internet may one day be unsafe to use due to hackers, or the infrastructure is not maintained properly, therefore you can’t access things online like you can today. What is most likely is that your personal tech devices will become obsolete, along with all the various ways in which you retrieve the information and store it. Just look at the past. Please consider all this and think on it.

Free Audio Books & How to Get Them

Perhaps you are one of the many people in the world who love listening to audio books. They can be found just about anywhere–the World Wide Web, book stores, rental services and department stores, among other places; and now nearly any book imaginable is available on both compact disc and audio cassette. Perhaps, also, you are flat broke. Maybe the holiday season has left you banknote impaired–yet you just cannot manage to free yourself from a desire to finally relax and enjoy listening to a favorite book. Fortunately, that is not an impossible dream, regardless of the circumstances. And it is a dream that can be realized without spending a single penny!

There are many ways to get your hands on free audio books. An obvious example would be your local library. While this bit of advice may not be true of all libraries, it can be said that many branches are now catching on to the trend. Of course, there are always those whose local libraries are a bit too “old-fashioned” but on the other end of the spectrum, many libraries are now offering free audio book downloads.

If, however your local library seems to be of the antique brand, then there are many options for those with internet access. A Los Angeles based service, Jiggerbug, offers free trials of their audio book rental service. They provide an extensive catalogue of audio book titles; and if you like the audio in their collection, then feel free to burn them onto CD for your own personal use (meaning do not get caught selling multiple copies of Brokeback Mountain from your car’s trunk). Copyright laws don’t take kindly to being broken; the consequences of doing so can be heinous.

Also worthy of mention is Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org ), a website consisting of free computer generated audio that are available for download. Although their selection does not include many contemporary reads, it is a good source for classic literature if you don’t mind listening to a computerized voice.

And finally, there’s always the do-it-yourself method: record your own audio books! This is especially a great idea for parents of young children. With free software Microsoft Speech SDK and Text Aloud MP3, you have only to decide on a book that you believe your child or children will most enjoy. Also, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t have the voice of James Earl Jones–the kids don’t care. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, though, would it?

While these suggestions may be considered obvious to some, it is often the obvious things that are overlooked. Regardless of your methods, though, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re getting stuff for free!

Use The Library And Save Money

Using the public library can save you a lot of money and can help you live a greener lifestyle. Reading is a favorite pastime for a lot of people. But, what do you do with the books, magazines and newspapers once you are done reading them? Do you need to own a copy of a magazine or book that you read once and then throw it in the trash? If you like to read, listen to music and watch movies, you can enjoy all of these activities and be eco-friendly at the same time. How do you do this? You visit your local library on a regular basis. Did you ever stop and think that you could find anything in your local library that you could find in your local bookstore? In addition to saving a lot of money, you will reduce your carbon footprint when you read a library book, listen to a library CD or watch a video or movie that you checked out of the library.

Library Services

Did you know that you can get a library card for free? You can go online and search your public library for any book that you want to read. Then you can actually reserve your book on line and then pick it up from the library the next day. If your local library doesn’t have the book you are looking for, you can do a search at all of the different branches of your local library and they will have the book transferred so you don’t have to go all over town looking for your book. Almost all libraries loan out movies and music CDs. Sometimes they will limit you to the number you can check out at one time, but really, how many movies and CDs can you listen to at one time? With this free service, you can go back and get additional movies and CDs as often as you like.

Did you also know that libraries have computers that you can use? This is a wonderful benefit for people who don’t have a computer. You can surf the web whenever you want or send out your resume’ if you are job hunting, all for free.

Instead of subscribing to an expensive magazine or buying them on a weekly or monthly basis from the local newsstand, check out your local library. They do have most of the popular and current magazines and newspapers on their shelves so you can check them out, read them and then return them, instead of throwing them in your trash can to be delivered to your local landfill. You can even use the library’s copier (for a small fee) to make copies of recipes or articles that you want to keep.

Use the Library to Save Money

Libraries can save you literally hundreds of dollars on a yearly basis. Instead of buying and subscribing to a lot of magazines and newspapers and buying CDs and movies, you can just check them out of the library for free. Have you ever subscribed to a magazine and then you never read it when it comes? That is a real waste of money. Check it out of the library and then if you don’t get to it, return it. Some libraries now even loan out games for your gaming machine. That is a real money saver. You can check out that great game, figure it out and then return it and get another one. No more spending money on the games and then having them collect dust on your shelf.

A Library in Your Hand

There are some books that you will want to buy so that you can read them over and over. If you want to keep some books at home, consider buying an electronic reader. That way, your books will be downloaded to your reader and most of them only cost $9.99. You will have a lot less clutter in your home and you won’t be throwing a lot of paper into the landfill. These devices pay for themselves in no time if you have a few books that you want to keep to refer to often. They can all be stored in the reader.

As I said in the beginning of this article, if you use the library, you can save a lot of money. Next time, instead of going to your local newsstand or bookstore, check out what your library has to offer. It is all free!