As I'm 36,000 feet in the air working on writing my column, I thought that now would be a good time to write about the ways the library can travel with people on their summer vacations. Having eBooks and eAudio available to me 24/7 is so useful when I find that I am in need of something to read or listen to.
The great thing about traveling with the library on your phone or tablet is that wifi and a data connection are not necessary to read books or to listen to audiobooks that are already downloaded to your device. It also means that I don’t have to tote around the weight of lots of books; I'm one of those readers who has five or six books checked out at one time just in case I finish a book early or am not in the mood to read a book I started.
One of my favorite services the library offers is OverDrive, which provides eBooks and eAudio. With OverDrive, you can check out up to 10 titles at one time, so you don’t have to worry about running out of books while on vacation. In addition, OverDrive’s Libby app is a one-stop app for eBooks and eAudio, so there will be plenty of storage space for vacation photos. Libby is an easy app to use and makes browsing straightforward. You can easily access the newest eBooks and eAudio from the front page, and you can find lists of popular genres, as well.
Libby has over 7,200 eBooks and 1,900 eAudios available to download. With so many choices, here are some specific suggestions for the summer:
For the long road trip: The 28 hours needed for The Terror, by Dan Simmons. will fill up the hours on a long road trip. It’s a novel about the doomed 1845 Franklin expedition to the Arctic Circle and the men on board the HMS Terror. The ship is running out of coal, and the crew worries about their food, but those problems pale in comparison to the unknown creature stalking their ship. Simmons is a master at creating suspense and a terrifying atmosphere in his works, and the audio will keep listeners engaged for hours.
For the short trip: The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros, tells the coming-of-age story of Esperanza Cordero through a series of short stories that inspires joy and heartbreak in the reader. The short-story format makes this a great choice for anyone who doesn’t have the time over the summer to sit down and read for hours.
For the thrilling summer, read: The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn, is a new psychological thriller that brings to mind Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Anna Fox is a recluse who lives in New York City and enjoys seeing what her neighbors are up to. When a new family moves in nearby, she sees something that she shouldn’t have, and her life starts to unravel.
For the fun summer, read: Less, by Andrew Sean Greer, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. Failed novelist Arthur Less travels the globe in order to avoid the disaster that is his life. His journey leads to self-discovery and some hilarious moments.
For some travel inspiration: A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson, is a fun and funny look at the middle-aged author’s hike on the Appalachian Trail - part of which goes through Virginia - with his woefully unprepared travel companion, Stephen Katz.
Also, don't forget to sign up for Summer Reading on the library's website and review your summer books, audiobooks, and movies. As part of Summer Reading, the library is raffling off an iPad, tablets, bags filled with books, and movie tickets. You can earn points for the raffles by writing reviews and completing missions that challenge you to explore your library, your community, and books!