Ebooks are a great deal – they are cheaper than the physical versions (in almost all cases), they port well, you don’t have to take up a lot of storage space with your library and you NEVER have to dust them. As a concept, and with the new breed of eBook readers, it’s a pretty sweet option for those who want to keep life streamlined and simple. And, you can get the classics for free from a multitude of eBook sites.
Amazon has recently given its seal of approval to a loaner program for Kindle ebooks. Not all books are included, mind you, due to publisher restrictions. But, if you would like to “loan” your books to family and friends, you can now do so! Legally! Ethically! It’s all good. 😉 It started as a facebook group and grew from one woman’s vision of a more friendly more “hardbound” approach to ebooks and lending favorites to friends.
Now, the downside is that only SOME of your titles are approved (by the publisher) for lending through the program — and they can only be loaned once and only for 14 days. (After that, you can buy them from Amazon) so there are some serious drawbacks. But, it’s progress. To learn more, visit: https://booklending.com/
There are similar lending opportunities for Nook owners. And, there are several sites like LendInk which allow you to borrow for multiple devices.
The most annoying thing I’ve found about ebooks is the ability to get what you want in the format you use — especially when it comes to public libraries (which often use the epub format). There are a few tools moving forward with attempts to fill this gap. Among those for my own portable reader of choice, the iPad, is Overdrive Console. It may also work for your reader (or operating system) of choice.
The Kentucky Libraries Unbound allows me to download ebook content using my library card and PIN straight to my iPad for 21-day loan. (There are also audiobook content, music CDs and Video downloads available to borrow as well!) Very exciting stuff, IMHO.
On the down side, you do have to go in and get set up with a library card and a PIN number. You also have to register for an Adobe account (if you don’t already have one), but the Overdrive Console app will walk you through all that. If you have a library nearby, check with the librarian to determine if you can borrow e-books from them.