Friday, July 6, 2012

Read All About It

My sister, Lisa, and I share some reading time.
I've always been a reader. For as long as I can remember, trips to the public library have been part of my DNA.

When I was little, my Mom took us to the Pratt Public Library located in the Pratt County Courthouse. When I was in grade school, the new public library opened in Pratt, and I was so excited to visit the brand new building and search for Happy Hollister books and Encyclopedia Brown mysteries in a room devoted to children's literature.

I was a champion reader, and I have the certificate to prove it:

I read 166 books in the 3rd grade.
Let's just say I didn't get any award certificates for math.

These days, my library of choice is the Hutchinson Public Library, mainly because I can get bestsellers and my favorite authors there more quickly. The librarians know me by name because I usually have some new book on hold.

If you need further confirmation that I'm a library geek, I have my 14-digit library card number memorized so I don't have to look at my card to reserve books on the hold list. (My current card is falling apart, and several of the librarians have tried to suggest a new card. But that would require memorizing a new number. I'm holding out as long as I can.)

I did my best to share my love of reading with my kids. From the time they were tiny, I tucked them into my lap, and we snuggled while we read book after book.

When they were little, we visited both the Stafford and Hutchinson Public Libraries and brought home stacks of books. When he was in elementary school, Brent often hung out with Dixie at the Stafford City Library while he waited on me to get done working in the high school office. 

Both Jill and Brent are readers today. And we're now working on the next generation. Kinley's bedtime routine includes reading. When we were in Topeka last weekend, I read Barnyard Dance and Moo Baa La La La and There's a Wocket in My Pocket and some others before her Mommy said it was time for bed.
We got this board book, Find My Friends, last summer in Yellowstone before Kinley was born!
I like opening the pages of a book. I like nestling it in my lap along with a comfy pillow. I like reading right before I go to sleep at night. And, true confessions, sometimes Randy has to turn out the light.

So I wasn't sure whether I'd like reading a book on a Kindle. Brent loves his. My sister, Darci, who does lots of traveling, thinks hers is great.

But, recently, the Hutchinson Public Library called and asked if I'd like the book, The Innocent, by David Baldacci on Kindle. I told them I didn't have a Kindle. They said that was OK. I could borrow a Kindle, too.

So I did. The Kindle also had The Litigators by John Grisham downloaded on it. But I'd already read it - the old-fashioned way.
As it turned out, I liked it just fine. The library had the Kindle in a book-like case, so I could still open it up on my lap and read it in bed. I felt like I was "turning" pages constantly, but other than that, I got along fine. Randy also read the book via the Kindle and liked it. (He's also a reader, as were his parents before him.)

Am I ready to buy my own? Not yet, mainly because I like being able to borrow books for free from my local library. 

But I've learned through the years to "Never say never." I don't know what will happen with e-books and public libraries. I'm not sure libraries know what's going to happen as the popularity of e-books increases.

It wasn't until last September that Amazon made Kindle books available for lending at more than 11,000 public libraries for no charge – the same way you're able to check out any paper-and-ink book at your local branch. The e-books can be read on any Kindle device or phone or tablet that has the Kindle app. 

However, just like an old-fashioned library book, there are limited copies of e-books at libraries, so if you’re searching for a Kindle e-book of a bestseller or another popular title, you have to wait until someone checks one back in. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I guess wait lists are still a fact of life for readers who love bestsellers unless they want to fork over the dough to buy them directly.  

Just give me a book ("e" or otherwise) - and I'm happy. 


  1. I have that exact same certificate! (No math or handwriting certificates for me either!) I love books, too. But then I learned that I like reading more. Now, I read books, read on my Nook, and read on my iPhone. I love them all. You know I love this post!! (And any picture of Miss Kinley!)

    1. Keep those book recommendations coming, Mrs. E! I'm always looking for good books. I just finished the Jane Green book you recommended last night.

  2. You are not alone! I also have my library card number memorized. That way I can reserve books from any computer wherever I am. Nothing beats reading a good book!

  3. The Hutchinson Public Library is dad's favorite library, too! When I was home in June, the two of us--and believe me! It took both of us!--figured out how to download its ebooks to his iPad. I'm sure he's finished those books by now, but I'm not so sure that I told him where I put the cheat sheet we created, listing the steps for checking out ebooks. Could you mention that it's in the top drawer of his bed stand when you see him tomorrow at church? Thanks, Kim!

    1. I printed off this message. Now, I just have to remember to hand it to him! Ha!