Other Places to Find Good Books: Libraries

Library of Parliament, Ottawa

This is Part Six of a series:

Part 1: Kobo
Part 2: Barnes & Noble, Google, Apple Books
Part 3: Ask an AI
Part 4: Smashwords
Part 5: Subscription Services
Part 6: Fiction Apps
Part 7: BookFunnel & StoryOrigin
Part 8: Book Bundlers

Libraries are yet another place where you can acquire stories.

I get a lot of email from readers who are on fixed incomes, or living off very low incomes, who would buy my books if they could afford them. I always direct them to check with their local library. And for the longest time, the reaction I got to that suggestion was: “But I prefer ebooks!”

And yes, your local library does lend ebooks. I think a great many libraries, particularly in North America, use Overdrive or Libby to manage their digital collections. Through these applications, you can download ebooks and read them on your normal reading device. The applications will return the books to the library when they’re due. Your library may allow you to extend your borrow period if you need more time, too.

Wherever your library is, they likely have a way of lending digital material. You might have to ask to find out how.

And if you prefer print editions, libraries are still collecting those, too. Plus, especially with romance novels, they often sell off older copies at ricidulous prices. I’ve picked up hard copy coffeetable editions of non-fiction for a dollar. I’ve seen romances selling for a quarter. Prices may vary from library to library, but I’m quite sure your library won’t be selling off books at full retail. So you can add to your keeper collection if you want, too.

Don’t forget the other libraries

You aren’t restricted to just your local library.

Check with any college libraries in your area. You might be able to acquire borrowing priveleges from those, and they often have surprisingly good fiction collections.

Membership of your local library might also give you borrowing priveleges at associated libraries. My local library gives me access to LinkedIn Learning resources, Hoopla, and a dozen other magazine and fiction resources.

Plus, check at the state/provincial and federal level — you might be eligible to borrow from these larger libraries and library networks.

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There are thousands of libraries you can access with a bit of detective work. And they have all been curating fiction for decades.

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