Out of the box: myths and facts about eBooks and audiobooks
Nearly 90% of all NOLS cardholders have yet to borrow eBooks and audiobooks through the Washington Anytime Library, accessible through the OverDrive and Libby apps.
If you are one, you might find a reason here to try a downloadable this summer.
Here are some myths and facts about using downloadables:
Myth: Only readers can access digital books.
Reality: Many devices can access downloadable content, such as smartwatches, smartphones, smart fridges, tablets, laptops, and desktops. If you have a device with a screen, you can probably use downloads.
Myth: Listening to audiobooks is not “real” reading.
Reality: Listening to books read aloud is one of the first ways children connect to language, literature and culture. Listening to audiobooks into adulthood allows us to clearly imagine the setting or notice nuances that can be difficult to convey through text. It counts.
Myth: This will use my data and drain the battery.
Reality: Most digital content can be downloaded so it’s accessible even if you’re not online. Depending on your device, you can read an entire book on a single battery charge. Maximize your battery by turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and reducing screen brightness.
Myth: Reading eBooks and eAudiobooks is expensive.
Fact: A free library card gives you free access to borrow eBooks and audiobooks using the OverDrive and Libby apps.
Myth: Audiobooks are for people who don’t like to read print.
Reality: While audiobooks make books accessible to people with print limitations, readers who love print can also benefit from audiobooks. A narrator can transport the listener through accent and voice; some audiobooks include multiple narrators, and some include sound effects, such as a radio adaptation.
Myth: eBooks don’t include my favorite genre.
Fact: No matter what you like to read, there’s an eBook for you. Many e-book readers enjoy the newer, more popular titles, but there are plenty of older titles available. The Washington Anytime Library covers everything from historical fiction to solarpunk, and also includes a wide range of non-fiction: celebrity biographies, philosophy, engineering, and more. !
Myth: There’s no reason to listen to an audiobook if I can read the print.
Reality: A surprising majority of audiobook listeners don’t engage in other activities while listening, they just sit and listen. Others multitask while listening. If a game on your phone is your guilty pleasure, add an audiobook to double the relaxation. Do you dread chores? Audio book. Long road? Audio book.
Audiobooks are a great way to share books in a co-listening experience. Try listening to audiobooks before bed, with children or other adults at home. Gather a book club and listen to a short story or chapter together to start the discussion.
For more …
Try it – there’s a downloadable eBook or audiobook (or digital magazine) to suit your needs and interests. Visit nols.org/online-resources to start.
Sarah Morrison is a librarian at the North Olympic Library System.