Monday, May 14, 2012

eBooks at the LFPL

So I followed the instructions of the fine pamphlet I was given at the Beaumont branch of the Lexington Free Public Library. I went to and downloaded the OverDrive Media Console from the iTunes app store and put it on my iPhone and iPad. It has a Find Library function, and there was the Beaumont branch. Select it, all done!

They have a limited number of books per title to download. If one is available, you can add to your cart, otherwise you can put your name in the queue for a copy, or add it to your wish list. Most books seem to be available only for 7 day checkout.

They offer two flavors of downloads:

  1. Kindle format books. When you pick one you are redirected to amazon to check-out. You must also go back to your Kindle page at amazon to return the book. So I think I will forgo this in favor of
  2. Adobe EPUB format. These load directly into the OverDrive app, and you can return them from there. The app is pretty well integrated with the library when you want to look for more books. I did download a book and read it in this format. The reader is a little bit funky tho. When you swipe to the next page, rather than any kind of page turning animation, the new page just pops into place, but maybe looking like it is scrolling down a line. Odd that something like that is just a little annoying, but it is.
So the tech is decent, I would have to say the selection, not so much so. I searched for a few sci-fi authors I like, nothing. So in 10-at-a-time mode, I looked at the 451 titles they had listed in their top level browsing category "Science Fiction & Fantasy". It was pretty much completely fantasy. I don't remember a single sci-fi title. And the emphasis was on fantasy series I'd never heard of, most in 12 volumes or so. They had the whole Sookie Stackhouse series (Twilight). They did have "The Lord of the Rings" and "A Song of Fire and Ice" (A Game of Thrones) series. Interesting, 10 people waiting to read "A Game of Thrones", tails off pretty rapidly after the 1st one.

This kind of fits with what my friend Michael the bookstore owner told me: ebooks are being overwhelming adopted by genre (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, western) readers who plow through far more titles than your average reader.

For my sample read, I chose "Side Jobs" by Jim Butcher, a collection of short stories set in The Dresden Files series. I had read the 1st of these "Storm Front" and liked it OK -- although there were some anti-science rants that seemed unnecessary to me -- but didn't follow up with the series. Stories were OK, I'm kind of digging urban fantasy as mindless reading -- but it looks like the series winds up getting into some serious christian mythology, with archangels and that murderous psychopath jehovah (god the father) getting involved.

I don't mind christian mythology, like in the movies "Constantine" or the "The Prophecy" series, but, man, I'm so tired of christians in general. We went to Campus Pub to see Ben Lacy Friday, got there 1 hour early, the trivia question is "Which is the only gospel that mentions the word "manger"?". KMN, fucking bible trivia in a bar? Where will it end?

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