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Let’s face it. Audiobookshave tons of advantages. You can read while doing other things – gardening, driving, cleaning, exercising, you name it. Disadvantages are few, but can impact listening. Fortunately, I have found a fantastic solution right on my local library’s web site!

The Problems

The economy has hampered my ability to feed my book obsession. I wish I could afford to download all of the books I want from iTunes or Audible, but I can’t. Audible charges membership fees on a monthly basis. iTunes charges for each book individually. Playaways and audiobooks on CD can be very pricey.

The portability issue also plagues me. My van doesn’t have a CD player… it has a cassette player. Stop laughing! Do they even make cassettes anymore? Anyway, use of audio CDs presents the challenge of a converter for an old Sony Walkman.

That same bulky Walkman is a pain to carry with me if I am on the go and want to listen. Sure, Playaways are small, but it is still one more item in my purse… As my husband will confirm, I cannot possibly carry one more thing without sustaining a serious back injury.

OverDrive MediaThe Solution

I was perusing my local library’s website, looking for summer reading, when I found a page dedicated to digital media downloads. Some titles are Windows MediaFiles that can be used with Palm and other devices.

Recent additions are available for iPod use. I clicked on the iPod compatible titles… and found mecca. There they were. My favorite authors, fiction and non-fiction were just waiting for me to download and install them on my iPod… for free.

After a brief browse, I chose a Jodi Picoult that I hadn’t read. I downloaded the OverDrive console and within minutes I had my book! I can move it onto my iPod when I sync. There are downsides to this, of course.  I have to promise to delete the book from my library after the set number of days that I have agreed to (21).

I’m not sure what happens if I don’t delete it, but I’m pretty sure my computer won’t self destruct. I also have to install the OverDrive Media Console to my computer. Not a big deal, but my laptop has limited space, so I am picky about what I install.

An Interim Solution

Until I can afford to purchase all of the audio titles I desire, I will use OverDrive as a backup plan. I will still buy those new releases that I simply cannot wait for, but the library has over 1000 pages of iPod compatible digital listening for me. That ought to keep my credit card safe… for a little while.

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