Borrow Kindle books, from the library!

I’ve had a kindle for quite a while now. I read a lot when I first got it, but then the reading the slowed down. That is, until I loaned the kindle to some friends. Then I realized how I read much more on a kindle.

I rarely buy books now, mostly because I have no room for any more. And I never buy eBooks or books on Kindle either. I borrow them from the library. Yes, I borrow eBooks from the library. Most of my friends are surprised when I tell them about that. If you’re paying taxes, might as well get your money’s worth, right? Plus, I never liked borrowing actual books from the library because they’re pretty nasty. By borrowing and reading on my kindle, I can read in bed and not be grossed out.

How to borrow from the library

It’s pretty awesome. You have 24/7 access to a digital library catalog of thousands of titles or books. It’s like going to the library in the middle of the night, but not really. You can search for the nearest library at www.overdrive.com. I go through the San Francisco Public Library’s site at http://sfpl.lib.overdrive.com/. From there, you can search for Audiobooks  eBooks, Music, and even Video. And you don’t even need a kindle. Any eBook reader will do or you can use their app that works on most devices or just read in your browser using overdrive read.

If the title you’re looking for is available, you can start reading immediately. I’ve found there’s usually a long wait list for popular books. I guess the library has limited “copies” of each title. You can place a hold on the books that you want, but sometimes it takes weeks before you actually get to start reading.

Limited lending period

Apparently, the lending period is determined by your library and can be for a period of 7, 14, or 21 days. At the end of the lending period, titles will automatically “expire” and return to the collection. At least you don’t have to worry about paying fees for overdue books. Sadly though, titles cannot be renewed, but you can check them out again if they are available. Which means, you have to place another hold and wait a few more weeks before reading the book again. And that’s a problem for me because I feel like I’m a slow reader. Of course, some books I finish faster than others, but I guess it depends on the book. I have several books on my goodreads that’s been in my “currently reading” list for a looong time because it was automatically returned and I had no patience to get on the wait list again.

Hack for longer lending period

BUUUUUT!!!! I think I’ve found a loop hole, or hack, if you will, that will allow you to keep your borrowed titles for longer than the maximum loan period of 3 weeks. When you “borrow” a book, it’s downloaded to your device. Technically, your device knows that your book is “overdue” when and IF it has access to the internet, right? So here’s how I tested my theory. Before my book’s “due date” last week, I put my kindle on airplane mode (no data connection) and I’ve been reading the book all this week! It’s a loooong book, so it’ll take me a while to finish. I wonder if anyone else has done this. Is this bad? I just need more time!

Unbroken

For the last couple of months, I haven’t been able to stop telling people to read a book called Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Of course, I have it listed on my sidebar as recommended reading. It’s one of the best books I’ve read recently. It’s a biography about a guy named Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero.

Fascinated by his experiences, and the mystery of how a man could overcome so much, I began a seven-year journey through his story. I found it in diaries, letters and unpublished memoirs; in the memories of his family and friends, fellow Olympians, former American airmen and Japanese veterans; in forgotten papers in archives as far-flung as Oslo and Canberra. Along the way, there were staggering surprises, and Louie’s unlikely, inspiring story came alive for me. It is a tale of daring, defiance, persistence, ingenuity, and the ferocious will of a man who refused to be broken.

The culmination of my journey is my new book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I hope you are as spellbound by Louie’s life as I am. -The Story of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Zamperini, now 95 years old, was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last week (watch the videos below). Continue reading

Snøhetta Works

Snohetta Works

This is a book that my architecture/design friend Jaime gave me last month. She likes architecture and she knows that I like pictures, so she figured she would give me a book of photographs of architecture by a Norwegian company called Snøhetta. As she was describing the firm and all their designs, and I asked if they were the ones who designed the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. (How I knew about that, I had no idea. I remembered learning about it somewhere.) And indeed, they had designed the library.

Snohetta Page

And guess what? The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has chosen Snøhetta to design the expansion of the existing Mario Botta structure to accommodate the Fisher Collection.