Under Cover: Enjoying eBooks from Newport Beach Library

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grownupThe blissful two weeks of carefree freedom known as Winter Break are officially upon us, which sounds nice in theory until reality sets in and you remember that you now have 5,634 things to accomplish, and kids to entertain.

With Christmas just days away, chances are you will either be shopping, cooking, or packing for the annual trek to Great Aunt Edna’s—and in many cases, all of the above.

The holiday season is a great time to connect with loved ones and recharge our batteries, but it also tends to be a time of year that throws us a few curve-balls.

Stores sell out of must-have gift items, flights get cancelled due to unforeseen snow storms, and there always seems to be more traffic on the freeway than we bargained for.

While your library card can’t help in the quest for the gift that has been backordered three times, it can be your ticket out of Boredomville, whether you are stranded in an airport, stuck on the freeway, or just tired of hearing Grandpa Joe’s stories for the umpteenth time.

In addition to the array of physical books and services available through the Newport Beach Public Library, they also provide access to a vast library of eBooks, which can be quickly downloaded to your kindle, computer, and apple or android device via the free app, Axis 360.

So now, when you find yourself with some unexpected free time on your hands, and no good book in your bag to helpgrownup pass it, the answer is just a click – and a library card – away.

All titles are available to check out and download free of charge with a valid NBPL library card, and the app is incredibly user friendly. Broken down into five major categories, including Featured, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s, and Teen, it offers a plethora of options to the reader who doesn’t have a specific title in mind. However, if you are looking for a certain book – the one you left at home on your nightstand, perhaps – you can also search the database by both title and author.

I browsed the collection to see what titles were available, and was pleased to see that the options included many of the season’s most sought-after new releases, including “The Grownup,” by Gillian Flynn, “Why Not Me,” by Mindy Kaling, and “Purity,” by Jonathan Franzen.

While many of the titles had already been checked out, just as with the library itself, you can place a hold on the book to join the queue of interested readers. The app will let you know how many are in line ahead of you, as well as how many days the expected wait time will be until your turn.

axis360_ebooksAs there are hundreds of options to choose from, however, there were plenty of titles available for immediate download. While browsing, you can also add anything that catches your eye to a “wish list” for download at a later date.

Once you have made a selection, you simply need to check out using your library card number, and you’ll be ready to read.

Stuck in traffic as the driver, and can’t read a book? Axis 360 can help with that too. Your library card also unlocks a digital database of eAudiobooks, so as long as you have a moment to pull over and choose a title, you will no longer be at the mercy of radio reception, or 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, to pass the time.

Now, if you can just find a way to use your library card to get out of eating Great Aunt Edna’s fruitcake, the holiday might be perfect.

Edie Crabtree is an avid reader and the mother of three active boys. She can be reached at [email protected].





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