The Richmond Register

February 6, 2014

Discover new reads online, at the library

By Ruthie Maslin
Director Madison County Public Library

RICHMOND — Believe it or not, my job as a librarian often leaves me little time to read for pleasure.

Oddly enough, that only increases the pleasure of reading when I do get the chance. Vacations are one of those times, and so last week, I got to catch up on pure reading for fun.

Because I was traveling light, I decided to load up my iPad with books and magazines from the library’s digital collection through Kentucky Libraries Unbound. I particularly wanted to read our last two customer picks that were highlighted on this library page.

Imagine my frustration when I wasn’t able to check out either of them! I wanted instant gratification ? especially in a digital format. I’m accustomed to Google instantly giving me what I want when I want it.

And there I was, putting these eBooks on hold.

I felt like (and here I am exaggerating a bit for effect) crossing my arms and stamping my foot.

If you have ever had to settle for putting a book on hold, you know exactly what I am talking about.

But then, reason returning, I remembered that we have more than 57,000 eBook titles available through the Kentucky Libraries Unbound consortium. I could probably find something else to read.

And I did.

I scored Laura Lippman’s first Tess Monoghan novel, “Baltimore Blues.” I also got a new Jack Reacher novella — “High Heat” — by Lee Child. Novellas are one of the things I most adore about ePublishing. Publishing print versions of novellas isn’t always cost effective so they are usually published with something else, such as another novella or a group of short stories. I have discovered a lot of novellas in eFormat.

I found two available Janet Evanovich titles, “Smokin’ Seventeen” and “Explosive Eighteen” (which I sadly soon discovered I had already read).

My final gem of a find was the fifth Bobbsey Twins mystery by Laura Lee Hope — “At Snow Lodge.” I adored the Bobbsey Twins mysteries when I was a kid, so much so that my grandmother called my brother and me the Bobbsey Twins, even into adulthood.

What was so great about that whole experience was that my initial inability to get what I wanted led me to a discovery process in which I found some wonderful new books to read.

Obviously, we don’t want to create frustration for our customers, so to facilitate your being able to get the books you want to read as soon as possible, the Madison County Public Library offers a variety of formats. These include eBooks (both print and audio), print books, audio books on CD and even audio books on self-contained MP3 players (Playaways).

If we don’t have the book in any format, we try to get it by ordering it for purchase or finding it through interlibrary loan. If all of those avenues fail, we have a very helpful staff trained in Readers Advisory who can help customers find “read-alikes.”

And if everything else fails, it might be time for a journey of discovery — browsing the stacks (on-site or online) and finding a heretofore undiscovered gem. So come explore your options at the Madison County Public Library. I’ll see you there soon!