I love, love, love to read. Unfortunately, when I’m at school, I don’t have much time to do it. I’ve listened to audiobooks for years, but a lot of them are on cassette tapes, and I don’t have any way to play them in my dorm room. Enter the New York Public Library website. With just a library card, you can download audiobooks for three weeks at a time from their collection of thousands of titles. It’s a fantastic service. You can even transfer the audiobooks to your ipod and listen to them while you’re away from your computer. The only downside is that not all of the audiobooks can be played on Macs. There’s a pretty big selection of MP3 books, and those work perfectly on Mac or PC, but the bulk of the collection is in WMA format, which plays on PCs. This isn’t a problem if you have a lovely and helpful friend with a PC, but public computers generally won’t download the required software. I’m about to start re-listening to one of my favorite books.
Very adult choice, I know.
The NYPL website has lots of other services, too, like downloadable eBooks and music. They also have a service called Freegal Music, which lets anyone with an NYPL library card download three songs per week from the Sony catalog for free. It’s definitely a site worth visiting, especially if you’re short on time and can’t make it to a physical branch of the library.