To eBook or not to eBook

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: By Lora Finnegan Special to The News Messenger
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On Facebook last week, I saw this post by my friend, Peter Fish: “At The Dubliner in West Portal, nursing a Manhattan and reading Ron Hansen’s “She Loves Me Not” at the bar. Bartender accidentally flicks off lights so bar is in darkness. I shut book.

Guy next to me: “I thought all books had lights now.”

Me: “Not this one. It’s just a regular book.’”

Hate to tell you, Peter, but lots of folks love their eReaders.

Lots more folks got them for Christmas this year. If you were gifted in December with a shiny new Nook, iPad, Sony Reader or Kindle, then you’re probably wondering where you can get reading material without paying an arm and a leg.

How about free eBooks from the Lincoln Public Library? Not only are they free but it’s easy. Our eBooks are available 24/7 with Internet access. An eBook can be read anywhere and whenever you want without having to carry around books.


eBook basics

First, the basics: three eBooks can be checked out at a time; lending period is displayed for each item with other details about the title; titles cannot be renewed but you can check them out again when they become available. Books can be held and an e-mail will be sent to you once the book becomes available. When you are notified, the item will be held for five days for you to download. Three items can be held at any given time.

And you can’t dawdle: your library book will expire automatically after the lending period is over.

How many books do we have in “e” form? The Lincoln Public Library has more than 1,000 titles to choose from and will be getting more in.


How to download a book

Next, check into the online tutorial accessible from the library’s home page. Once there, you’ll click on the device you have (Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPad, iPhone, iPod). Then, sign in using your library card number.

You must have either an active Wi-Fi connection for wireless delivery (a 3G connection won’t work) or you can download the library book using a USB connection from your computer. Browse for the title you want and then select Kindle (or Nook or whatever) before you check out.


Reality check

Since eReaders are increasingly popular, there may be a wait to check out the hottest new books online. But fear not, patience will serve you well and, while you are waiting, consider downloading one of the classics.

In all honesty — I do not own an eReader so I have not personally gone through this experience.

Like my pal and former colleague, Peter Fish, I still like books without lights. (A final note from Peter Fish “FYI, She Loves Me is a really good collection of stories — one of them, The Sparrow, is one of the most moving things I’ve read in a while.”)


Friends membership drive

The Friends of the Lincoln Library would love your support this year and a membership in Friends is still a bargain: join as an individual ($15), a family ($25) or as a club/business ($40).

Download a membership form from our website at Or pick one up at the library and mail it to us at Friends of the Lincoln Library, PO Box 1177, Lincoln, CA  95648.


At Twelve Bridges Library

Saturday, Feb. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m.:  Author Talk with children’s book author Jeri Chase Ferris; free, including refreshments. Bring the kids!


This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. To reach the nonprofit Friends, write to Box 1177, Lincoln CA 95648, contact 434-2404, or Lora Finnegan is the Friends of the Lincoln Library president.