App-y dream thanks to York County Libraries


2:14 a.m. and all of the sudden I'm wide awake. I don't want to be.

Normally in this situation, I pick up the 800-and-some-odd-page "Team of Rivals" book that I'm currently wrapped up in and I read a few pages about Abe Lincoln and crew before my eyes start to droop and ... snooooooore.

But right now Angie is asleep beside me, which means lights are not an option and I'm not committed to walking downstairs and couching it tonight. So I pick up my phone, remembering that I downloaded an app to test out for this blog entry.

York County Libraries just partnered with Hoopla Digital to provide free access to audio books, e-books, music and movies for library card holders. I decide to pull up the app and see how unimpressed I'll be when I can't get the book I want.

I already entered my library card number and created an account a couple days ago, which was pretty easy. I didn't go much further than that.

After searching "Team of Rivals," the cover shot pops up on the first result.

That's cool, but you know the glitch in the matrix is right around the corner.

I tap the image and it brings up a button that says, "Go to Bookshelf," so I tap it. It sends me to another screen that has two buttons. I can either download the Kindle Book or read it in a browser.

I tap "read in your browser," and I've got a beautiful layout where I can swipe to turn pages, search for any phrase, see the chapters and the cover art, highlight, take notes, define words by pressing them, change the scale of the font and pretty much everything else I can do in the Kindle app.

What the Lincoln?!? This thing actually works. I easily find the place where I left off in the hardback.

So from what I can gather, I have the ability to check out six e-books/audiobooks/movies/albums at a time.

I can keep them for up to two weeks and then extend that if needed, and I don't have to pay a dime because York County Libraries hooked a fella up.

I pull up my reminders app and type, "CANCEL AUDIBLE SUBSCRIPTION TOMORROW" and go back to reading my newly acquired e-book ... snooooooore. I'm dreaming about saving 15 bucks a month.

Sweet move, York County Libraries. I learned two things tonight:

1) Don't take selfies in bed while fake reading your iPhone case.

2) An iPhone hurts much less than an 800-page book when you drop it on your face.

See more from Adam Nugent at his NugeYork blog,