A very short holiday reading list

Winter in Mars North Polar Region Download

The holidays are right around the corner and it is a great time to catch up on your reading. Although, sometimes it is nice to keep it short. I have got a recommendation that might do the trick: Very short introductions from Oxford University Press. There are hundreds of e-books in this series, with titles in health and medicine, science and mathematics. It also includes very short introductions to topics like ageing, egyptology, and Alexander the Great.

If you are very, very short on time, we also have a nice collection of audio books on OverDrive that you can listen to on the go. For example, check out Astrophysics for people in a hurry, by Neil deGrasse Tyson (a New York Times Bestseller).

Happy [very short] holiday reading!

Image: Winter in Mars North Polar Region (NASA)

LibriVox e-audiobooks

I posted earlier this month about easy access to audiobooks through the Library. There are, of course, free resources for finding audiobooks that you can download and transfer to your mobile devices.  One such resource is LibriVox.

LibriVox, started by Hugh McGuire (Montreal-based), aims to create audio versions of books in the public domain (out of copyright). They ask people to volunteer and record themselves reading chapters of books, most of which come from Project Gutenberg. Internet Archive hosts their audio files for free so that in the end, you are free to listen to or download anything you like.

For those who enjoy reading out loud, there are no special requirements for volunteering so don’t be shy. I love the sound of my own voice 🙂

Easy access to audiobooks

I have nice memories of listening to books on tape during long car rides. Feeling nostalgic for the classic road trip, I once bought a murder mystery on CD for what I thought would be an entertaining ride to Toronto with my husband. In the end, the voice of the woman reading the book was so monotonous that we had to pull in to a Tim Hortons for fear of both of us drifting off. I now know to listen to a sample of a book before going to the trouble of bringing it along.

Libraries have been in the business of offering audio versions of books, in one form or another, for quite some time but e-audiobooks (digital versions available for download) have made access easier than ever.

There is a guide on the Library website to borrowing e-audiobooks, which includes Overdrive and EbscoHost books. The Overdrive books are great for fiction or language learning but you can also browse by subject for audiobooks on science or science fiction, for example, like Doctor Who episodes read by David Tennant (which I highly recommend). Download the recordings and play them back on your computer or transfer them to your iPod or other listening devices.

You can also find audiobooks in the Library’s Classic Catalogue. As shown here, you can limit your search results to eAudiobook. Likewise, the WorldCat Catalogue has a format option for audiobooks that includes eAudiobook, along with cassettes, CDs, and LPs, all of which are perfect for those long drives.

Enjoy the ride!