Make Use of Your Library and Read For Free!!!

I have recently rediscovered the awesomeness of the Maricopa County Public Library system.  My family has started going there again and when the kids asked recently, I took them instead of the wife.  I picked up a book or two as well as some movies.  This prompted me to commit to doing it more regularly.

Some time ago I had started to put all the books I wanted to read into an Amazon.com wishlist.  However, I just can’t bring myself to spend money on books right now in this current economy.  Then it dawned on me, that I was being stupid.  I could just checkout books from the library that were on my list.  I promptly created a “Books to Buy” list and a “Available at Library” list as well as keeping the standard “New Wishlist” list.

Amazon.com: Derek Neighbors: New Wish List

My workflow worked something like.. Hear about a new book add it to the “New Wishlist”.  Then about every two weeks go through the “New Wishlist” and look to see if the book was available at the library.  If it was available then move the book to the “Available at Library” list if not move the book to the “Books to Buy” list.

This workflow worked well, but I didn’t like the Amazon website very much and it’s recommendations were getting useless.  Also, when I was done with a library book what should I do?  If I removed it from the list then it would allow me to add it to another one at a later date.  In other words I had no way to mark it as “read”.  I guess I could have made a “Read” list but didn’t think about it at the time.

In comes, Readernaut and incredible site for book lovers like me.  It has the work flow I want.  So now, if I hear about a book or see a friend reading something interesting I can just add it to the “Reference” group.  Then once a week I go to the library site and see if it’s available.  If it is I move it to the “Plan to Read” group if not I move it to the “Wishlist” group.  When I am done reading the book I move it to the “Read” group.  Life is now grand.  I have a great stable of books I know are available at the library.  This already has me now reading a LOT more than before and also since I take my kids with me they are reading a lot more too!

For those that don’t know the Maricopa Library District has a program in place that you can order a book from any library and have it delivered to your local library at no cost.  This is FABULOUS.  Happy reading.

Step 1. Search for a new book and add it to Reference Group
Search | Readernaut

Step 2. At end of week go through reference list to find a book
Books | Derek Neighbors | Readernaut

and then look to see if book is available at library
MCLD System

Step 3. If it is at library add it to your “Plan to Read” group other wise add to your “Wishlist” group
Books | Derek Neighbors | Readernaut

Step 4. Browse your “Plan to Read” group to select a book
Books | Derek Neighbors | Readernaut

and then go reserve the book online from the library
MCLD System

Step 5. Check on your request. When it’s ready pick it up!
MCLD System

Step 6. Read the book and add comments in Readernaut!
Who's Your City? by Richard Florida | Readernaut

Step 7. Mark book read and return it to the library!

Step 8. Add me as a friend on Readernaut!

The best part.  My local librarian is on Twitter!  Say hello to him at @SonoranDragon.

5 thoughts on “Make Use of Your Library and Read For Free!!!

  1. We took our kids to the library once a week. When the new library was built in Phoenix, it was so important to us that we made a donation big enough to have “The Hardaway Family” name painted on the front wall along with, say “Arizona Public Service and the big boys (our name is in smaller type.) The library is a huge democratizer; Andrew Carnegie was right.

  2. Enjoyable article. I have a similar workflow but use goodreads.com instead. Cheers.

  3. I love taking the kids to the library. I don’t read enough but it’s great that you have made the change. Good luck to you.

  4. The library rocks — great article Derek!

  5. Oh wow, man! Thanks for the mention! Not to bang a drum or anything, but we also have a Comment Box (under Contact Us) on the MCLD website. Normally people think that box is for courtesy comments and stuff like that. But you can also use it to request books, DVDs, CDs, and other stuff that we don’t have. For the most part, as long as we can get the item from our vendors, we’ll order it! So if you see that hot new book on Amazon and it’s not in our catalogue, fire up the comment box and ask us to buy it!