E-books at my public library
I check in, from time to time, on my local public library’s site to see how their adoption of e-books is going.
I’m not likely to borrow one, by the way. My reasoning for that is pretty simple:
- I have enough to read (there are many sources for free books, and I am a happy member of cKindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
- I don’t want to take a book away from somebody who can’t otherwise afford a book. That’s the main reason: as I assume it will show again when I check, there can be long waiting lists for popular e-books
Before I go on, you might wonder why there are waiting lists at all. Can’t the library just make more copies for their readers? Not for books under copyright protection. They pay for a license to loan those books, and they are limited as to how many “copies” they can loan out at a time.
I consider this library to be pretty big…it’s the library for the county, and the one that I have used when I would check something on paper.
I’m going to limit this to fiction first…it’s easier to look at that way.
They have 4,816 Kindle books.
Interestingly, they have 5,220 ePub books…more of those.
The most popular book is The Girl on the Train. They have 24 “copies”…and a waiting list of 11 people per copy. If we figure it takes a week for one to become available (and it certainly might not work that way…people are reading it simultaneously. Still, on the other side, some people will more than a week to read it), the wait time would be very roughly about six weeks.
Here are the most popular fiction titles:
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins | 24 copies | 11 waiting per copy
- The Martian by Andy Weir | 22 copies | 11 waiting per copy
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | 24 copies | 7 waiting per copy
- Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee | 12 copies | 12 waiting per copy
- Make Me by Lee Child | 6 copies | 16 waiting per copy
- The Girl in the Spider’s Web by Lee Lagercrantz | 8 copies | 18 waiting per copy
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah | 9 copies | 15 waiting per copy
- X by Sue Grafton | 4 copies | 15 waiting per copy
- Gray Mountain by John Grisham | 15 copies | it says zero are available, but doesn’t list how many are waiting per copy
- Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham | 3 copies | 19 waiting per copy
You could be waiting a looong time for Rogue Lawyer!
If any of you are librarians (I think some of you are), I’m curious…how hard it is to adjust the number of licenses you have? I assume it is quite difficult…that there is a fair amount of process to go through to add or subtract licenses.
The first book which is available without a wait is #12, which is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn…8 of 25 copies available. It’s been a #1 New York Times bestseller, and has been popular (and was the inspiration for a hit movie). Still, it’s worth noting that it is more than three years old.
Through the top one hundred, the vast majority of them have a waitlist.
3,002 of the books are available without waiting: about 62%.
These are the subjects they list for fiction:
African American Fiction(73)
Young Adult Fiction(5)
Science Fiction & Fantasy(4)
Chick Lit Fiction(3)
Comic and Graphic Books(3)
Young Adult Literature(2)
There are 1,566 non-fiction titles, in these 50 subjects:
Biography & Autobiography(592)
Religion & Spirituality(103)
Cooking & Food(80)
Family & Relationships(73)
Health & Fitness(59)
Sports & Recreations(28)
Home Design & Décor(15)
African American Nonfiction(13)
Study Aids & Workbooks(13)
I think it’s great that people can get new and popular books (eventually) through the public library!
If you want to check out what your library has, you may want to go to
If you are okay with older books, Amazon itself has a lot.
What do you think? Do you borrow e-books from public libraries? What’s the longest you’ve waited for one? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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