Tuesday, May 02, 2006

When You Can Get Audiobooks for Free

If you could get audiobooks for free, and if the process were as simple as bringing your MP3/WMA player into your local public library's computer and click on the right icons -- would you? That's the challenge posed for Boston-area library patrons by this story. Apparently, the Boston Public Library is the first library in New England to use OverDrive Download Stations. And, to add to the temptation, BPL library card holders don't even have to visit the library itself. Instead, we can log onto http://overdrive.bpl.org and snag our freebies there.

Some of the publishers who have contributed to the library's catalogue are: Brilliance Audio, Blackstone Audiobooks, HarperAudio, and Time Warner Audiobooks. If they're okay with making their work available to patrons for free through the Boston Public Library, then who am I do balk at the opportunity?

I'm a self-admitted book junkie, and yes, I like books. I love books. I want books. I need books.

But ... I also like authors. I need authors. And authors need book publicists to promote their books, not to help libraries give their books away for free.

What happens to royalty statements now, in this age of "Sure, I'll take that book for free. Why not?" That remains to be seen, I suppose.

In the meantime, I'll check out that Digital Library Reserve page. But I'm not ready to download anything quite yet.