Read On! Traveling Library

Last week I got to travel to Chicago for a kickoff meeting for a national study on library broadband measurement. I like everything about the idea of flying – the rush of takeoff, the feel of the plane as the magic of “lift” keeps us from plummeting to our doom, the exhilaration of landing such a huge machine – but the reality of commercial flight is kind of the pits. Security is disconcerting and intimidating, the plane’s seats are so cramped that even the smallest travelers feel sardined, and layovers make the hours feel like days.

To mitigate some of the discomfort of my time in the air, I listened to “Scat” by Carl Hiaasen on Overdrive (once you’ve downloaded an audiobook, you don’t need data or internet to listen to it). Set in Hiaasen’s familiar Florida, “Scat” features seemingly disjointed characters who all have a major role to play as Nick and Marta solve the mystery of why their high school biology teacher, Mrs. Starch, disappeared and where she went. It’s a fun read that is fairly decent on audio. The narrator is not as animated as many audiobook narrators, but it is a good performance nonetheless.

My other distraction was a language lesson on our Mango Languages app. Like audiobooks, once you’ve downloaded the lesson, you don’t need data or wifi to access it. Inspired by Fat Toad Brewing Company’s recent OkTOADerfest, I decided to start the special course on Oktoberfest. I’m not sure my German is much better since I didn’t get to practice any of the phrases, but it was certainly a nice distraction from the discomfort of travel.

Whether you’re headed across town or out of state, your library can travel with you. All you need is your library card number and an initial internet connection (you can use our wifi for free 24 hours a day) to get your trip started right.