Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Windshield Time? How About A Book?

Most of us spend time behind the wheel every week. Many commute every day to work and back. What are you doing while you're behind the wheel? Hopefully not talking on the cell phone, shaving or putting on make-up!

There is something you can do during your windshield time that will improve your life and won't turn your daily drive into Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for you and your fellow commuters...

Learn while you drive. For this you will need either a cassette tape player or CD player in your car, or an MP3 player, preferably an I-Pod. It will also help if you have a library card to a large public library.

There is a huge variety of books on tape, books on CD and e-books for MP-3 players. You can purchase the books on CD and tape at chain bookstores, for a price. Even better, you can check them out at your local library for nothing. You have 2-3 weeks, depending on your library, to listen and return the tapes or CD's.

Recently libraries have begun offering a large number of e-books for its customers. These are wonderful, and I now download the e-books for my I-Pod more than I check out the CD's. If your library does not offer e-books, it probably will very shortly, as this is the hot thing for libraries and library customers.Here is how to download a book from the library....

Go to your library website and look for e-books. (If the library doesn't offer them, e-mail the head librarian and request them.) You will download a free program from the library website that will allow you to place the downloaded books on your computer and your MP-3 player.

Once that is done, all you have to do is browse through the books and choose one to download. I wouldn't download more than one, because the library will ask you to listen to the book within a couple of weeks or transfer it to CD's, then delete it from your computer. Now, if you transfer the book to your MP-3 player, technically you will have it for as long as you need it, but it's always better to stick to the rules and, anyway, who can listen to more than one book at a time?

That's all there is to downloading books from the library. You will not have to return them to the library and there are no late fees. It's a great idea, and extremely time-saving for customers.

You will be shocked at the number and variety of e-books available at the library.

You can also check out books on cassette tapes and books on CD's from your library. If you don't have a CD player, it might be time to get one, because libraries are phasing out their books on tape.

You can go to the library website and browse with keywords or authors until you find what you want, then reserve it, designating the library branch where you want to pick it up and return it. When it gets to the library, you will be called or e-mailed, and you have several days to get there and pick it up.

Choose a book that appeals to you. If you generally read novels, then choose a novel by your favorite author that you haven't read. If you read history, pick a history. If you are interested in self-improvement, there are tons of choices. I once chose a book on CD that was on 24 discs! I had to renew the book to get another 3 weeks to listen, but it was one of the best books ever.

Ok, now you have your book on tape/CD or MP3 player. Every time you get into your car, you can now look forward to "reading" a great book.

There are some self-help books on CD and e-books that are actually formulated for commuters. You can learn a foreign language, bone up for national exams, learn to do various tasks and crafts, learn to be a better businessperson or manager, the sky is the limit.

When you are into a good book that you really enjoy, you will actually look forward to your drivetime! Try it out, you will never drive without a book again.

Warning: Get your cassettes, CD's or I-Pod ready before you leave home. If you have a CD in your player that is almost finished, get the next one out of the box while your car is still in the garage. You don't want to run off the road while fiddling with your I-Pod or CD player.

How do you spend your windshield time? Comment and let us know!

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