7 Quick Takes: The Used, Digital and Audio Books Edition


A good friend told me about the most amazing website for used books.  I was reluctant to try it because I thought,

How great can it really be?

I was wrong.  So, so, so, wrong.

It is an awesome resource for purchasing gently used, affordable books--of all kinds.



the name of this terrific website for ordering books you ask?



.  If you are a homeschooling mama, or a mama whose kids don't have their summer reading books yet, or you are simply a bibliophile with an expensive book habit, do yourself a favor and check out this site.  You can get used books on the cheap.  I've saved hundreds of dollars on school books this year and that's always a good thing. 


How about another great book find?

My friend, Alexis, suggested I download an app for my Kindle Fire so the kids can listen to audio books while I'm busy with other things.  I downloaded

this free one

from Amazon and the girls were able to listen to

The Little Princess

one evening while they colored.  Ever since, they've been begging me to listen to the rest of the story.

The app offers over 80 public domain audio books for your listening pleasure for


Almost all of the selection is Classic literature (which is what we're pushing over here) and many of them are children's titles.  

If you have an i-pad, i-phone, kindle fire, android, or some other kind of fancy technological device, you may want to look for similar free apps so your kids can listen to great children's books. 


Have I ever mentioned how much I


my e-readers? 


  (I have two of them--a first edition Barnes and Noble Nook--which is Old School by now-- and a Kindle Fire my dad gave me because he upgraded his i-pad and didn't need his Kindle anymore).  Maybe it's my state in life (yes, yes, and yes) but I absolutely love that I can buy almost any book I want at the touch of a button.  I also love that I can read what other people thought about the book before I even purchase it.  And I love that I Amazon runs

monthly Kindle book deals for $3.99 or less. 


I also love that with the

Overdrive Media app

I can download best-selling and classic titles from libraries all over the country


.  Over the last couple of weeks, I've been compiling a list of classic literature books I want to read and I can get many of them

for free

(did I mention that already?) using this app on the Kindle.  Within the last two weeks, I downloaded the following titles:

The Great Gatsby

(finished it--I can't believe that book is included in high school lit classes.  That's some crazy stuff up in that book!)

The Narrative Of The Life of Frederick Douglas

The Personal Recollections of Joan of Ark by Mark Twain

Sorry, but you just can't beat that kind of convenience or the price.


Did you know you can e-loan and borrow books on your Kindle?  You can.  Read about how to do it


.  My friend and I tried it and it worked!  It really worked!  Imagine all the reading possibilities.


I know some people have negative feelings about reading (or listening to) digital books.  The most powerful argument against e-books I've ever read comes from one of my favorite writers,

Heather King, who discusses a great many reasons for why she loves "real" books

.  She says,

But the argument for e-books and against real books that leaves me truly cold is the one that says: You don’t have to lug books around any more! You don’t have to actually carry books or magazines. You don’t have to pack them, move them, feel the burden of their pesky, undesirable weight.
This to me is emblematic of a very unfortunate cultural idea that the goal is to free ourselves from what are actually the right kind of burdens.
To wit, we have old people who don’t want to be a “burden” to their children, children who don’t want to be a burden to their work-obsessed parents, a government that sees the sick, the poor, the mentally ill as burdens. We bypass the “burden” of peeling and chopping the beautiful root vegetable known as a carrot in favor of a bag of fake, uniformly-sized, tasteless, faux carrot nubs.  We have the “burden” of walking instead of driving. We have the burden of buying actual flowers instead of sending, I can hardly bear to type the word, an “e-flower.”
We should burden each other. That is what we’re here for. We should be willing to sweat and bleed a little for what we love, and for the writers who have laid down their lives in order to leave us their work.

I love King's insight about our culture's mistaken understanding of the difference between good and bad burdens and I think she's right on.  Still, I confess, I love e-books and I'm glad they're not going anywhere anytime soon.  


On a totally unrelated note, but because I think it's hilarious, Camille has discovered she likes to dress herself.

Haute Couture at it's best, y'all.

Who doesn't need at least 3 layers of pants, including a bathing suit bottom, when lounging around the house?

What?  This old thing? she says coquettishly.

Go see Jen for more

Quick Takes

and have a great weekend.