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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 275 : Moving Forward with ebooks and the library

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

On this episode, I talk about getting a new Kindle for Christmas and how I make the most efficient use of the library and reading. More at

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Moving forward (and back) to ebooks

Over Christmas, I got a new Kindle as a gift. It was very thoughtful and I was blown away by how far they’ve come since the early days. I was a mid-adopter, getting a Kindle generation 2, which was right around 2009/10. For those who remember, this was the one that looked like a mini-tablet complete with a micro keyboard that was all but impossible to type on.

I loved it. I bought into the pitch, hook-line-sinker, of being able to carry thousands of books on a small device with a long-lasting battery that was also a pleasant reading experience. I immediately fell in love with the device and for several years, I was into ebooks, eschewing paperbacks.

I eventually went back to paperbacks for two reasons. First, the Kindle I had was mostly a device to read books I bought off Amazon. There wasn’t an easy way to borrow books from the library at the time. The technology and infrastructure just wasn’t there yet. Second, the battery started to die out. I still have it, a relic of a decade ago and today, it holds about a 15-minute charge. So, a few years ago, I went back to physical books; checking them out of the library.

As I wrote in a LinkedIn article a few years ago, I loved mixing the latest in mobile tech with the library. I use an app called BookMyne, which allows me to reserve books and get on waiting lists for new or in-demand titles. As soon as my turn comes up, I get a notification, head over to the library and check out a book I’ve been waiting for to uncover the secrets of the universe – or just be entertained.

So, when I got the new Kindle, a much smaller, sleeker and thinner version than the dinosaur I own, I was equal parts amazed and skeptical. Truth is, I didn’t open it right away. I was so used to being an old-school-physical-book reader again that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back into ebooks.

But then, I discovered something rather magical. Ereaders today combine the best of both worlds. I downloaded the Libby and Overdrive apps on my phone, both of which connect to the libraries I have cards for. I can log in and check out ebook titles and have them delivered immediately to my Kindle device. This was the game-changer for me. I joked with the friend who gave me the Kindle, “Congrats, with this gift, you’ve brought me one step closer to being a complete shut-in.” I’ve been using for about a month now and I love it.

My DIY hack for a temporary Kindle carrying case.

I can browse and check out books quickly, any time, day or night, and I’ve discovered that going back to ebooks has made me a more efficient reader. In addition to the Kindle device, I can read the books I check out on my phone through the Kindle app. I find that when I’m at the gym or the waiting room at the doctor’s office, I usually forget to take a paperback with me. Now, with the Kindle device and the Kindle app, I can pick up from where I left off even if I don’t have the Kindle on me. Since everything is synced up on Amazon’s Whispersync cloud, if I read a few chapters on my phone, once I go back to the Kindle, it easily picks up from where I left off. Pretty cool.

I still love paperbacks and libraries are a happy place for me. So, I’m not going to abandon it or paperbacks anytime soon. This year, I’ll be mixing it up to get the best of both worlds. In the meantime, I am enjoying this dive back into technology-based reading.

What I’m reading / read

  1. The Pixar Touch by David A. Price (****): A fascinating look at the history behind the Pixar company, from its roots as a computer hardware startup owned by LucasFilm to a graphic arts and software company under Steve Jobs to finally becoming the pioneering juggernaut in computer-animated features. While today, it’s one of Disney’s greatest assets with a near-perfect batting average of billionaire dollar feature films, you’ll be amazed at just how much the odds were stacked against it in the early days.

Books by John

  1. Check out my Amazon author profile.

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