Many aspects of our lives have been going digital over the past few years. A typical knee-jerk response to a question is to simply Google it. I consider Google an appliance for my brain given how often I use it in this way. The majority of people now listen to music in the form of MP3s using an iPod, iPhone, or some other personal audio device. Many also watch digital movies on their computer screens or increasingly on their TV screens too. News is increasingly consumed in digital form via websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or podcasts. Books are now often read on dedicated devices such as a Kindle or directly on devices like iPhones and iPads and alternatively listened to as audio books in the way that music is listened to.
I'm an early adopter of most things digital and have consumed content almost exclusively in digital form for the past few years. I've been paying for much of this digital content though whether through iTunes for music and movies, audible.com for audio books, and amazon.com for eBooks. I was reflecting the other day on the fact that I used to borrow books, music, and movies from the public library, the physical versions of these things. I thought it was an amazing tax-supported way of simply borrowing media for the time period you needed it. I remember checking periodically with the library to see if they were moving into the digital world and was routinely disappointed to learn that they weren't. In fact, I found it extremely frustrating that I couldn't even access the online catalog because all the computers were being used by people accessing their email!
You can imagine my delight when I recently checked with my public library website and found that they now provide digital media and the ability to download and transfer it directly to your media device (an iPhone in my case). The media stays on your device for the loan period and automatically disappears after that leaving you extra space on your device. They offer music, movies, ebooks, and audio books. Since finding this new free resource about a couple of weeks ago, I've already listened to four audio books. I'd recommend that you check out your local public library website to see if yours has digital content for download as well.