Laurie’s Pick: Homegoing

It is a librarians eternal task to answer the question, What should I read next? The librarians here at Y.P.L. are attempting to answer that question with our Staff Picks series. Each entry will include a different recommendation from a staff member.

Todays Staff Pick is brought to you by Laurie Hogue, our Assistant Director!

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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I’m recommending this book because…

Homegoing is a debut novel by Yaa Gyasi that left me wanting more. This novel is a multi-generational tale that takes the reader through the harrowing existence of two half-sisters who were born in Ghana in the 18thcentury through eight generations, leading to present day.

The introductory characters are Effia and Esi, whose paths do not cross and they are completely unaware of one another. as they live in different villages. The lives of the sisters end up very different, setting a trajectory for the many generations to come.

What I know now, my son: Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home. I’m sorry you have suffered. I’m sorry for the way your suffering casts a shadow over your life, over the woman you have yet to marry, the children you have yet to have. – Yaa Gyasi,Homegoing

The reader is not at all sheltered from the horrors endured, this is a story full of heartache and unimaginable circumstance, strength and endurance; it is beautifully written and has rich and developed characters despite the manageable size. Although I felt completely emotionally spent when it was through, this story and the characters have stuck with me, and probably always will.


 

Interested in readingHomegoing?

Download the eBook.

-or-

Listen to the audio book.

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Monica’s Pick: The Rules of Magic

It is a librarians eternal task to answer the question, “What should I read next?” The librarians here at Y.P.L. are attempting to answer that question with our Staff Picks series. Each entry will include a different recommendation from a staff member.

Today’s Staff Pick is brought to you by me, Monica Thomas, Y.P.L.Technology Coordinator!

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The Rules of Magicby Alice Hoffman

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I’m recommending this book because…

Honesty time: I had no idea that one of my favorite movies, Practical Magic, was based on a book. When the news dropped that a prequel to Practical Magic was being released, I knew I had two books to add to my list!

I read Practical Magic first, and I enjoyed it, but it was a little forgettable. You definitely don’t need to readPractical Magicto enjoy and understandThe Rules of Magic. (But if you’re like me, you probably will anyway.) The Aunts, who were one of the best parts about the movie, are barely in the first book, and not at all the eccentric, fun characters I remembered and adored.

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Aunt Jet and Aunt Frances mixing up some midnight margaritas inPractical Magic (1998), a scene tragically not found in the book!

To my delight,The Rules of Magic is all about Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet (for most of the book, just Frances and Jet) as they grow up in 1960s New York City, developing their powers. The story is beautiful, tragic, and remarkably human. Yes, they’re witches, butThe Rules of Magic is about so much more than curses, herbs, and superstition. At its heart, it’s a story of family, relationships, and the heartache that shapes us into who we are.

Im fated to lose everyone I ever love, April said. I already know that.
Of course you are, Jet responded in her calm, measured tone. Thats what it means to be alive.
Alice Hoffman,The Rules of Magic

The story spans several decades against the backdrop of real events like the Stonewall riots and the Vietnam War, and ends wherePractical Magic begins. By the time I closed the back cover, I felt like I really knew these characters, like I had been through a lot with them. It was one of those books I was sad to finish, because even though I followed these characters from adolescence to old age, I just didn’t want it to end!

I adore the Frances and Jet I got to know in this book more than theirPractical Magic movie versions, because they are real, fleshed-out women instead of just the eccentric, powerful aunts of Sally and Gillian. It’s a book I will revisit many more times over the years.

(Although, the midnight margarita scene will always be headcanon. I can’t help it.)


 

Interested in readingThe Rules of Magic?Click one of the options below:

Check the availability of our physical copy.

Check the availability of our eBook copy.

 

How to Download eBooks with Overdrive

“How do I download eBooks?”

It’s a question we’re asked often, and for good reason! eBooks are convenient, more portable than physical copies, and with your library card, they’re totally free! (Not to mention, they’re perfect for getting in those Summer Reading hours on the go!)

If you’ve wondered how you can access our eBook collection on your devices, expand the sections below for step-by-step guides.

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Kindle

These instructions are for Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage, and Kindle Oasis.

Click to expand step-by-step instructions.

Step 1:

  • Using a computer or a device with the Overdrive app installed, head to our catalog.

Step 2:

  • Sign into your library account using your library card number. Unless you’ve changed it, your password is your phone number without the area code or dashes.

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Step 3:

  • On that same page, click the Overdrive logo under Electronic Resources.

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Step 4:

  • Now you’ll need to sign into Overdrive.

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  • Once you click the yellow ‘Sign In’ button, you’ll be taken to a drop down menu. Scroll all the way to the bottom and selectYorktown-M. Pleasant Township Public Library.liblist
  • Type in yourfull bar code number. Again, your password is your phone number without area code or dashes. To skip this step in the future, check the box that says ‘Remember My Card Number on This Device’.

Step 5:

  • Now that you’re logged in, you can search for, browse, and download eBooks!
  • When you’ve found the one you want, click the yellow ‘Borrow’ button.

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  • Choose how long you would like to borrow the book: 7, 14, or 21 days. Click the ‘Borrow’ button again.

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  • Click the ‘Read now with Kindle’ button.

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  • You’ll be taken to Amazon. Make sure you’re logged into the Amazon account that your Kindle is registered to. Select the Kindle you would like the book to be delivered to andclick‘Get Library Book’.

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You’re all done! The eBook will be downloaded to your Kindle the next time it connects to Wi-Fi! When your borrowing period is over, the book will automatically disappear. You never have to worry about late fees with Overdrive.

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Tablets, Phones, & Kindle Fire

These instructions apply to Andriod, iOS, and Kindle Fire devices.

Click to expand step-by-step instructions.

Step 1:

  • Download the Overdrive app from your device’s app store.
  • Open the app and tap ‘Sign Up’.

Step 2:

  • Tap ‘Sign up using a library card’.
  • Select the ‘Location’ option and type in 47396.
  • Tap‘Go’.

Step 3:

  • Tap‘Indiana Digital Download Center’.
  • SelectYorktown-M. Pleasant Township Public Library.
  • Input your full bar code number from your library card. Your password is yourphone number without the area code or dashes.
  • Tap‘Sign In’.

Step 4:

  • To continue, tap‘Add a title’.
  • You’ll be directed to the IDDC homepage, where you’ll need to sign in one more time. To prevent having to do this in the future, check the box that says ‘Remember my card number on this device’.

Step 5:

  • When you find the book you want, tap it and then tap ‘Borrow’. Select how long (7, 14, or 21 days) you’d like to borrow the title.
  • Select your preferred format. You can download it directly to your device and start reading immediately, or you can connect through your Amazon account and read it as a Kindle Book. Tapping‘Read now with Kindle’ will redirect you to Amazon.

Step 6:

  • To view and open the titles you have checked out, tap‘Bookshelf’.

That’s it! When the borrowing period is over, your book will automatically disappear. You never have to worry about late fees with Overdrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: “What if the title I want says ‘wait list’?”

A: Because we share our eBook collection with other libraries in Indiana, the title you want may be checked out by other users. However, just like physical copies, you can place a hold. Just click the ‘Place a Hold’ button, and you’ll receive an email when the title is available for you.

Q: Does Overdrive have audio books?

A: Yes! Overdrive has audio books and a few movies/videos. Once downloaded to your device, just press play and enjoy.

Q: How do I return a book?

A: As mentioned in the instructions above, when your borrowing period is over, the title will automatically disappear from your bookshelf. If, however, you finish early and would like to return, click the three vertical dots next to the title on your bookshelf and select ‘Return to Library’.

Q: I have an original NOOK. Can I download eBooks from Overdrive?

A: Yes, you can. But that process is a bit more complicated. Check out Overdrive’s article here.

Have a question that’s not answered here? Leave a comment below or contact us.

NEW: Meet Libby! Overdrive’s user-friendly new app.

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Meet Libby

Your Guide to the 2018 Summer Reading Program

It seemed like winter was going to last forever in Indiana, but we made it! The trees are blooming, the sun is hot, and it’s time for Summer Reading! This year’s theme is Libraries Rock, and we have a great series of events lined up to prove just that. Keep reading to find out what’s in store!

Registration

First things first: You have to register to participate. Registration for all ages opens Friday, May 25 at the library.

Here’s how the age groups are divided:

  • Cubs(birth-pre-K)
  • Tigers(Kindergarten-5th grade*)
  • Teens(6th grade-age 17)
  • Adults(18+)

To register, you’ll just need to fill out your information and grab some reading logs or review sheets. Cubs, tigers, and teens will register at the desk in the children’s area. Adults will register at the desk in the adult area.

That’s all it takes! Once you’ve registered, you’re ready to start reading and earning prizes.

*Homeschooled children are welcome to participate! Grade years are meant as an age guide.

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Get your photo taken with the Troll Princess during our Kick-Off Carnival!

We’re kicking off the Summer Reading Program with a fun carnival in Morrow’s Meadow! On Saturday, May 26 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm, you can join us for carnival games, a tiger bounce house, and a very special visit from the Troll Princess.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the carnival will be moved to the Pleasant View Elementary School Gym. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information.


How to Earn Prizes

Reading is fun on its own, but the Summer Reading Program is all about those prizes! Each age group earns prizes a little differently, so check out how it works for your age group below:

cubs

  • Since many participants in this age group aren’t reading on their own yet, Cubs earn a prize for every hour that they read or are read to.
  • There is a limit of 3 prizes per week.
  • For every10 hours that your child reads or is read to, they will earn one ticket into the drawing for the Super Reader Prize.
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CUBS SUPER READER PRIZE:
Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet with One Year of Amazon Free Time!


tigers

  • Tigers can earn a prize for every hour they read.
  • There is a limit of 3 prizes per week.
  • For every 20 hours read, Tigers will earn one ticket into the drawing for the Super Reader Prize.
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TIGER SUPER READER PRIZE:
Apple iPad

 


teens

  • For every book you read, you’ll fill out a short review sheet.
  • For each book review you submit, you’ll earn one ticket.
  • Tickets will then be used for the weekly prize drawings:
    • Laser Tag Passes
    • Holiday World Tickets
    • Big Splash Adventure Tickets
    • Fire TV Stick
    • Cincinnati Reds Tickets
    • Splash Island Tickets
    • Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

All tickets will be saved and put into the drawing for the Super Reader Prize.

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TEEN SUPER READER PRIZE:
Beats Wireless Headphones

adults

  • For every book you read, you’ll fill out a short book review or recommendation sheet.
  • For each book review or recommendation you submit, you’ll earn one ticket.
  • Tickets will then be used for the weekly prize drawings:
    • T-shirts
    • Book Bags
    • Gift Cards
    • Books
    • Kindle Fire
    • Fire TV Stick
    • Fitbit
    • Keurig Brewing System
    • Amazon Echo
  • All tickets will be saved and put into the Grand Prize Drawing.
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ADULT GRAND PRIZE:
Fire HD 10 Tablet

To be counted toward the Super Reader Prize, Tigers and Cubs must turn in their reading logs by noon on Wednesday, July 11.

Adults and Teens must turn in book review sheets by 3:00 pm on Friday, July 13 to be counted toward the Super Reader/Grand Prize drawing.


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Every Wednesday in June, we’ll have a special event for families. Check out this year’s entertainment below!

CR Ryan Magic Show

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CR Ryan 2017

CR Ryan brings his entertaining magic show to the Summer Reading Program every year, and we’re so glad to have him back again! CR Ryan preforms with his sons for a show that’s fun for the whole family!

  • Wednesday, June 6
  • 2:00 pm
  • Morrow’s Meadow*


Freddy Fossil’s Dino Show

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New to the Summer Reading lineup this year is Freddy Fossil’s Dino Show! You won’t want to miss the “pre-hysterical” family fun when Freddy brings out his life-size dinosaur puppets!

  • Wednesday, June 13
  • 2:00 pm
  • Pleasant View Elementary School Gym

Indiana Wild Live Animal Show

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IN Wild 2017

Indiana Wild is back this year! Get up close and personal with real animals as you learn about their environment and conservation!

  • Wednesday, June 20
  • 2:00 pm
  • Pleasant View Elementary School Gym


What’s That Sound?

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Surf the sound waves with Paul Odenwelder as he shows the many ways we can combine sounds to create music! With lots of audience participation and crazy instruments, this show is one you won’t want to miss!

  • Wednesday, June 27
  • 2:00 pm
  • Morrow’s Meadow*

Grand Finale: The Water Show!

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The Water Show 2017

Magic Don is back again this year with his water magic show! Celebrate the end of Summer Reading with this fun and crazy event. Dress to get wet!

  • Wednesday, July 11
  • 2:00 pm
  • Morrow’s Meadow*
*Any show marked as taking place at Morrow’s Meadow is weather permitting. In the case of inclement weather, those events will be moved to the P.V.E. Gym. Be sure to follow us on Facebookfor the most up-to-date information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to be a patron to register and participate in the Summer Reading Program?

A: No! While we would LOVE for you to sign up for a library card, it is not a requirement for participation.

Q: Do I have to read only library books?

A: Nope! Again, we would love it if you checked out books and/or eBooks from the library, but it’s not required.

Q: Do I have to be present to win the prize drawings?

A: No way, Jose. All winners will be notified via phone or email after each drawing.

Q: What is the deadline for registering?

A: There is no registration deadline. You can start participating as late into the program as you want, but keep in mind, the longer you participate, the better your chances are of winning!

Q: Do audio books count?

A: They sure do! Tigers and Cubs, just record the hours you listen. Teens and Adults, just fill out a review like you would with a regular book.

Have a question that’s not answered here? Contact us.


We are so excited to kick off the 2018 Summer Reading Program with our community! We strive to make it as fun and inclusive as possible, and we hope everyone has a great time!

To end, we would like to thank the wonderful sponsors who make this program and all the prizes possible:

Gold Level Sponsors:

Aldi
eKeeperSystems
WarnerFit
MutualBank
Navient
YorktownFamilyDentistry

Silver Level Sponsors:

Animal Medical Center
Ingram’s Floor Covering
Mark’s Service Center
Meek’s Mortuary
Ontario Systems
Rachel Tucker-F.C. Tucker
Reed’s Plumbing LLC
Ryne-Wood Builders, Inc.
Scott Metzler- State Farm
Wee Wisdom

Bronze Level Sponsors:

5 Tool Academy
Academy of Model Aeronautics
Advanced Carpet Care
Big Splash Adventure
Cincinnati Reds
Dairy Queen
Great Kitchens and Baths
Holiday World
Hot Heads
Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Jimmy John’s
Laser Flash
Michael Burke- Re/Max
Minnetrista
Muncie Children’s Museum
National Model Aviation Museum
Player’s Club at Woodland Trails
Royal Pin Leisure Centers
Science Central
Splash Island
Terre Haute Children’s Museum

 

Thank you!

Celebrating Banned Books Week!

This week (September 24-30) marks the beginning of Banned Books Week! During this week, libraries, teachers, and bookstores all around the country encourage you to use your First Amendment rights and read banned and challenged books.

Why do we celebrate Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 by librarian activist, Judith Krug. Krug, in partnership with the American Library Association, wanted to draw attention to the issue of censorship after the group Moral Majority, led by televangelist Jerry Falwell, began challenging books in public and school libraries. Censorship incidents jumped from 300 in 1980 to nearly 1,000 in 1982. Banned Books Week was founded as a response to this quest for censorship and has been quite successful. In 2016, 323 challenges were reported to the American Library Association.

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Challenges do not always equal a ban. A challenge is the attempt to remove a book from an institution (i.e. schools and libraries), while a ban is the actual removal of that title. This distinction is important to consider. Challenging a book may, in fact, lead to an open discussion about that book’s themes and engage a community. However, if a challenge leads to a ban (it is the first step of a ban, after all), that discussion is cut off.

An argument may be presented that “banning” a book from a library doesn’t totally restrict access to that book. After all, Amazon exists, as well as a host of other retailers. But that’s the problem. Banning a book from a library restricts the FREE access of that book. Libraries exist to serve the entire community, including those who need free access to information. Judith Krug illustrated this point in 2002:

Some users find materials in their local library collection to be untrue, offensive, harmful or even dangerous. But libraries serve the information needs of all of the people in the communitynot just the loudest, not just the most powerful, not even just the majority. Libraries serve everyone.

It is precisely because libraries serve everyone that one group cannot be allowed to decide what is offensive to everyone. Literature is an art form, and as such, it is subjective. It is our job as librarians to ensure that every member of our community has equal access to that art. As the old saying goes: “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”

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How do I celebrate Banned Books Week?

By reading a banned book, of course! Many books have been banned over the course of history, including classics likeThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Call of the Wild,andBeloved.You can find a full list of banned books that helped shape America here.

As discussed above, before books are banned, they are first challenged. The top ten challenged books of 2016 are listed below. Titles with links will take you directly to our catalog, where you can see if the book is available or place a hold!

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  1. This One Summerwritten by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes
  2. Dramawritten and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons:challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
  3. Georgewritten by Alex Gino
    Reasons:challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels
  4. I Am Jazzwritten by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons:challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints
  5. Two Boys Kissingwritten by David Levithan
    Reasons:challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
  6. Looking for Alaskawritten by John Green
    Reasons:challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to sexual experimentation
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminalswritten by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reason:challenged because it was considered sexually explicit
  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Cant Unreadwritten by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons:challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being disgusting and all around offensive
  9. Little Bill(series) written by Bill Cosby andand illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author
  10. Eleanor & Parkwritten by Rainbow Rowell
    Reason:challenged for offensive language

Go forth and celebrate your First Amendment rights!

You may want to read many of the banned/challenged books in these lists, or none at all. Celebrating Banned Books Week is as much about reading what you desire as it is about not infringing on the rights of others to do the same.

Let us know what banned or challenged book you’re reading in the comments below!

 

Sources:

A. (2017, April). The State of America’s Libraries 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.ala.org/news/sites/ala.org.news/files/content/State-of-Americas-Libraries-Report-2017.pdf

About. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about

Crum, M. (2015, September 28). This Is Why You Should Celebrate Banned Books Week. Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/celebrate-banned-books-week_us_56096a1ae4b0768126fe4cca

Jerry Falwell, Judith Krug, and the Origins of Banned BooksWeek. (2015, October 02). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from https://longreads.com/2015/10/02/jerry-falwell-judith-krug-and-the-origins-of-banned-books-week/

 

How-tos: Checking out eBooks

Since we first started offering eBooks last year, there has been one question that reigns supreme; how do you check out an eBook? When you look at all the options available to you, and trying to figure out your device, the whole task can be quite intimidating. So we put this little guide together to help you check out eBooks.

Where to start

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The first place you will want to start is at our catalog. If you don’t know how to get there, go to our website and click the “Search Our Catalog” button. If you need more help using the catalog, check out this past post. You will need to log in using your library card number and phone number/password.

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Once you’ve gotten that first accomplished, it is time to look for your first eBook. You have two different options to use. The first, and probably the easiest, is to simply look in our catalog. The list of OverDrive eBooks (and audiobooks) are integrated straight into our catalog. Just like with regular books, the eBooks will appear green when there is a copy available and when it is pink there is not one. The second option is to go directly to OverDrive by clicking the icon on our catalog.

Before you check out a book

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By default, the check out period of all eBooks is one week (7 days), but you can change that limit. We suggest that you extend it to the max of 14 days. This will give you plenty of time to finish your book. However, if you can read your book in a week, you don’t have to mess with this.

Checking out an eBook

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Now that you are set up to check out a book, it’s time to actually check out a book. Once you find a book to read, move your mouse over the book and click the “Borrow” button. If you would like to find out a little more about the book first, you can click on the books title (not the book cover). Once you do that, you will receive a summary of the book with a big “Borrow” button right next to the cover.

Reading the eBook

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In order to read your eBook, you have a few different options.

No Device

If you do not have a mobile device, or eBook reader, you have the option to read the book through your Internet browser. This is probably the easiest way to access your new eBook

Kindles

This is probably the second easiest way to access your eBook. Simply choose the Kindle book as your chosen download type. You will then be taken to Amazon’s website, where you will have to log into your Amazon account. Once you are there, you can tell Amazon on what device you would like to have your eBook sent to. If you have another (non-Kindle) device with a Kindle app downloaded to it, the process is exactly the same as if you had a Kindle.

Other Devices

The other option for reading your eBook is a ePub book. These books can be read on all other devices (iOS, Android, Windows, Nook, etc). In order to read these books on your devices, it is best to download the OverDrive Media Console app. Doing it this way, you will also have to set up an OverDrive account. This is a simple process, but it adds extra steps to the process. If you have a Nook (not a Nook Tablet), the process is a little more complicated. So check out this post on the OverDrive website to find out how to do it.

Done reading the book?

IMG_0027If you are finished reading your book early, you can return your item early. If you are reading the book through your web browser, simply go to your bookshelf. Underneath the rating for your title, there is abuttonto “Return Title”. If you are using a non-Kindle device, push and hold on the book cover and an option will appear to return the book.If you are using a Kindle, you will have to log into your Amazon account to return the book.

If you’d like to have someone walk you through this post, check out this video:

UPDATE: (7/06/2015)After you checkout a book, you will now have to go to your bookshelf to download/read the book. OverDrive no longer automatically takes you to your bookshelf when you check an item out.

Why Batman Is A Great Literary Character

In honor of this year’s superhero themed Summer Reading Program, I thought it would be appropriate to describe why a certain superhero is a great literary character. First the argument would probably be made that superhero stories aren’t real literature, to which I will send you to the post from a couple weeks ago. Yes, superhero stories get looked down upon, but they can also show us a lot about ourselves. Thus, their characters shouldn’t be simply tossed aside because you have to look at them on every page. According to this post, there are 5 key elements that a character must have to be a good, memorable character. So we’re going to see how Bruce Wayne/Batman fits all of these criteria.

1. Recognition

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Miles Scott aka Batkid

Recognition means that we have to be able to see ourselves as this character, or have some sort of connection.

Who couldn’t recognize themselves as Bruce Wayne or Batman? Aren’t we all billionaires that own super successful companies and at night hunt the city for bad guys that we beat to a pulp? NO! Of course that’s not true. But most people can still relate to Bruce. He lives a life that he constantly has to keep secrets, while also fighting to do good. Sometimes we go about it in the wrong way, but it is often said that the ends justify the means. No, we don’t have endless cash to fund our crusade against crime. Yet we can connect with the focus to do good for the benefit of all.

2. Personality

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Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne for Fox’s Gotham

Personality show us that we have a relationship with this character.

Batman has seen the dark side of his home town (Gotham City). It drives him to have one goal, to eradicate evil where ever it hides. But this isn’t where it stops for Bruce. He’s a friend, a son, a lover, and a father. All of these he blends in to his crime fighting. However, he has a character flaw that all of his acquaintances have come to accept. Bruce is a loner. Even when teaming up with the Justice League, he will take some time to himself (and usually solves the big mystery in the meantime). But man can be full of wit, and straight up bluntness that most superheroes don’t have.

Sorry, I had to add this one
Sorry, I had to add this one

3. Humanity

Batman and Robin Sometimes Dead Is Better

Humanity is what helps us see the character as more than what they are.

Bruce has long been the epitome of stone faced and unflinching. Yet he has one major soft spot, which usually comes in the form of whoever is in the Robin costume. This started because Dick Grayson went through a situation that reminded Bruce of his own (both witnessed their parents murder). So Bruce took him in and cared for him. Since that time, Batman has always had a special place in his heart for each one of the Robins. As the “Bat-Family” expands (Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Bat-Woman, etc), Bruce tends to open up just a little bit more.

4. Enrichment

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Enrichment is how we see our characters in the real world. Can the make mistakes and deal with real world problems?

Aside from the crime fighting, we see Batman deal with personal crisis over and over. Batman started with personal tragedy. Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents in a back alley of Gotham City. This was what sent him on his path to becoming the Batman. Yet the troubles don’t end there. One of the most notable ones was with the death of Jason Todd (Robin #2). Batman went on a rampage where everyone he came in contact with usually got his fist in their face. Yet when Tim Drake (Robin #3) deduced Bruce Wayne was Batman, he was able to convince him that he needed Robin to help him from going to a dark place.

5. Pain

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Pain describes how our characters deal with pain.

Batman is no stranger to pain. He’s been feeling it since he was a boy that witnessed his parents murder. Then there was the death of the Graysons. Then Jason Todd. Batgirl was beaten so severely by the Joker, that most thought she was going to die. There was also the death of his own son, Damian Wayne. There have also been countless times of physical pain, most notably when Bane “broke the Bat”, by breaking Bruce Wayne’s back. Through all of the pain, people (especially those who have lost people close to them) have been able to connect with this character.

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So what do you think? Can superheroes be great literary characters as well? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.