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The OverDrive app vs. The Libby app: Multiple library card support

One of the biggest differences between the OverDrive app and Libby is how Libby supports multiple library card holders and families that prefer to put their own library cards on a shared device with a unified bookshelf.

You can add additional library cards from other library systems from the Menu. Under your libraries, tap add library. In the search bar type in the library name, city, or zip. Then, select your library from the list. At the top of the library’s home screen, you will be prompted to sign in with your card.

Once your card is added, you can browse each library’s collection by selecting a library within the menu or, you can switch between libraries while searching by tapping the library card below the search bar. Libby will indicate which of your libraries you are currently using with a maroon star on the library card.

When multiple library cards are added to Libby, not only can you find all your loans on a single shelf like in the OverDrive app, but any titles you join the wait list for also appear together on your holds shelf in one convenient location, too. This is particularly beneficial when managing the delivery of your holds. If two titles from different libraries have an estimated delivery around the same time, and you know you won’t be able to finish both within your lending period, you can take action to deliver one of the holds later.

Libby differentiates which loans and holds come from a particular library system by displaying your library system’s colors next to the title. For example, on my holds shelf below, I have Good Talk on hold at The Ohio Digital Library (maroon and blue), House of Hollow on hold at Cleveland Public Library (yellow and gold), and These Hollow Vows on hold at Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (red and gray).

For shared devices, each member of the family can add their library card in the Libby app without ever needing to sign out. To add multiple library cards from the same library, go to the Menu. Under your libraries, tap Cards +. If you have multiple library cards from different library systems, switch libraries by tapping on the smaller library card symbols, then tap add another card. Libby will then prompt you to add the credentials for your additional library card.

If you would like to differentiate your library card from a family member’s card, you can rename your card by tapping actions.

To ensure that you are borrowing books and placing holds on your own card, and not a family member’s, you’ll need to activate your card in Libby when using the app. After tapping borrow from the details screen or in a list, tap Activate on your library card before confirming your borrow. Activated cards will appear in full color, the other library cards will be gray.

 

The OverDrive app vs. The Libby app: The onboarding process

When OverDrive launched our legacy app, our goal was to get books into as many people’s hands as possible. Over the next several years, feedback started pouring in about what features you would like to see implemented into our reading app. Enter Libby. The Libby app was designed from the ground up as a new way to borrow digital content from your library with all the feedback we received about the OverDrive app in mind.

Of all the questions that library patrons ask during our Digital Bookmobile visits or Libby webinars, by far the most common question is, “What is the difference between the OverDrive app and the Libby app?” This question has become even more common after we announced plans to eventually retire the OverDrive app and go all-in on Libby. So, over the next several months, we will break down all of the differences between the two apps to help existing OverDrive users switch to Libby.

The first difference between the OverDrive app and Libby is the onboarding process for first time users. With Libby, all you need is a library card—no additional account is required. Libby walks you through the process to find your library, add your card, and start reading.

When you first open Libby, you’re asked, “Do you have a library card?” After tapping Yes, Libby will help you find your library. The most direct way to find a library is by zip code, but Libby can also guess your library using geolocation services.

You can then choose your library from the list provided, which will direct you to your library’s digital collection page. From there, Libby will prompt you to sign in with your card. For libraries that share a digital collection with a group of libraries outside of their system, Libby may ask you to specify which library you use before entering your library account details (i.e., library card number and pin or password).

Once Libby verifies your library card, you can begin borrowing right away. From then on, Libby will remember your library account details, allowing you to stay signed in on your device. Furthermore, if you would like to read or listen on multiple devices, Libby’s Copy From Another Device option allows you to sync your library cards, tags, and other data to your additional devices with an 8-digit code.

Once you sign into the Libby app, you’ll discover many more ways Libby simplifies and enhances your library borrowing experience. Next month, we will showcase how Libby supports multiple library cards. Stay tuned!

A beginner’s guide to navigating the Libby app

The first step in using the Libby app is understanding the difference between all the icons in the navigation bar. Trying out a new app can be overwhelming for some, but part of my job on the Digital Bookmobile is to make learning how to use the Libby app simple and easy. Let’s break down each of those icons so that you can get started finding and borrowing books from your library today!

The search is what you tap or click when you what to find something specific. Here you can search for an author (e.g. C.S. Lewis), a title (e.g. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), or a series (e.g. The Chronicles of Narnia). You can think of searching the same way you might think of using the library’s card catalog to find a book you wanted to borrow as a kid, except you just need to type in your keyword, and Libby will do all the work to find the book for you.

The Library is what you tap or click when you want to browse your library’s digital catalog. I like to use the word browse when explaining the Library tab because it’s similar to walking around and browsing all the books on the shelves at the physical library to see if something catches your interest.

There are three ways to browse your library’s catalog – filters, curated collections, and guides.

Filters – The just added, popular, and random filters show your library’s entire catalog in a list organized by the specific criteria. The available now filter shows a list of titles that currently don’t have a waiting list, and the subject filter allows you to view a list of titles that fit within a certain subject or genre, like mystery or historical fiction.

Curated collections – You know how your library will display beach reads on an end cap in the summer and switch those out for cozy mysteries in the winter? The curated collections in the library’s digital catalog in Libby change throughout the year just like those end caps. So, you might see curated collections of titles by black authors for Black History Month, romance reads for Valentine’s Day, and presentational biographies for President’s Day in February. Then in June, you might find road trip reads, LGBTQ+ titles for Pride Month, and grilling cookbooks instead.

Guides – Guides showcase a subset of a library’s collection based on things like audience, language, theme, or genre. When you hop into a guide, it’s like walking into an area of the physical library designed for a specific type of library patron. For example, a Kids guide will display curated collections made entirely of juvenile content like picture books, read-alongs, or short chapter books, just like you would find in the children’s area of the brick-and-mortar library.

The Libby menu icon is what you tap or click to access the menu in Libby. Within Libby’s menu, you can add library cards, switch between libraries, adjust your settings for accessibility features, notifications, language, and even turn on labeled icons for the navigation bar. You can also get some help when you have any questions or need to troubleshoot any problems.

The shelf is what you tap or click to find all your loans, holds, and tags. On the main page of the Shelf, you’ll find all your current loans organized by the last time you opened them. You can tap or click the Hold filter at the top of the page to find all the titles that you are currently on the waiting list for. With the tags filter, you can view any list that you create to keep books organized in the app.

The timeline is what you tap or click to view your reading history. This is a list of titles that you’ve borrowed, placed on hold, renewed, and returned from all of your libraries broken down by month and year.

5 answers the internet wants to know about the Libby app

Last week I battled a silly little cold that had me down for the count. While snuggled into bed with approximately seven blankets wrapped around me, I binged GQ’s ‘Actually Me’ series, where celebs answer the internet’s most burning questions about themselves.

As someone who often browses different Reddit communities like r/books and r/audiobooks in my free time, I’ve come across quite a few questions from readers regarding the Libby app. I try my best to resist working while I’m off the clock (gotta have that work/life balance, amiright?), which is a challenge when you love what you do as much as I do, so I typically let other people respond. However, I thought it might be helpful to compile some of the great questions people have asked over the last year and answer them here, all in one place.

Does Libby remember where you stopped listening or do you have to bookmark manually?
There is no need to place a bookmark to remember where you left off in an audiobook because Libby keeps track of that for you, even if the book returns to the library and you borrow it again! Libby will also synchronize between multiple devices, so if you add your library card to your phone, tablet, and computer, you will keep your place across all three.

How do you change the background color in the Libby app?
You can set the background color of ebooks to appear in dark mode by tapping the A icon in the top right corner of the reader menus in an ebook. Under Lighting, select DARK.

If your device’s settings are set to dark mode, Libby will automatically use the dark theme through the entire app interface, not just the ebook reader.

Some of the books on my list have become expired or have no copies left. Are these books gone from Libby forever, or will they come back sometime?
Due to the way that libraries purchase digital licenses, some books expire after a certain amount of time or borrows. If you can no longer find a book that previously appeared in Libby, it’s likely that the license for that book has met the borrowing or time limit. When that happens, you can reach out to the library to recommend the book for repurchase. Some libraries even allow you to recommend titles for purchase directly from their OverDrive website.

Can I use the Libby App abroad?
As long as you have an active library card to a library that uses OverDrive services, you can continue to access your digital library wherever you are in the world. This is the case if you are on a short vacation or are out of the country for an extended period, like military personnel or students studying abroad.

Are the books in Libby dependent on the library you are a member of?
You can think of your library’s digital collection similarly to the physical collection at the brick-and-mortar library. No physical library collection looks like same, and that holds true for digital collections, too.

Libraries often consider a lot of different factors when they purchase materials. Things like budget, population size, and the languages their patrons speak can all factor into what they decide to buy. So, if you have an active library card to multiple library systems that use Libby, you broaden the amount of books you have to choose from.

If you ever have any questions about the Libby app, you can always browse the Libby Help site or contact OverDrive’s technical support team directly in the Libby app. I had the chance to assist their team at the beginning of the pandemic, and they are an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly group of folks. I promise!

Our favorite Libby app features and updates of 2021

With each passing year, Libby grows into an even better and brighter librarian, and 2021 was no exception. From existing feature enhancements to new ways to discover more content, there are so many exciting changes that launched in the Libby app this year. Here are some of our favorites:

Databases & Streaming Media Services

Libraries are so much more than just a building full of books. And now, with the introduction of Databases and Streaming Media services, Libby’s digital space reflects that, too. In addition to finding a great collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines, libraries can now provide access to streaming movies, on-demand classes, and more — all within the Libby app. Database and Streaming Media services offered from your library may include:

  • ArtistWorks: World-class instruction for the most popular string and band instruments through self-paced video lessons from professional musicians.
  • Craftsy: An online resource for all creative makers from basic instruction to advanced techniques for fabric and yarn crafts, baking, drawing, and much more.
  • The Great Courses: Engaging and understandable lectures by esteemed professors, professionals, and experts in topics ranging from history, better living, science, language learning, and more.
  • iNDIEFLIX: A streaming movie service of pop culture favorites, box office hits, award-winning feature films, documentaries, and shorts.
  • Kanopy: A streaming movie service with films that entertain, educate, and inspire.
  • Learn It Live: Live and on-demand classes, quick tip videos, and programs for wellness and personal development.
  • Method Learning: Lessons and resources that help students prepare for the SAT and ACT.
  • Qello: The world’s largest collection of full-length concerts and music documentaries.
  • Universal Class: Lifelong learning courses in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education units (CEUs).
  • LawDepot: High-quality, easy-to-use and completely customizable legal documents and templates.

Easier Magazine Navigation

Last year, we launched Libby’s article view which allows magazine readers to view articles in a menu with customized appearance settings and a scroll-controlled interface. This year, we improved the article view even more by allowing readers to remain in the article view while navigating throughout the issue.

In the upper left-hand corner of the article view, you can page forward or backward using the directional hands or tap the icon in the center to jump to a specific article in the table of contents, without ever returning to the traditional magazine view.

Smart Tags

Libby’s tagging feature got a little more intelligent this year when we released Smart Tags, which give four new tags special abilities to make organizing lists, reading your favorite magazines, and transitioning from the OverDrive app even easier. Libby’s Smart Tags include:

  • Borrowed: (icon) This tag automatically tags titles you borrow, making it a blessing to readers that tediously track their reading progress. And because tags display in search results and lists, it is also lessens the likelihood that you’ll start reading or listening to a book that you forgot that you had already read.
  • Sampled: (icon) This tag automatically tags any titles you sample.
  • Notify Me: (icon) The Notify Me tag keeps magazine readers up to date by alerting you of when new issues of your favorite magazines are added to the library’s digital collection.
  • OverDrive Wish List: (icon) This Smart Tag is essential for anyone that is making the switch from the original OverDrive app to the Libby app. It will sync with your wish list from the OverDrive app or your library’s OverDrive website into Libby so that you don’t have to start your wish list from scratch.

Multi-library searching

Readers with multiple library cards now have an even simpler way to compare the availability of titles between libraries. Multi-library searching is a great way to find which of your libraries has the shortest holds list, getting your most anticipated reads to you even faster.

To search across multiple libraries, tap the library card icon next to a title in your tags, a list, or search results. From there, you will see the availability of the title next to each of your libraries at the bottom of the menu.

Must-eat restaurants recommended by locals across the United States

Ever since I joined the Digital Bookmobile team, friends and family have started relying on me for two things. The first is to help all their friends and family learn how to use the Libby app. Lucky for them, I love talking about Libby, so I don’t charge them my hourly rate. Second, they are always asking for are restaurant suggestions during their travels.

When the bookmobile is out on the road, I spend over half of the year eating out. So, it’s easy to assume that I have found a few must-visit restaurants along the way. The trick to finding a great place to eat in a new place is to talk to the locals. Sure, Yelp can give you a good idea of the restaurants in the area, but you could spend all night reading Yelp reviews before deciding where to go. An unrecognized perk of my job is that I usually spend the first day in a new place at the library, and there is no better place to pick the brains of the locals on what sights to see, trails to explore, and most importantly, where to eat than the library.

Here are three must-eat restaurants that were recommended by locals, and taste-tested by me:

Dragonfly Sushi – Gainesville, Florida

Let’s talk sushi. Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company has held the title of my favorite meal out on the road from day one. As a self-proclaimed crab rangoon fanatic, I nearly died and went to heaven eating their delightfully crispy, unctuously creamy crab-filled wontons. Trust me, you want to start your meal with an order of those for the table.

Of course, with sushi right in the name, you won’t be surprised to hear that your meal will just get better from there. Don’t worry if you aren’t a fan of seafood, Dragonfly Sushi has rolls fit for any diet. While they offer plenty of seafood options, they include some delicious vegetarian and even wagyu steak options on their menu as well. Yum!

Copper Canyon Grill – Gaithersburg, Maryland

The Copper Canyon Grill sits on a small lake inside the Rio Shopping Center not too far from Washington D.C. From their four-season terrace, you can soak in views of a gorgeous carousel along the boardwalk. The view was enough to get us excited for our dining experience, but the food is what made Copper Canyon Grill one of my favorite places I’ve dined at while traveling with the Digital Bookmobile.

Copper Canyon Grill’s menu is entirely made from scratch by their chef every day. Their menu offers homey comforts like chicken pot pie and upscale options like a hickory grilled tenderloin filet. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the one thing you absolutely must try is their crab cakes. Seriously, I think about those babies at least once a month!

Swine Restaurant and Whisky Bar – Portland, Oregon

Some people say that you’ll never be able to find a decent meal at a hotel restaurant. Well, I’m here to tell you that those people are wrong. Nestled in the lobby of the Paramount Hotel in downtown Portland, Swine Restaurant and Whisky bar is a must visit. No joke, while I was in Portland, I dined there twice by myself. Then, when a few OverDrive team members came to assist me at the Portland Book Festival, I forced them to join me a third time. It is really that good!

True to its name, many of the dishes include porky surprises, whether it’s in the form of a bacon aioli to accompany their fresh calamari starter or the mouth-watering mojo pork inside the Cubano sandwich, you’re sure to find something to eat that will make you go hog-wild.

Looking for more ideas of where to eat while traveling? You can browse by subject in the Libby app to find foodie guides in your library’s digital collection. I recommend using the subjects Cooking & Wine, Cooking & Food, or Travel. Browsing by subject is how I found some of my favorite restaurant guides, like Ultimate Eatlist by Lonely Planet, Roadfood: An Eaters Guide to More Than 1,000 of the Best Local Hotspots and Hidden Gem’s Across America by Jane Stern, and Eating Across America by Daymon Patreron.

Do you have a go-to restaurant recommendation in your city? Let us know on Instagram (@digitalbookmobile) so that we can stop by on our next visit!

6 Sora features to set students up for success this school year

One of the things I look forward to the most when the Digital Bookmobile hits the road again is visiting students just as they return to school. A new school year can feel intimidating for many, but the Sora student reading app’s ease of use and built-in accessibility features empower students to tackle just about any reading challenge thrown their way.

While our team anxiously awaits the opportunity to meet with students in person again, we wanted to highlight a few of our favorite Sora features that can help set students up for success. These 6 features will have every type of reader feeling confident and engaged:

APP-WIDE HIGH CONTRAST AND DYSLEXIC FONT DISPLAYS

High contrast display is designed to make colors easier to distinguish for users with visual impairments like low vision or photosensitivity. When the high contrast display is enabled, Sora’s brightly colored interface is replaced with darker backgrounds and white or yellow text to improve the contrast ratio.

Similarly, the Dyslexic font display is designed to make text easier to read for users with dyslexia. When the dyslexic font display is enabled, Sora’s entire interface, from the curated collections that appear on the Explore tab to the Achievements on the Me tab, is displayed in a font that may help some readers that struggle with the turning or swapping of their letters while reading.

READING APPEARANCE CUSTOMIZATION

In addition to the app-wide display settings, ebooks in the Sora app can be customized even further to help students enjoy their reading experience. Within an ebook, appearance adjustments can be made to the text scale, background lighting, and book design (i.e. font style). These customizations are great for accommodating different device sizes, reading environments, and reader needs.

AUDIOBOOK PLAYBACK SPEED ADJUSTMENTS

Some readers find that they can retain more details about a story when they listen instead of read, especially kids or those with visual impairments. Sora’s playback speed feature can help listeners customize their read-along and audiobook experience to meet their individual needs.

Using the fine-tune slider or Sora’s provided presets, playback speed can be adjusted anywhere between .6x and 3.00x the listening speed. Slowing down the playback speed is great for learning to sound out words, which makes it perfect for read-along ebooks!

DEFINING WORDS IN AN EBOOK

Not only can readers find the definitions to unknown words using Sora’s define feature, but they can also see synonyms, translate words into different languages, hear pronunciations, and access search pages for words on Wikipedia or Google straight from the app. Any words defined in Sora can be found on the Home tab for future reference, too!

NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS

Sora’s notes and highlights feature allows students to make annotations in both ebooks and audiobooks for required reading. In ebooks, highlights can be placed on anything from single words to multiple paragraphs. In audiobooks, highlights are instead placed on sections of the audio. Once highlights are placed, notes can be added. Both notes and highlights can be found on the Home tab.

10 frequently asked questions about the Libby app answered by our Digital Bookmobile Team

Our team finds so much joy in helping library patrons learn how to borrow digital materials through the Libby app. Every week, we host four 1.5 hour Libby webinars to get users up to speed on Libby basics and a few tips and tricks to help you get the most of out of the Libby app, but our favorite part of our webinars is answering user questions about the app.

Here are the most popular questions that users have when attending our webinars:

What is the difference between OverDrive and Libby?

Both Libby and the OverDrive app allow you to borrow and read the same digital content from your library, but they look and feel different.

Some of the things that we think sets Libby apart are:

  • Libby’s simple onboarding process enables you to sign into Libby with a library card in seconds, without ever needing to create an account.
  • If you have multiple library cards, you can find all of your loans and holds on a single shelf, making it easier than ever to find your current read.
  • Libby’s tagging feature allows you to create as many lists as you would like. So, instead of being limited to a wish list and history, you can create lists of cookbooks with recipes you enjoyed, save a list of prospective book club titles, or keep track of all of the titles that you have read for professional development. The tagged lists that you can create are endless!

Can I renew books in Libby if I don’t finish them in time?
You can renew titles within 72 hours of the loan’s due date following these instructions on our help site. In the case that someone else has the book on hold, you’ll see a Place Hold button (instead of Renew) which means you need to wait to borrow the book again. Luckily, Libby remembers where you left off in a book, so you won’t need to go back to find your place.

If I “deliver a title later” for 7 days, will I be the next person in line to receive the book?

In most cases, yes. The title that you deliver later will go to the next person in line, then it will come back to you. However, if users in line ahead of you also delivered the same title later, the title will go through the list of users ahead of you first, then make it’s way back to you.

If you are ever itching to read but stuck on a waitlist, you can browse available titles in the meantime.

Can I read on my Kindle device?

You can read most borrowed books with Kindle (available in the U.S. only) using Libby’s Read with Kindle feature. Sending titles to your Kindle device does require you to sign into your Amazon account, so be sure to have your Amazon credentials (email and password) handy.

Can I delete a single tag from one of my tagged lists?

Of course! If you would like to untag a single title from a list, you can follow these instructions on our help site. Untagging a title is as easy as a swipe of a finger.

Do OverDrive and Libby sync?

I like to say that OverDrive and Libby are siblings that speak similar, but different languages. They talk to each other enough that your loans and holds will sync across both platforms, but your reading progress within a loan will not.

In our most recent update, OverDrive users can now sync their wish list from OverDrive to Libby using these steps on our help site!

Can I recommend titles for purchase?

You can’t recommend books to your library in Libby quite yet, but we’re working on this feature. Some libraries do allow users to recommend titles for purchase on their OverDrive website.

Can I change the narrator’s speed in an audiobook?

You can speed up or slow down audiobook narrators to best suit your preference with the steps in this help article.

Can I read on my phone and my laptop?

If you have a Windows computer, Mac computer, or a Chromebook, you can use Libby in your web browser at libbyapp.com. Both the Libby app and Libbyapp.com will automatically sync your loans, holds, book progress, and tags between devices, as long as you have an internet connection and used a setup code when setting Libby up on each device.

Can I add more than one library card?

If you have a valid library card to more than one library that uses OverDrive services, you can add them all to Libby to access all of your library’s digital collections. If you would like to add additional library cards to Libby, you can follow these directions on the help site.

If you have questions regarding Libby, you can browse Libby’s Help Site, DM us on Instagram at @DigitalBookmobile, or contact Technical Support.

Happy Reading!

10 US Literary Destinations for 2022

Marissa and I are very excited to get back on the road with the Digital Bookmobile in 2022. In preparation for this return to travel, we’ve been making a list of places we want to visit like crazy. Here is my top 10 list of literary destinations to visit across the US.

10. Kansas City Public Library (Missouri) – Not to sound basic, but I’d love to take a picture with their parking garage. Now, this isn’t a normal, boring parking garage. Their garage looks like a giant bookshelf with 25 feet tall spines highlighting titles like To Kill a Mockingbird, Invisible Man, and The Lord of the Rings.

9. Rowan Oak (Mississippi) – Home of William Faulkner, author of The Sound and the Fury, this home stands as he restored it in the 1930s. Faulkner’s works employed many literary devices making them captivating (and at times challenging) reads. Visiting his home is a wonderful chance to see what exactly was inspiring the writer as he weaved complex tales of life and tragedy.

8. Hotel Monteleone (Louisiana) – Marissa and I definitely make great food a central part to our travel. The Hotel Monteleone houses the Carousel Bar and Lounge, “The Classic New Orleans Hotel Bar.” Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Truman Capote have all been said to have stayed here, or enjoyed drinks at the bar. What a great way to enjoy local music, cuisine, and cocktails, all while also connecting to literary history!

7. Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum (Florida) – Home of the prolific American writer Ernest Hemingway, this Key West destination has so many unique points of interest. The Old Man and the Sea was the first “classic” I ever read growing up, and since then I’ve felt a strange kinship whenever Hemingway comes up. I also always find myself wanting to visit historic homes, either to see that living history or to gain the perspective of the long-gone owner. If all this — and the beauty of Key West — weren’t enough, the grounds are home to Hemingway’s feline great-grandchildren: a mysterious breed of six-toed cats.

6. Orchard House (Massachusetts) – The home of Louisa May Alcott, and where she set Little Women, is now a public historic site. I know — shocker — I’ve got another historic home on my list, but this house looks like a well-rounded experience, whether you’re a fan of Little Women, a lover of living history, or just looking for a way to spend an afternoon. Alcott was not afraid to fight for social justice, and during her time she was involved in women’s suffrage, feminism, abolition, and education reform. Today, this legacy is still upheld in Orchard House’s educational programming.

5. The Emily Dickinson Museum (Massachusetts) – While I’m not much of one for poetry, two of my favorite authors are the poets on this list. Emily Dickinson’s work is unique and unlike so much of the poetry taught. She uses dashes and random capitalization, quirky imagery and word choice to blend together poems that speak to me in such a distinct way. Aside from her poetry, I find Dickinson’s personal life fascinating as well. She was a recluse in body but an adventurer in her correspondences. She was a botanist in her own space. And of course, she was deeply private, even swearing her sister to a pact that upon Emily’s death, she burned her cache of personal letters. While the museum is currently closed for major restoration, it’s set to reopen in Spring of 2022!

4. Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden (Massachusetts) – Looking at my list at this point, I’m seeing that I’m going to be pretty busy once we get to Massachusetts. There’s just a whole host of things to do in the state, including the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. The garden was opened in 2002 and features over 30 bronze statues. There is also the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum on the property, featuring four rooms, focused on Seuss’ life, starting with his childhood in Springfield, MA.

3. Poe Museum (Virginia) – The museum dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe was opened in 1922 only a few blocks from Poe’s first home in the Shockoe Bottom District. The museum is host to manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings of America’s Shakespeare, Poe. I’m also excited to visit The Raven Room – a gallery of rejected illustrations created for The Raven. Poe’s poetry has always spoken to me, with his forlorn phrases and lovesick lines.

2. The Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum (Alabama) – I promise this is the last historic house on the list… This is the only museum dedicated to the lives of American authors F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. While the couple had several homes across the globe, this one remains near Zelda’s childhood home and is dedicated to celebrating the life and works of the couple. The lower level of the home houses the museum, while the upstairs is split into two separate apartments that can be rented out via Airbnb. Not only do you get a feel of their lives in the museum, you can even stay there!

1. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Massachusetts) – Created by Eric Carle, this one-of-a-kind museum celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from all over the world. This museum sits at the top of my list because so many of my foundational memories growing up are from being with my mom, in the library or cozy at home with our owned or borrowed picture books, exploring the world of reading together. My love of reading and art was formed with the illustrations pressed between those well-loved pages, and I cannot wait to visit this museum.

Well, that’s the list! Those are my top 10 literary destinations in the US for 2022. Marissa and I are excited to return to the road and to see so many amazing people while getting to talk about books and Libby! Let us know if you’ve been to any of these spots, or plan to visit them after reading my list. You can reach Marissa and I on Instagram, @digitalbookmobile.

Catch up on your 2021 reading goals with these short and sweet reads

Is it just me, or does the reality of the lack of progress on our reading goals always become painfully obvious by the end of June?

I usually start off strong in the beginning of the year, devouring all the new books I acquire over the holidays. However, the time I spend reading directly correlates to how beautiful it is outside. By late March, reading sessions next to the fireplace turn into tossing a frisbee on the beach instead. Once people start expressing their shock that “it’s June already?!” I realize that I’m a few books behind on my reading goals.

That’s why every July, I stick to reading books that are shorter than 250 pages or listening to audiobooks that are less than 5 hours long. By focusing on small books, I can explore more authors, more topics, and get back on track to reach the finish line strong.

I know what you are thinking: do you really spend all of July reading classics? While classics are often short and sweet, you don’t need to limit yourself to classics to read or listen to a book in one sitting. Here are six books that prove that even newer titles can come in small packages:

Brood by Jackie Polzin | 240 pages | 4 hours 50 minutes

Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the forty-below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.

Do You Mind if I Cancel? by Gary Janetti | 176 pages | 3 hours 39 minutes

Gary Janetti, the writer and producer for some of the most popular television comedies of all time and creator of one of the most wickedly funny Instagram accounts there is, now turns his skills to the page in a hilarious and poignant book chronicling the pains and indignities of everyday life.

Gary spends his twenties in New York, dreaming of starring on soap operas while in reality working at a hotel where he lusts after an unattainable colleague and battles a bellman who despises it when people actually use a bell to call him. He chronicles the torture of finding a job before the internet when you had to talk on the phone all the time, and fantasizes, as we all do, about who to tell off when he finally wins an Oscar.

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | 208 pages | 4 hours 58 minutes

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family in the north.

Will Talia make it to Bogotá in time? And if she does, can she bring herself to trade the solid facts of her father and life in Colombia for the distant vision of her mother and siblings in America?

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate | 240 pages | 4 hours 19 minutes

To see the world through Jenny Slate’s eyes is to see it as though for the first time, shimmering with strangeness and possibility. As she will remind you, we live on an ancient ball that rotates around a bigger ball made up of lights and gasses that are science gasses, not farts (don’t be immature).

Heartbreak, confusion, and misogyny stalk this blue-green sphere, yes, but it is also a place of wild delight and unconstrained vitality, a place where we can start living as soon as we are born, and we can be born at any time. In her dazzling, impossible-to-categorize debut, Jenny channels the pain and beauty of life in writing so fresh, so new, and so burstingly alive, we catch her vision like a fever and bring it back out into the bright day with us, and everything has changed.

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw | 189 pages | 4 hours 6 minutes

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami | 240 pages | 5 hours

Each woman has succumbed, even if only for an hour, to that seductive, imprudent, and furtively feline man who drifted so naturally into their lives. Still clinging to the vivid memory of his warm breath and his indecipherable sentences, ten women tell their stories as they attempt to recreate the image of the unfathomable Nishino.

Do you have a trick for catching up on your reading goals? Head over to our Instagram (@digitalbookmobile) and let us know!