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Bookstagram: Fun hashtags for every reader

Few digital spaces rival the quality of the bookstagram community. Of course, hashtags aid in the discovery of all that delicious lit content. There are hundreds out there, and many of them have the same or similar content within, like #igreads and #bookish. So, what hashtags should you follow to make your feed as fresh and diverse as it can be? Here are a few of my favorites:
#libbyapp & #soraapp
Open your To Be Read list! Not only will these hashtags keep you up to date on OverDrive’s latest app features and bookclubs like Big Library Read, #libbyapp and #soraapp are also filled with book recommendations and reviews from Libby or Sora users, librarians, and media specialists just like you!

#diybookshelf & #recycledbooks
If you fancy yourself a creative type, these hashtags won’t let you down. Struggling with the age-old problem of too many books, not enough shelf space? Perhaps you are holding on to a book that has had pages falling out of it since the ‘90s (it can’t only be me, right?). If you fancy yourself a creative type, these hashtags won’t let you down. Check out what other DIYers have created for or out of books in #diybookshelf and #recycledbooks!

#literaryink & #booktattoo
Not everyone is lucky enough to work at a company where book inspired tattoos are the norm, so you might have to rely on Instagram to see some of the amazing story-inspired body ink that is out there. Though similar in name, there are a few distinctions between the two hashtags. #booktattoo is more popular, with over 33k posts to date, but many of the tattoos are geared toward the general book lover. #literaryink is quite a bit smaller, with less than 10k posts, and the tattoos tend to reference a particular title or author.

#bookswag & #bookmerch
What booknerd doesn’t love filling their house with literary treasures? Both of these hashtags offer the same content: book-themed items that will have you drooling for days, but #bookmerch is a little more active. These hashtags are packed with everything from lit candles to bookish home décor. Be warned that you will have to practice a lot of self-restraint as you scroll through all of the amazing goodies, but these hashtags are particularly handy around the holidays, whether you are searching for the perfect gift for someone else or putting together your own wish list.

What book related hashtags do you swear by? Let us know over on our Instagram @DigitalBookmobile!

30 books that will make their way to the screen in 2021

Although it’s hard to come up with many 2020 silver linings, last year’s book to screen adaptations did provide a welcome escape in an otherwise crummy year. While, like me, you may be a firm believer that books are always better than their visual media counterparts, you must admit that occasionally the movie (or television series) adaptation can be pretty darn good in its own right. In fact, some of the best television I’ve ever seen was the raw, and often downright depressing, portrayal of chess prodigy Beth Harmon in Scott Frank’s adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis that was released to Netflix in October.

With the new year comes new opportunities for directors to transform our favorite literary titles into visual masterpieces. To prepare, download the Libby or Sora apps and borrow these 30 books from your library’s digital collection before their screen adaptation is set to release in 2021:

Memoirs & Biographies


Historical Fiction


Contemporary Fiction



*Release dates are subject to change

End of year wrap-up: Our favorite Libby features and updates

What a year it has been for our little librarian. In addition to a whole new look, the Libby app has had a year full of fun and useful updates. The Libby team is always hard at work improving Libby’s accessibility, fulfilling user requests, and coming up with new ways to delight readers. Here are some of our favorite Libby updates that happened this year:

Users can export their notes, highlights, and bookmarks for a title

That’s right, bookworms! Book clubs just got a whole lot easier! This feature was one of the most common requests that we received when we were out on the road talking to library patrons about Libby. We are super excited that the next time we are visiting a library, we can give those users good news! To export notes, highlights, and bookmarks:

  1. Go to the title’s details screen in your library’s catalog.
  2. Tap Reading Journey.
  3. Tap Actions > Export Reading Data.
  4. Choose an export format for your notes, highlights, and bookmarks:
    • To export them to a web page, select Table. From there, you can bookmark the page for future use or share it with others.
      Note: The exported page also includes your circulation activity for the title.

To save them to your device, select Spreadsheet, then Bookmarks or Highlights. Exporting your highlights includes any notes.

Libby is now available in 10 languages

When traveling with the Digital Bookmobile, we meet so many people that speak a wide variety of languages, so we are thrilled that the Libby team added support for 9 additional languages. In addition to English, Libby is now available in Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French (Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish (Latin America), and Swedish.

Libby automatically uses the language your device or web browser is set to, as long as the language is supported in the app.
If you’d like to use Libby in a different language than your device:

  1. Go to (libby icon is acting up in quip).
  2. Tap Get Some Help.
  3. Choose your language (under “Common Solutions”).
Keyboard shortcuts make navigating ebooks and audiobooks easier

Speaking of accessibility, Libby’s reader and audiobook player are now completely navigable with a keyboard. Find out more about keyboard shortcuts with our help article here: Keyboard shortcuts for the ebook reader and audiobook player.

Libby is now compatible with Sonos

With other smart home systems (Google and Alexa), Libby can play audiobooks via Bluetooth, but this year we announced our newest smart home integration with Sonos. Households with Sonos wireless home sound systems can enjoy audiobooks from their Sonos speakers without the need to connect via Bluetooth. To connect Libby with a Sonos speaker:

  1. Add the Libby service in your Sonos Controller app.
  2. Sign into the Libby service:
    1. When prompted, enter your setup code from the Libby app.
    2. To get a setup code: Open Libby, then tap and hold (libby icon is acting up in quip) until a setup code appears.
  3. Once signed in, go back to the Sonos Conroller app and enter a name for your account.
  4. Tap on an audiobook on your shelf to start listening.
Users can now share their Libby tags and activity on Goodreads

Few communities are as passionate about cataloging as the book community, so Christmas came early with our September update. With the ability to export tags and activity, users can import these lists into their Goodread’s account, making it easier than ever to catalog both physical and digital reading materials. To import tags or activity into Goodreads:

  1. Export a tag or your activity as a Spreadsheet from Libby.
  2. Send or transfer the spreadsheet to a computer.
  3. On your computer, follow Goodreads’s steps to import books into your account.

New Orleans: A book lover’s travel plans

With its rich history, decadent food scene, and title as the most haunted city in the United States, the city I was most excited to travel to this year was without a doubt New Orleans. The second I found out that the Digital Bookmobile was heading to The Crescent City, I started forming an itinerary. The initial research took a few hours. I then spent several days begrudgingly crossing activities off of my list until I could squeeze my must-dos into the four days we would spend in New Orleans. I would be lying if I said that I did not resort to flipping coins and asking my Magic 8 Ball.

You can imagine my disappointment when just nine days before my plane was to land in Louisiana, word came that we would be postponing our 2020 tour, and with it the possibility of eating gumbo for breakfast, lunch, and dinner would have to wait as well. If and when I get my chance to explore The Big Easy, here are three things I can’t wait to do:
Have a drink at The Carousel Bar
Designated an official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association, Hotel Monteleone is at the very top of my list of places to visit in New Orleans. Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Anne Rice, and William Faulkner are just some of the literary icons that frequented the hotel. While the fact that the hotel is haunted is one of the reasons I’d like to visit, I’m also very aware that I’m too much of a wimp to ever stay overnight, so I’m settling for a drink at the Carousel Bar inside the hotel.

I know that it sounds a little lame that I am only planning on getting a drink at the bar of an iconic haunted hotel, but the Carousel Bar is famous in its own right. As guests enjoy Pimm’s Cups and are lulled by the enticing sounds of live jazz, they are slowly rotated around the bartenders as if they were on a carousel. I truly hope that the experience lives up to the extra hype this year has allowed me to collect while I wait.

Stop by Faulkner House Books
There is something so comforting about being surrounded by books that I just can’t resist, so you can often find me scouting out bookstores on most of the stops we make on the tour. My time in New Orleans will be no different, especially when the city is home to a bookstore located in the very building William Faulkner lived while writing his very first (published) novel Soldier’s Pay.

Despite my addiction to exploring books stores, I typically avoid purchasing much of anything while out on the road for lack of space in my suitcase, but I am definitely going to make an exception during my visit to Faulkner House Books. I would live to regret it if I passed on the opportunity to purchase a copy of his work sold out of his very own former home.

Explore Beauregard-Keyes Historic House & Garden
I’m not even a little ashamed to admit that I frequently spend my free time looking at houses for sale without the slightest intention to ever purchase one. I love to search for the perfect house in cities I will likely never live in. It’s my version of online window shopping, except I am unable to put things into a cart while pretending I can afford it all.

For the same reasons I love window shopping for spacious 1 bedrooms in places like Vancouver, British Columbia, I love visiting old historic houses across the United States. Once home to many of New Orleans’ well-known residents like world famous chess player Paul Morphy, and then years later The Old Gray Homestead author Frances Parkinson Keyes, Beauregard-Keyes Historic House & Garden is steeped in New Orleans history that I can’t wait to discover.

While there are many other literary sights the city has to offer and even more opportunities outside the world of books that make New Orleans such an exciting city to visit, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can at least check these three off of my list twelve-page Google Doc in 2021.

From Tucson to Boston: My travel plans for 2021

When the Digital Bookmobile hit the road back in February, everything seemed business as usual – flights and hotels were booked, we knew what libraries and schools we’d get to visit, and Marissa and I had made our lists of fun and off-the-beaten-path activities to do in our downtime while traveling. Cut to the global pandemic, and you can almost hear the screeching halt that our plans came to.

It’s now November, and we’ve reached what would have been the last day of the tour. These end of the year blog posts are usually where Marissa and I share how many places we’ve visited and people we’ve seen, but this year looks a little different since we’ve been staying safe at home. Instead of bemoaning all the things we didn’t get to do, Marissa and I wanted to share our top 3 travel plans we’re carrying over into 2021.

Make cosmic observations at Kitt Peak National Observatory
Perched atop Kitt Peak in the Quinlan Mountains, the Kitt Peak National Observatory houses the largest and most diverse collection of astronomical equipment in the world. The observatory has something for everyone- day or night. If you’d like the history of Kitt Peak Observatory and the invention of the telescope, come during the day for this tour. If you want a peek into the cosmos, arrive at sunset to observe the magic of space. Being an all-around space nerd, I had a full day planned to tour the observatory and then stay at night to put my eye to the sky. I can’t wait to return to Tucson and cross this off my travel bucket-list!

Experience a New England domestic time capsule at the Gibson House Museum
Situated in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, the Gibson House Museum was once the home to three generations of Gibson family and staff between 1859-1954. The museum is “a time capsule of domestic life from the mid-nineteenth to early-twentieth centuries.” With both family and friends in Boston, I’ve spent many summers working my way through cultural attractions, and yet, I always have something new I’m dying to see! I love seeing history through vignettes, like historic homes, to really gain the perspective of what life was like during different points in American culture and history.

Attend dinner and a show at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse
The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is a unique experience- the tavern hosts live Shakespearian theatre, with hand-crafted period costumes, stunning choreography, and plenty of food and drink. The theatre started in May of 1984 with a one week run of As You Like It, which sparked the dream we see realized today. Plays rotate monthly and are performed by The Atlanta Shakespeare Company. With so much to do in Atlanta, it’s nice to have a place for dinner that doubles as another activity. I’m a lover of theatre, and I find that the best way to experience Shakespeare is with a troupe that focuses on his plays. Once we’re back in Atlanta, this is bound to be a great way to end an evening!

5 travel memoirs that will take you across the United States while staying safe at home

November 1st usually signifies that the end of the Digital Bookmobile tour is near. After ten months out on the road, I begin counting down the days until I can sleep in my own bed and snuggle my cats during the holiday season. After cancelling our tour in March, I have spent the last ten months feeling road sick instead, and now, at a time I’m usually happy to be returning home, my desire to travel with the Digital Bookmobile is at an all-time high.

To quench my thirst for travel (or perhaps make it worse), I’m spending November living vicariously through these authors that wrote memoirs about their experiences traveling across America. If the travel bug is also buzzing annoyingly in your ear, check out these five books from your library’s digital collection:

The Road Headed West by Leon McCarron
Terrified of the prospect of a life spent behind a desk, without challenge or excitement, Leon takes off to cross America on an overloaded bicycle packed with everything but common sense.

Over five months and 6000 miles, he cycled from New York to Seattle and then on to the Mexican border, facing tornados, swollen river crossings, wild roaming buffalo and one hungry black bear along the way. But he also met kind strangers who offered their food, wisdom, hospitality and even the occasional local history lesson, and learned what happens when you take a chance and follow the scent of adventure.

Citizen U.S.A by Alexandra Pelosi
In the HBO(r) documentary tentatively titled Citizen U.S.A., acclaimed filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi sets out on a road trip across America to attend naturalization ceremonies in all fifty states to meet brand-new citizens and find out why they chose America as their home. What she discovers is that America welcomes them all – the disabled, the cancer patients, LGBTQIA+, Obama- haters, Christian missionaries, Muslim imams, Jewish rabbis, Buddhist monks, scientists with Ph.D.s (trying to find the cure for all the diseases that are plaguing us), tech giants in Silicon Valley, movie directors, race car drivers, and even a wrestler with his own action figure!

Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel
A memoir of one young man’s coming of age on a journey across America—told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the way.

At 23, Andrew Forsthoefel headed out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read “Walking to Listen.” He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn’t know how. So he decided to take a cross-country quest for guidance, one where everyone he met would be his guide.

Strays by Britt Collins
Homeless, alcoholic, and depressed, Michael King lives in a UPS loading bay on the wrong side of Portland, Oregon. One rainy night, he stumbles upon a hurt, starving, scruffy cat and takes her in. Nursing her back to health, he names her Tabor. When winter comes, they travel from Oregon to the beaches of California to the high plains of Montana, surviving blizzards and bears, angry steers and rainstorms. Along the way, people are drawn to the spirited, beautiful cat and moved to help Michael.

Tabor comforts Michael when he’s down, giving him someone to love and care for, inspiring him to get sober and come to terms with his past family traumas and grief over the death of his partner. But when Michael takes Tabor to a vet in Montana, he discovers that she has an identification chip and an owner who has never given up hope of finding her. Michael makes the difficult choice to return to Portland to reunite Tabor with her owner and learn to create a new purpose in his life after Tabor.

Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.

Travels with Charley in Search of America is an intimate look at one of America’s most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. Written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—Travels with Charley in Search of America is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade.

Get inspired with fall themed ebooks from your library

What’s not to love about autumn? It’s the perfect season to indulge in delicious food, explore new places, decorate the house, and learn something new. As you sip on your highly anticipated pumpkin spiced beverage, tap into the Libby app to discover your library’s selection of fall titles. Libby has a little something for everyone this season.
Autumn is a great time to travel, both for the cooler weather and the spectacular views that fall foliage brings. It can be a challenge to find the perfect place to enjoy one of nature’s most exciting spectacles, but don’t forget to utilize your library’s digital collection of travel titles while you research your next getaway. For travelers that fancy themselves a spook or two, there are also plenty of travel guides of the haunted variety, too!

Fall titles for travelers:
Colors of Fall Road Trip Guide by Jerry and Marcy Monkman
Best Autumn Trips by Lonely Planet
Autumn Rambles of New England by Michael and Mark Tougias
Haunted Places by Dennis William Hauck

Kids have a lot of questions this time of year. Why are the leaves changing? When did we first celebrate Thanksgiving? Why do squirrels bury their acorns? The real question is, who can resist a bedtime story and a learning opportunity all wrapped into one? Whether your child wants to know why the trees shed their leaves, what the animals are up to as they prepare for winter, or about the history of harvest-time celebrations, Libby and your library have you covered.

Fall titles for curious kiddos:
Summer Green to Autumn Gold by Mia Posada
Busy Animals by Lisa Bullard
Hello, World! How Do Apples Grow? By Jill Mcdonald
We Gather Together by Wendy Pfeffer and Linda Bleck

We’re all about to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but who can complain when you are surrounded by loved ones? Whether you are looking for a scary cupcake recipe for your Halloween party or a delicious soup to enjoy on a chilly evening, Libby has a selection of cookbooks to fit every home chef’s need.

Fall titles for cooks:
The Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookbook by Stephanie Pedersen
The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso
Ghoulish Goodies by Sharon Bowers
Recipes to Make Thanksgiving More Amazing by Ida Smith

Tis the season to DIY. Look no further than your library’s digital collection for a wide array of fall-themed projects! From DIY Halloween costumes to trendy autumn-inspired home décor, crafters are sure to find more than one project to keep them entertained.

Fall titles for crafters:
Pumpkins and Party Themes: 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life by Roxanne Rhoads
How to Carve Freakishly Cook Pumpkins by Sarah L. Schuette
Just Treats, No Tricks: Bewitching Quilts and More to Celebrate Autumn by Betsy Chutchain
Duct Tape Costumes by Carolyn Bernhardt

Three podcast episodes to listen to during Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week! While diving into one of the many titles that landed on the American Library Association’s Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the last decade is a great way to spend your free time this week, it’s also important to explore why the book community comes together every year to show support for easy access to information. Whether you are curious about the history behind book banning or want to explore how graphic novels fit into the world of banned books, listening to podcasts is a great way to learn something new. In honor of Banned Books Week, give these three podcast episodes a listen:

  1. The Story Behind Ep. 126: Banned Books
    On this episode of The Story Behind, podcast host Emily Prokop takes listeners on a journey dating all the way back to 2010 BC detailing the origin of banned books. While the episode is only 12 minutes from start to finish, Emily was able to pack plenty of interesting information, and even a scene from “Parks and Recreation,” into the bite-sized episode.
  2. Part-Time Genius: Why Were These Banned?
    Already know the history behind Banned Books Week, but want to hear more about why certain books have been challenged or banned? On this episode of Part-Time Genius, hosts Will and Mango cover many of the stories of banned books from the mystery behind the “Wicked Bible” to why Where’s Waldo is banned in prisons.
  3. Comics Are Great! Ep. 105: Banned Books
    Did you know that every year at least one graphic novel makes the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books List? On this episode of Comics Are Great!, listeners hear from cartoonist Jerzy Drozd and David Carter, librarian at the University of Michigan’s Comics and Video Game Archive, as they explore the complexities behind censorship in comics.

Looking for other great podcasts about reading? Check out the Professional Book Nerds podcast. Hosts Jill and Adam provide listeners with weekly book recommendations, chat about exciting new upcoming releases and interview an incredible selection of authors. The Professional Book Nerds podcast is available through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Happy Read an Ebook Day!

It’s that time of year again! I’m not referring to pumpkin spiced lattes and sweater weather (although I’m excited for those too). No, September 18th is the day literature lovers everywhere celebrate Read an Ebook Day.

Why should we celebrate a day dedicated to reading ebooks? Well, ebooks can be customized to each individual reader, they are great for the environment, and they can be downloaded anytime, anywhere. I could keep going, trust me, but I’ll practice some restraint.

Today, OverDrive employees have the opportunity to tidy their (work-from-home) desks an hour early and dive into a good book. Here are some of the great reads that our team have chosen to celebrate:

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Chosen by: Andi, Public Relations Specialist
An Anonymous Girl.jpg
Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new book about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma

Chosen by: Renee, Director of Marketing Services
Book of the Little Axe.jpg

Ambitious and masterfully-wrought, Lauren Francis-Sharma’s Book of the Little Axe is an incredible journey, spanning decades and oceans from Trinidad to the American West during the tumultuous days of warring colonial powers and westward expansion.

*This title was chosen as the Libraries Transform Book Pick. Readers at U.S public libraries can borrow Book of the Little Axe without wait lists or holds from September 14 – 28. Find out more about this year’s Library Transform Book Pick here.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Chosen by: Marissa, Digital Book Specialist