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Convenient, cheap, and accessible text books by Juliana Russo – Once I got to college and began my freshman year, I was swarmed by new people, activities, assignments and social events like never before. An aspiring Communications major, I had to achieve a high grade in four of the major’s core classes before getting accepted into the program. As I began my journey at the University of Delaware, which is now nearing its end, I would often catch myself either skimming or avoiding the readings that were assigned to me by my professors. After spending over $500 on books each semester and having at least 50 pages to read per week in each class, I began to lose my passion for reading. I once thought of myself as an avid reader, yet due to the constant pressure of completing such an enormous sum of reading each week, I started to dread opening my books. Although I do understand the importance of a heavy course load, I could not help but feel discouraged by my old, thick textbooks. Read on to find out how I discovered convenient, cheap, and accessible text books…

I will be graduating this upcoming May with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies with minors in Journalism and English. Being accepted into the Communications major my sophomore year was a great accomplishment for me, however as I began to take classes for the major I found myself particularly unsatisfied. At the time, I thought I needed to explore something new so I decided to pick up an Advertising minor, yet as junior year rolled around, I found myself not only struggling in my advertising classes but also my communications classes. I couldn’t quite figure out why I was doing poorly until I realized what these two fields had in common⎯out of date, dense textbooks.

It took this realization for me to conclude that maybe advertising was not for me. I wanted to start reading and writing again about things that were current, interesting, and relevant to my life.

imgres-6Upon starting my English and Journalism classes, my professors prodded my classmates and I to keep up on current magazines and newspapers, as well as novels. I remember catching myself groan at the thought of being assigned yet another expensive, boring textbook that my professor considered a “novel,” yet would only weigh down my backpack. To my surprise, however I was never assigned a specific book. For once I was at liberty to choose what I wanted to read. I became curious to see what new and exciting novels would be out there for me to pick up. In the past, I only really got a chance to read for fun during the summer so I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. I knew the bookstore sold books other than just textbooks, but the idea of finding a book to read at my campus library intimidated me. I never actually read anything off of the hundreds of bookshelves that nearly suffocated me during my many visits. Yet after some brief Google searching, I found a book that seemed interesting. Finding a book I wanted to read on the computer was one thing, but after a half hour of actually searching for it in the library, I was left empty-handed and discouraged.

Giving up so easily usually does not lead to any sort of positive result, however in this case it did. I returned to Google and typed in the title of my book with “read online University of Delaware” following it. The first result that came up was a link to my school library’s homepage, which promoted an application called OverDrive – Library eBooks and Audiobooks. The site informed me that the book I had been searching for was unavailable on the shelves, yet was available for free download as an eBook on the OverDrive app. Even though I was relieved and excited to get started on the book, I was also a little confused as to how such an app had not been publicized by my school.

 images-2I chose to download OverDrive on my iPad with iOS, however it is also available for the Amazon Kindle, Nook, Android, Mac OS, Windows and the Windows Phone as well. As soon as you download the application, you are prompted to create an account and sign in by registering with your local or school library. To read eBooks from my on-campus library, all I had to do was log in with my student ID and password. OverDrive not only gives students the advantage of accessing eBooks from 10,000 school libraries, but 16,000 local libraries as well! After signing in and clicking “Add A Library” you are able to search for the library of your choice by name or location. On the left sidebar underneath your library you can find “Bookshelf” followed by “Account” and “Settings”. The bookshelf is handy and allows you to download as many books as you please. To add a book you simply press “Add A Title” which brings you to your local library homepage. It was a simple process for me to add “University of Delaware Library” to my application and then download the book that I was looking for. Since OverDrive allows you to sync all the titles you download across any of your devices, it keeps track of your progress with a virtual bookmark for easy access.

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After downloading OverDrive on my iPhone and reading a book while on the bus, I proceeded to tell my roommates and fellow classmates about how convenient, cheap, and accessible OverDrive makes reading. Although eBooks are sometimes unavailable, you can place your desired title on hold and OverDrive will email you as soon as it becomes available. I have been able to keep an eBook out with my local library for two weeks, however it varies depending on the library. Once the title has expired, it remains in your OverDrive bookshelf for three days and gives you the option to either renew or delete it.

I believe OverDrive allows students like myself to get back into reading for fun – whenever and wherever you want, and wipes away all of the negative connotations brought about from previous college reading experiences. Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming video from your library using OverDrive on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. More than 30,000 libraries worldwide offer titles from OverDrive, so download the app and find your next book today! I highly recommend OverDrive – Library eBooks and Audiobooks by OverDrive, Inc.

Juliana Russo Bio PicJuliana Russo, currently a senior at the University of Delaware, will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with minors in Journalism and English. Over the past four years, Juliana has further developed her love for writing with the help of her university’s student run newspaper, The Review. Juliana is currently fascinated with the power that technology has for the future of education, as she hopes to become an English teacher later on in life. After graduation, Juliana will be venturing off to Munich, Germany to be a fulltime Au Pair where she will be caring for and teaching four young girls English.

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