Off the Shelf: eBook and eAudiobook myths, facts

Nearly 90 percent of all NOLS cardholders have yet to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks through the Washington Anytime Library, accessed through the OverDrive and Libby apps.

If you’re one, you may find a reason here to try a downloadable this summer.

Below are some myths and facts about using downloadables:

Myth: Only eReaders can access digital books.

Fact: Many devices can access downloadable materials, such as smart watches, smartphones, smart refrigerators, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. If you have a device with a screen, you can probably use downloadables.

Myth: Listening to audiobooks isn’t “real” reading.

Fact: Listening to books read aloud is one of the earliest ways children connect to language, literature, and culture. Listening to audiobooks through adulthood allows us to vividly imagine the setting or notice nuances that can be difficult to convey through text. It counts.

Myth: It will use up my data and drain the battery.

Fact: Most digital content can be downloaded so that it’s accessible even if you’re not online. Depending on your device, you can read an entire book on one battery charge. Maximize your battery by turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and lowering screen brightness.

Myth: It’s expensive to read eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Fact: A free library card gives you free access to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks using the OverDrive and Libby apps.

Myth: Audiobooks are for people who don’t like to read print.

Fact: While audiobooks make books accessible for people with print limitations, readers who love print can also benefit from audiobooks. A narrator can transport the listener through accent and voice; some audiobooks include multiple narrators, and some include sound effects, like a radio adaptation.

Myth: Digital books don’t include my favorite genre.

Fact: No matter what you like to read, there’s a digital book for you. Many eBook readers enjoy the hottest new titles, but many older titles are available. The Washington Anytime Library spans all interests, from historical fiction to solarpunk, and includes a wide array of nonfiction as well: celebrity biographies, philosophy, engineering, you name it!

Myth: There’s no reason to listen to an audiobook if I can read print.

Fact: A surprising majority of audiobook listeners don’t participate in other activities while listening—they simply sit and listen. Others multi-task while listening. If a game on your phone is your guilty pleasure, add an audiobook to double the relaxation. Dreading chores? Audiobook. Long drive? Audiobook.

Audiobooks are a great way to share books in a co-listening experience. Try listening to audiobooks before bedtime—with kids or with other adults in your home. Gather a book club and listen to a short story or to a chapter together to start the discussion.

For more …

Give it a try — there’s a downloadable eBook or eAudiobook (or digital magazine) to fit your needs and interests. Visit to get started.

For more information, visit, call 360-683-1161 or email to The Sequim Library is at 630 N. Sequim Ave.

Sarah Morrison is a librarian with the North Olympic Library System.