Checking Out eBooks from the Library

If you’re a frequent traveler, you probably have an electronic device for reading books on the road. I can’t imagine the luxury this would have been when I split time between the US and Spain nearly a decade ago. I would pack my bag full of books and magazines just so I would have enough to read and do. I even had my mom send care packages with magazines (I am a recovering magazine addict). Now, in the age of Kindles, Nooks, and iPads, you can add books and magazines to your device as long as you have an internet connection. BUT, did you know, you can often check out ebooks for free from your local library?

With a library card to our local library, I’m able to check out library eBooks and content. While my two kiddos don’t leave me tons of leisurely reading time, I have been known to use it to glance at cookbooks I’m interested in, check out kid books while on a trip, and I’ve even read a book or two for myself. Our online library doesn’t offer as many books as they would in the physical library, but there is certainly a large collection to choose from.

I won’t go into too many specifics, as I’m sure there are many systems out there, but our library uses an app called OverDrive. I installed it on my iPad, logged in with my library credentials and can browse books and other eContent from there. You can search, hold, and do all the typical library tasks from the app. On my app, the books are listed with little dark book icons in the corner if the book is available and a lighter icon if it’s checked out. If a book you want is checked out, you can place a hold so you can be notified and check it out when it’s available.

There are a couple of ways to read the books, but I generally download the book to my Kindle app and read from there. I’m using an iPad, so your experience will be different if you’re using a Kindle Fire or other device. One thing to note is that I believe you can only download a book to one device, so you can’t have it on your phone and your iPad and sync between the two. (Last I tried anyway).

Book checkout time is typically two or three weeks, when it becomes no longer available on your device. You can also return the book early in some cases. This wasn’t very intuitive for me so I think I usually let the time run out.

Need some reading material for your next trip? Consider checking out eBooks from the library!

Checking Out eBooks From the Library


Camping Recap – The Bugs!

We took another family camping trip last week. This time, we went to a lake that was a little over an hour from our house. And it was absolutely beautiful – a lake looking right at Mt. Adams. What we did not take seriously in all the pre-camping prep was the bug warning. I had read a few times that the bugs could get bad, but we don’t have a lot of bugs where we live and it wasn’t too far away, so it wasn’t really on my radar. I threw in our natural, eco-friendly, kid-friendly bug spray just for the evenings when bugs can get “bad”. Oh my! We were only there a few minutes before we broke into the bug spray. I think I could hear the mosquitos laughing at us when I starting dousing all of us in my all-natural spray. It hardly made a difference. My husband also gave me that “really, you thought an all natural bug spray would be the way to go” attitude. Luckily I had read one blog post that said the camp host occasionally has a can of bug spray for sale. We got the last can of full-on DEET spray for $10! That helped make it tolerable, but the bugs were still a major factor in our 2 day trip. Without the can of serious mosquito repellent, I think we would have had to pack it up and go home early.

5 tips for preventing bugs from ruining your camping trip

  • Research and buy the best mosquito repellent you can buy, no matter what the chemicals or formulas. We try to live without harsh chemicals in our daily lives, but for a 2 day camping trip, it was worth it. My daughter got so many bites that days later, we’re still putting on cream and ice to keep them from itching so much. (I know an easier solution would be to not go camping, but we all make choices.)
  • Bring anti-itch formulas such as Benedryl cream or Aveeno. I don’t have any recommendations on which will work best, but bringing something will help any bites you or your kids do get.
  • Bring long sleeve shirts and jeans for everyone. That didn’t help completely, but I like to think it helped a little. Hoods and hats also helped a little.
  • Bring mosquito repelling torches or candles. Another group camping nearby us had torches every few feet around their campsite (the tall ones). I was leery of these because it is fire season, but also with the kids. I think we all would have been a lot cheerier if we had been swatting less bugs.
  • Stick to a strict policy with the tent. We did not get a single bug in the tent that I know of. We didn’t let the kids play in the tent and, when it was time to go to bed, we shoved the kids through the opening in the screen as quickly as possible. We also kept the lights off when getting in and out of the tent. This made sleeping (and packing up) pleasant.

Bug upgrades

  • I saw a few people with nets around their heads. I was nearly ready to offer them great amounts of cash to have a bug free zone! Think about grabbing some nets for your family if you’re planning on camping during bug season.
  • I was also jealous of the screen tents for eating, or even relaxing. With 3 toddlers, it’s unlikely we could have kept them in or out long enough to keep the bugs out, but as the kids get older, I would think about investing in one of these.

While it seems like our camping trip was a bummer because of the bugs, we still had a great time. We had two families and three toddlers. The kids loved the hammock, which provided hours of entertainment. We also really enjoyed our time out on the lake, which was pretty close to a bug free zone. We will be back for sure since the lake is such a treasure, but we may wait until later in summer, when things dry out a bit! One thing is for sure, I will be packing more bug repellent systems in our camping box just in case I neglect to read the bug warnings again.

Spending time on this beautiful lake was worth it!

Camping Recap - the Bugs!