Kindle Unlimited: $120/year
Hoopla App: FREE
Need I say more?
In all aspects of my life, though sometimes unsuccessful I aim to use time as effectively as possible. In my younger days, I studied literature extensively but as time has ticked on, it has become more challenging to keep up with the books stacked beside my bed. After working ten, twelve, or even fourteen hours in a day, when I crawl in between the sheets at night it’s no longer so easy to keep my brain focused and my eyelids open to read the selections awaiting me. In the last few years I’ve noticed a huge reduction in time spent reading and more importantly, learning, simply because I’m tired and just don’t have the “free” time. I also have to admit that within that bedside stack there are several titles that I began reading and just couldn’t “get into” enough to continue. And at about $23.95 per book it’s an expensive learning lesson to begin a hard copy of a book and then realize it isn’t a good match for my interests.
That nagging feeling that I was missing something pushed me to investigate how I could make available time for my long-time passion. The majority of Tall Mom’s adventures are via automobile and even my favorite in-state beach is a long four hour drive away in the best of driving conditions. Each morning and evening between the drive to drop off/pick up Tall Kiddo at his bus stop and my commute to work I clock roughly 40 minutes each way. That’s 80 minutes per day or more than six hours of drive time per week. So I wanted to use that time to get back to the books!
I explored all of the well known options, in particular Audible and Kindle Unlimited but I wasn’t excited about taking on a monthly obligation for either. I’m a commitment-phobe and hate to be “stuck” with anything that I am not absolutely sure I will use. (And that’s $100+ per year to use toward travel opportunities!) School and community libraries are great resources but on-the-shelf selections can be limited due to budget constraints, and unfortunately I certainly don’t have the schedule to be able to visit my local library on a regular basis. Somewhere in my research I stumbled along Hoopla. I was incredulous because Hoopla seemed too good to be true – a perfect fit for my travel needs.
Hoopla is a reading game changer.
Best described as the Netflix of the public library, Hoopla offers recently released e-books, audio books, movies, television series, and music. My local public library pays the fee for rentals, and I don’t have to sign on for an expensive continuing contract. Always suspicious, I decided to pursue Hoopla and signed on at a nearby library branch. Admittedly, Hoopla doesn’t have every book ever offered in the free market. I searched the offerings and there were roughly a quarter million selections. That number will certainly keep me mentally stimulated for a while. Think The Magnolia Story, Eric Church, and Hamilton – These aren’t titles from the 1990’s but the most current works over at the local book store. With the Hoopla app I can download up to five selections per month. It’s free and easy even for those of us who are a bit techno-challenged.
Three months later I’ve surprised myself with how often I’ve turned to the Hoopla app on my cell phone. I’ve completed several books and also abandoned a few that turned out to be poor fits but this time without the “I spent money on this” guilt. Just the other night I read a brief article about Shania Twain which led to my interest in her latest works. The next morning I listened to her newest songs via Hoopla while on my morning commute.
Planning a long road trip over the upcoming holidays? Download an audio book for the family to listen to, discuss, and primarily enjoy. Developing a love of reading in your child? Many children prefer reading e-books on their personal devices to toting traditional books which take up luggage space.
Hoopla’s worth all of the, well, hoopla. Signing on requires a visit to a public library collaborating with Hoopla. Your selections can be downloaded where wi fi is available, thus eliminating the need to use any sort of service as you travel. I consider Hoopla one of my best travel tools and the fact that it is offered free is a refreshing surprise akin to being upgraded to first class without the extra expense.
Learn more about Hoopla here: Hoopla Info