Read More in 2019 with Libby App

Illustration by Mable Truong | Managing Editor

Annie Huang
Staff Writer

Many people have recently made (and perhaps already broken) New Year’s resolutions with the intention of improving themselves, with one of the most common resolutions being to read more. Reading offers the opportunity to learn, grow, and expand your perspective, which is why many successful people, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey cite what they’ve read as being among their most important influences.

Libby, a reading application that’s compatible with both Android and Apple devices, makes reading easier for users. Created by Rakuten OverDrive, Inc., an American distributor of e-books, audiobooks, and videos, Libby allows users to use their library card to access their library’s reading and visual materials through their device — for free.

Libby is perfect for those who have resolved to read more during 2019 but fear losing motivation in the face of having to purchase books or accumulating library late fees that may pile up from forgetting to renew their reading material.

There are tens of thousands of titles available on Libby, many of which are bestsellers. Certain titles also come with an audiobook in case users wants to pick up where they left off while driving or just don’t want to stare at a screen after a long day. All of the titles are available to download for offline use, making it simple to read or listen to a chapter wherever and whenever they want while finishing books at their own pace.

Although Libby is a useful application, its capabilities are not limitless. Books that are in high demand often have long waiting lists, making it challenging to access popular titles. However, users can reserve high demand books and read something slightly less mainstream while they’re waiting. Ultimately, though the wait time for popular books is inconvenient, it can also act as a buffer, so that users won’t be overwhelmed by having too many books in their library.

Because the Santa Barbara Public Library uses OverDrive’s services, any UCSB student or Santa Barbara resident can access their local public library at their fingertips. Although Libby does have some drawbacks, it is free, convenient, and useful for anyone who wants to get a little bit more reading done in 2019.