By Guest Blogger Courtney Tucker, author of the blog A is For Beautiful

I love to read.  I wouldn’t call myself an avid reader, but that’s just because I don’t have as much time to actually do it as much as I’d like.  Nevertheless, there’s not much I enjoy more than losing myself in some sort of fictional story.

Ever since my kids were born I’ve struggled even more with finding the time to finish a good book.  Beyond summers at the beach I never could squeeze in even the most casual of chick lit.  Then my husband somehow got me hooked up with the audio books provided by our local library.

At first I was skeptical.  I don’t consider myself to be an auditory learner and I thought I’d have trouble concentrating on audiobooks since I had when I gave them a try once before.  For some reason now I find it a lot easier.  Maybe it’s because having children made me a better multi-tasker or maybe it’s just because I have given up on catching every. single. word. in every story I read, but anyway the NCDL has been a blessing for me because it’s brought me back to “reading.”

Here’s how it works: Anyone with a library card can go online and check out four audiobooks at a time through NCDL.  You can browse the digital library collection in a way that is similar to browsing books online at places like  You can download them in a matter of minutes and have them on your computer to play while you’re folding laundry.  You can transfer them to your iPod to listen to while you exercise – actually, who am I kidding? – you can listen to them on your iPod in the car while you shuttle kids around.  The point is that the audiobook is just as portable as a hard copy.

Each digital file can be “checked out” for one week.  After that the file is no longer accessible from your computer.  You can add your name to a wait list for the more popular books and most lists are not long at all.  You are notified via email when a book becomes available.  If you don’t finish a book in the seven days you’re allowed to have the digital file you can always check it out again or if you don’t reconnect and sync your iPod to your computer you can continue to play the file until you finish the book.

At this rate I can easily finish a book in a week and it’s such a stress reliever for me to get lost in that storytime again.  One day I look forward to actually reading again, but for this season of my life, digital books work for me.

With all of the eReaders that are becoming popular these days, I suggest giving the NC Digital Library a try first and seeing how you like it.  You’ll have access to thousands of books instantly and you’ll save a lot of money in the process.  Find out more by visiting