Around the Island

Free e-books easy to access at Shelter Island Public Library

The Shelter Island Library is keeping readers posted on many possible ways to get reading material. The Libby e-book and audiobook app is free and available by using your library card. Go to to get started. You can stream books with WiFi or mobile data or download them to read or listen to later.

There is also a new feature that allows you to avoid waiting for popular books. When you’re in the Libby app, go to Library, then tap Explore, then scroll down to Skip the Line.

Social distancing may be reversing a trend in the popularity of e-books. According to a report at the end of 2019, ebook sales seemed to have stabilized at around 20 percent of total book sales, with print sales making up the remaining 80 percent. It seems that the digital natives of Gen Z and the millennial generation have very little interest in buying e-books. While they’re glued to their phones and all over social media, when it comes to reading a book, they want it in print, according to Publishers Weekly. 

Older readers, aka boomers, are much more fond of their e-readers. They can make the font bigger. It’s convenient — no need to go to a store. E-books aren’t only selling less than everyone predicted they would at the beginning of the decade. They also cost more than everyone predicted they would — and consistently, they cost more than their print equivalents.

These days, however, several weeks at home means you’ve probably searched your bookshelves and picked up every book you are likely to read. With Libby, there is a much wider universe of books for you to explore and enjoy for free, right in your hand. For more information, contact [email protected]