I was in the fourth grade and I’d spent three years in the slow reading group when, with the flip of some internal switch, I could READ! Not just words but whole ideas, chapters, and books, books, and more books.
That same month I learned how to use the public library so I wouldn’t have to smuggle The Story of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting out of Mrs. Fink’s classroom. Ever since then I’ve liked libraries.
That’s why I’m pleased that there’s a research library just a few streets away from us here in Valencia. Even though I won’t be using it anytime soon, I’m still struggling through A2 level (beginning reader) stories in Spanish, I like the idea.
My limited ability to read Spanish could be a problem when it comes to library books here in Spain, except…. Susan and I planned ahead.
At the same time we were researching which banks and credit cards are most suitable for international living, we made sure to set ourselves up with digital library cards back in the U.S.
For our life on GentleCycle, our library cards are as powerful as our credit cards.
Both the library consortium back in Salem Oregon and the Wisconsin Library consortium offer digital books and audio books through a service called OverDrive. I think many community libraries have something similar.
With a WiFi connection and our Kindles (or any device with the Kindle app) and our library cards we have worldwide access to thousands of titles and countless hours of learning and exploring even during the quiet hours we spend at home.
Credit cards can be replaced nearly anywhere. But your library card? – just get it! Then don’t leave home without it.
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Jamie Wyant is a retired American living in Spain. After a multifaceted career ranging from ecosystem science to digital marketing, he moved to Valencia in 2017 with his wife, Susan, and their senior pets. He writes about the joys and tribulations of living overseas. Jamie also manages the technical aspects of GentleCycle.net