Literature lovers can rejoice as the New York Public Library, the second largest public library in the US and the fourth largest in the world, launched their new e-reader app this summer. SimplyE provides more than 300,000 titles for free on smartphones and tablets, to anyone with a New York Public Library card and PIN.
Using SimplyE is as effortless as downloading the app through the iTunes Store or Google Play, logging in and clicking on the desired book title. Once the book is downloaded, you have 2-3 weeks to read to your heart’s content until the app automatically returns the title to NYPL, hassle and fee free! NYPL CEO Tony Marx says, “We just think anything we can do to make it easier for people to read, however they want to read…is a great thing for us to do.”
The user-friendly interface presents a collection of book covers in categories such as Bestsellers, Staff Picks, Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult, and Español, along with many others. There are multiple navigation features including customized search, and visual features such as adjustable fonts and backgrounds, type color selections, and a slider for brightness. And similar to any library, popular titles including the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter series may require wait times, so be sure to register for them quickly!
The app has been in development for two and a half years under the Library Simplified project, with the goal of streamlining the process of downloading e-books. “One of the most classic library missions is access to information, resources and materials,” said Nora Lyons, senior publicist for the NYPL. “Not just having them there but for people to access them.”
The app is still undergoing improvements and its online book collection continues to expand. There are Kindle and web browser versions of the app in development, and features to improve accessibility including text-to-speech options.
All images via New York Public Library Facebook page.