Library love

As if there wasn't already enough to like about libraries; free books, old book smells, peace and quiet, free books, I recently discovered another service that libraries provide for their members. Free online magazines!

While I was researching the design of this site, I ended up spending a fair amount of money on magazines. Some of them are pretty expensive, especially when you’re only buying it for one, particularly stunning, double page spread. A few months ago, I discovered that many libraries have partnered with Zinio to offer the latest eZines, plus their back issues. Best of all, once you’ve checked them out, you can keep them for as long as you want.

So, how do you get free magazines? First things first, you need to join your local library. Go online, apply for a card, you are going to need the number under the barcode. (Why aren’t you a member already? You do know they have free books?)

Once you have dug out your old card, or received a shiny, new one in the post, you need to go to the website that corresponds with your region. For Wales this is, www.rbdigital.com/wales/zinio. You obviously need to substitute ‘Wales’ for your area. Some examples I’ve tried that work, include ‘Cornwall’, ‘Bristol’, ‘Plymouth’, ‘Cambridge’ and ‘Edinburgh’, hopefully you can find out the url for your area through your library’s website.

You need to create an account with RB Digital, the service that manages magazine loans for the libraries, to do that click the ‘Create New Account’ link in the top right corner. Enter your library card number/barcode and complete the registration process.

The other thing you’ll need is either the Zinio website, if you don’t have access to a device, or ideally, the Zinio app to enable you to read the magazines you check out. Here’s the link to the iPad version.

Once you’ve got your account you can look through the available magazines and check them out to Zinio. There is a pretty large selection in the Welsh library, I was really excited to find out they include some US editions. Some of the magazines I regularly checkout include Elle US, Nylon, Martha Stewart Living, Dwell, Yoga Journal, Total Film, net and Rolling Stone. Plus you get to try out a ton of new ones you might not have looked at before. I discovered I really liked the design of Esquire by checking out a couple of issues.

I hope this helps those of you who, like me, didn’t know about this service and lets you indulge in reading some of your favourite magazines whilst maybe discovering some new ones.

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