Context: I'm a member of the National Library Board, Singapore aka NLB. If you're not a member, and residing in Singapore, do consider signing up! It gives access to a fantastic updated collection, e-books, some academic journals[1], etc.

I've always been a voracious reader since young. Thankfully the regional library, aka bigger than the usual libraries, was nearby. Trotting home with piles of books was less fun than reading them though.

The library has always been a pleasant second[2] home. When I moved overseas and felt lost, one of the first places I headed to was the library. Seeing the dewey decimel system and shelves of books gave me a familiar sense of calm.

But as I grew older, reading physical books took a step back as consumption of online news increased. Moving overseas twice also helped to drastically reduce the physical book collection.

I did miss reading an actual book though, versus simply consuming online articles. The occasional borrowing trips to libraries did yield some results.

Overdrive original app

When I first stumbled on the OverDrive app, an e-reader promoted by NLB, I was overjoyed! No more worrying about when the deadlines of books were approaching, no more hunting shelves for a certain book, no more carrying bulky books around.

However, the app's user interface wasn't a joy to use and its search and discovery functions were limited.

Overdrive's Libby app

Chatting to a librarian friend, she introduced us to the Libby app.

The next morning, I downloaded it and spent the next 5 minutes deciding which books to borrow and the subsequent 50 minutes going on a wild book discovery hunt. Bliss!

After one day of use:

  1. Read x1
  2. On hold x2
  3. Wishlist x100 (approx)

Other e-book loving friends have commented on the joy and smoothness of Libby's user interface and book discovery.

Highly recommended!


  1. Being a former student who had to churn through tons of journals, it's more fun to read papers for pleasure. ↩︎

  2. Or third, since museums have also been a second home to me. ↩︎