How to: Borrow ebook from National Library Board

Singapore's National Library Board do not only offer phyiscal books to be borrowed by patrons. NLB also offer a selection of ebooks and audiobooks for memebers to loan out.

Do you want to borrow free ebooks or listen to free audiobooks that are readily available and consume the media right on your iPhone or your iPad? You can do this all right in your iPad or iPhone. Learn how to do it with my very first "How To"

First launch the App Store. Search for OverDrive.

Download the app and launch it.

Tap the top left icon.

Tap "Add a library"

Enter "Singapore" into the text field.

Select "National Library Board, Singapore

Tap the star to add it to your favourite. This is so that you don't have to repeat the first few steps every time you want to borrow a book. 

Tap on the text and it would bring you to National Library Board ebooks homepage. 

At the homepage, tap and enter the title of the book or subject you are looking for. 

It would bring up a page with your search results. Take note on the different icons at the corner of each book. The black book icon signify that it is an ebook while the black headphone icon indicate that it is an audio book. However if the icons are light grey that means the ebook or audio book has been borrowed by someone. 

Go ahead and tap the book that looks interesting to you.

If it is available just tap on the "Borrow" button.

Enter your information and check the "Remember my login information" for easy access in future. Once that's all done, tap the "Sign in" button. 

 Tap "Download EPUB" 

Tap the top left icon. 

Choose "Bookshelf"

Tap on the book and enjoy! However when you are done and to return the book. Check out the instructions below. 

Tap and hold on the book cover to bring up an additional menu. Tap on the "Return: icon. 

That would bring up a confirmation dialog box. Tap on the "Return" icon again to return it. 

On the other hand if the book isn't available. You would find a "Place a hold" button. Tap on that button. 

Enter your email address and the library would send you an email once the ebook or audio book is available for you to borrow. 

Finally, you made it to the end of my very first "How To". Enjoy reading your ebooks and listening to your audiobooks. 

Books and comics of 2013

Reading has been good for 2013. As usual, the list is filled with science fiction and fantasy books. I am really glad that I have given Neil Gaiman's books another try after my horrible experience with American Gods many years ago. Authors such as Richard Kadrey, Mark Hodder and Kameron Hurley have long been on my to read list and I finally got around to them. The list is in the order I read them.

  • A Wanted Man by Lee Child - Standard Lee Child fare. Nothing that blows you away but a page-turner nevertheless.
    • God’s War by Kameron Hurley
    • Infidel by Kameron Hurley
    • Rapture by Kameron Hurley
    • I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
    • The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder - I haven't had much expereince in the steam punk genre but this is a refreshing introduction.
    • The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder
    • Control Point by Myke Cole, a blend of military and magic elements. Though plotwise everything is mostly standard fare.
    • Legion by Brandon Sanderson - An excellent novella. Nothing can stop Brandon Sanderson. I would probably read the telephone book if it is written by him.
    • The Magicians by Lev Grossman - Harry Potter but grittier and more adult.
    • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - A beautiful story that blows my mind. More romance with fantastic elements than fantasy with romantic elements but don't take it as put down.
    • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - Impossibly smart girl falls for crazy beautiful boy and get pulls into a world she doesn't understand. I can't help comparing it to the Twilight series. Though the Mortal Instruments is slightly better but the female protagonist is almost as stupid as Bella. This applies for the rest in the series
    • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
    • City of Glass by Cassandra Clara
    • City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clara
    • Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey - An excellent follow up to Caliban's War.
    • The Human Division by John Scalzi - Another author that just churns out book after book that I will throw money at and devour.
    • The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie - I was interested in this after watching High Laurie play Dr. House. He writes with an interesting voice.
    • Feed by Mira Grant - An enjoyable fast read. Applies to the rest in the series. Though things get slightly repetitious as the series progress.
    • Deadline by Mire Grant
    • Blackout by Mira Grant
    • So good they can't ignore you by Cal Newport - My only non-fiction book of the lot. I picked it up only because I hear Merlin Mann mentioned it.
    • Nos4a2 by Joe Hill - An excellent read that features a chillingly human antagonist blending beautifully with magical elements.
    • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - A wonderful return to Gaiman's works. I can almost see it as a movie. Why isn't there one?
    • Ready Player One by Ernst Cline - A charming book filled with references that I don't get but a great story nevertheless.
    • Second Son by Lee Child - Standard Jack Reacher short story this time featuring his antics as a kid.
    • A Kingdom Besieged by Raymond E. Feist - I have long given up on compelling story from Feist. I am just reading to finish up the entire series.
    • The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton - A steampunk genre young adult fiction featuring an interesting illness with strange and society altering results.
    • Deep Down by Lee Child - Standard Jack Reacher story.
    • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - A beautiful and haunting story, I am starting to fall in love with Gaiman.
    • A Crown Imperilled by Raymond E. Feist - Reading to complete the series.
    • Never Look Back by Lee Child - Standard Jack Reacher story.
    • The Daylight war by Brett Weeks - An excellent book in the Demon Cycle series.
    • Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey - A new series of urban fantasy that is tiding me over to the new Dresden book. An interesting premise but as the series progress it gets episodic. Time will turn if it has the long arcing story that Dresden Files has.
    • Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey
    • Aloha from Hell by Richard Kadrey
    • Magician's End by Raymond E. Feist
    • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
    • Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey
    • Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey
    • Among Others by Jo Walton - I picked this up because it was highly praised. Written in the form of diary entries I couldn't quite tell why it was so highly praised. It is a story competently told.

English graphic novels have been good this year but Japanese manga have suffered though. I have only read 3 series in addition to keeping up with One Piece and bleach. Taking advantage of the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, I managed to get Saga which have come highly recommended by Merlin Mann. The list is in the order I read them.

  • Silver Spoon) - Japanese Manga, still on-going
  • Bakuman - Japanese Manga, completed
  • Code: Breaker - Japanese Manga (Not very good, stopped reading)
  • Locke and Key - Excellent and highly recommended, final volume will be released next year.
  • Invincible Iron Man #1 - #33
  • Saga Vol 1 and 2 - Excellent story telling
  • RIPD - Short but enjoyable series, it is very much like the movie.
  • The Last of Us #1 - 4 - The series expands on Ellie's backstory
  • The Massive #1 - 6 - I was searching for a bundle that I could get to round out my purchase from Dark Horse. After a couple of minutes searching on google, I settled on The Massive. I am not quite done with it yet but so far I couldn't tell why it was praised as one to watch for.

Reading and Me

Reading is more than a hobby. It is something essential to my way of life. It feeds my soul in ways that a good movie or game cannot. I started reading at a young age. My father is a avid reader and visits to the library were frequent when I was a child. That started my life long love of reading. Books and comics bring me to an alternate world in a sustained and detailed manner that is just different from any other medium.

My favourite genre has got to be fantasy and science fiction. From epic fantasy to hard science fiction I devour them all. Some of my favourite authors include:

I got into Marvel comics in my teens. I read X-men and my favourite character is Gambit. I stopped reading comics for a long time after my teens but I recently got back into reading them when I discovered Comixology. Comixology saves me the trouble from having to find space for my comics. It makes life so much easier to just read my comics off my iPad Mini. I am now back into reading X-men and discovering new and exciting titles.

At the same time, I started reading manga (Japanese comics) that were translated to chinese. I had always been a potato eater (Jiak Kan Tan) aka english speaker. My chinese was horrible both written and spoken. That all changed when I discovered manga and it helped me more than all the tuition I had when I was taking my O’ Levels. Some of my favourite series include:

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments.