Sometimes it's too hot, sometimes it's too wet. You cannot get to the library. What do you do? Now you can just log on and access a library online.

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island. — Walt Disney

Our lives are increasingly panning out online and how! Transferring our real life interactions into the virtual realm, many of us have even switched mundane day-to-day purchases of groceries, clothes, books, gifts, shoes to online mode not just travel and hotel bookings. Why, even online maps are so instantly accessible that, who knows, physical atlases may soon be phased out, just like one recent casualty —Encyclopaedia Britannica — that ceased to print the physical version, switching totally to digital!

While going to a library and browsing through shelves of fiction and non-fiction, taking one's time to flip through pages, snatching a read of a passage here and there, the touch of well-worn paper, all hold a special thrill and charm for book-lovers, distances and time have taken a toll on library memberships.

But, guess what? Library memberships are now available online!!

Simple and efficient

I found online libraries are not asking for payment only in online mode, but also accept payment in cheque/cash upon delivery of books. Another word of caution: it's prudent and important to have parents in the loop whenever payments are involved!

There are several kinds of membership plans offered by each online library, one plan caters to the slowest of slow, then the moderate reader, fast reader and even for super-voracious readers. Thus, there seems to be one for every kind of reader.

To make browsing online easy, virtual libraries have categorised their collections under various headings, just like you would find them in real libraries and bookshops such as Children, Biography, Spy and Mystery thrillers, Humour, Management, Self-Help, Religion and so on.

Simply click!

Log on at home.

Register, get yourself a membership.

Make a list of books you want to read.

Get started.

Read the “Terms of Use” usually found at the bottom of the web page.

Read the fine print before signing for any service online.

Take a couple of minutes to know what's in store.

Ensure your parents fill in the form on your behalf.

Or consult parents/elders before putting personal details online.

Some libraries do not take personal details of children under 13 years of age.