Instant Gratification with Hoopla

The cover of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

We’ve all been there: it’s 2:00am, you’re fighting a losing battle with insomnia and decide it’s time to give up and do some reading. But alas and alack! You finished your book earlier that night!1 You don’t worry, though, you know Vaughan Public Libraries has you covered with digital resources. You check Overdrive, but everything you want to borrow is already checked out. While you’d love to learn French, you’re not there yet, so you give Cantook Station a pass for the moment. And because it’s just one of those nights, your headphones are in another room, and bed is too cozy to leave, so an audiobook from AudioBookCloud is out. TumbleBook Library and TeenBookCloud are aimed a little young for your tastes that evening. So your next place to check is Hoopla to see what they’ve got in the Instant Borrow category and… oh! You’ve heard of this The Midnight Library book, and instant borrow means there’s no wait to get it, perfect! And then, suddenly you’re halfway through the book and it’s time to get up for the day. This has happened to everyone, right? I’m not alone? Eh, fine, my readers know I embrace my weirdness.

The Cover of Diary of a Wimpy Kid No Brainer by Jeff Kinney

But what am I on about? Well, if you’ve browsed Hoopla at any point in the past, there’s a chance you were disappointed with the selection of items on offer in the instant borrow category. VPL heard you, and we expanded that collection. We now offer newer items, including books, audiobooks, TV shows, movies, graphic novels, and many, many kids titles. Including the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, which has over 100 holds if you want to wait for a physical copy. Oh, and the books are both fiction and non-fiction, so there’s a little something for everyone. Well… maybe not everyone. “But I like reading physical books,” I hear a large portion of you say, and that’s fair. But you know what’s going the way of the dodo? Physical audiobooks. Why deal with 20-odd CDs when you can make a single download that’s easier to skip around in? I know it’s not reading reading, but you still get to enjoy a story/learn something new. Do you make a long commute to work? Books make for great ways to actually enjoy that time in the car.

The cover of Tidy the F*ck Up by Messie Condo

Since this post is all about digital things, how about we start with books about ditching physical possessions? We’ve got The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mario Kondo ready for your listening pleasure. Want something a bit more light-hearted? Tidy the F*ck Up by Messie Condo is a parody that still manages to have some great advice. Advice good enough to have spawned a recent sequel: Nobody Wants Your Sh*t, a parody of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. If you’re reading this post, you’re likely already a library user. Thus you’re one step ahead on the decluttering game by borrowing instead of buying, but it can’t hurt to enhance your cleaning up game by learning some new techniques, taught gently or… otherwise. We’ve also got E-book copies of both the parodies if you prefer reading to listening.

The Hoopla Banner for the Curiosity Stream BingePass

Something unique to Hoopla is the Bingepass. Just one of your ten monthly instant borrows gets you access to a wealth of content for a one week period. One I’m looking at for myself is Curiosity Stream, which has more documentary content then I’ll ever be able to watch, and are occasional sponsors of some of my favourite YouTube creators.2 Also, the title Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up just sounds fun. If you want to learn in a more scholarly format, check out The Great Courses. Interesting titles3 include National Geographic and the How to Grow Anything series. But maybe you’re looking for something to keep your kids busy with for a while, if that’s the case we’ve got Steam Powered Kids, Fancy Nancy, The Highlights Collection, and more. Bingepasses are a great way to make the most of your instant borrows each month, so if you’re on Hoopla looking at anything else from this post, be sure to check them out!

The Cover of Issue one of Once and Future by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Dan Mora

Are you a comic person? Something on my reading list after a colleague recommended it to me is Once and Future, written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Dan Mora. So this one could have easily ended up on that theoretical Arthuriana post, just look at that first issue subtitle: The King is Undead. Described to me very loosely as “all legends are true, and characters from myth are coming into the real world while an old lady tries to stop them.” This immediately made me think of two things: the Fables series, written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by Lan Medina, wherein fairy tale characters abandon their lands to move to modern day New-York, and Terry Pratchett’s Witches Sequence of Discworld novels, where stories have a life of their own, and it’s often up to Granny Weatherwax and her fellow witches to stop whatever is going wrong.4 I haven’t started reading Once and Future yet, but I don’t mind putting it out there that I’m going to because I don’t have to compete with my readers to borrow it. Everyone who reads this post could theoretically read it simultaneously and we wouldn’t get in each-others way. Maybe we could even discuss it in the comments in an asynchronous book-club. I know that’s not going to happen, but it could.

I hope I’ve given you a reason to check out Hoopla in this post. I didn’t go into it above, but music is an option on the platform too. Maybe you really enjoyed the Barbie movie, which isn’t on Hoopla, sorry, and want to listen to the soundtrack without having to pay for a streaming service. Hoopla makes that possible. Oh, and because it’s me: Hoopla is another place to listen to Good Omens. And both copies are instant-borrow. So, no excuses!

1 Probably the source of the insomnia

2 Those you’ll have to ask about in the comments. True Facts.

3 To me anyway.

4 For those keeping track that’s… 8?! months without a Discworld reference from me. How did that happen?

About Adam

Adam is a Digital Creation Specialist - Children who never has enough shelf space for his board game collection, wall space for his photographs, or stomach space for his baking. Once he’s got a book in his clutches (preferably a fantasy, or humorous non-fiction one) absolutely nothing else is getting done that day. Working in a library is a blessing and a curse to his free time.  |  Meet the team

2 thoughts on “Instant Gratification with Hoopla

  1. “Maybe we could even discuss it in the comments in an asynchronous book-club” this would be fun, even as I doubt my attention span and demand avoidance! Especially as I’ve been wanting to get more into Arthuriana….

    Thank you for a fun and resourceful post! I (to my shame) didn’t know about the Bingepass or The Great Courses, which looks very cool!

    1. And now you have me wondering about a HOTS Blogger Book Club post where we all read something and post a transcript of our discussion about it.

      I hadn’t looked too much into the Bingepass either but I’m pleasantly surprised by what I found there.

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