Bibliophiles and book lovers who are always on the go will now have access to the New York Public Library's digital literature.
This week, the library premiered SimplyE, which allows users to check out a wide range of e-books and research papers. It's available on iTunes and Google Play. The application can also be used on smartphones and other devices like Kindles, MacBooks, and Nooks.
Like borrowing a physical copy from a library, many of the e-books have a borrowing limit of two to three weeks. Once the book is "due," it'll disappear from the app. Nora Lyons, a spokesperson for the New York Public Library, said there are some titles that are on the public domain and can be borrowed for an unlimited amount of time.
"You need to be connected to the Internet to browse the collection and borrow an e-book or download a public domain title," said Lyons in an email to DNAinfo New York. "But once you've got the e-book, you can read it without Internet connection, which is great if you read on the subway during your commute."
So far, the app doesn't have the best reviews on the Android Market and Google Play, but the Public Library, in acknowledging that SimplyE is a work in progress, encourages users to join a community of coders and librarians who will work to improve how libraries use and distribute e-books to the public.
The library is also working on adding audio books to the list of things users can borrow through the app.