Accessing Classic Books in the North Carolina Digital Library

The North Carolina Digital Library is a great source for finding recent ebook bestsellers, although like their physical counterparts, ebooks can also have holds lists a mile long, and there’s times when you want to read something now rather than wait.

Although bestsellers have their allure, there are readers who prefer a classic novel to the latest John Grisham. With this in mind, NCDL has a solid collection of the classics, both in ebook and audiobook.

Classic book titles are easy to access – once you are on the North Carolina Digital Library (and do sign in with your library card – you’ll get a better selection), click on “Subjects” in the upper left hand corner, and then click on “Classic Literature” near the lower left, and then you’re in.  You can sort your search by title, author, date added, or other criteria.

On the left, you can narrow down your search by what’s currently available, and if you are looking specifically in Classic Literature, you can narrow down by genre, i.e. short stories, horror, or Western.  You can specify “Available Now” so you don’t have to wade through items that are already checked out.  Near the top of the screen, you can also do a general search by the author’s name.

And while some popular classic titles have holds lists (I noticed that a number of John Steinbeck/Ernest Hemingway titles had either hold lists or limited copies), a fair number of selections are always available, meaning that you don’t have to wait for eons to read them – they’re right there.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some copies of Little Women among the “always available” selections.  You can also click on the author’s name with each record, and find out other books of theirs that are in the NCDL collection.

This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg, but the Classic Literature section of the North Carolina Digital Library has over 3,000 titles, something to tide you over if your reading tastes go more for the classics.  Louisa May Alcott?  Sure.  D. H. Lawrence?  You bet.

Happy reading.

(William Hicks, Information Services)