Some of our favourite sources of accessing books for our children are currently ‘on pause’: Libraries, schools, charity shops & even some buy/sell/swap sites. We’ve even lost my favourite online bookshop The Book People, which has now ceased trading. Weather you have a book worm, audio book lover or reluctant reader at home you need to access great books to keep them entertained & learning. I’ve put together some of my top picks for what’s currently available online & for FREE.
What's available with your Library Card
All North Somerset Council Libraries are part of Libraries West, & they have a growing list of online resources we can all access with our own library card or our children’s library card. Some have always been available & some have been added (fingers crossed there will be even more soon).
If you are not already a member of your local library, you can join really easily online if you live in:
North Somerset – Bristol – Bath & North East Somerset – Somerset – South Gloucestershire – Dorset
You won’t need to create separate accounts to use the new services – just log on with your library membership number. (No PIN required).
Access cloudLibrary for E Books
Over 3,000 titles to choose from, with new titles added on a regular basis. You can have up to 5 E Audio Books checked out at any one time, and borrow them for 14 days. You can also reserve up to 5 (as part of your loan entitlement) if they are on loan to another customer.
If you’re using the app:
- download and open the BorrowBox app from your device’s app store
- select your library authority (e.g. Bristol, Somerset) and enter your library membership number & PIN*
- agree to the terms and conditions
If you’re using the website:
- visit BorrowBox
- select your library authority
- click ‘sign in’ in the top right-hand corner
- enter your library membership number & PIN*
You also have access to RB Digital & their online magazines. There are loads for adults, & a few for children too, including National Geographic Kids, Monster High & National Geographic Little Kids. Find out more here
RB Digital also offer digital comics & graphic novels too. Choose from over 1500 titles across a range of genres for both adults and children. It includes Marvel, Disney, IDW & Dark Horse, with fantasy, manga, horror, science fiction and superheroes galore! I would say these are most suitable for children from around 9 years & older. The good thing is that there is no waiting to read them, they are available immediately. Find out more here
Biff, Chip & Kipper plus loads more for ages 3 to 11
Oxford Owl have a fabulous selection of phonics & reading books suitable from age 3 to age 11. You’ll find the Biff, Chip & Kipper books you love, along with loads more Oxford titles to keep them happy. They have increased the range of free books since schools have closed.
Audible – Stories
Audible have now created Stories – a library of FREE children’s audio books available for the time schools are closed. You can stream to your desktop, laptop phone or tablet. They currently include the Harry Potter series. Available on 6 languages too.