Editor’s Note: As Californians continue to stay at home during the Coronavirus crisis, CapRadio Reads has had to postpone some of its live author interviews. Like the rest of the world, we're unsure when those events will return, but in the meantime, we know that books can provide an escape or comfort in trying times. Join Host Donna Apidone as she talks with authors and others about the books that keep us going.
I am, by nature, a researcher. Give me a topic, and I will hunt high and low to discover all I can about it.
The arrival of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19 has given me a virtual field trip into the world of medicine. I’ve learned about the availability of healthcare in geographic areas where the virus has been cruel. I’ve checked multiple news sources every day to learn the latest demographics, and I have tapped into online reports and interviews about the disease.
There is a lot of information on websites of the big medical facilities and medical journals as well as the CDC and WHO. I’m also getting a lot of information from CapRadio’s coronavirus newsletter (you can sign up here).
As for books, and subjects that don’t involve medicine, I go to old favorites when I feel stressed. It’s like music — I don’t mind revisiting the ones I like. I happen to own a lot of books, but not everybody does. With the brick-and-mortar libraries in our region closed, it’s good to access a few free resources for digital books. We can reach beyond Kindle.
A lot of libraries have books online. While you’re on the Sacramento system’s website, for example, you can look through their digital catalog, and you can access thousands of other titles through sources like OverDrive and Hoopla. Some require a library card, but not all. You don’t have a library card? Some of the county library systems in our area let you apply for a card online, which is helpful while they are closed.
Some libraries are only online, and if you want to read some classic literature, they are perfect. Project Gutenberg, for example, has titles from prior to 1924. When was the last time you read something written 100 years ago? This is your chance.
Another good online library is Bibliomania. It has classic British and American fiction, drama, poetry and short stories. Yes. Drama. They have scripts for plays. Just think — you could put on a performance in your own living room. There is even a website with plays that the kids in the family might like to perform. It’s jimmybrunelle.com. But a word of caution: Parents, look through the plays yourself before you share with your kids, just to be sure they are appropriate.
Two more: The University of Pennsylvania has a virtual support page for teachers and students doing research.
And one of the resources I mentioned for classic literature also has a section on religion. With two major holidays this week, Jewish Passover and Christian Holy Week, this might be a good time to find out more about those traditions. Look for the religion section of Bibliomania.
Let me know your favorite free digital book sources. [email protected]
- www.saclibrary.org – Sacramento Public Library has its own digital library, plus access to OverDrive and Hoopla.
- www.gutenberg.org – Project Gutenberg is a digital repository for classic books published prior to 1924.
- www.bibliomania.com – Digital versions and study guides of classic literature in fiction, drama, poetry and short stories. Categories also include Religion, History and Psychology.
- www.library.upenn.edu – The University of Pennsylvania has a virtual support page for students and teachers engaged in research.
- www.jimmybrunelle.com – Plays for kids of all ages.
- www.nejm.org – The New England Journal of Medicine is a peer-reviewed medical journal. www.ClevelandClinic.org – The Cleveland Clinic is an academic medical center. www.ucsfhealth.org – The University of California, San Francisco Medical C
- www.mayoclinic.org – The Mayo Clinic is an academic medical center.