Live Your Best Book Life in Collin County!

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Overhead shot of tea in a white tea cup with two open books and white flowers around it.“How do you read so many books, especially after kids?” This is a question I’ve been asked many times. My reading habits ebb and flow because life is always busy, but a good book is always within my reach.

For the reading mom in Collin County, here are resources to keep your pages turning.

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It’s All About the Apps

Collin County has amazing libraries — some have their own apps for requesting physical books — but did you know that libraries subscribe to apps that have tons of digital content for the patrons? All you need is a library card to access seemingly endless options for e-books and audiobooks.

In the app, I read a few pages on my phone while waiting in line, listen to an audiobook while doing chores, or for a few minutes before bed. It all adds up to valuable (and enjoyable) progress. I would not be able to read nearly as often without these library apps.

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Three of the most popular library subscription apps are Libby, CloudLibrary, and Hoopla. Each of these apps allows library patrons to check out digital content through their local libraries. Browse e-books and audiobooks that are “available now,” by genre or library-curated lists, or search for specific books.

Just like physical books at the library, there are only a certain number of copies to lend. If a copy is available, select “borrow,” or “place a hold” and the app will notify you when a copy becomes available for you.

You can have more than one library card linked to these apps! This means you will get access to books sooner because you can check the waitlist time for each library, and/or place multiple holds for the same book through different libraries — like standing in multiple lines at once!

Most e-books on Libby are compatible with Kindle and the Kindle app, so you can read them on other devices.

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App Subscriptions

As long as you own a library card, you have access to the aforementioned apps. Just remember, each library has its own requirements for membership. Here’s how membership and subscriptions to digital content apps break down:

Allen Public Library subscribes to CloudLibrary, and any Texas resident can get a library card with a photo ID and proof of residency.

City of McKinney Libraries subscribes to CloudLibrary. Library cards are free to residents of Collin County, current employees of the city of McKinney, employees of MISD, and business owners in McKinney.

Frisco Public Library subscribes to Libby. To access it, you must be a resident of Frisco.

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Plano Public Library System subscribes to Libby. Both library cards and access to Libby are free for Plano residents and residents of the following reciprocal cities: Allen, The Colony, Garland, McKinney, Richardson, and Wylie.

Smith Public Library in Wylie subscribes to Libby and Hoopla, and the only thing required for a library card is a photo ID — from anywhere!

Meeting Authors in DFW

Dallas-Fort Worth is a happening place for author events, and there are plenty. In the last few years, I’ve met Katherine Center (Happiness for Beginners), Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours), Patti Callahan Henry (The Secret Book of Flora Lea), and more!

I met Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures, and loved the catered meal, Q&A, and author signing hosted by Richardson Reads One Book. A community-sponsored series of events and book discussions at Richardson Library, this annual program chooses one book to read collectively, then hosts a lecture by the chosen author.

Check eventbrite and Google regularly for author talks and signings, as well as Half Price Books, which hosts authors throughout the year at its flagship location in Dallas. Local colleges and universities often host authors, too.

A person with long hair reads a book in her lap.

Other Things You Should Know About

Collin County Moms Book Club :: Did you know that Collin County Moms has a book club? Join our book club Facebook page for community, books, and fun!

Spotify Premium :: This one came as a pleasant surprise for me. In November 2023, Spotify started offering 10 hours of audiobook-listening to any user with a premium account. (I have a Duo account with my husband, and it turns out that that’s premium!) It has since bumped this number up to 15 hours per billing month! It offers brand-new bestsellers with no wait time!

Happy reading, friends!

Staci Fonner
Staci Fonner is sometimes a lawyer, sometimes a writer, and always a mother to her daughter Sydney and her son Parker. She is passionate about parenting well and learning whatever is needed in the process. As an enneagram 8 who loves reading, baking, and traveling, you’re likely to find her watching The Great British Bake-Off or browsing a bookstore with an iced coffee. Staci and her husband Daniel have lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The United Kingdom, Dallas, and recently located to Allen.


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