Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

It’s hard to believe, but its 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published. On 26 June 2017 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone celebrates its 20th anniversary, having sold over 450 million copies worldwide in 79 languages. We would like you to join us in celebrating this special occasion!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone eBook will be available for unlimited access through our OverDrive ebook service between 26 June and 9 July. Everyone will be able to borrow the title simultaneously during this period with no reservations required.

All seven Harry Potter books are available on our OverDrive site in both ebook and audiobook format. You’ll also find spin-off titles such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and The Hogwarts Collection. So why not re-read these special books or get hooked on Harry for the first time!

A fun resolution: books you never thought you’d read

Quit smoking. Stop overeating. Exercise more. New Year resolutions can be such a drag, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

This year we’re making it our resolution to broaden our horizons and read some of the kinds of books and authors we normally wouldn’t think of reading.  It’s easy to stick to the same old authors and genres – but why not surprise yourself by borrowing something you never thought you would read? You never know, you might make some amazing discoveries. That’s one of the greatest things about borrowing books from libraries – there’s nothing to lose by trying something new.

Will you join us? Just to give you some ideas here is a list of the kinds of books lots of us love but many of the rest of us never go near. We’ve come up with a dozen – one for every month. Or just go bananas and borrow one of each next time you’re in the library. (And if it’s a library with self-service machines no one needs to know your little secret..)

So, how about…

  1. Graphic novels. It’s not all about superheroes you know. And lots of them aren’t even novels – the form encompasses memoir, travelogue, biography and many other genres.
  2. How about some vampire fiction? If you really don’t fancy Twilight series you could try something a little more offbeat, like Matt Haig’s The Radleys.
  3. Picture books. We’ve got thousands of beautiful books on the visual arts, perfect for browsing during those idle moments. The Art Library is the mother lode of books on art, architecture, photography and sculpture but your local library will have a great selection too.
  4. Stephen King. Maybe you’ve seen the films but never read the books. Find out how they compare.
  5. You’re going to be hearing a lot about Charles Dickens this year, whether you like it or not. See if you think he’s worth it.
  6. Have you ever read a Mills and Boon? Go on, it could be the start of something beautiful…
  7. Audiobooks. Books aren’t just for reading – they can be for listening as well. Why not get stuck into a good book while you’re driving, ironing or exercising?
  8. Harry Potter. Even though she’s sold umpteen gazillion books some of us have still managed to hold out on JK Rowling. Now the fuss has died down though, maybe just a sneaky peek to see what on earth the appeal was?
  9. We’ve still got many long winter nights ahead of us so how about settling down with a big fat Russian classic? Just think of the smug self-satisfaction you’ll feel upon finishing War and Peace.
  10. Science-fiction – too broad a category? Well, let’s narrow it down – how about some Steampunk?
  11. Download an ebook. Maybe this is the year you discover a whole new way of reading. Did you get an ebook reader, tablet or smartphone for Christmas? Or thinking of getting one? Then sign up for Library2go.
  12. Poetry. Don’t let the stuff you were made to read at school put you off. There’s a poet to suit everyone – you’ve just got to find out who.

We’re sure you’ve got more ideas of your own. Which books and authors have you never tried? And are you up for the challenge? Let us know if you are, and tell us how you get on.