I like to download audiobooks from the Contra Costa County Library's Overdrive database onto my iPhone. If I can find something good to listen to, I get motivated to go for a walk, just so that I can listen to my book.

I found the Jane Austen book "Northanger Abbey," which I seem to have overlooked in my Austen-inspired reading days. I was thoroughly engrossed in this book, but found it difficult to listen to during baseball playoffs, debates and awesome library programs. I kept wishing I had a hard copy of the book last weekend so that I could glance at a page or two when time allowed.

I then realized it's a "classic," and as such is always available as a downloadable e-book to read. I then downloaded the ePub version of "Northanger Abbey" from the library's website, and, yes, read it on my iPhone. When I got to work a couple of days later, I found a hard copy of the book on our classics shelf, and finished it up without straining my eyes.

This is how I read now, and I'm guessing many others follow the same pattern. If you want to try downloading e-books or audiobooks onto a device I'd recommend you visit the library webpage at www.ccclib.org, and look at the options under the "Download" section.

Finding the right e-book can be a challenge, for a number of reasons. First, they are incredibly popular. You generally have to get on a waiting list for an e-book, just as you would for a hard copy. The library purchases a license for a certain number of copies of a particular title, and if those copies are already "checked out," the e-book is not available.

Another reason finding an e-book is challenging is that some books just aren't available to libraries in an electronic format. Many of the largest publishers fear that such sales will cut into their profits, and therefore either won't sell libraries e-book versions of popular titles, or they might, but impose onerous and expensive restrictions on library purchases. The American Library Association is working with publishers to try to resolve this issue.

Family programs in East County

  • African Dance for Kids at the Antioch Library, Nov. 7, 3-4 p.m.

    Learn about Africa's rich culture through dance. Nana-Dictta Graves will be at the Antioch Library to share costumes and dances that have special meanings to the people of Africa. Space is limited to the first 20 people.

  • Combat Missions in the Sky! at the Brentwood Library, Nov. 8, 6-6:45 p.m.

    Vietnam veteran Phil Ehrhorn will share stories and memorabilia from his experiences in the Air Force, including the time he survived a crash in a spy plane. For third grade and up.

  • The Scoop from Ron Shoop, Presented by the Brentwood Library

    Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7-8 p.m.

    Random House book wizard Ron Shoop presents his picks for reading selections and holiday gifts. Find your next reading obsession! Held in the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak St.

    Teen programs in East County

  • Oakley Library Youth Squad at the Oakley Library, Nov. 15, 3:30-5 p.m.

    Teens in grades 8-12 who love to read and want to help their community are invited to join the Oakley Library Youth Squad. Earn community service hours while planning fun programs for teens and children.

  • Brentwood Teen Advisory Group at the Brentwood Library, Nov. 28, 3:30-5 p.m.

    Join this teen club to help out with library programs and earn volunteer hours! The TAG meets inside the library on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m.

    More program information is available on the library's website at http://ccclib.org/programs/

    Liz Fuller is a community library manager at the Brentwood library. Reach her at 925-625-3589, 925-516-5294 or at lfuller@ccclib.org.