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Zinio - Digital Magazines For Free

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by Sandy Marwick (subscribe)
A mum of three, engineer, scientist, educator, and all around dabbler, I'm far better at finding interesting things to do than I am at doing housework.
Published October 30th 2014
It's free and it's legal
Do you like to pick up a magazine or two as you pass through the supermarket checkout? Maybe you subscribe to your favourites? It's only a few dollars a week after all, isn't it?
Why pay for these, when you could get them free?

Well, those few dollars a week can add up. If you read the cheaper magazines at $4 a week, that's $200 a year. If you prefer the glossies at closer to $10, that's $520. If you're a fan of the pricey international publications then the dollars really start to add up! Now what would you say if I told you that you could read all of your favourites on the day they're published and keep that money in your bank account? What could you do with an extra $520 a year?
Money money money
It all adds up - image courtesy of Patpitchaya

The answer is your local library. "But..." I hear you say "I don't want to have to go to the library and borrow my magazines. I want to have them the day they're issued and I want to KEEP THEM!" This is no longer a problem, thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

Many local libraries now subscribe to the digital magazine service known as Zinio. Zinio refers to itself as "The World's Largest Newstand", and you can indeed go to their site and purchase your magazines to read on your computer, iPad, or other device. However, you will most likely find that your local library already subscribes to the service, and as a member you get access for free. And once you've "borrowed" the magazine of your choice, it's yours for keeps. Completely free and completely legal!

Of course, different libraries subscribe to different magazines, so the ones you have access to via your library will vary. But the joy of Zinio is that you're no longer restricted to magazines available locally. My local library not only has the regular Australian magazines like "Men's Health", "Donna Hay" "Better Homes and Gardens", "Taste" and "Cosmopolitan" that you might pick up at the supermarket. It also subscribes to a wide range of international magazines that generally cost a fortune to obtain in Australia. Things like "Smithsonian", "New Scientist", and "American Quilting" among many more.

So how does it work? Well, first of all you'll need a library membership with online access. If you don't already belong to a library, check out your local one online - you may find that you can join without ever going into a branch! More likely though, you'll have to pop into your local library to pick up a membership card. It shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes - you'll just need some ID to prove your name and address and you're set! Make sure you ask if they have Zinio access!

Now that you're a member, log into your library and look for their electronic lending collection. It's usually pretty easy to find under a label of "ecollection" or "e-lending" or similar. There should be a link to "Magazines" or "Zinio", click it and you're away! You'll need to install the Zinio app, and set up a Zinio account. This only takes a couple of minutes and then you're ready to borrow. Magazines download onto your chosen device after you check them out, and then they're yours to keep for as long as you like. And you can link more than one library to the same Zinio account, so if you belong to more than one then you can borrow from both!

As an added bonus, borrowing magazines electronically means that you no longer have to throw away all that paper, or find a home for them when you've finished reading. When you're done, just delete the files. And if it's an issue that you just have to keep? Well no need to try to find space on the bookshelf, you can store hundreds on your iPad without a problem.

So now it's time to download something interesting and enjoy!
Electronic Magazine, Tablet with Magazine
Magazines new style! And all for free!
All you need now is a cuppa!
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Why? Free magazines!
Where: Everywhere!
Cost: Free
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