Marvel announced Thursday they’ll be adding 250 books to the hoopla library app, which allows readers to digitally check out books free with a library card, up to a limit of 5-10 books per month depending on library discretion. Hoopla currently has approximately 13,000 graphic novels and collected editions available for readers, and over 600,000 books, albums, tv episodes and movies total.
I personally love this move, as it will enable readers who might not be able to afford to buy the comics to read them. I certainly couldn’t afford books at the rate I read them as a kid. This will definitely help the next generation access a variety of books, especially as many comic books help serve as a gateway to more involved reading, and Marvel having many kid-friendly options in their catalog, this seems like an ideal move.
Hoopla gives a range of available library districts in my area to choose from, and I was pleased to see anywhere in my region appeared to be covered by their app, with even the smaller districts being represented. The app seems safe to use, and showed multiple options for comics on their site, and feature a form of guided view, or cinematic view if you use the DC app, which guides you from panel to panel to facilitate use on smaller screens. They also have a kids section, which looked to be free of ads, a surprising concern for parents (I’m genuinely surprised at this point my 3-year-old hasn’t managed to buy anything on Amazon when he exits out of the prime streaming service on his tablet)
Overall I think this is a very good move on marvels part, helping get their comics in the hands (on the devices, anyway) of people who might not be able to get them otherwise, due to geography, cost or other reasons. The library was an amazing resource for me when I was young and starting to get into reading, it’s good to see big companies embracing the service.