Downloading your own books through BARD gives you more control over your reading because you can:
Choose from more books. Downloading from BARD gives you the freedom to select any digital title in the NLS collection. (Because of the expense involved, many books have yet to be produced on digital cartridge – if you choose to receive your books in cartridge format through the US Mail, less than half of the collection is available to you.)
Get a book immediately. If you have an internet connection, you can download books anytime you want, rather than waiting for them to arrive in the mail, so you will never run out of books. And with BARD, there's no waiting list for the newest and most popular titles.
Listen to books on your smart phone. With BARD Mobile apps, you can download books to your iOS (Apple) or Android phone or tablet, making it even easier to listen to books when you're on the go.
Get books from wherever you are. Whether you're a student going away to college, a retiree splitting your time between two homes, or someone going on vacation for a week or two, if you download your own books via BARD, your access to books and magazines will not be interrupted by your temporary changes of address.
Access back issues of magazines. When you subscribe to a magazine on digital cartridge, you will receive future issues. With BARD, though, you can also download and read the magazine's past issues.
Keep a book or magazine to reread. Sometimes you come across a book or magazine article that you know you'll want to read or refer to again in the future. Books on digital cartridge must be returned promptly once you've read them, so that they can be circulated to other borrowers, but a book or magazine that you've downloaded from BARD can be kept for as long as you like, so that you can take your time reading it or keep it to reread later.
Access music resources. BARD also contains a music collection under the heading Find Music Books and Scores. It includes braille scores as well as a great number of audio instrument instruction guides and diverse music appreciation presentations. The video NLS Music Materials describes the many music materials available from NLS.