Friday, March 25, 2011

EBooks: Back Pocket Information

I have posted quite a bit about eBooks lately, but I seem to keep coming across helpful information. Here are a few gems that I would like to share with you today:

What eReader should I buy?

For those of you who were unable to attend one of the videoconferencing sessions presented by Stephanie Thero of Yellowhead Regional Library System on eReaders, here is a brief overview of this session. Stephanie talked in-depth about the usability features of the Kobo, the Sony Digital eReader, the Pandigital Novel eReader, and the iPad (first generation) and recommended her choice eReader.

She cited the Kobo as the best eReader to promote to patrons and I have to agree. It is light, has a comfortable, quilted back, great battery life (up to 2 weeks), and easy-to-use software that works well with OverDrive. It also uses E-Ink, which means that the screen is not backlit like a computer and is easier to read for long periods of time. As the runner-up, the Sony Digital Reader also uses E-Ink and is supposed to have better battery life in its later editions. Both the iPad and Pandigital have backlit screens, are much heavier, and more complex because they are multi-use tablets. All of these devices are compatible with OverDrive.

If you would like comprehensive reviews of eReaders, check out The EBook Reader website. For general eReader information, The Digital Reader and EBookAnoid are good sources.

What do I do if a patron’s eReader is not compatible with OverDrive?

Last week, I had to tell a patron with a Nextbook1 that they could not borrow eBooks from the library because their device was not compatible with OverDrive. Luckily, a week or so later, I stumbled across an article by Rebecca Vnuk entitled “Free E-Books for Happy Patrons.” I do not know if all these resources work with Kindles (with the exception of Baen Books), but they will likely work with “rarer” eReader devices:

InkMesh is a search engine that searches more than thirty online sources for free e-books. You can search by titles or author. (

Project Gutenberg, the original site for free text online, offers more than 33,000 free books that play nicely with any e-reader platform. You’ll find mostly classics and public domain works here. No registration is required, and the site is easy to use. A nice feature is their “bookshelves”-collections groups by topic (

Baen Books, publisher of science fiction and fantasy, offers a number of their titles as free downloads. Established authors such as Eric Flint, Lois McMaster Bujold, Mercedes Lackey, and David Weber can be found here. There are currently 120 titles available, with new titles added every month. You can save e-books to your computer. You can save e-books to your computer or send them directly to a Kindle (

The Online Books Page from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries offers an index of hundreds of thousands of online book freely readable on the Internet (

Vnuk, R. (2011). Free E-Books for Happy Patrons. Public Libraries, 126, 50(1), 48.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for mentioning my article - I'm so pleased that you found it useful!