Discovering e readers


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Discovering e readers

  1. 1. Discovering E-Readers Slide 1: Good morning everyone, Welcome to the _____________ Library. This presentation has been put together to provide some information on several of the best known eReaders available for purchase, and how you can borrow material from the Riverina Regional Library, for free, to load onto your device. Slide 2: Is there a future for the book? There has been a lot of discussion over the last few years, especially as more and more eReaders and digital devices are released. We are living in a world made up of more and more digital content and people are wondering - Will the book survive? Slide 3: Despite the many eReaders now available on the market and the many people thoroughly embracing this new form of technology, there are still a large number of people who are quite skeptical about the whole idea. The idea of no longer being able to physically hold a book; the smell, the weight and the rustle of the paper as we turn the pages is a concern to some people. One of the problems that many of us feel is if we commit to buying an e-reader, we will never read a paper book again. I am sure there are some people who exclusively use their eReaders, but I think, in reality, that the eBook and print books are complementary. Several Riverina Regional Library staff members have eReaders and love to read from them, but still happily read print books as well. Slide 4: Some people may find the e-reader cold and grey, nothing like the warm paper book; however, there are some advantages to the e-book. You no longer have to pack a stack of books when you go on holidays as they can fit thousands of books onto the one device. An eReader can be packed easily in your handbag or in a backpack. When space and weight is important the eReader has the advantage. Some find it great for reading in bed. Another advantage is that you can change the font and text size on an eReader – every book can become large print at no extra cost. Bookmarks do not fall out, most include a dictionary and some eReaders connect to the Internet so you can buy books. Let’s look at some background information on some popular eReaders that are available. At the completion of this presentation there are some eReaders available for you to have a look at. Slide 5: Everyone has probably heard about the Kindle and Amazon. Amazon being the marketing juggernaut that it is, most people think of the Kindle when they think of eReaders. Choice magazine did another road test of e-readers in June 2013, and a Kindle came first and fourth in ‘What to Buy’. There are several versions of the Kindle: basic, Paperwhite and Kindle Fire, which is a tablet. 1|Page
  2. 2. The basic Kindle and Paperwhite have a 6”, E-Ink Screen. E-Ink is meant to look like paper. You can read it outside without glare. There is no colour, it is all grey. The Paperwhite is front-lit – this means that instead of a backlight, shining out of the screen and illuminating the room, the Paperwhite has small lights that shine onto the eInk page from the edge of the screen. It makes for comfortable reading in low, or no light. The basic Kindle uses buttons for navigation, the Paperwhite and Fire have a multi-touch screen, which means you can use two fingers and a pinching motion to make the resolution bigger or smaller. With the Kindle, as with any eReader, you can change the font and text size and screen rotation. The battery lasts for around a month on the basic version and 2 months on the Paperwhite. You get around 10 hours of use on Kindle Fire, Amazon’s tablet, before needing to recharge, this is the same for most tablets and highlights a significant advantage of the dedicated eReaders. There is no audio on the basic or the Paperwhite, but the Kindle Fire, supports audio and is in full colour. Amazon very much wants you to buy your books from them. The Kindle supports Amazon’s own proprietary format, AZW so in most cases you cannot buy eBooks from other vendors or borrow books from the library, because it does not read the standard format called EPUB. Therefore, you cannot download free books from the library. This is because the eBooks purchased by RRL have DRM (Digital Rights Management) attached to them. DRM restricts the use and sharing of digital files by either requiring a password, locking content to one user account or prevents content from being shared or read on non-authorized accounts and devices. Managing your Kindle is easy. You can do lots of things on the device itself because of 3G and Wi-fi capability. You can buy books and search the internet without ever hooking up to a computer but you can also manage your Kindle through your computer should you want to. It is user friendly. Amazon does business very well and they will recommend things for you to buy based on what you have already purchased. Slide 6: The Sony Reader was the number one pick of eReaders in 2012’s Choice magazine road test, but has slipped to third this June, mainly because it has no front-lighting. There was a new version, the PRS –T3 released in September and it has a few changes, but frontlighting isn’t one of them. It now comes with a snap front cover – opening the cover will wake it up, closing it will put it to sleep. You can take the cover off, but it will leave the SD card slot exposed. It has an e-ink, multi-touch screen. It has dictionaries in English and other languages and you can easily add bookmarks and add your own notes. You can change the font size, page orientation, the columns and brightness. It used to come with a stylus, but now you have to buy the stylus separately, it still has buttons to navigate as well as the touchscreen. This means that you can hold it and turn the pages with one hand. It is also the lightest eReader at only 200grams. It has a new Quick Charge function that allows you to charge it in your computer for just three minutes and be able to read a 600 page book. It has two months of battery life with Wi-fi off and one and a half months with it on. You can get a cover with a light in it and you will need this if you want to read in the dark as it has no front-lighting. With Wi-Fi connection you 2|Page
  3. 3. can use the Internet to read the newspaper or blogs, and, finally, there is an Australian Reader Store, so you can buy books directly from the Sony Reader. The Sony will read most file types including the standard format EPUB. Older versions had a headphone jack and supported MP3 files (music and eAudio books) but the latest versions do not support audio. Managing your Reader is fairly simple. You will need to download the Sony Reader software (from You can then save your files (books) on your computer, whether you bought them from a shop or found them for free. Attach your reader to your computer via the provided USB cord, select the titles you would like to send to your eReader and click on SYNC. There is a button on the Reader for borrowing directly from the Library. Unfortunately, this is only for libraries that use a platform called Overdrive. At RRL we use Bolinda Digital and Wheelers, so you have to borrow your books on your desktop and sync your Reader. There are no dedicated eReaders that you can borrow library books on without using your desktop or laptop. Slide 7: There are many models of the Kobo, all with touch screen - the Mini, Touch, Glo, Aura and Arc. The Kobo Glo came second in Choice’s latest eReader road test, the Mini came fifth and the Touch, sixth. The Kobo Glo has the front-lighting and the Arc is Kobo’s tablet. The Kobo supports most file formats, including EPUB so is very versatile for eBook reading, but it does not play eAudio books at all. The Kobo Arc, like all tablets, supports audio and has a backlit, colour screen. To manage your Kobo reader you need to download the Kobo Reader software (from You can shop directly on your Kobo once you set up your account – just like the Kindle. Once you begin purchasing titles from Kobo they send emails with suggestions on your next read. To borrow eBooks from the library, you need to do it on your desktop and sync your Kobo. Slide 8: This brings us to tablets. Apple’s iPad is probably the best known of all the tablets. Choice’s road test separated eInk eReaders from tablets in its June road test. The iPad Mini was named the best tablet for eReading and the regular iPad came third, after the Google Nexus in second, with the Kindle Fire and Kobo Arc coming fourth and fifth. There is also the Samsung Galaxy and many other brands of tablet. Tablets are much more than eReaders. On a tablet you can check your emails, read newspapers online, go on Facebook, watch videos and television and play games. Tablets have colour screens that are backlit. Backlit screens have problems with glare, you can’t easily read them in sunlight, and they can be a bit tiring for the eyes if you are reading for long periods. Tablets are heavier than eInk eReaders, though the iPad mini is less so than the bigger models. Backlighting means that you can read in bed with no other light source, but backlighting tends to light up the room much more than front-lighting. 3|Page
  4. 4. You use apps on tablets. You download the apps from the Apple App Store, for iPads and Google Play for android devices. iBook is Apple’s reading app, you can download free books and purchase books through this app. You can get a Kobo and Kindle app as well, and use Bluefire to read books downloaded from the library’s Wheelers platform. All tablets have far shorter battery life than eInk devices, if you use your tablet a fair bit, you’ll want to put it on to charge overnight, just like your phone. Slide 9: So which is the best eReader? Well, it depends on what you want to do with it. Sales of the dedicated, eInk eReaders have declined as people are sacrificing the enhanced reading experience for the added functionality of the tablet. There has also been suggestion that people are actually reading less on tablets. This could be, in part, because it is less comfortable given the weight and the backlighting, but the distractions of email, social networking and Internet browsing are definitely taking people away from their books while on tablets. If you want to be able to connect to a bookshop anytime and buy books, the Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader and tablets are very good for that. If you want a paper-like screen and the ability to read in sunshine you’ll want an E Ink device like the Kindle, Kobo, or Sony Reader. If you want to read in low or no light, without having to add a cover with light, you’ll want the Paperwhite or Kobo Glo. If you want to borrow library books, anything but the Kindle range and if you want to listen to eAudio books, then you will need a tablet, or play them on any MP3 player (such as an iPod) and read eBooks on an eReader. If you want to check emails, social networking and the Internet as well as to read books, the iPad, Kobo Arc, Kindle Fire, Google Nexus or Samsung Galaxy will be your choice. These devices are getting better all the time so it is best to have a look around. There are also a lot of generic e-readers on the market. Things to look at when choosing are ease of use (touch screen or button navigation), book formats supported, battery life and type of screen. Many come preloaded with content. Slide 10: There are a lot of great features to eReaders – bookmarks that don’t fall out, you can add notes without defacing the book, adaptable font types and size, maximum books with minimum weight. Slide 11: There are also lots of great features to paper books, not least of which is that they don’t require recharging or any technological skills to use. There is a lot of choice in the market and it is now up to you to decide with the information you now possess which format makes reading the most convenient for you. There is no one answer that fits everyone. Ultimately, the power of reading is in the words; they are what move us, make us laugh, cry, feel, teach us and take us to places we could never go. The power of the book is in the words and that power remains, no matter which format we use to read them. Slide 12: I will now give a quick overview of what you can access from your library to enjoy on your eReading device. We have two companies providing borrowers with a platform for 4|Page
  5. 5. borrowing digital material, just like you would borrow any other library item; Bolinda and Wheelers. Slide 13: When you first get your dedicated eReader, such as the Sony Reader or Kobo, you will need to download software onto your computer. They each have their own software that makes managing your eBooks easy, but you also need to download Adobe Digital Editions and get an Adobe ID. You do this by filling in a form at You use your email address as the ID and you choose a password. You only need it once, but write it down! Your computer will ask for your Adobe ID to authorize your computer. Then, you are ready to go. Slide 14: To borrow eBooks and eAudio books for an eReader you will need to go to the Riverina Regional Library’s website. From the RRL website choose the tab eLibrary. Slide 15: From the eLibrary page choose either Bolinda or Wheelers. To loan material you will need to have your library member number (found on the back of your library card) and password (which is your date of birth – dd/mm/yyyy) Slide 16: Bolinda provides eBooks and eAudiobooks in MP3 format. Once you register, giving Bolinda your email address so they can let you know when your loans are expired or your reserves ready for download, you find eBooks or eAudio books you wish to borrow and download them to your computer. eAudio books are MP3 files and they will download directly to your computer as a zipped file. They will need to be unzipped before transferring to your ereader or other device. You are allowed 6 eBooks and 6 eAudio books on loan or reserve at one time; the loan period is 2 weeks. At the end of the borrowing period an email will be sent to you to delete it from your computer and device. The eBook files will become unreadable unless you renew them. You can preview eBooks and eAudio books before you borrow them. Slide 17: Once you have found a title you wish to borrow, you click on borrow. Slide 18: Then, click on confirm loan. Slide 19: Now you can download the eBook, or eAudio book and instructions are provided on this screen. The Help pages are also very good if you get stuck. Slide 20: Another way of accessing Bolinda Digital Library, and by far the simplest way of borrowing and reading or listening to eBooks and eAudio books, is through the BorrowBox app, available through the Apple or Google stores. Browsing, borrowing, downloading and reading, all in the one app on your tablet or smart phone. Slide 21: The library also has eBooks available from Wheelers. Again, you log in with your library card number and date of birth password. You are allowed three items out on loan at one time. At the end of the borrowing period the book automatically expires and will become unreadable on your e-reader. If you have not finished reading the book you will need to borrow it again. Slide 22: There is a very good help page with links to step-by-step guides for different devices. 5|Page
  6. 6. Slide 23: It works very similarly to Bolinda, you find a book you wish to borrow. The grayed out titles are already on loan and, unlike Bolinda, Wheelers does not allow reservations. You click on the title you want. Slide 24: You click on ‘Borrow Now’ and then you are told that your loan is successful and you can download your book. If you have a Sony Reader, it will automatically open in the Reader software and you can sync your device. If you are unsure about the device you have, refer to the Help page. Slide 21: The eLibrary is also integrated into our online catalogue (WebOPAC). Slide 22: eLibrary items are identified with a link that will take you directly to the webpage where you can borrow the selected item. Using the online catalogue to search is best if you want to know if we have a specific title or your favourite author as part of the eLibrary collection. Slide 23: There are also a lot of free eBooks available for you to discover via the internet. Some of those websites are listed here. Many of the e-reader companies will also have a collection of free books for you to browse and download to help you start your e-reading experience. Slide 24: Now take some time and have a play with the range of e-readers we have on display today. Keep in mind that the versions we have are not the latest. There may be significant differences between the device you look at here and the one you can buy, usually the differences are improvements, sometimes they have fewer features in order to make them cheaper, or as a reflection of the dwindling dedicated eReader market. Please free feel to ask any questions and I will try my best to answer them. Thank you for listening. 6|Page