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eBooks & Audiobooks

Choosing an eBook Reader

Are you are thinking of getting an eBook reader for yourself or as a gift for someone else?

Here are some things to consider:

  • Is the device or ereader compatible with VPL’s collection of downloadable eBooks?
    • Library eBooks are available in EPUB & PDF formats which are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM)
    • Check a partial list of compatible readers from OverDrive
  • Do you want an eBook reader for the primary purpose of reading eBooks, or do you want extras like internet browsing & the ability to send email?
    • Basic ereader (e.g. Kobo reader)
      • E-ink and E-paper is easier on the eyes
      • Has a long battery life (power is only used when turning pages)
      • Works well in bright sunlight. Some ereaders have a built-in light for reading in the dark (the light reflects down on to the screen, unlike a tablet or smartphone which has a light-emitting screen).
      • E-ink readers with wi-fi may not display internet pages very well
    • Tablets: (e.g. iPad, Samsung Galaxy)
      • Can be used for internet browsing, email, and direct downloading
      • Heavier, larger, & more expensive than a basic ereader
      • Screen and text can fade in bright sunlight
  • Is the device comfortable to hold for long periods of time? Is page turning easy (using buttons and/or touch screen)? What are the options for increasing font size?
  • Do you plan to travel frequently with your eBook reader where you won't have access to your own computer/laptop? Try a device that can download directly with a wireless network.
    • Some wi-fi ereaders (such as Kobo) allow you to purchase eBooks directly on the device, but require a computer and USB cable to transfer library eBooks onto the device.
    • The new Kobo Aura ONE allows borrowing directly on the device without a computer and USB cable.
  • For reviews of different ereaders, check out Good eReader.
    • Note: Kindle readers (except Kindle Fire - an Android-based tablet) are currently not compatible with library eBooks in Canada due to Amazon’s licensing and format restrictions