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December 13, 2012

New e-reader? Visit library for book downloads

With the season of gift giving and receiving right around the corner, it is likely there are many people who might be wishing for an e-reader. Those who didn’t know they wanted an e-reader or don’t know what it is, an e-reader is an electronic device used to read electronic books, or e-books.

What’s the best e-reader? That’s a difficult question to answer, especially since technology changes so quickly. E-readers have essentially evolved down two paths, one where reading is part of what a user can do with a multi-function tablet, and one where reading is the sole function of the device.

Tablets right tools for some

The tablet market is exploding. These are great devices for those who want to do a few things besides reading, such as surf the Internet, check emails, watch movies, or listen to music on something much lighter and more portable than a laptop. Devices that fall into this category include the Apple iPad, Barnes & Noble Nook HD, Kindle Fire HD, Microsoft Surface and Samsung Galaxy. These devices all run on different operating systems and some, such as the Surface, Galaxy and iPad, are essentially designed to be computer replacements.

The Nook and Fire are designed more for entertainment. Although a user can do much more with these devices than simply read books, they are also more costly than an e-reader used simply for reading. Apple devices are a perennial favorite among both the technically savvy and those who are newer to computers. The Surface uses the brand-new Windows 8 operating system, while the Galaxy is Android based.

E-Readers designed for reading only

There are still many devices available that are designed to simply read books. One of the most popular choices, the Amazon Kindle, is offered in six different and fairly affordable options. Nooks are also available in a small, light version, as are Sony Readers and Kobos.

Be careful to understand how to transfer books to certain e-readers because some are much easier to use than others! Some can download books over a WiFi connection, and some are available with a 3G connection which allows the user to download from almost anywhere. Others must be connected to a computer, and the user has to physically transfer the file to the device. Although some people may appreciate that feature, it’s generally easier to have an e-reader that can at least download books by WiFi.

After the box is unwrapped

After a gift recipient has unwrapped a new e-reader, what’s next? Borrow e-books from the library! The Sierra Vista Public Library lends e-books which are compatible with each of the brands of e-readers mentioned here, as well as many more. Stop in today to ask how, or visit the library’s website at www.SierraVistaAZ.gov/svlibrary to learn more. Also, those not sure about how to use that brand-new e-reader, visit the library at 2600 E. Tacoma St. and ask about the library’s e-reader classes beginning in January.




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