Are you thinking of getting or giving an eReader for the Holidays this year? The Fremont County Library has thousands of eBooks to choose from (FREE with your Library card). Here are some points to consider and resources for further research before making your purchase (or writing out your wish list!) Remember, if you have a Fremont County Library Card and a smartphone (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android); you already have access to many of the e-reading tools available from our website (fclsonline.org)!
How to compare eBook readers (from ereaderleader.com):
- Content: Pay attention to the specs of any eBook reader you are interested in. Many eReaders can display the eBook in an open e-book format, while some eReaders (including the Amazon Kindle) can’t. Instead, the Kindle has a proprietary format, but has a vast content library compatible with the device as well as support for PDFs and Word DOCs. It’s also important to consider how much content (each eBook) costs.
- Display: How big is the device’s display? What display technology does the device use? While a small screen may make a device that much more convenient, it may — of course — make it more difficult to read. Displays using e-ink technology make text look just like it would on paper, and is often the preferred technology for eReaders.
- Performance: For your basic eReader, performance is important — but not hugely important. In the eBook reader world, performance often boils down to how fast a screen can refresh (effectively, how fast a page can turn and how quickly you can access menus) and how long it takes to power up. For eReaders built into more advanced devices like the iPad, performance becomes important in the sense that it is important to computers.
- Wireless: Many eReaders offer 3G connectivity for downloading content wherever you are, and some eBook readers are also equipped with Wi-Fi. Wireless connectivity is important for eReaders as it is a convenient way to get content on your device. The Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook, for example, offer free 3G wireless — allowing users to download books, newspapers, blogs and more form virtually anywhere.
- Storage space: The storage space, or capacity for content on an eBook reader, is important for obvious reasons. Of course, storage space determines how many eBooks you can store on your eReader simultaneously. It also determines capacity for other files, including music, pictures, and even in some cases (e.g. Apple iPad), movies.
- Multimedia: As just alluded to, many eBook readers can display multimedia content beyond just eBooks. Many higher-end eReaders offer a built-in digital music player, and some even offer external speakers in addition to a standard headphone jack. Some eBook readers even offer the ability to store and display pictures, while the iPad (and surely other tablet computers) offer video playback.
- Advanced features: Of course, every eReader can display eBooks. Yet, there are a number of other features that some eReaders do offer. Some eBook readers, including the Kindle, offer basic, built-in web browsers that allow users to browse the web for free over the 3G network. Other advanced features include music players, the ability to digitally lend books to friends, text-to-speech capabilities and more.
- Battery life: Another important factor to consider when buying and eBook reader is the battery life of the device. Thanks to e-ink display technology that only consumer battery life when changing what’s displayed on the screen (e.g. turning a page), many eReaders can provide up to an incredible 2 weeks of reading. In most ways, battery life depends on whether wireless is on or off, as well as display technology.
- Price: Price is the most obvious factor when considering an eReader. Of course, price is directly related to features offer and the brand recognition of any given device. For a device with advanced features (like the Apple iPad that is more closely related to a computer than an eReader), buyers can expect to pay proportionally more.
- eBook Access: How do you want to access eBooks (check for compatibility with our eBook provider, the 3M Cloud)?
The Fremont County Library GoWyld Database also has amazing resources to help you in your eBook reader purchasing deliberations:
Log in to Academic Search Premier to access articles about eBook readers or using eBooks.
- “Tablets.” Consumer Reports, December 2012
- “Gear to Go.” Consumer Reports, August 2013
- Children using eBooks:Early Childhood Education Journal November 2013
Other websites with eReader reviews: