Tag Archives: e-books

Downloading audiobooks and e-books just got easier

Seriously!

Library2Go, our downloadable audio/e-book service, did some upgrades earlier this week, and the result is pretty impressive.

You can now read the e-books in your web browser. Check out the e-book, click on “Read in browser” and BOOM! There is the book right in front of you. Not only do you get the text, but you get all the other goodies, too: pictures, maps, introductions, appendices. I tried out “Game of Thrones” and yup, there were the maps!

Give it a shot. Instructions are available here, or you can go directly to Library2Go’s website. Make sure to select “Libraries of Clackamas County” as your library.

For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 503-682-2744 or reference@wilsonvillelibrary.org.

Help libraries get more e-books

So here’s the problem: libraries want to buy e-books and have them available for our users. But many publishers don’t want to sell e-books to libraries.

Let the publishers know that you want e-books at your library with this online petition: http://ebooksforlibraries.com/

This short (just over a minute!) video explains the situation:

Do you read e-books? Do you check them out from the library? Did you even know that you can check out e-books from the library? Let us know in the comments.

E-readers: Which one to get?

Continuing from the previous post . . .

You know, I think I want an e-reader. What should I get?

I can’t tell you outright which one you should buy. But there are ways to determine which e-reader may be the best for you.

First off there are three questions you should ask yourself:

1.       What do I want to do with the device?

Reader vs. Tablet. If your goal is having a portable reading device for reading books and only books, then an e-reader may be right for you. If you want to be able to do other sorts of things that require color screens and internet connectivity, then you should consider the tablet.

2.       What type of screen do I want?

E-ink vs. LCD. For a book-like reading experience, e-ink is the way to go. E-ink technology provides a digital reading experience that is the closest you can get to reading on paper (and some say it’s even better). It can be read in bright light and has a cleaner, crisper type – both of which make digital text easier to read (and easier on the eyes). E-ink also requires less battery, so a device with e-ink will have a longer battery charge. Devices using e-ink  aren’t backlit, so you can’t read them in the dark. Although there are book lights you can purchase that make that a moot point.

If you want to domore than just read books (like access websites, magazines, newspapers, interactive children’s books, games), then you will want a color screen and overall larger screen, which you can get with LCD. These screens are bright and beautiful, but they can be tiring on the eyes due to the reflectivity and the lack of crispness in text. They are backlit, however, so you can read them in the dark.

3.       Do I need wireless data available all the time?

Wifi vs. 3G/4G. Wifi requires a wifi hotspot for you to access the internet. This means it will be cheaper (cheaper devices and no monthly cellular plans) and the device will generally be smaller since it doesn’t need to have the cellular hardware in it. And the battery charge will last even longer if you turn off the wifi. However, it does mean you are limited to those wifi hotspots for internet access.

3G/4G requires a cellular wireless connection. This means it will be more expensive because the device itself will be costlier and you’ll need to have a cellular plan to access those cell towers. The device will generally be larger than a reader because it needs to hold that cellular hardware. And the battery charge will not last very long because the device is constantly looking for a cellular tower, and it takes more battery to process all those websites and games. However, it does mean that anywhere you have cell phone service, you can access the internet.

Here’s a visual aid for these questions (click the image to enlarge): How to choose an e-reader

Even after asking yourself those questions, you should still visit the stores and try them out for yourself. See what you like and dislike about the different models. Is the e-ink screen much easier to read? Does the LCD screen tire your eyes out after a few minutes? If you are limited to just books, do you start wishing you had “Angry Birds” to play?

Regardless of what you choose, remember that we are happy to help you. And don’t forget – you can check out library e-books on your device for free.

That future may indeed be digital. And the future just might be here now.

E-readers: What are they and why bother?

e-readers by libraryman on Flickr

You say you want an e-reader?

I’ve had a number of conversations with folks lately about e-books, e-readers, and what all the hype is about. Since the same questions keep coming up, I thought there may be more people curious about the e-book realm, so here are some frequently asked questions (with answers) about e-books, e-readers, and the whole shebang.

What is an e-reader?

An e-reader is a device or computer program that you can read an e-book on.

Usually when people talk about an e-reader, they mean a portable device, like an Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook.

However, an e-reader can also be a program that you use on a computer that will display the e-book for you to read.

Surprisingly (at least to me), the majority of e-books are currently read on laptops, NOT devices like Kindles or Nooks.

What is so special about e-books?

Nothing, really. They are just books that you can read on an electronic device. A book is a book is a book.

However, what makes an e-book different from a regular print book is that it can be stored on an electronic device. And depending on the amount of storage that device has, that could mean having 1000 books stored in something the size of your palm.

Can you imagine packing 1000 books in your suitcase for a trip? Many people find this one aspect very handy, having a variety of books available to choose from depending on their reading mood at the touch of a finger. Add to that not having to hold a humongous paperback (or hardback, for that matter) and being able to buy some e-books for cheap (or even for free), and e-books start looking really good.

Okay, so what’s the catch?

First, you have to have a device that can read the e-books. Which means getting a Kindle, or Nook, or Sony Reader, or Kobo reader, or an iPhone or iPad, or a tablet, or a computer. And that can cost money.

Then there is the issue of ownership of the e-book. This is still a gray area with some publishers. In many cases, the e-book is not sold but borrowed or leased.  Remember when Amazon “pulled” (remotely deleted) copies of 1984 from users’ Kindles? Can you imagine that happening with a paperback book? Yeah, kind of odd.

Then there are some publishers who believe that because you are borrowing or leasing the book, that you can’t lend the book to anyone, or there are limits to the number of times you could lend the e-book. Again, that isn’t imaginable with a print book – you can lend it until it literally falls apart.

And that’s the key aspect of e-books: they are digital. If you copy an e-book, you get an exact copy. No photocopy smudges, no photocopy fees. And you could make a gazillion copies and send them to all of your friends. Essentially for free.

And that’s what the publishers are afraid of: that people will copy the books and the publishers will lose out on the money they could have made if those books had been sold, and not copied.

Which is why publishers are using DRM (Digital Rights Management) software.

What’s this DRM I keep hearing about?

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is software that basically locks an electronic file. So to access the file (like reading an e-book, or listening to a digital audiobook), you need special software to unlock the file.

They’re just trying to protect their copyright. Maybe that’s not such a bad idea, right?

 The problem is that DRM also often limits what you can do with the file. You might not be able to make a backup copy of the e-book or lend it or mark it up with notes like you could with a regular print book. Plus there is the additional hoop to jump through of using the DRM software to access the e-book. This can be inconvenient at best.

So why even bother with an e-reader?

Because you could carry your entire library with you on one small piece of hardware.

Because you wouldn’t need the space for bookshelves (or bookshelves for that matter) because you could store all of your books in one place – that device.

And because it looks like e-books are the next generation of books. Think of what happened to music: records -> tapes -> CDs ->  digital files (MP3, etc.). Think iTunes.

What if you thought, “Hey, I’d really like to read <book>” and in the next minute you were able to have that book in your hands? Poof! Instant gratification. It’s almost like Captain Picard asking for his tea “Earl Grey, hot.” You ask for it, you get it. Right then.

You know, I think I want an e-reader. What should I get?

That’s a really good question, which involves getting to know you better. See the next post for how to determine which e-reader is right for you.

In the meantime, feel free to contact a reference librarian for any questions you have about e-books, e-reader, and the whole shebang.

E-book reader class Thursday, August 18

e-reader

Learn about e-book readers with this class!

In the market for one of those crazy new e-readers you’ve heard so much about, like the Kindle or the Nook? Or do you already have one, and want to use it to download free ebooks from the library?

Come visit us on Thursday, August 18th at 1:00pm for a free 1 hour introduction to the world of ebook readers and ebooks.

Computer experience is not required, although it’s certainly helpful! We’ll go over the differences between some of the various types of e-readers, and then we’ll download a book or two, to show how easy it can be.

No cost and no sign up necessary–Just show up with your questions and we’ll see you there!

*****

E-reader class
Thursday, August 18
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Oak Room
Free

Are e-books real books?

E-booksYes, Virginia, they are! And you can download them for free!

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to the state of Oregon, we now have access to over 5000 electronic books (e-books). And they are free!

Take a look at the Library2Go website to see what e-books are available.

Want to know more? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is an e-book? An e-book is a book in digital format. No paper involved – it’s all digital!
  • What kinds of books are published as e-books? E-books are just digital versions of the books you can check out at the library. Historical fiction and horror novels, business and biographies, cookbooks and current events – they are all there!
  • Do I need an e-book reader to read an e-book? No! While you can certainly read an e-book on an e-book reader (like the Sony Reader and the Barnes and Noble Nook), you can also read an e-book on your computer. You just need to have the Adobe Digital Editions software installed to be able to read the e-books. The software is free and available for download from Library2Go’s website.
  • Can I download e-books to my Kindle? Sorry, no. The Kindle has its own e-book format, so you have to get your e-books from Amazon.
  • How much does an e-book cost? E-books downloaded through Library2Go are free.
  • How do I download an e-book? You will need a valid LINCC library card, access to the Internet (High speed not required, but better!), and free Adobe Digital Editions software available from the Library2Go website below. Then follow these simple steps:
  1. On the Library2Go website:  download, install and register the Adobe Digital Editions software.
  2. Select the e-books to download
  3. Check your e-books out using your library card. (When asked for your “library”, the correct response is “Libraries in Clackamas County”).
  4. Download and enjoy!

Visit the Library2Go website right now!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask a reference librarian at 503-682-2744.