Big Question no. 3: E-readers

Now with bonus questions!

Do you own an e-reader?

If so, what kind and what are its pros & cons?

If not, do you want one and why/why not?

If your workplace uses them, how is that going?

13 thoughts on “Big Question no. 3: E-readers

  1. I have recently evaluated e-readers of all brands, then into the I Pad, then I pods, and every application and provider of -books. If wanting only a reader I would buy the Kindle 3 – six inch screen model. I want one that will talk my books to me and the Kindle has a very mechanical and synthesized voice, I dont like. Therefore I am likely going to buy an IPod touch with IOS version 4.o and download I-Books from the I Tunes store. THen I can listen to my books as well as read them. I like the reader by Kindle as I stated but it needs more upgrades and refinement. Also check out copyright laws as it is stated that some ebook downloads may not be legal in Canada unless you check it out prior to purchase. NCB

  2. My favourite topic!

    1) I am a proud owner of a Sony Reader 650

    2) Pros: Touch Screen. Compatibility with Library to Go, ability to buy from almost any eBook store (KoboBooks is the best Canadian place for buying eBooks) . Page turns are quick, the screen quality is amazing, there is an internal dictionary, ability to bookmark, highlight and add notes. Also, it is light, easy to read on the bus (or train or plane), excellent on the beach in the summer, and really, all true eReaders are pretty great for all of the previous points.

    Cons: Not so great with Linux computers, and uses Adobe Digital Editions to authorize ebooks, but so does the Kobo.

    3) My workplace is the place to be with eReaders (everyone, come visit us!) We’re currently lending 11 kindles with 50 titles on them as part of a pilot project and we have demo versions of the Sony and the Kobo for patrons and staff to try out.

    For the past month we’ve been hosting weekly “Q&A” sessions for patrons about different eReaders and Library to Go, and have created this “wiki” to assist staff and patrons with questions:

    While we aren’t using the devices in any professional capacity (other than training) PDF documents can be easily loaded onto the Sony and the Kobo.

  3. I looked into getting an ebook reader and decided to get a small netbook instead. I read alot at night when I can’t sleep, so I need a reader that is backlit. None of the ebook readers are readable at night without a light. You can purchase a small light to attach to them but when I use those lights on books, they are awkward. So I downloaded the Sony ebook reader for free onto the netbook. The netbook monitor is lit up very well at night and, because I don’t need a lamp on, it doesn’t wake my husband. Also it sits on my bedside table easily with the monitor at the right angle to read and I don’t need to hold it. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that my hands get sore at night and it’s such a pleasure to just click on the arrow for the next page and that’s all my achy hands need to do. When we took our last trip, I took along this netbook after I loaded a couple of ebooks (free from the library). Then we were also able to use the netbook for email while we were away, load pictures in it and send them back with emails, keep a diary etc. All free with wi-fi. One thing that really bothers me though, the Sony reader does not give you access to a dictionary. I have to exit out of the reader and go into the internet. Not a great feature.

    1. Hello Jan,
      What a great idea! I have been looking into various e Reader formats for some time and had some of the similar issues that you listed. I think the netbook is an great alternative, it allows for multiple purchase and borrowing sites and has the multi purpose use that was a comment in a post below. Perhaps netbooks are the answer?

  4. I have been intrigued by e-readers for a while now. If I keep procrastinating on taking any action beyond being intrigued, it feels to me like the technology will move off into something else… I asked a number of pre-teen library patrons what they thought about us getting in some e-readers for patron use.

    Their comments:
    “But they only do one thing! What is the use of that.”
    “My grandma has one of those.”
    “Get IPads instead!”

    I haven’t spent the money yet. Why does this feel like a piece of technology that is going to have a very short shelf life? Or is that just me?


  5. I’ve heard good things about them, but frankly, I really love the feeling of not only holding a book, but opening it and reading it! I’m in no hurry!!

  6. I received a Kindle last year for Christmas and have really enjoyed using it. It was great to take on vacation. I had 14 books with me all on this devise that’s even easier to hold than a pocket book. Also takes up far less suitcase space.
    Pros: Lightweight, easy to use. Can change display screen, fonts etc. Can download and read any pdf documents. Portable and can easily read while lounging on the beach. It’s easy to purchase more books.

    Cons: Isn’t backlit so need to use a book light. Was able to access my email a few times but not on a regular/reliable basis. It’s easy to purchase more books.

    I find I’m buy a lot more books than I did before because it’s so easy and the books are cheaper via Kindle than the print.

    Generally I’m quite happy with my Kindle. I’m still learning some of the experimental features but no complaints.

  7. Call me old-fashioned. Call me a luddite. Call me just plain obstinate. I do not like the e-readers I have tried so far. I have tried the Kobo and the Apple i-pad, and I feel I gave them a fair chance, but I don’t like them. The Kobo screens flickers and takes a lot of time to load, and the Apple i-pad is just too confusing to use, maybe because I’m a PC person. Lastly, they lack the one thing I enjoy about most reading books: freedom from technology. What a joy to sit down with my book after a day of working on the computer at work, and escape into another world! I suppose I will have to get used to them eventually, but for now, give me a book any day.

  8. I actually do not own an e-reader and am in no hurry to get one. I think I model better by reading an actual book as opposed to be yet another person with an electronic device. There is also just no substitute to holding a book and turning its pages. It just feels more real, although I suppose I am not making the trees any happier with my attitude. Callm me old fashioned and 2oth. Century (my kids do constantly!) but give me a book any day.

  9. I am also not rushing out to get an e-reader. Admittedly, I haven’t tried any of them. I like the tactile elements of reading a book, such as turning the pages and using a physical bookmark. Even when faced with large documents, I prefer to print them off instead of reading them off a screen. The paper copy is easier on my eyes (after using a computer all day), and if I need to make notes or highlight points, I can do it easily. Books don’t have software that can crash, expensive hardware that can be damaged or stolen, and are not lost if the device stops working.

    I am reminded of the following quote: “As Robert Fulford once told me, if print had been invented after radio and television, it would be regarded as a wildly innovative medium – compact, portable, requiring only a brain for use.” – David Suzuki

  10. I own the iPad and have found the iBooks app. is excellent! I also was impressed when I could have the Kobo and Kindle apps. which allows me to access three stores to look for books and such. The iPad also provides colour cover pages and illustrations and other added details to books that the Sony and kobo don’t have.

    iPads are a multi application tool and have tones more to offer than e-readers. Look into it!

  11. My husband is also a self-confessed ludite. I was blown away when he said that he wanted a Kobo. He liked the ‘flat page’ and ‘no glare’ but the biggest selling point for him was that he could get some books ahead of the North American print run. He likes to read the Booker Prize nominees before the prize is announced and it is inevitable that some of them are only available in England and we have ordered them in the past through These books, however, were available on Kobo.
    He wanted to eliminate the free set of books so that he could start from scratch but discovered that the package included some of his favourites and so, the set remains.
    He has yet to use it, though, because he wants to read all of the ‘hard copies’ that he still has on the shelf. He’s down to the last 3 of 15 so the purchasing will begin just in time for him to have received those Chapters gift cards.

  12. I own a Pandigital that runs Kobo and allows the reading of PDF and EPUB formats. The Pandigital has an Android platform and boasts the capacity to be an entry level tablet,. I am not so sure after playing with an ipad!
    I like the reader although the screen has so much glare that it is rendered useless in the sun and some books have formatting issues. I love the touch screen and that was one of the selling points for me along with e-mail and web browsing capacity.
    I must admit that I do download books on to the reader but also purchase a version. I like the reader for when we are out and about with down time and I do not have my book (the reader fits into my purse) it is also great for travelling.
    All in all i wish i brought an actual kobo or nook over the Pandigital but as i am still a “booky” I am happy with my lot!!

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