How do I read an eBook?

We are not aware of a single device that lets you buy (or borrow) eBooks from any store (or Library) of your choice. Why is this so? Visit the Pattern Recognition site if you really want to know all of the technical details.

  • Applications (Apps): Rather than purchasing a separate device, you can download eReaders as apps to your computer or to a portable device. The free Blio reader is now available for PCs. It currently works with Windows and promises that iPhone, iPad, and Android versions are coming soon. Amazon has also released a free Kindle app for PC, Mac, iPad, Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. OverDrive announced in December, 2010, that apps are now available for the iPhone, iPod touch, and Android phone/tablet, and more. The same announcement says that an optimized version for iPad, along with apps for BlackBerry and other mobile devices, are "coming soon."
  • Browser: In December 2010 Google unveiled their long-awaited Google eBookstore. These eBooks can be read through any Web browser with no special device needed but can also be read on many devices. According to their overview, "Access all your ebooks wirelessly, no matter where you go. Google eBooks stores your library in the digital cloud, so you can read all of your favorite books using just about any device with an Internet connection. Google eBooks is compatible with Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, web browsers and many supported eReaders. Whenever you open one of your books, we'll pick up right where you left off." According to CNET News, "Google's books should also work on several e-reader devices that support Adobe's technology, like Barnes and Noble's Nook or Sony's Reader, with a notable exception: Amazon's Kindle... "
  • Devices: eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, and the Barnes and Noble Nook are becoming more popular. Apple's iPad sells books through their iBooks store. Each device has pros and cons, and prices for many devices have been dropping lately. You may also be able to download the eBook to your PC, your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry, etc., depending on where the content is coming from. eReaders may lock you into purchasing content from one store; notably, as of now Kindle content must come from Amazon. However, on April 20, 2011, Amazon announced that later in 2011 they will work with OverDrive to provide eBook loans to library patrons.

Show All Answers

1. What are the benefits of eBooks?
2. How do I read an eBook?
3. Are free eBooks available?
4. How do I choose an eReader?