Ebook and Ereader FAQs
What is an ereader?
An ereader refers to any electronic device that allows you to read ebooks. There are both dedicated ereaders and non-dedicated ereaders.
A DEDICATED ereader is an electronic device created primarily for the purpose of reading ebooks. Examples of dedicated ereaders include devices like the Nook, the Kindle, the Sony Touch and the Kobo.
A NON-DEDICATED ereader is any electronic device that allows you to read an ebook. This can include an iPad, any smart phone, laptop or netbook.
What is an ebook?
An ebook is the same as a print book, only it is formatted to be read electronically. ebooks come in many different file formats and how you read them depends on the file format. The most common formats are:
· azw and tpz are Kindle only formats. Ebooks purchased from Amazon can only be read on a Kindle or through a Kindle app on your smart phone or computer.
· ePub is the most common file format of popular reading ebooks sold and read. Epub books can be read on any ereader except a Kindle.
· PDF ebooks are common for academic titles. PDF books can usually be read on most any ereader.
DCL will offer ebooks in all the formats available from the publishers. Not all items will be available in all formats. Please see our EBOOK BASICS page for more information.
Does the library have ebooks?
YES! We offer books in .epub, .pdf and Kindle format. There are also thousands of titles that are in the public domain and can be downloaded to devices that are also available through Overdrive http://durhamcounty.lib.overdrive.com. Please see our EBOOK BASICS page for more information.
Durham County Library will purchase all of its popular-title ebooks from our vendor Overdrive. Pricing for libraries is generally the same or higher than the print edition for ebooks. Due to limited budgeting DCL will be purchasing titles appearing on our Top Ten List and the NY Times Bestseller lists.
We have had other ebooks for many years; however, they cannot be downloaded to devices. There are many available from NC LIVE http://www.nclive.org/ and you can find more information about free ebooks at http://www.durhamcountylibrary.org/research/ebook.php.
How many and how long can I check out ebooks for at DCL?
- Ebooks can be checked out for 7 or 14 days, it's your choice
- Ebook checkout is limited to 4 items at a time from Overdrive
- You can have 5 ebook requests at a time
- Ebooks can be returned early!
- Please see our EBOOK BASICS page for more information.
How do I get books on my ereader?
Borrowing from DCL
Borrow ebooks from DCL in .epub, Kindle or PDF format as provided by the publisher and included with each of our titles from Overdrive. For .epub files you will need to have the program Adobe Digital Editions loaded on your computer and an Adobe ID account. For the Kindle format you will need an Amazon.com account and a Kindle or the Kindle app loaded on a device such as a smart phone or tablet. PDF files require the Adobe Reader software already loaded on most computers. Please see our EBOOK BASICS page for more information.
Purchasing for your own use
Most ereaders are attached to a bookstore like Amazon or Barnes and Noble and you can buy books directly on your ereader from that bookstore. If you like to shop around, you can download ebooks from another bookstore (Borders, Googlebooks, BooksonBoard, etc) onto your computer and then sideload them onto your ereader.
There is a free program available called Calibre which manages your ebooks on your computer if you buy them from multiple vendors. Calibre can also be used as a catalog for print books.
If you have a Kindle and you buy ebooks from a bookstore other than Amazon, often you will need to have Amazon change the file format of the book before you use it on your Kindle.
How do I get books on my smart phone/iPad, etc?
Generally, if you want to read ebooks on a smart phone or iPad, you will need to install apps onto your device. The major ebook vendors (Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Googlebooks, etc) have apps. You can buy and read books directly from the apps and they give you access to other ebooks you bought from the vendor. You can also download from DCL and Overdrive.
There are also apps for reading books not associated with a bookseller. Which books you can read on those apps varies by book and app.
Please see our EBOOK BASICS page for more information.
Why can I only lend some of my Kindle/Nook ebooks? Why can I print this ebook and not that one? Why can I read this ebook on my Droid/iPhone app and not that one?
Many ebooks are secured, which means they have Digital Right Management (DRM) attached to them. What is DRM? A good definition (taken from Epic.org) of DRM is:
Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems restrict the use of digital files in order to protect the interests of copyright holders. DRM technologies can control file access (number of views, length of views), altering, sharing, copying, printing, and saving. These technologies may be contained within the operating system, program software, or in the actual hardware of a device.
DRM is set by the publisher and restricts the types of devices a book can be read on and whether it can be shared or printed. Not all ebooks have DRM attached.
How much does all this cost?
Ebooks are about the same price as regular books, maybe a little less and the price is set by the publisher. Many bookstores give away certain ebooks for free for a day as a promotion.
Dedicated ereaders cost between $80 to $300 depending on functionality. Ereaders with Wi-Fi and/or 3G are more expensive.
Wait! I still have more questions!
If you have more questions about the Nook Book Club Kits or the future of ebooks in the Durham County Library System, please contact our webmaster Matt Clobridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For in-depth information about ereaders and ebooks of all kinds, check out the website/blog dearauthor.com. Under the ebooks tab, you will find detailed comparisons of different ereaders, reviews of ebooks and a column called “Dear Jane” where the woman who runs the website answers varied and detailed questions about digital books.