Ereaders: "What Should I Buy?"


Are you thinking about buying an ereader for someone as a gift, or for yourself? All sorts of stores are starting to sell them. Prices are coming down. Here is some information that will help you choose what to buy.

If you are going to strictly buy ebooks, look very seriously at Amazon's Kindle. UPDATE: For features and ease of use, it is an excellent choice. But if you are going to read books that have entered the public domain, check to see if you can get the identical edition for free from Project Gutenberg.

If you want to use the library's Overdrive ebooks, you will need to buy a compatible device. Unfortunately, the Amazon does not allow the Kindle to be used with such services.

So what should you buy? To use Overdrive ebooks, look at this list of compatible devices. Then, research those brands by reading product reviews. is an excellent resource for reviews on a range of electronics, and combined editor and user reviews. Also, the library has Consumer Reports guides and magazine issues in our Reference departments. To demonstrate the importance of heeding "buyer beware," watch this video review of a Droid tablet bought through Walgreens.

If you aren't sure whether you (or the person you are buying for) would prefer a tablet PC -- a small PC that can be used as an ereader, but that has not been designed specifically for reading-- or a dedicated ereader, this guide provides some simple considerations when deciding which way to go.

For owners of iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or Droid devices, Overdrive is releasing ebook apps in the near future. Also there is the Bluefire Reader app for the Apple products that will work with Overdrive ebooks. You can get more details about these apps in a recentAdult Book Blog post.