Personal Computer Tutor
Personal Computer TutorJanuary 2012

eBook Readers

The current crop of eBook Readers are looking very impressive. These little devices not only allow you to read books, magazines and newspapers, but on some models you can also check email and look things up on the Internet. My wife received a Barnes & Noble Nook Color for the holidays and I had a chance to give it a test drive (when I could wrangle it away from her). What a great little device it is. Hard to belive what this $199 device can do (and by-the-way I have seen refurbished by Barnes & Noble ones for $139).

Nook Color
Barnes & Noble Nook Color

The hot new kid on the block was the Amazon Fire also for $199. It does much the same thing as the Nook Color for the same price but I have read mixed reviews and have had mixed feedback from clients so you might want to stay with a proven winner with the Nook Color (cNet Review).

Kindle Fire
Amazon Kindle Fire
The Apple iPad of course is also a great eBook Reader and it does a whole lot more. With 140,000+ apps that can be added to the iPad (we used to call "apps" "software" which is all an app is, a piece of software for your device), it is undeniably the king of the tablet world. Apple has it's own iBook store of course, but on the iPad you can also download the Kindle and Nook Apps so any purchases made on those bookstores can also be read on the iPad. Prices for the iPad start at $499 and go up from there (but there maybe a price cut in the coming months).

Apple iPad
Apple iPad


Where to Get eBooks

Each company, Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have an eBook store where you can purchase books, magazines and newspapers. Prices range from zero to over $20 per eBook. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions vary. You can also checkout "digital" books from your local Public Library and download them to your eBook Reader. And many books that are now in the Public Domain and are available for free as an ePub or PDF file that can be downloaded to an eBook Reader.

Online Bookstores:
Generally, use the bookstore app that is built into your eBook Reader. But if you would like to see what each bookstore has to offer before deciding on an eBook reader here are the links to the most popular online bookstores:

Public Library:

Many Public Libraries have an agreement with OverDrive to let patrons check out "digital" copies of library books. The same restrictions apply to digital versions of books as with hard copies of the same book. In other words there maybe a wait list for a digital copy and once you have checked out a digital copy it will expire in 21 days and be removed from your eBook Reader. The good news is that you don't have to return the book to the library and no overdue charges. If your Public Library has an agreement with OverDrive (visit their website to find out), then:


First download the Overdrive Media Console Software and then Search Overdrive for content you might want to checkout from your library.

Free ePub and PDF eBooks:

Books that are in the Public Domain are often available for free as an ePub or PDF file. The trick is finding, downloading and transferring them on your eBook Reader. This is a bit technical but if you would like some help with these tasks install the Calibre software. Watch the demo by clicking on the picture of the laptop at to learn what this amazing software can do with your eBook Reader. It is a 10 minute video and it does an excellent job of showing the features of this very impressive software program.

If you would like a chart to compare eBook Readers here is a link you may like:

With so many choices in eBook Readers these days you are bound to find something that you will like. Enjoy and happy reading!

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Personal Computer Tutor

Claude Kerno

202.630.5016 or 719.650.9916

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