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Do I need to read e-books?

We’ve been reading from screens for a very long time now, teletext on TV’s, the internet, mobile phones and smartphones and now something made specifically for that reason, the e-reader. In recent years the growth of the e-book has been incredible, e-reader and tablet device sales only seem to be increasing, but what are they?  Do you really need one, and what do Doncaster Libraries have to offer for users

What is an e-reader? And what’s the difference between an e-reader and a tablet device?

The main difference is that e-readers are made specifically for reading books/magazines on, where a tablet isn’t. E-readers have an e-ink display, aimed to replicate ink on a page in a book, making it a lot easier to read for long periods of time. The battery life can also last for months, even with regular daily use, e-readers are super light too. A tablet is more like a mini touchscreen computer, to use mainly for the internet, e-mails and Apps. However it does get a little confusing as you can also read on a tablet by downloading apps. A tablet doesn’t use e-ink, instead it relies on a backlit display, much like a TV/computer, this may irritate your eyes reading for long periods. You can reduce the glare and change the background colour to help, but the e-reader definitely has the upper hand. The battery life isn’t usually great, but standard to what we’re used to now with touchscreens, you may only get two days at best out of it. 

Will you save any money by buying e-books as opposed to buying printed books?

Probably not. We own tablets/e-readers for their convenience and to try something new, the book is certainly not broken, but they offer something different and more suitable for some. Library e-books are completely free anyway, but if you were to buy one rather than get it free from your Library then currently James Pattersons latest book would cost you £9.99 as an e-book, £6.00 in Hardcover and £3.50 in paperback. 

Are E-readers much lighter than a book?

Slightly.  An e-reader will weigh about 200 grams where a paperback book will weigh around 230 grams, so there’s about the weight of a packet of crisps between the two, obviously hardcovers are slightly heavier, think Pringles rather than Walkers. A tablet will weigh around 500 grams.

What’s storage like on an e-reader/tablet?

Now they definitely have the upper hand here. Most e-readers/tablets will be able to hold thousands of e-books at any one time, that’s incredible, and definitely a lot lighter than carrying around a few thousand books!

What do Doncaster Libraries offer for digital readers?

We have an ever-growing free Digital Library and we are constantly buying new eBooks and eAudio for our library customers to download, including many new popular titles.We have 2 platforms for you to use, each with a different selection or titles to choose from. All you need to do is download the BorrowBox app and Overdrive app to get full access to all the titles we own.  We also have a free music download service called Freegal, again you download the app and have instant access to millions of songs.  

No more fines from overdue Library books.
Bonus! When you borrow e-books from our digital Library after your 3 week borrowing period is over they simply disappear, so there’s no chance of getting an overdue fine. If you need more time and of course if no one else is waiting for it, you can renew it like you can any Library book. 

My Kindle can’t download Library books!?

If you own a  kindle e-reader, unfortunately, you can’t borrow public library books on them. Fortunately, if you have a Kindle Fire, which is a tablet rather than an e-reader, you can download e-books and Library books through Apps such as CloudLibrary and BorrowBox. In order to download Library books, you’ll need an e-reader from someone other than Amazon, for example, the WH Smith owned ‘Kobo’, you still need a computer to download the e-books onto first before transferring them to your e-reader. 

It all comes down to personal preference really, there are lots of pros for owning an e-reader/tablet, getting books instantly, some are now waterproof and you can easily change the text size if needed. There are also pros for sticking to books, more variety, it’s easier to look at shelves full of books rather than scrolling through a computer for them, and lastly, circuitry and plastic will never be able to replicate that new book smell. Whatever your reading needs consist of you can be assured that Doncaster Libraries are here to help.


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