The world of electronic books can be confusing when one tries to understand all the various tools used to buy, borrow and read electronic books. The lines differentiating between reader applications and purchasing and borrowing ones becoming increasingly blurred. Many ereaders today have dual uses, obtaining ebooks and reading them too.
To add to the confusion, some electronic tools used to obtain ebooks are dedicated to certain electronic devices. For example, Cloud Library is used on tablets, smartphones but not on laptops or desktops. Additionally, some tools add to the confusion asking if the reading device will be an Apple or an Android device. Thankfully, the muddy waters of ebooks are clearing up as each of these tools is being updated and modified to do more things for the reader at the same time.
The world of electronic books is a messy one. Rather than trying to understand which tool does what, suffice it to say, ask friends or family who use ereaders, which they prefer and why and then try that one.
For a long time, our ereader of choice was the ubiquitous Libby which can read electronic books and also access libraries and stores for loans or purchases.
Kobo, another well-known ereader, previously was Kindle. Today thanks to corporate takeovers, Kobo and Kindle act interchangeably without worrying readers as to which is which. Kindle belongs to Rakuten KOBO. They are one and the same.
Kindle, see KOBO above.
All the above ereaders are easy to learn, easy to use and have the added capability of accessing libraries or bookstores where you designate your ereader. The loaner or seller takes care of the details in downloading your requested title in the format you need.
Other tools for obtaining ebooks
Just to add more confusion to the messy world of electronic books and though almost every ereader can do extra duty with accessing book sources, whether stores or libraries, there are tools that are strictly dedicated to the process of obtaining ebooks.
Overdrive is a library accessing tool connecting users to many libraries across Canada. Once you have your library card/number, Overdrive opens up a large catalogue of ebook titles reaching far beyond your local library.
Cloud library is similar to Overdrive in that it is a tool offering access to electronic books for tablets, smartphones and dedicated ereader devices.
Understanding the world of electronic books can be challenging but thankfully, this understanding is not necessary. Ask family, friends or even your local library [ via online chat if you have such access or phone ] for the ebook tool they recommend and why they do so. Then download and install the etool of your choice to learn, explore and use.
Our preferred way of working with ebooks
We prefer to use an Apple iPad to connect to Libby which in turn allows us to use Overdrive. But the more we access ebooks, the more we experiment trying out such tools as Hoopla and Flipboard. But as a favourite teacher always said, “The world is complicated enough as is, so K.I.S.S. it. [Keep It Super Simple]” We abide by that teaching.