Thursday, April 24, 2014

Getting the Most out of eBooks

Just the other day a resident complained that she would need to buy a lot of books to use an ebook reader and had decided not to get one.

There are dozens of sources of free ebooks, of course, and all it takes is a query to a browser to find them. The Internet Archive is a major source.

Another great source is your local library online, using the overdrive app, now easy to use and inclusive of a large library of free books.

But the real secret is somewhere else in an application called Calibre.  Calibre will also access and send news feeds and subscriptions automatically.

Calibre takes a little learning to use but opens up easy access to all books. Calibre organizes your library. Calibre searches all sources.

Calibre will then send the book to your PC from which you can transfer, say, to a Nook.

You can plug in a cable for the transfer, or have Calibre Email them to you or transfer via Dropbox. I have Calibre Email them from and to my same Email address and then download them from internet on my ebook reader.

On my Android tablet, with Google Play Books installed, the attached books are opened automatically where they can also be read out loud to me. The iPad requires a helper app called Audibook.

In the case of the Nook Simple Touch wireless transfer is challenging. It takes a bit of hacking to convert it to a very limited tablet but with Email and Dropbox and a file manager.

That is not a problem with the Kindle eReader. Calibre will Email  directly to the Kindle.

To get started just go to your browser on your PC or Mac and download Calibre,, the manual, too, and probably Dropbox.

I converted a refurbished Nook SimpleTouch for wireless transfer, long battery life, and ability to read easily even in direct sunlight, as compared with a tablet. The Kindle e-reader does the same without modification.

If you prefer a Nook for its ease of use and easy organization of your library, you might forego wireless.

Both Kindle and Nook e-readers are fine choices, easy on the eyes and pocketbook, easy to carry, and easy to keep charged.

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