Struggling with E-Books

A Picture of a eBook

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Having just got a Android smartphone (Droid 1), I was really excited to start reading e-books. While my phone is not the first device you might think of for reading e-books, it is the one I have, and I’m pleased to say that it most certainly is possible. I started using the Kindle for Droid app, and it is so easy. You can buy books or even upload some free books (but be forewarned, there is a charge to wirelessly upload them) directly from your phone. There are other ereaders as well, like Aldiko, but I honestly have not figured out how to get new and current books that I will pay for on it.

What I did find out when I tried to use my Royal Oak Public Library card to download digital content is that the process isn’t so easy or intuitive.  A number of SE Michigan libraries share a portal to download both e-books and audiobook content. I thought, “Great! New e-books!” E-books are checked out to you for a limited time, say two weeks. Even so, the format used for e-books here is Adobe Digital Editions. I have found no way to read these on my phone, I can only download the software to my computer and read them sitting at my desktop. There is another format in the library collection that allows you to read books on a mobile device, the Mobipocket Reader, but as far as I can tell, it doesn’t support Android phones. 😦

Here at Lawrence Tech Library, we also have e-books, but those too may only be viewed on a computer. I suppose in theory you could try to read them on a phone, but I don’t think the web ereader is optimized for mobile use. You also cannot download them. While they do have the convenience of being accessible off-campus, they do have some limitations.

In the end, I decided to buy A Clash of Kings ($6.29+free wireless upload), even though I already have the paper version.  At 1000+ pages, the kindle version is more portable, and I really want to finish it, so I thought I’d have more success if I had more options. I want to finish it before HBO’s Game of Thrones series comes out.

Do you like to read e-books? Do you read e-books on your phone? Have you had any success or struggles with e-book technology? Let us know in the comments below.

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