When some of us hear the word e-books we cringe, we scream, we cry, we pull at our hair. “No, no, no,” we repeat to anyone who will listen. “That format is not for me! I have no earthly idea how to get an e-book on my device. It is too hard to figure out, especially when I can simply read a paperback or hardback. That trusty opus I can hold in my hands and enjoy as I sit in my favorite chair, sipping a cup of whatever, enjoying my surroundings.”
Does this sound about right? You balk at the idea of using this foreign device and never would have considered it except your kids got together and bought you the latest e-reader for Christmas. Let me say you are not alone. I hear this same story again and again and I was one of you. I had no desire for a tablet, but my mom has bought me two over the past three years. Yes, two! My first e-reader was a Coby Kyros and I had never heard of it. I did not tell my mom this, but I looked at it and thought, “What I am going to do with this?”
Well soon after I received the gift my husband and I traveled to California. I decided it was a good time to put a book on my device and see where it led me. This was around the time Fifty Shades of Grey was gaining in popularity so I bought it. I’ll admit it was a bit of a struggle trying to access their bookstore and purchase something for the first time. I stumbled through the steps and then found out that they only took MasterCard. What? It was very alien, but I succeeded and obtained the book.
Once the book was on my device it was no big deal and I was glad I had done it. It was easy to maneuver, you could make the font bigger or smaller easily, and you could change the screen from daytime to nighttime reading. That feature alone was enough for me. When it was dark in the room and I did not want to disturb anyone I switched to nighttime reading. Somebody is a genius! After I purchased my first book it was faster and easier to do a second time.
In recent years, I have gotten an iPhone which I am quit fond of. When we had the push for e-books at ACPL I obtained the OverDrive app for my phone and got started. Since then I have downloaded several books to my phone. The OverDrive app makes it very simple. Once the app is downloaded, you add your zip code and it automatically brings up the Allen County Public Library. Once you are in our e-book and audiobook catalog you can sign in using your library card and PIN. Then you can search for a book that is the appropriate format for your device and download it. The wonderful thing is the book returns automatically, saving you the hassle of remembering a due date and possibly accruing late fees.
Now this year for Christmas my mom got me a Kindle Fire HD. It is a great device. One of the first things I did was download the Overdrive app to my device and check out a book. The app works the same way on the Kindle as it does on the iPhone except they require different formats: Kindle devices only take Kindle books, my iPhone only takes EPUB e-books. Please do not be overwhelmed!! It gets easier and easier. In fact, it becomes as natural as picking up a paperback.
You just have to get started, and fortunately for you we offer classes at the Allen County Public Library to assist you. The Tecumseh Branch offers Ease into eBooks classes on Thursday nights. The next two are Thursday, January 23 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m. In addition, the Main Library is offering eBook assistance every Saturday from 2-4 pm with Nancy in Art, Music, & Media or Chuck in Business, Science, & Technology. It is walk-in help, so no appointment is necessary. However, if you would like to call Chuck at 421-1215 and leave a message, you can set up an appointment for another time. If you have a device and want to familiarize yourself with it, please give these resources a try. I promise they will give you further information and tips you need to become comfortable using your device.