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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Gift That Keeps on Giving! Tablets and eReaders for Christmas this Year

The Gift That Keeps on Giving!

With Christmas approaching, are you thinking about giving the gift of gadgets?  eReaders (such as the Kobo Touch or Sony WiFi) and tablets (such as Apple or Android tablets) were popular gifts last year, and that trend will probably continue this year. Whether you are thinking about your retired mom, your jet-setting brother or a hard-to-buy-for teen, a gadget that allows access to all the treasures the library has to offer is sure to please!

The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) offers thousands of eBooks for loan on various devices.  Here are some eBook tips from Reference staff at the Kelowna branch:

  • If you are shopping for a device, check that it is compatible with library eBooks.  Visit for a list of compatible devices  
  • Make sure your library card is up to date.   Please visit or phone your local branch to check the status of your card.   Branch location information is available on the ORL website ( )
  • For instructions on how to download eBooks to a particular device, email us at or visit our ‘eResources Help’ page ( on the ORL website

Choosing which eReader or tablet is best for you is a personal decision.  Library staff cannot make specific model recommendations, but they can suggest where to look for consumer/purchasing information.  Contact your local branch for help finding consumer reviews and advice.

When it comes to deciding between an eReader and a tablet, here are some points to consider. 

You may want an eReader if:
  • You will only be reading books (and not magazines or newspapers)
  • You want something lightweight
  • You plan to do a lot of reading in the sun
    • eReaders have less glare than tablets
  • You want longer battery life
    • eReader batteries can last from two weeks to a month, much longer than tablet batteries (which may last only up to a week)
  • You want to save money! ($100-$150 for an eReader versus $200-500 for tablets)

A tablet may be the way to go if:
  • You want to access a variety of applications
  • Digital magazines (the Zinio magazine collection, available via the ORL website)
  • Email
  • Video
  • Games
  • Apps (including different eBook apps)
  • You want a larger screen size

Most electronics stores will have different eReader/tablet models you can test drive.   Some things to look for: 
  • Which device is easiest to navigate?  Which device has the easiest on-screen keyboard to use?  Is one device’s touch screen more responsive than another? 
  • Which device gives you the best options to change the print/font size?
  • Which display screen looks the best?  Do you get too much glare from one screen?  Is another screen too dark?  What options are available to change the screen display?

Any questions?  Email us at, contact your local branch, or call our Kelowna Reference Department at 250-762-2800, Ext. 1416.  

by James Laitinen, Reference Supervisor, Kelowna Branch, Okanagan Regional Library



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