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Old 04-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
entropy
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ereader with good library access?

I am homeschooling my 5-year-old, who is an avid reader. Unfortunately, our local library's junior selection is abysmal, imo (eg the only non-vampire or non-Harry-Potter-esque fiction book I could find was Charlotte's Web).

My ereader is a Sony PRS-350 that I enjoy using daily. I have thought about giving it to my daughter and perhaps buying a T1 or a Kindle for myself.

The other part is that I used to have access to a regional library here in Western Australia that loaned ebooks (my local library lacks this feature). However the regional library revoked distance memberships recently.

So I would like to know which reader I should buy to get the best library access. I would be happy to pay for access to an excellent English-language ereader library selection anywhere in the world.

(The free classics in ebook format would also need to be available to either reader I choose - I know this is true for Sony but not sure if Kindle is able to access these free books? Perhaps with Calibre? Would it be a problem to use the same installation of Calibre with both a Sony and Kindle device?)

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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Hi,

I'm in Western Australia too, and commiserate with you on the lack of library ebooks! For you, perhaps, more than your child: have you checked out http://openlibrary.org/search?sort=new&subject_facet=Lending+library? Most of the worldwide-lendable ebooks are old classics, but there are a few available that are more recent.

I've fiddled quite a lot with Kindle, Kobo Touch and T1 (I have a KT, but I have relatives with Kindle and T1 which I helped set up). They're all good readers, in my opinion - but the Kindle won't read library books unless you've stripped DRM and converted them. These are piece-of-cake tasks once you've set up your DRM stripping (google Apprentice Alf) and set up Calibre to do the conversions. The epubs on openlibrary don't need this process for the T1 and Kobo.

Hopefully our local library system will get its act together soon.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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There are some US libraries that let out of area folks buy access. The Free Library of Philadelphia comes too mind, and they have a decent ebook selection.
http://www.freelibrary.org/registrat...pplication.pdf
Nothing says it's only open to US residents, but I guess you could ask.

The Kindle is now included in the Overdrive system which handles most of the ebook lending here, even without stripping and converting, so your choice of reader probably won't matter in regard to library access. It's not like certain ereaders only work at certain libraries or anything.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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ApK: Ah, I didn't know that they'd finally added the Kindle to US Overdrive systems! Cool. We have no real way of knowing whether they'll do that when/if lending finally spreads in WA, though. Right now the Geraldton ebook lending library (the only decent WA one, as far as I know) doesn't offer Kindle compatibility - it's listed as being US-only. So it very much is the case that only certain ereaders work at certain libraries.

The "Free Library" of Philadelphia costs $35 unless you're a local. Still a good deal, if you can manage to get them to accept an overseas application.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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ApK: Ah, I didn't know that they'd finally added the Kindle to US Overdrive systems!
Only for certain books - the main publishers have refused to allow Overdrive to offer books for Kindle because of concerns over security with Kindles. And as said above, it's not offered outside the US.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #6
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the main publishers have refused to allow Overdrive to offer books for Kindle because of concerns over security with Kindles.
Where have you heard that as a reason? I find it difficult (but not impossible) to believe that publishers are so absolutely clueless as to not know that ADE is every bit as insecure.

To wit, as alluded to earlier, anybody who wants to read ADE library books on their Kindle can do so trivially easily, and has been able to do so for a long while now, after some small amount of Googling and setup.

Last edited by ApK; 04-14-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy View Post
I am homeschooling my 5-year-old, who is an avid reader. Unfortunately, our local library's junior selection is abysmal, imo (eg the only non-vampire or non-Harry-Potter-esque fiction book I could find was Charlotte's Web).

My ereader is a Sony PRS-350 that I enjoy using daily. I have thought about giving it to my daughter and perhaps buying a T1 or a Kindle for myself.

The other part is that I used to have access to a regional library here in Western Australia that loaned ebooks (my local library lacks this feature). However the regional library revoked distance memberships recently.

So I would like to know which reader I should buy to get the best library access. I would be happy to pay for access to an excellent English-language ereader library selection anywhere in the world.

(The free classics in ebook format would also need to be available to either reader I choose - I know this is true for Sony but not sure if Kindle is able to access these free books? Perhaps with Calibre? Would it be a problem to use the same installation of Calibre with both a Sony and Kindle device?)

Thanks for any advice!
The Sony, Kobo or Nook should give you the widest access - all of them seem capable of working with libraries outside the US, and all will handle ePubs. There are lots of free childen's books online - granted, they're all out of copyright so several decades old, but a good story is timeless.

It's a shame the library has revoked the membership - have you tried contacting them to ask them to reconsider and at least allow it for ebooks, even if not physical books? Also, have you tried searching online to see if there are any other Australian libraries that don't have this restriction? Of the 70 or so libraries in the UK, some have similar restrictions and others don't, so it's worth making enquiries. Also maybe try to get together with other parents to put pressure on the library to expand its range of pbooks?
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:00 AM   #8
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a good story is timeless.
But outmoded language will send kids running and screaming to the TV faster than anything. And I can't really blame them. When they have to stop twice per paragraph to ask what some turn-of-the-19th-century idiom means, how can they get involved in the story?

A good contemporary children's library ebook is a rare find.

ApK
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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All the public domain classics are equally available for all e-readers.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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But outmoded language will send kids running and screaming to the TV faster than anything. And I can't really blame them. When they have to stop twice per paragraph to ask what some turn-of-the-19th-century idiom means, how can they get involved in the story?
I personally find 1600 English to be annoying archaic (yes, including the bard), but everything from the late 1600's to present, except for occasional passages meant to reproduce spoken dialect, reads to me as my own present language.

I think the popularity of current fiction, as compared with nineteenth century novels, has more to do with current books mirroring today's values and interests, rather than the language.

One reason I like a lot of nineteenth century novels may be that my taste and values are a little old-fashioned. George Eliot may have been a bohemian in her day, but is just about where I am now.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:22 AM   #11
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I personally find 1600 English to be annoying archaic (yes, including the bard), but everything from the late 1600's to present, except for occasional passages meant to reproduce spoken dialect, reads to me as my own present language.
For me, anything before 1930 might as well be Chaucer.

Speaking of Shakespeare, seeing Romeo+Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio was probably the first time I really understood that story. Maybe it's a matter of context.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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Thank you, meeera, for the recommendation of openlibrary.org
I'll also check and see if the Free Library of Philadelphia will let me join, ApK
And you're right LuvReadin, I should Google again to see what the options are - it's been a year or more since I checked, and maybe other libraries in Australia will grant access.

And thank you, susan_cassidy, for clarifying that all the public domain classics will be available to me no matter what device I choose.

This is the note I got when the regional library cancelled my membership:
_________________________
Dear Virtual Member,

For the past few years, the Geraldton Regional Library has encouraged people who live beyond Geraldton to join as Virtual Members. This type of membership was offered in an effort to promote and provide access to our online databases. With the introduction of downloadable talking books as well as E-Books via Overdrive, requests for virtual memberships have increased dramatically. I am writing to inform you that we can no longer sustain this type of membership due to the fact that by offering this service to people outside the Greater Geraldton authority, we are in breach of our licensing agreement with Overdrive.

Many of you will no doubt be aware that it is possible to download free E-Books from sites such as Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/ or the Australian site
http://gutenberg.net.au/. Please take the time to visit these sites.

The State Library of Western Australia has been investigating the provision of E-Books through Public Libraries in Western Australia. Nothing has been finalised at this stage, but when the service eventually becomes available, all you will need to do is join your local public library to access online resources.

I regret to say that the barcodes you were issued as Virtual Members of Geraldton Regional Library will no longer be operational by Tuesday 17 January.
I would encourage all of you to join your local library, where you will discover a wealth of information along with wonderful customer service.

Kind regards
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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Toronto (Canada) Public Library allows membership for non-residents at a fee of $30 per 3 months. They have a very large assortment of ebooks in overdrive and other collections:
http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/b...nloads-ebooks/
They allow 10 holds and 10 checkouts at a time for 7, 14, or 21 days.

In Canada, Kobo and Sony are the main readers used for epub format, or pdf format library books.

Contact info about registration here:
http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/contact/
I don't know what the terms are for non-residents or exactly how registration is done but I'm sure they will be happy to explain. Good luck!

Last edited by Cdesja5; 04-15-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #14
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Free classics are available here on MobileRead in most of the various formats. Go to this link and click on "html" (next to "full list") in the upper right section. That will give you a list of all 22,000 some books currently available for download. The quality tends to be very good here, often complete with illustrations. Download Calibre (also supported here by the developers) and you can convert free classics from and too whatever format you need.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:17 PM   #15
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A good contemporary children's library ebook is a rare find.

ApK
My library (Brooklyn Public) carries TONS of contemporary children's ebooks, both good (at least 40 different Magic Tree House titles) and bad (at least 15 different Junie B. Jones titles). They have 3,400 children's titles.

So, Entropy, I hope you get access straightened out! What about the Singapore Library? I thought anyone could get access for a fee, but maybe that's over now too.

eP
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