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Which eReader is Right?

A few weeks ago the subject of work came up at a cocktail party. An acquaintance asked what I do for a living, and I told her I manage the RichlandLibrary.com website team. She shared her disappointment with the selection of eBooks available from the library for her kids' Kindles. "I bought them hoping to encourage the kids to read more, but they can't ever find the books they want from the library."

That conversation was of particular interest to me because Kindle is the #2 type of mobile device used to access our website. I started planning this post after that conversation. I was planning to tell you about the lack of availability of Kindle eBooks to libraries. Then, I was planning to encourage you to buy a Nook because eBooks for Nooks are more available.

Then something happened. I took both a Nook Tablet and a Kindle Fire HDX with me on a 10 hour road trip over Thanksgiving.

eBook availability is an issue for libraries. We pay more for them, and publishers do not always want to sell them to us - even at a premium price. Kindle eBooks are even harder for libraries to obtain. We work with two separate eBook download providers (Overdrive and 3M Cloud Library), and only one (Overdrive) provides the Kindle format. Further, most, but not all of our Overdrive eBook collection is available in Kindle.

However, if you already have a relationship with Amazon the process for borrowing a Kindle eBook from the library can be smoother than on a Nook. Don't get me wrong - no matter which eReader you use, the process for downloading a library eBook is clunky and cumbersome. We are working with our eBook download providers to improve this process, but it's not going to happen before you buy that eReader this holiday season.

Here are some of my observations based on my Thanksgiving road trip experience. These are only my personal observations, so spend some time reading the articles I link to at the bottom as well.

  Nook Tablet Kindle Fire HDX
Downloading the app          
Finding a title          
Downloading the eBook     
I couldn't find my ebook on the device after I downloaded - I had to resort to the "Read in the Browser" option
There were lots of steps but at least the book showed on the home screen after it was downloaded
I had to go back to the Overdrive App each time and choose to read from the browser again
Click on the book jacket from the home screen
Using this device     
Heavy(ish), small, seems to take a bit longer to load web pages and apps than the Kindle Fire
The Kindle fire is so light and thin - I could see myself using this everyday as a light duty tablet

I am in no way an eReader expert. Below you will find links to some helpful reviews from expert resources.