Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Well not quite, but I must admit a new innovation in our library system has made me quite a bit happier. The library system has brought in Library 2 Go which allows you to sign out ebooks from the library to your ‘Supported Ebook Device’. This can be to a computer or to a mobile device such as iPad, Libre, Nook, Kobo, Sony or to many smartphones such as Android, BlackBerry, iPhone or a windows phone 7.

I use a BlackBerry Torch which is a touch screen but I have also set it up onto a BlackBerry Pearl Flip. The beauty of this is that you can download an ebook from the library onto your smartphone and read it whenever you want. Even if you are in an area where there is no mobile coverage you can still access your ebook as it is stored on your phone.

When you download the ebook you have it stored on your device for 14 days. At the end of 14 days the ebook is automatically returned to the library system. Of course if you finish the ebook prior to the 14 days you can ‘delete and return the book’ earlier. If you have not finished the book prior to your 14 days, then you may be out of luck, however, I have had success in returning the ebook and then resigning it out right away for another 14 days. This works as long as no one has put a ‘hold’ on the book you are viewing as you need to have the book available for downloading again.

Prior to downloading an ebook you do need a few things. One is you need Adobe Digital Edition Account. It is a free and only takes a minute or so to set up your account. You need the account to authorize your ebooks to be downloaded to your device. If you are using a smartphone like BlackBerry then you need to download a free app called ‘OverDrive Media Console’. Once you have the OverDrive Console you open it up on your smartphone and then ‘Add in a Library’. Of course you will need an actual library card number to access your individual library. You can search through and find your local library and then be able to search through the system once you have signed in with your access.

I find it is a bit easier to search for new books by using a computer as the screen is a little easier to use as it is larger than the smartphones and it is easier to use a full keyboard. Once I find a ebook I want to download, I then open up OverDrive on my smartphone and do a search through the smartphone and continue on downloading it that way. The downloads are fast as it normally only takes less than a minute using the 3G network. Using 1X is a little slower but not by much.

Once the ebook is downloaded you can start reading. Individual smartphones utilize different methods of changing pages. On my Torch I can just use my finger to touch the screen and go forward or backwards. On the Pearl Flip you can use the ‘space’ key to go forward or the ‘p’ key to go backwards. You can also use the trackball for this. Either way is fairly convenient.

In my younger days I always used to carry around a pocket novel in my back pocket so when I had a few minutes to spare I could haul out the book and read a bit. Now a days pocket books have gotten so large they just don’t fit in a pocket any longer. I normally have my cell phone with me at all times I’m away from home so it is very convenient say when in a doctor’s office waiting room to pull out the cell and in seconds be reading my ebook.

I’ve found the font on the smartphone are quite readable as well and you can actually increase the size of the font to your liking. Even reading in the dark is no problem as the smartphone has a backlight to highlight the screen. The text is only black and white, but it is sufficient and quite easy to read.

As stated, almost ‘Best Thing Since Sliced Bread’ but not quite . . .

August 27, 2011 Posted by | Computer Information, Computers | Leave a comment