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eBooks: Guide to Devices

eBook Formats: What Do All These Letters Mean?

Tablet PCBy UCDS (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0 

What formats do eBooks come in?

HTML, PDF, EPUB, ADE - there are dozens of eBook formats, all vying to be dominant. Some formats can be read on any eReading device, while others are device-specific (think VHS v. DVD, or Xbox v. Ninetendo). You can't play a Wii game on an Xbox One for the same reason you can't read an Amazon formatted eBook on a NOOK. They're just not compatible.

Which formats are offered by the library?

The formats you will encounter in the library's eBook collections are HTML, PDF, and ADE*. ADE, which stands for Adobe Digital Editions, is not really a format (it's DRM software), but it may as well be. Adobe Digital Editions allows you to check out a library eBook, transfer it to a dedicated eReader, and have it behave like an EPUB formatted book. That means you'll be able to adjust the size of the text, bookmark pages, look up words in a dictionary, and whatever else your eReader usually does. And at the end of your checkout period, the book will automatically check itself back in. You don't have to do a thing!

eBook Devices: What Do You Need?

When the term "ebook" was first used, it referred to a static webpage containing the complete text of a book, to be read in a web browser such as Internet Explorer. While html books still exist, the scope of the term "ebook" has grown to include any digital copy of a book.

Ebooks can be read on a variety of different devices, some requiring special software.

Web Browser

HTTP and WWW

  • Uses simple HTML
  • Does not require additional software
  • Useful for reference books
  • examples: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox

Dedicated eReader

eReader

  • Single-purpose, no bells and whistles
  • Borrowed library books must be downloaded using special software and a USB connection
  • Many eReaders use eInk for longer battery life and less eye-strain
  • examples: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, Kobo, Sony, etc.

Tablet/Smartphone

Tablet PC

  • Multi-purpose with apps for various functions, including ereading
  • Many apps available for a single device
  • Apps dictate compatible ebook format
  • examples: Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, LG G2, Nokia Lumia, Motorola Droid, etc.

Desktop/Laptop

Laptop

  • Requires special software, such as Adobe Digital Editions
  • Useful if no portable device is available
  • example: Adobe Digital Editions on an HP desktop

Compatibility Guide: Can I Read This eBook on My ____________?

With a web browser, an Adobe ID, Adobe Digital Editions, Adobe Acrobat, and an eReader app, you can read any eBook in our library on any device. (See links to download in separate box.)

Collection Available Formats

Possible Devices

Web Browser

Dedicated eReader

Tablet/Smartphone Offline Desktop
Credo Reference HTML

Yes.

With an Internet connection

No.

Yes.

In web browser

No.
EBSCO eBook Collection / Book Collection: Nonfiction PDF with Adobe Digital Editions

Yes.

With an Internet connection

Yes.

NOOK, Sony, Kobo: download to Adobe Digital Editions and transfer to eReader using USB

Kindle: create a PDF from Full Text View and use "Send to Kindle"

Detailed instructions here.

Yes.

In your eReader app of choice

Yes.

In Adobe Digital Editions.

ebrary

PDF image, PDF with Adobe Digital Editions

Yes.

With an Internet connection

Yes.

NOOK, Sony, Kobo: download to Adobe Digital Editions for transfer to eReader using USB

Kindle: download book (or chapter) as PDF and use "Send to Kindle"

Detailed instructions here.

Yes.

In your eReader app of choice

Yes.

In Adobe Digital Editions.

Gale Virtual Reference Library HTML, PDF

Yes.

With an Internet connection

Yes.

NOOK, Sony, Kobo: download PDF and transfer with a USB connection

Kindle: download PDF and use "Send to Kindle"

Detailed instructions here.

Yes.

In web browser

Yes.

In Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Springer eBooks PDF

Yes.

With an Internet connection

Yes.

Download PDF and transfer with a USB connection

Yes.

In your eReader app of choice

Yes.

In Adobe Acrobat Reader.