Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet & The Public Library

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who received a new tablet or e-reader for Christmas this year, or are planning to buy one at the after Christmas sales, here’s a little info that may be of help.

Regarding Amazon’s Kindle Fire there have been complaints about how it operates but Amazon has been quick to respond and have released software updates that are available for download. Even with the complaints I’ve heard many good things about it. That Amazon was so quick to respond only says they are serious about being in the game and staying a contender.

The only complaint or issue I’m aware of regarding Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet concerns restrictions placed on the use of on-board memory. The Nook comes with 16GB of RAM memory but only 1GB is permitted to be used for non-Barnes & Noble purchases. That means if you’re planning on storing much music, photos and/or videos you may find it necessary to buy a memory card for the SD slot. You can add up to 32GB of extra RAM. There are no restrictions regarding what you store on that card. After the warranty has expired the tablet can be altered to make use of the original 16GB as you see fit.

There are any number of websites that have done comparison studies of the two tablets. Here is a link to PC World magazine’s comparative review.

After I purchased a Toshiba Thrive tablet I learned the county library had e-books which could be downloaded for free. Like any library book there are limited copies, time limits, and waiting list to deal with. You’ll also need to know your library card number and your PIN number.

Armed with your ID info go to the SOE Library Consortium website and browse or search for those titles, authors or subjects you’re interested in. You are limited to 10 items and once you’ve made your choice you’ll be required to log-in. When asked what library you are with choose SOE Library Consortium from the drop-down list. Then you’ll be asked for your personal ID info.

You will need to have installed on your tablet software for reading Kindle E-Books. This is free from Amazon and is available in versions for smart phones, tablets, iPads, and PCs (desktop & laptops).

As you browse you’ll notice that each item tells how many copies are available and if they are available for immediate download. If not, you’ll need to click the button that places you on the waiting list. Regardless, you’ll be led through a series of pages and just do what each requests. I don’t claim to understand it all (I’ve only done it once so far) but I picked a book that was available in the Kindle format and my example is based on that decision.

The book I picked wasn’t immediately available so I was placed on a waiting list. Several days later I received an email telling me it was available for download and that I had three-days to do so. I clicked on the link in the email and was taken to Amazon’s website where I clicked on a checkout button. When I opened up the Kindle software program on my tablet it automatically went to Amazon’s site and “synced” my tablet with it, found the book I had checked out, and offered me the opportunity to download it.

Once it was downloaded to my tablet I could open the book and begin to read. I am permitted two-weeks to read the book and I believe it can be renewed online. When the allotted time has expired you don’t to take it back, it just automatically disappears.

In addition to current books and music there are untold thousands of books that are in the public domain and available for free. Many of these may be downloaded from Amazon’s Free Collections and read with the Kindle software on your tablet, smart phone or PC. Free and low-cost books are also available from a number of other sources including Google, The Gutenberg Project, Barnes & Noble, and many more.

I’m new to this and only have a few answers. But if you’re even newer and this helps you out, my good deed is done!

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13 thoughts on “Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet & The Public Library”

  1. Larry, I have both a Kindle Fire and a Kindle and love them both. I also subscribe to Pixel of Ink, a website that sends me emails daily about free and very cheap books that are featured on the Amazon website. I have downloaded more than 100 books free from Amazon and it keeps me reading. I love the Kindle Fire, because I can read the same items on it as are on my Kindle, because the Amazon Kindle Cloud stores all your purchases (and free items) so you can see them on either device. I have subscriptions on the Fire and play games on it. It does so much. There’s also a book called Kindle Fire For Dummies – I read it and learned a lot more to do with my Fire. Happy reading!

  2. Hoping you can address this: I have both an Android phone and a Kindle Fire. Both run the Overdrive Media Console app. When I go to SEO in Overdrive on my Android, and click the “Browse” button, I have an option to see “All Kindle Book Titles.” When I do the same think using the Kindle Fire, the option to see Kindle Books is not there. I could understand it if it was the other way around, but since SEO/Overdrive is **supposed to** give you selections based on your device, why won’t it recognize I am on a Kindle and give me that option? (The only thing I can think of is that I have a Kindle app on my phone, and it recognizes the app, but I don’t have the app on the Kindle — because it’s the real thing — and the recognition is tied to the app. Does this make any sense and is there a fix, because I can’t seem to find a “Kindle App” for my Kindle). A very frustrating problem…

  3. The Ohio E-Book Project on that same SEO library link you provided (lower left of page) will give you the opportunity to get an additional 10 items from the library, bringing the total to 20. Also, you can often change the default return from 7, 14, or 21 days. Download through the library was initially daunting, but I have managed to overcome it. I use a now-not-available Kindle 3G wireless purchased refurbished this summer. It is very new to libraries, available only since October or so. The SEO help is usually pretty prompt, too, if one can’t figure it out. No two are going to be the same – that would be too easy!

    1. Excellent input, Linda. Are there any errors in what I posted about using SEO? I tried getting a public domain book from Amazon last night but failed. Back to the drawing board with that. I think this is going to be an on-going project! 🙂

      1. You’re right. People should also be aware the will need the “Overdrive Media Console” downloadable program available on the SEO site before getting the downloads. It’s free on the ebook site, and is mandatory to receive the library materials. If I can do this, anyone can. You know how “technically challenged” I am!

  4. My grandkids got me the Nook Color for Christmas and I have to admit, I know nothing about it. One of the other kids got the Kindle Fire and we were playing around with them both trying to figure out which one is the best for what we are using them for, then I came home and found this post. I have downloaded many books on my Iphone via Kindle App through Amazon, but have NO experience with Barnes & Noble, so was wonder what your actual recommendations would be. My daughter told me I could exchange it for the Kindle Fire or if I would rather have the Ipad, she would get that instead, but I feel the Ipad is a lot more money for not so much more of what you get….Any suggestions?

    1. My main question would be, will Kindle’s reader application work on the Nook? I did a quick search and didn’t find an answer that I completely understand. But, I don’t think it will. As I understand things both the Fire and the Nook use operating software that is proprietary. The two tablets I have the most experience with both used Google’s Android 3.1 which is not proprietary. Therefore, they seem to work with most anything. At least I haven’t found anything that won’t work with my Toshiba Thrive. I think I could be happy with either but I’m not sure you could take full advantage of the county’s library offerings with the Nook. Someone with more experience will have to address that. I did talk to a couple of librarians but they weren’t personally knowledgeable about e-books.

      By the way, I decided on the Toshiba because I don’t like being tied to proprietary anything. I want to make my own decisions as much as possible. Also, the Toshiba, which cost more, is the only tablet currently on the market that has full size SD, USB and HDMI ports (no adapters required), and permits the back to be removed and the battery to be replaced by the owner at a much less expense. That it accepts full size SD memory cards also doesn’t limit the size of the external RAM to just 32GB. That means more data can be stored. It also has a 10″ rather than a 7″ screen and my eyes like that. Hope this helps.

    2. Personally have the iPad and love it, however if you are just looking for something as a browser/e-reader, you are right, it is way overpriced. I myself have found that it has virtually eliminated my use of a PC or Laptop. There are very few items in which I go to them for now short of when I am at work.

      1. The thing about the Ipad is, it is a mirror image of the Iphone, but bigger and no phone! (If you have the phone, do you need the Ipad)? My friend got it so it would be smaller, and lighter than her laptop, to take on vacation. She plays games constantly on her laptop, and I told her she would NOT like the Ipad and guess what, she hates it. The reason, no Flash or Java. Also, like the Mac Books, it is an Apple product and there are a lot of things that are not compatible with Microsoft software that so many are using today, so some e-mails with downloads, cannot be seen on an Apple product. I have another friend that I send e-mails to that always sends me back a comment when I send him something with an attachment, like, remember I have the Mac Book, cannot get your attachments… The games on AOL, etc. use Java and Flash..It is my understanding that the Ipad uses the Safari browser only, like the Iphone, and the only games you can get are the one that have Apps….If I am wrong on the browser, let me know, because, like using Facebook with the Iphone, it is so not compatible like a regular PC using Chrome or Firefox, etc. You can only use what is set up on the Facebook App….You can’t even de-friend someone via the Iphone Facebook App…..

        1. The only thing I’ve found that doesn’t work is the flash sites. Items such as word, exel, etc are compatible with the apple version programs that are downloadable on here. The email thing is a user error in their settings. Have yet to get an email that is unreadable on it.

          1. Rebecca, your problems with Apple are exactly same as mine. I despise having to do things according to Steve Jobs’ version of what is good. I have the Toshiba Thrive and use it mainly as a browser and e-reader, as Nate stated. I would not want it in place of a PC or laptop since I do a lot of writing and need a real keyboard and mouse. The tablet is great for reading and checking out FB, email, etc. Whatever doesn’t require much more than short notes. I have an iPhone 4 and I’m satisfied with it. But, I’d feel better if I owned a good Android instead. There’s a whole story as to why I own the iPod. Maybe one day I’ll tell it.

    1. My granddaughter got one from Santa but grandpa hasn’t had his turn with it yet. I have experienced the Nook Tablet and it’s pretty cool. The RAM deal isn’t a big thing to me, I use my tablet more like a computer than anything else anyway. I just want a good browser and my Toshiba uses Chrome which is my favorite.

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