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I’m Ready to Buy an E-Reader … But Which One?


With all the different models of e-readers available, making a choice can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The first thing you need to decide is how you plan to use it. Do you only want to read books? Or would you also like to take pictures, browse the internet, watch videos and download apps? Below, I’ll give a rundown on the most popular e-readers in two categories: e-readers that are strictly for reading books and tablets that do other things. Look at the charts to see which library apps can be used with each model.

Simple E-Readers

E-reader models are that meant exclusively for reading books boast a longer lasting battery and tend to weigh less. Their screens are designed to mimic the texture of paper so they do not strain your eyes after hours of reading. The disadvantage is that on these models the library’s e-books must be checked out through the library’s webpage on a computer or tablet and then downloaded through Wi-Fi or transferred from a computer through a cable. As of this writing, there are 87,348 Kindle titles available through OverDrive and 4,547 titles available in PDF E-book format. Freading offers an additional 441 PDF E-book titles.



Tablets are more like little computers with no detached keyboard. They support every e-book format and audiobooks so you can enjoy the widest selection. The disadvantage is that, like most computer screens, they are uncomfortable to read for extended periods. Many tablets also have a camera, word processing programs, and other features that simple e-reader models do not.

*All prices are the MSRP for the most recent models. In many cases the older models are available at lower prices. More expensive models with additional memory, a bigger screen or 3G capability (which connects the device to the internet everywhere) are also available.

E-reader Tech Support

If you hit a snag while trying to download e-books, check out our e-book support page, where you can find video tutorials and answers to frequently asked questions. If you prefer to talk to somebody in person, a staff member at any OCLS location would also be happy to assist you with your device. You can also “Book a PRO” at the Orlando Public Library downtown through our online appointment system.