Device Advice

Deciding between an eReader or tablet

Tablets and eReaders can be a gift that keeps on giving when you have a library card!  The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) offers its members thousands of FREE eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eMovies to enjoy.

Choosing which eReader or tablet is best for you is a personal decision. While library staff cannot make specific model recommendations, they can suggest where to look for consumer and purchasing information, review and advice.

When it comes to deciding between an eReader and a tablet, here are some points to consider... 

You may want an eReader if:

  • You want something that can be used primarily for reading eBooks
  • You want something lightweight
  • You plan to do a lot of reading in the sun; eReaders have less glare than tablets
  • You want longer battery life. eReader batteries can last from two weeks to a month, much longer than tablet batteries (which may last only up to a week).
  • You want to save money! ($100-$150 for an eReader versus $200-500 for tablets).

Getting an eReader?

With an eReader, you will be able to enjoy eBooks from the ORL eBooks collection.

Some other things you will need to get started with the ORL eBooks collection include a computer or laptop, and an internet connection.

Kobo eReaders

With newer Kobos (e.g., Elipsa, Sage, Libra 2, Clara 2E, or Nia), you can borrow most eBooks from the library right on the Kobo eReader itself using a Wi-Fi connection. There may be some library eBooks that need to be borrowed and downloaded from the ORL eBooks collection onto a computer and put onto the Kobo eReader using Adobe Digital Editions.

Other eReaders

While many eReaders have Wi-Fi capabilities that let you access the internet and download purchased eBooks through their online stores, you will need to download the free Adobe Digital Editions software program to your computer, which is used to transfer eBooks downloaded from the library onto your computer to your eReader. This is due to limitations that publishers have set on how library eBooks files are managed. 

Kindle eReaders

Kindle eReaders (e.g. Paperwhite, Oasis) are not compatible with borrowing public library eBooks.


A tablet may be the way to go if you want to enjoy

  • eBooks
  • eAudiobooks
  • eMagazines
  • Email and Internet browsing
  • Video
  • Apps and Games
  • You want a larger screen size

Getting a tablet?

With a tablet, you can enjoy more of the library's online collections besides eBooks – you can directly download or stream (i.e., play the content on your internet browser) eAudiobook, eMagazines, and eMovies to the tablet over a wireless internet connection.

Most popular tablets that are running current software can work with most or all ORL digital collections! In general, these include iPads, Android tablets, & Amazon Fire tablets. 


Many electronics stores will have different eReader or tablet models you can test drive. 

Some things to look for: 

  • Which device is easiest to navigate?  Which device has the easiest on-screen keyboard to use?  Is one device’s touch screen more responsive than another? 
  • Which device gives you the best options to change the font size?
  • Which display screen looks the best?  Do you get too much glare from one screen?  Is another screen too dark?  What options are available to change the screen display?
  • Is the device easy for you to hold?


Other things you need to have on hand to ensure you can get started with enjoying the library collections on your tablet or eReader

  • Make sure your library card is in good standing. You will not be able to check-out digital books if your card is expired. Call your library branch to renew an expired card. Log in to your library account in the catalogue to check the status of your card.
  • Do you know your PIN code? A library card barcode number and a PIN code are required to search or download content from most of our eResources.  You can reset your PIN code if your email address had been associated with your library account.
  • Do you have an email address?  You will need an email address to use most digital collections. In addition to the library card, the email address is used to create an account for a particular collection, in order to download digital books or other media from it. The account is used as a component of Digital Rights Management (DRM), which publishers use as a way to secure digital files, like an eBook, so that there is control over who can open, read or play the digital file, and how the digital file can be transferred or opened on multiple devices.

Any questions?  Email us at or call us at 1-844-649-8127.