What happens to library books checked out on your ereader

When you check out a library book on your ereader, like my Kobo, they expire after two weeks. It makes sense, otherwise the library would be giving away books. But I have to admit that it took me by surprise the first time it happened. I had checked out several books, and when I went back to read one, it was gone. When I was a kid, you got charged a dime a day for overdue books, but that was as bad as it got. Now, if you don't keep an eye on the calendar, you could settle down to read that last chapter and find that the book is gone.

Of course, you could go back and check it out again, but it may not be available. The only solution is to buy the ebook, and then remind yourself to read your library books a little faster. Or, don't be so greedy and check out so many at the same time, which is what I did! Or, if it wasn't really a book that you were all that interested in, maybe it's just as well.

I've been a big user of libraries for all of my life. I know that I have read so many books in my lifetime that if I owned them all, I'd have no room for anything else in my house. I've often said that my books are stored at the library, and other people are welcome to read them when I don't have them. And libraries have rules, like, you have to whisper when you are in one. And you have to return the books

How to organize your books on your Kobo ereader

One of the very best things about an ereader, like my Kobo, is that is stores LOTS of books. If you get bored reading one, you can easily switch to another. And the Kobo comes preloaded with 200 more books. Many people, including me, thought that the number of books would be a problem and wanted to know how to delete them. There is no reason for this. And there is an easy way to organize the books that you are reading without having to plow through the huge library. It's the Kobo's "I'm Reading" area.

As soon as you have download a book to your Kobo, start reading a page or two. That will place it on top of your "I'm Reading" list, which is the first screen that opens on your Kobo. When you are finished reading a book, and would like it to be handy, start it from the beginning again. Your Kobo will say, "1% read" and it will keep it close to the top of the list.

There is no reason to go out of the "I'm Reading" area on your Kobo, unless you want to look around at the pre-loaded books, in the "Books, By Title". If you like one, open it up and read a page or two, and it will go into your "I'm Reading" screen.

Right now I'm reading "The River of Doubt" by Candice Millard.

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me. Paypal accepted, morning appointments only.

How to keep your ereader charged without using your computer

As you know, ereaders don't use much power. Unlike an iPad, an iPod, or a cell phone, they don't use power to display the screen, they only use power to turn pages, which is very little. But they do lose their charge, and when they do, it's kind of strange. The display still works, of course, but the pages no longer turn. I found this out not long after getting my Kobo and letting it sit around for a few days.

But plugging it into the USB port of my computer is a hassle. What I really wanted was to keep it on my nightstand, ready to go, just like my iPod. No, an ereader doesn't need to be plugged in every night, but for me, it's a "no brainer" to do so. The really, really good news is that you can buy an ordinary USB charger for cheap and it works fine. I plugged in mine behind the nightstand and "threaded" the wire up. And I put my reading glasses on top, as you can see. You don't need to turn the Kobo on and off, just plug it in, and when you want to read, unplug it, and push the big blue button. I can do that!

I have lots of books on my Kobo right now, so I don't need to sync it to Adobe Digital Editions. It just needs a little power. With this trick, it always has it! As you can see, I am well into "The Mysterious Island", one of my all-time favorite books, which I downloaded for me.

My post on how to How to download free epub books to your ereader is here.

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me. As of the writing of this post, October, 28, 2010, my rate is $95 per hour with a three-hour minimum in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area (within 25 miles of Glendale 85302). The deposit is $140, which guarantees your appointment on my calendar. Yes, I will also do a training session on setting up your blog on Google Blogger. Paypal accepted, morning appointments only.

Managing your ebooks in Adobe Digital Editions

Ereaders that support epub files, like the Kobo, allow you to use downloaded books, including lots of free books from Google. No, this doesn't work with a Kindle, which doesn't support epubs.

I use Adobe Digital Editions to manage my epub ebooks. It is free software from Adobe. It requires an Adobe ID to get and it means that the books you download, or buy, are on your computer, not just on your ereader. Call me old-fashioned, I like this.

I started reading books on my old palm pilot many years ago and have only had the Kobo for a few months, but I really like it. I love the idea of having lots of books stored and at my fingertips. I'm not crazy about being obligated to buy them from a particular vendor, so I really like the idea of the epub file format. You can also read epub files on Apple iPads, Androids, Nooks and a Sony Readers.

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me.

How to download free epub books to your ereader

There are now thousands of complete books that have been scanned in by the nice people at Google. These books are in public domain, such as "The Mysterious Island", and can be downloaded for free. The file format that works best is called "epub".

To do this, you will need an ereader, like my Kobo, that accepts epubs. Kindles won't work here, they don't accept epubs. This is actually part of the reason that I got a Kobo. This will also work for an Apple iPad, an Android, a Nook and a Sony Reader.
Select books when searching in Google

Select Advanced search
Go to Google and select "books". From the next screen, select "advanced search". To limit the search to only complete books, that is, those in public domain, select "Full view only" when you do the search. Here in the example I am searching for "The Mysterious Island".

Select Full view only
When you get to the page for the book you want to download, select "epub". This is the format that my Kobo likes. It works so much better than the old "pdf". Epub files allow an ereader to do all the cool things that they can do, such as resize and reflow the text, even display the illustrations.

Download EPUB

Once you have your book, just manage it normally through Adobe Digital Editions, sync it to your Kobo, and enjoy! Excuse me, I'm going back to The Mysterious Island now!

The post on how to manage your ebooks in Adobe Digital Editions is here.

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me.

How an ereader screen is different from other screens

An reader, such as a Kindle, a Kobo, or a Sony Ereader, uses a technology to display the text on the screen without a light. Other devices, such as an iPad, a cell phone, your computer, etc. use a lighted display.

The difference is this -  ereaders need light shone on them (like a real book) whereas the other devices have an internal light. I refuse to use the technical terms so I am going to refer to one as "etch-a-sketch" and the other as "Christmas lights".

With a "Christmas Light" device, you can read in the dark. The computer you are reading this on right now is a "Christmas Light" device. So is your iPhone, your iPad, your Android, well, everything except ereaders.

The display on an ereader, like my Kobo, does not light up. To read it, you have to hold it under a light the same way you do with a real paper book. The screen operates kind of like an etch-a-sketch, but in a much more sophisticated way. The image you see on the screen isn't made up of pixels of light, it's made of tiny pieces of metal that are electrically charged. So, the only electricity that an ereader needs is to turn pages.

The "etch-a-sketch" screen (which, to be fair, is called "e-ink") is much easier for human eyes to look at for long periods of time than the "Christmas Light" screen (which is LED, or LCD or lots of other things). Right now it only works in black-and-white, but color is on it's way. This is an exciting time for this new technology. It looks pretty cool now, but in the future it will be like black-and-white TVs, pretty primitive.

As you can tell, I like cutting-edge technology, and especially if it works for me. If you would like to learn Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Dreamweaver, please contact me. I do personal on-site training sessions in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area.

Riding the wave of technology on the Kobo

I have been fortunate in that I have always enjoyed "riding the wave" of technology. My career in graphic design started in the 1980s, when the Apple Computer was invented, and "desktop publishing". Many designers at that time were drowned in the wave. I grabbed my surfboard and shouted, "Kowabunga!" and rode the wave to success in my field and later success teaching and training.

My enthusiasm for technology continues to this day. Right now I am in the process of going digital with my books. I've done this before, using pdf files and palm pilots, but the technology wasn't really ready. It is now! The brand-new Kobo ereader is great! It was released yesterday (June 17, 2010) and I pre-ordered mine and it arrived yesterday. I've already filled it up with epubs. And I am loving it!

All my life I've heard people grumbling about "the new technology". I'm sure if I had been around during the invention of the car, I would have been like "Mr. Toad" of "Wind in the Willows"! Zoom-zoom!


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