Online Books: need recommendations for best readers

Tiger Lily

Looking up! Luke 21:28
I have started reading some library books online, but reading on my desktop computer screen is a little hard on my eyes and is not as comfortable as being able to change chairs. I'm considering buying a tablet or Kindle or something like that, but I know very little about them.

Public-library access is my biggest need. Six-inch screens sound too small. I want something easy to use, easy to load and easy on my eyes. It need not be fancy (although it would be a nice bonus if it had a built-in dictionary and could also support Word documents). I am okay with having to download with a USB cable (if it's easy to do), especially if I can get something that won't be putting out toxic Wi Fi emissions. I do know not to get one with "special offer" ads.

Any recommendations?


Well-Known Member
First check with your library what their downloaded books come in, because formats at least here in BC can vary. The library near me uses a non Kindle format, and getting library books onto my kindle is difficult. I use a kindle because I prefer the greater number of books I can buy on it rather than the other format thru Chapters Canada online. That said, maybe people with Kindles elsewhere don't have difficulty with public libraries.

I use a "paperwhite" kindle which uses a black and white screen with a grey scale using liquid crystal display that is easier on the eyes, more like reading paper. It doesn't flicker like a backlit one does (be careful, kindle sells those, and if the screen lights up be aware that the flicker is there)

I turn my wifi off to save the battery, and I suppose it isn't using wifi then. I know I can download using the USB cable hooked up to the main computer but I don't always.

Hope that helps Tiger Lily!


Well-Known Member
I have a kindle paperwhite and I love it. I carry it with me constantly. Allows me to read while standing in line, at drive thrus, while waiting for people (not at red lights). Anyway, very useful. It does have that 6 inch screen, but you can increase the font size. It has a built in dictionary but I'm not sure about the Word documents. A bigger screen would be nice. When they come out with one, maybe I'll buy it. Books are usually cheaper by a couple dollars. Maps are problematic and photographs are somewhat iffy. For research, where I'm moving from front to back (like a Bible), I find a physical book best. For outright reading, a novel or just text, Kindle's hard to beat.

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
I read library books fairly exclusively and have needed to use 4 different apps to access the ebooks I borrow. The most common is via Hoopla, then Kindle, then RBdigital, and then Nook, at least in the case of my library. I started out using a 7" Samsung tablet but at some point I switched to using my phone just because it is lighter to hold, which is a big plus. I got used to reading on that size screen which on my Samsung S9 is about 5.8" diagonal, if I'm not mistaken. I've always got my phone with me, so I don't have to carry the tablet around with me now...

Unless Kindle readers can also accept other popular reading apps, I'd recommend getting something with android that can download from the Google play store.
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Momma D

Well-Known Member
I have both the kindle fire and paper white from about 4-5 years ago. I started having occasional problems with both a few months ago. Nothing a quick restart didn't fix.
I like them both...the paper white for reading anywhere, and the fire for word games indoors. The glare on the fire doesn't lend itself for outdoors.
That said, I did get a new kindle e-reader on prime day because it was a great deal.
All of my kindles are 6" screens, though the new one seems bigger because the bezel is smaller. The page turn is much quicker on the new one, and it reads almost as well as the paper white.
It also is a bit smaller, and fits in my hand and in my purse with ease.
My son uses it to get library books for his daughter, with no problems.
I get the ads to save the few dollars, but all they consist of on the e-reader is a book recommendation when it wakes up. Found a few good books that way!


Well-Known Member
I love my Paperwhite! I have thousands of books now, most of them free but some were 99 cents to 2.99 that I get through or I probably have more books now than I can read in my lifetime and I get a few more each week. I tend to download the books I’m sure I want to read directly on my kindle and the others I store directly on my Amazon cloud for perusal later.


Well-Known Member
I use my Paperwhite a lot. It is 5 years old and still holds a charge for weeks. My beach companion. I turn the wifi off unless I want to highlight and save or email a highlighted area. I use a program called Ultimate Epubsoft DRM removal to convert Kindle to any of the popular ebook formats and PDF when my book is DRM controlled. PDF is useful to send select small portions to send in emails regarding the subject at hand. My wife has a Kobo. Works fine too.
Some additional info on formats:
The "AZW" format is used for e-books that you buy at Amazon's Kindle Store. It is the preferred format to ensure maximum readability on the device. The format is proprietary and is actually a variant of the MOBI format, originally created by French company Mobipocket. Amazon purchased Mobipocket and adapted the format for use on the Kindle.

Other Native Formats
The Kindle can display some other e-book formats natively, which means these files can be loaded directly onto the device and read in the same manner as an AZW file. MOBI files and PRC files (a format used on the Palm) can be read if they do not contain Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection. DRM typically limits a book to a single reading device. In addition, the Kindle can handle plain text files (TXT) and Adobe's PDF format, although not all PDFs display well on the Kindle.
Available Through Conversion
Conversion typically involves sending a file to your Kindle email address. Amazon says it can convert HTML, DOC (a Microsoft Word file) and the graphic file formats JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP. Some people are now using the Kindle to read scanned manga comics; a program called Mangle allows you to convert manga if scanned to one of the graphic file formats supported on the Kindle.

I can verify that my Kindle does not work well with most PDF files.


Well-Known Member
I have Kindle app on my computer, it is very handy. I have recently bought the Kindle Paperwhite, it is wonderful. Oasis would have been my choice but price in NZ is astronomical.