Dear Jane: Should I Buy Aluratek Libre eBook Reader (or one of these generic ePub readers)?
I just recently purchased the ALURATEK “LIBRE” EBOOK READER PRO W-how do I download other novels such as Romance Novels, Fantasy, etc and would all the downloads have to be in the e-book format or can I go to an on-line website that offers free reading material and download to my e-reader to read at a later date? I have never used an e-reader before, and don't really understand how it works. Thank you in advance for your assistance, your help/response is greatly appreciated.
This reader and I exchanged several emails. The short answer is the Aluratke “Libre” Ebook Reader Pro accepts DRM’ed and non DRM’ed ePub books. To get books onto that device, you will need to use Adobe Digital Editions. DRM’ed ePub books are a little strange. When you first download a “book” from your etailer, you are actually downloading a file that tells the ebook gods (servers hosting the ebooks) that you are okay to download this ebook. When you double click on “URLLink.acsm”, Adobe Digital Editions should launch and then download the real book. The real book file is stored in your “My Documents/Digital Editions” folder on the PC or “Documents/Digital Editions” on the Mac. Once your book is downloaded through Adobe Digital Editions (i.e., the second download), you can go ahead and delete the URLLink.acsm file.
Sometimes this system fails. Like when the ebook gods are sleeping or angry at you and you double click on the ACSM file a dozen times thinking why hasn’t my frigging ebook downloaded yet only to find out that there was some hiccup and you end up with fifteen copies of your ebook when the ebook gods finally get their act together. Or sometime the ebook gods think that you don’t deserve your book because you haven’t authenticated even when you really have. Which is why the first question you must answer if you are thinking about a generic ePub reader is this:
“How technically literate are you?” If you aren’t, then I recommend returning the generic eReader and getting a low priced Kindle or nook (wi fi only). The hassle you will go through with these generic epub readers will just not be worth the hassle, I promise you. Let me repeat, if you are not technologically literate, if you don’t like tinkering around on your computer, don’t buy a generic ePub reader.
By technically literate, I think you would need to know a) how to download and install a computer program (Adobe Digital Editions); b) how to download and locate files (like URLLink.acsm); c) how to associate a program with a file (some computers mess up and you have to tell your computer what program – Adobe Digital Editions – should open what file – URLLink.acsm); and c) the location of your My Documents folder.
Sometimes Adobe Digital Editions won’t authenticate. Jayne, my blogging partner, has had an authentication problem with ADE forever and there isn’t a live technical person who can help her out.
My second question is “Where do you want to shop?” If you buy a generic ePub reader, you WILL NOT be able to buy ebooks from Amazon or Barnes&Noble unless you know how to strip the DRM off the Kindle and nook books. If you buy a generic ePub reader (or any ePub reader that is not the nook), you will not be able to buy books from Barnes&Noble, even though BN sells ePub books because BN uses a different encryption scheme. Amazon uses an entirely different format (Mobi).
You can shop at the Sony store, Kobo, Borders, and many other retailers who sell ePub but you will have to use the dreaded Adobe Digital Editions.
My last question would be “How important is customer service?” Digital files sometimes means you will need digital help. Even I can’t solve every ebook related problem as much as I would like to (see, for example, my friend Jayne’s ADE authentication problem). Amazon has some of the best Customer Service and so does Kobo. Barnes & Noble for the ebooks is less than great, taking days to get back to you. These generic ePub readers will probably have little to no support help.
Unless the price is so cheap that you just can’t resist the ePub device, I urge you to consider the nook, Kindle, or even Kobo reader. In the end, you’ll be much happier.
If you want to take advantage of the freebies, you need to “purchase” and download them when they are having the specials. You can then read those at a later date. You can download freebies from BN and Amazon onto your computer using their Windows or Mac apps BUT these will not be able to be read on your generic ePub reading device.
Standard novels are not freebies, but cost money just like a paper book, but publishers will have promotional freebies. I.e., download the book for free for the next two weeks.