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Digital Books Show & Tell   Tags: books, digital, learning, reading, technology  

Interested in reading electronic books? Find out the latest information on devices, formats, sources of books, Library services, and news from the world of digital reading.
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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More Sources of Digital Books

  • Northern California Digital Library
    You can check-out eBooks and audio books through the Monterey Public Library from the Northern Californian Digital Library.
  • Enki Library
    Enki Library includes 40,000+ ebooks about technology, romance, fiction, self-help, romance, mysteries, biographies and classics.
  • Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg offers over 33,000 free books and supports most eReader devices.
  • Librivox
    Librivox has free audio books from the public domain that come in either .mp3 or .ogg formats.
  • Audible
    Audible offers audio books that can be played on any mp3 player.
  • World Public Library
    The World Public Library allows unlimited viewing of their 750,000+ library of books for a low yearly fee.
  • Google eBookstore
    Includes Google's collection of scanned texts from libraries as well as recent titles. Right now books are available for computers, iOS, Android, Nook, and Sony devices
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Full text from the following reference books: Arts and Humanities Through the Eras; College Blue Book; Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans; Grzimek's Student Animal Life Resource; Bowling, Beatniks and Bell-Bottoms: Pop-culture of 20th Century America; West's Encyclopedia of American Law; Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures; Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Holidays; Folklore, an Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art; Genocide, a Reference Handbook; Substance Abuse, a Reference Handbook, and Gale Encyclopedia of Science.

Even More Sources of Digital Books

list by Christopher Rumbaugh

    Information About eReader Devices


    Training & Programs

    Ebook Help Appointments:

    Want to learn about the free ebooks available from the library? Need help getting started? Our technology volunteer will be available for training! Bring your device and we'll get you reading ebooks in no time! Reserve a time slot (6:30, 6:50, or 7:10) by asking at the Help Desk or calling 646-3933. 

    2/23/2015, 3/23/2015, 4/27/2015, 5/18/2015,6/22/2015, 7/20/2015, 8/17/2015, 9/14/2015, 9/21/2015, 10/19/2015, 11/16/2015, 12/21/2015

    Ebooks Demystified!

    Come learn about ebook basics! We'll cover what ebooks are and how to use free library ebooks from digital libraries. We'll talk about what devices you can use for ebooks and some of the best ways to get started. Afterward we'll answer questions and provide some one-on-one assistance. Presented by Library Technology Volunteer Steven Rubin. No reservations required. Need more info? Contact 831.646.2093 or

    02/09/2015; 03/09/2015; 04/13/2015; 05/11/2015; 06/08/2015;07/13/2015; 08/10/2015; 10/12/2015; 11/09/2015; 12/28/2015


    eReader News

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    Digital Books Show & Tell

    This is a guide to digital books. It includes information about popular eReader models, how to borrow digital books from the Library, and information about other sources of eBooks. If you do not find the answers you're looking for, please contact us!


    Get Free eBooks From Your Library

    How-to video from CNET on using your Library to get free eBooks. See their accompanying article on choosing an eBook Reader


    Get Library Books for Kindle


    Digital Downloads from Monterey Public Library

    Check out some Library eBooks from the Northern California Digital Library


    What works with what?
    The chart below shows popular devices and what types of eBooks from the Northern California Digital Library they are compatible with. Click on the picture to download the full-size version
    eBook Compatibility Chart


    Popular eReader Models


    The Apple iPad is more than just an eReader. It can surf the web and run any app in the Applestore. It can also play digital audio books from the Northern California Digital Library

    Where to buy and more info:


    The Amazon Kindle has the longest battery life of any eReader, and has the E Ink screen that allows for sharper images and reading in sunlight.

    Where to buy and more info:


    The Barnes & Noble Nook has access to the huge Barnes & Noble eBook library and allows you to lend your eBooks to a friend. The Nook can also play MP3 audiobooks from the Northern California Digital Library

    Where to buy and more info:

    Sony Reader

    The Sony Reader supports many different file formats and is compatiable with both PC and Mac. The Reader can also play MP3 audiobooks from the Northern California Digital Library

    Where to buy and more info:

    Other eReaders

    There are a number of other devices that can be used to read digital books. These include desktop and notebook computers, cell phones, and tablets. There are new devices being released every month. Overdrive provides a good tool to see devices and measure their compatibility with our source of digital books (both audio and text).

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      Popular Audiobook Players

      There are many more devices to play digital audiobooks than to read eBooks at the time this guide was created. Most MP3 players and many smartphones are capable of playing digital audiobooks borrowed from the Northern California Digital Library


      By far the most popular MP3 player out there. The iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad can download MP3 audiobooks directly through the Overdrive app. MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) audiobooks can be transfered to any iOS device when downloaded to a computer running a Windows operating system (Apple computers can only download MP3 formats at this time).

      Windows Enabled Phones, Blackberry (Pearl & Curve), & Droids (Motorolla, LG, & HTC)

      Most of these smartphones can play MP3 files and can read ePub texts. Some of the Windows smartphones can also play WMA (Windows Media Audio) audiobooks.

      Coby, Creative, Sansa, Walkman, & Zune Players

      These iPod competitors can play MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) files when synced on a Windows computer.


      Other Media Players

      There are many other devices that will play digital audiobooks. See a complete list of those that are compatible with the Northern California Digital Library 


      eBook File Formats

      What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

      Digital Text Formats

      • epub
        An open e-book standard created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It features reflowable text, inline images and the ability to use Digital Rights Management (DRM) such as Adobe Digital Editions.
      • azw
        Amazon's propietary DRM restricted format.
      • pdf
        A document sharing format created in the early 90s. It is best for highly formatted content and has the ability to use Digital Rights Management (DRM) such as Adobe Digital Editions.
      • mobi
        A format primarily designed for PDAs and older mobile devices. Also used on the Kindle.
      • lrf
        LRF, LRS, LRX are Sony's proprietary formats. They have been superseded by Sony's acceptance of epub as the default format in their ebook store.

      list by Christopher Rumbaugh


      Digital Audio Formats

      • wma
        The popular Windows Media Audio format owned by Microsoft. Designed with Digital Rights Management (DRM) abilities for copy protection.
      • mp3
        The most popular format for digital music. By eliminating portions of the file that are less audible, mp3 files are compressed to roughly one-tenth the size of an equivalent file.
      • mp4
        A proprietary format with Digital Rights Management developed by Apple for use in music downloaded from their iTunes Music Store.
      • ogg
        a free, open source container format supporting a variety of codecs. Offers compression similar to MP3 but is less popular.

      • wav
        A standard audio file container format used mainly in Windows PCs. Commonly used for storing uncompressed, CD-quality sound files, which means that they can be large in size—around 10 MB per minute.
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