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A How-To Guide
Last Updated: Feb 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Downloadable v. In-Browser eBook Options

HGTC offers 2 kinds of eBooks - downloadable and in-browser.

To read in-browser eBooks you must open them in a Web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome. This means that you can view them on a desktop, a laptop, or any mobile device that has Web browsing capabilities. However, you cannot read them offline, or on an eReader device that does not have a Web browser.

Downloadable eBooks, on the other hand, can be read offline or on an eReader. You will use a Web browser to find the eBooks you wish to read, and to access the file, but once you've downloaded the file, you have options for reading it.

HGTC's downloadable eBook collections can be further divided into those you must download and those for which downloading is optional. eBooks in the Axis 360 Collection must be downloaded. Once downloaded they can be read in the free Blio app, or on eReeaders that support the ePub format (note: Kindle does not support ePub). All titles in the EBSCO eBook Collection (over 68,000 titles) can be read in-browser. About 2/3 of the collection can also be downloaded to read using the free Adobe Digital Editions software, or on most eReaders.


eBook Readers & Formats


eBooks have been around for years, but with the advent of the Kindle and the Nook, they have recently grown tremendously in popularity. In order to read an eBook, you need appropriate software and/or hardware. Many people now have portable eBook Readers, such as the Kindle and Nook mentioned above. eBooks can also be read on most PDAs and smart phones.

However, many collections of eBooks, such as those subscribed to by HGTC library, do not offer an option to download books to these portable readers. In order to read a book in any of the library collections listed to the right, you must use the software that is built into the collection. This means that these books are not portable and must be read at your computer screen.


eBooks found in free online collections can be downloaded to portable readers, but you must know what file format your reader will work with. Much like downloadable music that comes in MP3, AAC, and WAV files, eBooks come in standard file types as well. The most common file type for an eBook is EPUB. This format is the open source standard and can be read by most portable readers. Other file types include AZW (Amazon Kindle), PBD (Sony eBook Reader), and PDF (Adobe Acrobat Reader), among others. When downloading an eBook for use on a portable reader, make sure you are downloading the appropriate file type.

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