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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

E-Readers

A guide on how to access and transfer Library resources to your device.

Introduction to E-Ink Devices

e-Ink readers are meant to simulate traditional reading by rendering text as either black or white.* The "big three" e-ink device makers in the United States are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony. While there are many other devices on the market, these are the three most popular devices available.

Pros of E-Ink Readers

  • Easy on the eyes reading
  • Glare free. e-ink readers have a matte display.
  • Great battery life.

Cons of E-Ink Readers

  • E-Ink displays are not back-lit which means that like paper materials you will need a light source to read off of an e-ink devices.
  • Displays only in gray-scale.*
  • Only meant to display text. Images are often low resolution or small.

*A color e-ink display has been developed but has yet to be incorporated into many products.

Comparisons of E-Ink Readers

Kindle Readers

Both Macintosh and Windows users can download and transfer Kindle content, personal documents and MP3 and Audible files from a computer to a Kindle through the USB connection. Your Kindle appears as a removable mass-storage device when connected to your computer's USB port. Your Kindle should appear on your computer in the same location you would normally find an external USB drive.

  •     Connect your Kindle to your computer with the included USB cable.
  •     Use your computer's file browser to drag and drop files to and from Kindle.
  •     When finished, use your computer's undock/eject feature to remove your Kindle.

The Amazon Kindle readers only support files bought from Amazon (.AZW or .AZW1), Audible, or DRM-free files.

Kindle

  • .azw
  • .html
  • .mobi
  • .rtf
  • .txt
  • .mp3

Kindle 2

  • .azw
  • .html
  • .mobi
  • .pdf
  • .rtf
  • .tr3
  • .txt
  • .mp3

Kindle DX

  • .azw
  • .html
  • .mobi
  • .pdf
  • .tr3
  • .txt
  • .mp3

Kindle 3 Wi-Fi & 3G

  • .azw
  • .cbz
  • .doc
  • .html
  • .mobi
  • .pdf
  • .tr3
  • .txt
  • .mp3
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NOOK Readers

You can transfer files from your computer to your NOOK using a USB connection. You can directly browse the file tree and deposit files into the device’s memory. Personal files on your NOOK can be found in the library.
> Library > My Stuff > My Files.

The NOOK uses your Barnes and Noble email address as your DRM ID. If you also have an Adobe ID, make sure they use the same email address. This will let you purchase, read, and transfer e-books from other stores, like Google and Sony.

NOOK

  • .epub
  • .pdb
  • .pdf
  • .mp3

NOOK Simple Touch

  • .epub
  • .pdb
  • .pdf
  • .bmp
  • .gif
  • .jpg
  • .png

Barnes & Noble NOOK Color

  • .doc
  • .epub
  • .html
  • .pdb
  • .pdf
  • .txt
  • .mp3
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Sony Readers

Because there are so many models of Sony Readers available, please consult the Sony website for help on how to transfer files to your Reader.

Sony Readers use Adobe DRM which means that they can open files purchased from a variety of places (Sony, Google, etc).

Most Sony Readers support the following file types:

  • ePub (Adobe DRM and DMR-free)
  • BBeB (Sony DRM)
  • PDB (DRM protected and DMR-free)
  • PDF
  • TXT (plain text), RTF (Rich text format), Microsoft Word documents.

Please check the Sony product page to make sure that your model number supports the file type you are trying to open.

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