Welcome to episode 2 of What Sarah Said, the podcast where I, Sarah Houghton, will answer your questions. Today’s question comes from Steve, and he writes:
Sarah my dear… [that's a little overly familiar Steve...I don't know you, so I'm not your dear, but I'll forgive you that slight transgression.] I am often asked by patrons whether or not they should buy a tablet or an eReader. What is your take on this?
OK, so this is a question I get asked a lot by pretty much everybody–family, friends, librarians, everybody…patrons. It depends on what you want. So it’s extremely situational. One big question to ask people is whether or not they care if the device just does books, or has books and internet access and apps and other stuff. Another question to ask is whether or not they prefer a back-lit display like a traditional smartphone or laptop vs. the eInk technology that you find on many of the dedicated eReaders.
So for me, you know…I’ve got a computer. I’ve got a smartphone. And I just really wanted to have something that wasn’t back-lit, that was a nice eReading display. And so for me an eInk device made the most sense.
Now for a friend that I just talked to over the holidays–she doesn’t really have a computer at home. She has a smart phone; she has an iPhone. And she wanted to have something that was both an eReader and gave her access to email–that’s pretty much what she wanted it for. And because she was already familiar with the iOS system it made more sense to me for her to get an iPad. Because in that case she’s got both email and internet access but she’s also got that capability to use it as an eBook reader as she wants.
So it really depends on what people are looking for. The best advice I can give you is that there’s no one answer. It really just depends on how that conversation goes with the person. Ask questions, see what they want to do with it, see what their preferences are, see what technology they’re already familiar with and that will most likely guide you to the right answer for them. But as with all things, we don’t tell people to buy stuff. All we can do is give them the information and let them decide for themselves.
Thanks for tuning in to episode 2 of What Sarah Said, and we’ll hope to see you on episode 3!