The other two eBook platforms – Askews and Wheelers

4391492We are very lucky at Christchurch City Libraries to be blessed with a trinity of eBook platforms. OverDrive, Askews and Wheelers all have their own individual characters and strong points. OverDrive with its sheer size tends to take the bulk of our eBook market. This is probably not surprising considering it is our largest, oldest (introduced 2008!), and most familiar platform.

If you love your eBooks like me then please don’t forget that there are other options apart from OverDrive. Like two scrawny kids on the sidelines wanting to prove their worth to you Askews and Wheelers are waiting for their chance …

  • Askews: Britannia’s eBook collection with assorted British titles, authors and publishers. These titles are best enjoyed with a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches while watching the polo. If you get nervous around horses and don’t like cucumber then a random couch with potato chips is just as useful.
  • 9781927262511Wheelers: As Kiwi as Billy T and just as entertaining with its New Zealand focused content and authors. It includes hundreds of titles including the West coast based mystery and Booker Prize winner The Luminaries and Dan Carter talking all about himself. I mean where else are you going to find a title like The Great Weta Robbery?

Remember size is not everything and these smaller gems can reveal a new world of literary content. All you will need is a library card number and password/PIN and a willingness to go off the eBook beaten track.

The best of British eBooks – Askews

At Christchurch City Libraries we are blessed with three eBook platforms vying for our attention. There is OverDrive, the big flashy American one with the largest collection that also includes downloadable eAudiobooks. Then there is Wheelers which consists purely of New Zealand content and culture. Last but by no means least is Askews which primarily provides access to British content that is out of print or can not be found in OverDrive. It is not as well-known as the other platforms which is disappointing. Is it that classic British reserve that is its undoing? Its unwillingness to shout at the top of its lungs – I am here and I am amazing? In case it is I will agree to be its advocate and champion.

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Askews has all the big names in current Brit lit such as authoresses Kate Atkinson, Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and Ruth Rendell. Then we have the authors Sebastian Faulks, Bernard Cornwell, Ian McEwan, and Stuart MacBride. All this literary talent and more awaits you as we head into the silly season where your money is hoovered from your pockets. The fantastic thing about Askews is that you can borrow and place holds for free and never have to worry about overdues fees. What can I say, the library provides the cheapest entertainment this summer! So if you haven’t dipped your toes into Askews yet, please do.

Our eBook smorgasbord

With the popularity of OverDrive it is easy to forget two other gems in our eBook library crown – Askews and Wheelers. Now that people are increasingly comfortable with eBooks and the associated processes it is time to bring these two in from the shade and have a play! Let us have a look:

Askews eBooks

KTT Askews 1Askews is based in the UK, so has a wide range of fiction and nonfiction content with a focus on British content, titles and authors. Some of the titles are now no longer in print, so life has been breathed back into them by becoming an Askews eBook. There are nearly 3,000 fiction and nonfiction titles ranging from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall to Joan Collins raving about her passionate life. Oh dear.

Wheelers eBooks

9781927147344This is our own eBook platform from Aotearoa New Zealand. Its strength is New Zealand content. From Margaret Mahy to Maori and New Zealand concerns and stories – you will find it all here in digital format just waiting for you to download.

Take time to explore these two. They look and contain eBook content that is different from their older and larger American big brother OverDrive. All you will need is your library card number and a password/PIN.

Advice on your eBook device

db-OverDrive-CKEY685249So it is nearly Christmas, which according to retailers actually started in October. In anticipation of rampant present buying I am getting in early with some “advice on your device”!

My advice is to do a bit of research if you want to use our three free eBook services! What? That’s right your library has three amazing eBook platforms which are spellbindingly good. They include:

  • OverDrive (20,000 eBooks and downloadable eAudiobooks),
  • Askews (British eBook content)
  • and Wheelers (NZ eBook content).

Our eBook platforms will pretty much work with any device – except Kindle eReaders which are designed by Amazon to work only with Amazons eBooks i.e. stuff you will have to pay for.

In the United States they are working on getting these two to talk but chances are this will not translate into changes in New Zealand any time soon. There is also the Kindle Fire tablet which does work with OverDrive – but if you want to keep it simple there are a multitude of tablets, eReaders and other portable devices that work just fine – buy those my peeps and avoid disappointment!

To help out we provide a list of approved devices from us and OverDrive.

Happy shopping.

Your new eBook trinity

Whoever said three is a crowd has not used our eBook resources! As of the 1st of August we have welcomed the arrival of Askews, a new British based eBook platform that intends to enthrall us all with its British based content that we have not be able to get elsewhere. To clarify our triple take on eBooks, we have:

OverDrive: Our first and largest eBook and eAudiobook collection which has a very American twang to its content;

Wheelers: As Kiwi as Billy T and just as entertaining with its New Zealand focused content;

Askews: Britannia’s eBook collection with assorted British titles, authors and publishers. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches while watching the polo.

Like all eBook platforms the idea is to find, download and enjoy. What is slightly different is that you cannot check in Askews eBooks early and you get to choose how many days you want to have the eBook out – as long as it is no longer than 21 days.

Have a gander at what Askews has to offer and see if you can expand your mind with the musings Gordon Ramsay or scare the stuffings out of yourself with Ruth Rendell.

Tally Ho chums!

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Robert, Frederick, James and Desmond

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About Askews eBooks