How an eReader can save you money

January 23, 2014

By Sheryl Smolkin


I got my first library card when I was five years old and could print my name. I was an avid library user in Cornwall, Ontario where I grew up. I also worked in the library for three summers when I was in university.

But over the last several decades I’ve been buying books instead of borrowing them. Even buying paperbacks and trading them with family members became quite expensive. When I got an eReader app for my tablet computer a few years ago, I found I was spending even more on books because it was just so easy using wifi to order and charge them to my credit card.

Then I learned that eBooks are available from the Toronto Public Library and they can be downloaded at any hour of the day or night without leaving my comfy desk chair. Of course popular titles often have long waiting lists, but I can put a hold on a book and when it’s my turn, I get an email.

The Saskatchewan Public Library system offers members the same convenience. The seven regional libraries in Saskatchewan are:

  • Lakeland Library Region (North Battleford area),
  • Wapiti Regional Library (Prince Albert area),
  • Wheatland Regional Library (Saskatoon area),
  • Parkland Regional Library (Yorkton area),
  • Chinook Regional Library (Swift Current area),
  • Palliser Regional Library (Moose Jaw area)
  • Southeast Regional Library (Weyburn area).

However, the eBook collection is shared by the whole province. So if you take a look at the websites for these regional libraries, you will see the same collection of available titles.

You can use your library card to download eBook and eAudiobook titles from library2go for either one or two weeks. When the loan period is up, your items are returned automatically so you don’t have to worry about getting them back on time. You can have a total of ten eBooks and eAudiobooks signed out at one time from library2go. Materials can also be renewed.

Or check out Project Gutenberg on the web for a huge selection of classic eBook titles. Regardless of what part of the world you live in you can download books in the public domain on which copyright has expired from this site for free. Some of the most popular titles are Grimm’s Fairy Tales, The Importance of Being Earnest, Wuthering Heights and Moby Dick.

Recently I decided that battery life on a tablet is not adequate for long plane trips so I decided to buy a dedicated eReader. I opted for a Kobo Glow that weighs only 6.5 ounces, fits in my purse and has a screen so I can read in the dark. It is rated for around 70 hours of use with the light at 15-20 percent.

The device cost $129.95 plus tax. But I figure that I only have to borrow and read 10 library books to amortize the cost. Of course I still buy books occasionally, particularly if I’m travelling for extended periods. But because I use the library regularly, my book buying budget is now much more manageable.

Do you have any ideas for saving money? Share your money saving tips with us at and your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card. And remember to put a dollar in the retirement savings jar every time you use one of our money-saving ideas.

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