Musings of a reluctant e-Reader user + Some Facts About the Kobo Touch

Fit the First: The Buying.

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I never ever thought I would buy an e-Reader, but I was forced by necessity to purchase one. I love real books and I never liked the idea of reading on a screen. However due to my work I am away from my wonderful book collection for months at a time. I was feeling the strain of separation, and in a moment of weakness purchased the Kobo Touch eReader.

Although I say in a moment of weakness, I had been thinking about it for a while… I like to read every day and taking my favourite books with me around the world (two of my absolute favourites being The Lord of the Rings and The Count of Monte Cristo) is generally not an option.

Of course I did my research and I refused to buy a Kindle because

1.)
I tried one in John Lewis and it was rubbish. This is possibly because it was an old model but it was still £139.99! What a rip-off for something that doesn’t even support ePub or a lot of other useful formats. Apparently the newest one does support most formats but doesn’t always display them well. I didn’t even look at how much that one was as I don’t have that kind of money.

and
2.)
Amazon actually takes free books, formats them and sells them on its website! The cheek of it all! Although this is not technically illegal I still think it’s appalling. For further info have a look at these

http://www.pcworld.com/article/212077/amazon_charging_kindle_users_for_free_books.html
http://www.bgr.com/2010/11/30/amazon-charges-kindle-users-for-free-public-domain-ebooks/
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/11/amazon_charges_kindle_users_fo.html

So yes, I was left with several choices – Sony, Kobo, Nook etc – but these are the reasons the Kobo Touch came out top.

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Reason One. Supported File Formats
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It can display numerous formats including:
– the standard ebook formats: EPUB, PDF and MOBI
– image files: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF
– text files: TXT, HTML and RTF
– comic books files: CBZ and CBR

Yes, I know that other e-readers can play mp3s and change text to speech and probably dance a highland jig while whistling a friendly tune, but I already have an ipod and I want an e-Reader not an audio book player.

Reason Two. Aesthetics
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It looks quite pretty. What can I say? If I have to look at a book substitute every time I want an hour of literary perusal I don’t want it to be aesthetically displeasing. A lot of ereaders are really clunky and boxy. The Kobo is smooth, simple and stylish.

Reason Three. Price
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To be honest I was purchasing this out of necessity rather than because I really wanted an e-Reader. This being the case I wasn’t really prepared to fork out over £100 for one. The Kobo Touch was £89.99 plus they had an offer in Smiths so it was a bit cheaper. Not bad considering a lot of e-Readers do a lot less and are still £20 or £30 more.

Reason Four. Size and Weight
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I know the hype about tablets and things right now but really I am not sold on the whole “let’s have something like a computer but not as good” thing. They are too big to carry easily, too primitive to connect to a landline, and look like they will scratch at the drop of a hat. ANYWAY. The point is I wanted something that I could fit in my bag easily, something light enough to carry everywhere, something light enough to hold in my hand like a book, and something which was of a bookish size so I could imagine that I was in fact reading a book. The Kobo Touch ticks all of these boxes.

Reason Five. Memory Expansion
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So it seems unlikely that I will need more than 2GB of space seeing as the average ePub takes up a couple of hundred KB. However, if I want to start reading comics on my Kobo (an option available to me as Kobo Touch supports CBZ and CBR) which take up more space than ePub and PDF I can expand the memory using an SD Memory Card.

Reason Six. Battery Life
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To be quite honest I am not certain how other e-Readers compare. I will just say that I used mine almost constantly for a two day journey (just can’t seem to sleep on planes or in airports!) and the battery didn’t seem to go down at all. I think I charge mine every month or so but that’s mainly because I leave it in sleep mode instead of shutting it down properly. Even then it’s usually still a quarter full or something. I would say I use mine on average every two days for train rides and every night for at least an hour and a half before I go to sleep. So yes, I’d say the battery is pretty good.

Reason Seven. No Flounces, no Feathers, no Frills or Furbelows
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As I mentioned, I want something that is as close to a book as possible while also being practical and useful. If I wanted a tablet or a music player or a computer I would buy one. I don’t expect my books to light up when it gets dark or play me music or talk so my e-Reader shouldn’t do those things. I can write notes in e-books using my Kobo if I want to or play Sudoku, but those are things you can do with real books too (if you buy a Sudoku book that is).  I want something I can put in my bag without worrying about it.  I can do this with the Kobo because it is cheap and sturdy but I would worry a tablet breaking or cracking or scratching or being stolen etc etc the list goes on….  I want something simple which doesn’t have extra light or apps or whatever other rubbish manufacturers feel I need to pay for in order to read e-Books.
o

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So to sum up, I am very happy with my Kobo. As I say I was never an e-Reader convert and if I had the choice it would be real books all the way. But under the circumstances I don’t regret getting one and if I had to go back and choose again, I would still buy the Kobo Touch.

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Categories: e-Books & e-Readers, e-Readers, Kobo Touch | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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