Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thoughts on the Kobo and E-readers in General

It's been a couple of weeks since I first got my Kobo E-reader. For the most part, I really love it, although I have yet to find that the battery life lives up to the hype. I get a couple of days out of it each charge (although I have to admit that I'm a fairly heavy user).

Other than that, the layout is wonderfuly simple to use. There are the main menu buttons down the left edge of the device, and the power button is on the top edge. As is the memory card slot. The only button on the front of the Kobo is the navigation button, which allows paging forward and back, as well as adjusting the font size up or down. I find the button a bit stiff for long use, I will admit, and I'm hoping it eases up over time. For now, anything more than a couple of hours reading leaves me with a bit of a sore thumb.

On to the screen. Large and easy to read, this is at the least equal to a paperback book for ease of reading. Even in bright sunlight, it was still easy to read, although I'll admit that I did jump the font size up when I was reading in sunlight. There is no glare, it's like reading on paper.

In terms of whether or not this is going to change my reading and buying habits, I think it will, if only slightly. For now, I've been finding a lot of legal and free books on the net, to download and read. Not to mention reading the hundred books that came with the device. But when it comes time to buy books for the Kobo, I suspect that I'll only be buying books I know I'll like. When I buy a book in hardcopy, I know that if for some reason it turns out I don't like it, I can still get some use out of the book through selling it at a used bookstore. With an e-book I don't have that option. Once I've bought it, I can delete the book, but I won't get anything for it as I can't pass it on. So, for new authors I suspect I'll still be buying in paper format, but re-buying some of my favorites for the Kobo.
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