One Year Of Photography by Howard Haby

333/365: Kobo eReader

Amy gave me a Kobo eReader for Christmas. I’m holding off using it until I can finish my self assigned holiday reading, which are actual books.

I have been on the fence about eReaders for quite a while because I love books: the texture and smell of the pages, the weight of it, estimating how many pages are left and seeing how much you’ve read with a quick glance at the difference in thickness between the left and right sides of an opened book. I really enjoy just about everything that goes with reading a book.  However, I’ve researched eReaders quite a bit before the holiday season arrived, and I have to admit that I gave Amy more than one hint in the month or more leading up to Christmas, as to how much I would enjoy owning this technology. Ok, “hint” is a bit of an understatement. And despite my begging hints, Amy stood strong by the fact that she’d already obtained my gifts so I was totally surprised when I open a box, and there was a Kobo!! For my American readers and family – it’s the same as the Kindle from Amazon.

My first hesitation in wanting an eReader, besides the above mentioned attributes of a book, was the idea of reading off of a screen, like a computer. But I discovered that it isn’t designed like that, the screens are not back lit, and in fact, there isn’t a light at all. Reading from a Kobo is as near to reading off a printed page as you can get. It’s really, really cool. I was amazed (and comforted) by this. The  e-ink  really looks like the printed word. With that problem solved, I started looking at some of the other features and their benefits.

A quick summary:

It’s really lightweight, and looks great and feels good (the back of it having a nice cushioned feel and texture), AND you can carry thousands of books with you where ever you go. This is awesome for me, because anywhere I go, I like to take a book. And I’m always fussing over where to store and carry my books so I don’t bend up the pages and ruin the cover… because I’m a little mental. Other people don’t care about this, and dog ear the pages and leave chocolate and cheesy/potato chip finger prints throughout the pages, at least on the ones that aren’t stuck together. I can’t do this… ok, I’ve dog eared a page before.

It has Wi-Fi – which is awesome because I can just sit on the couch and when I want to get a book, I just shop for it online. Huge benefits for me here: 1) The books are often half the cost of regular books (no paper to buy) without affecting how much the author gets paid (um… I hope, anyway) and in fact, there are hundreds of titles out there for free.   2) I live in a small town without a proper book store for miles and miles… and miles around, and therefore, I have very limited access to titles I want to read. This has been a huge thorn  in my side because I would spend hours, at least weekly, browsing through huge book stores in every city I ever lived in. Granted, I still can’t walk down the carpeted aisles between books shelves that tower over both sides of me, but now I won’t have to pay shipping costs when ordering books online.

Another thing: As much as I like reading a book, when you’re trying to hold the book open, and find a comfortable position, the two sometimes aren’t possible. With the Kobo, I can lay back with my hands behind my head if I want, and rest the Kobo against my bent legs (the couch position), or I can hold it with just one hand without my thumb and ring finger cramping as often happens with a physical book when keeping the pages open.

It also has 16 shades of grey, which lends itself to beautiful images. Great for comics, for example. No, it’s not colour, but I’m ok with that. And the battery lasts for about a month! I don’t think you’ll hear me complain, “But I just charged it 4 or 5 weeks ago!”

Oh! I should mention that the Kobo comes with 100 free books. As well, there are over 2.2 million titles currently available.

So, I guess that’s about it. I was suppose to post this entry yesterday, and didn’t get around to it. Sorry.

Here’s a photo of my Kobo, which even Penny seems to be impressed by.

Take care all!

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