Thursday, January 6, 2011


Recently I downloaded an app on my iPod touch that is called Kobo. You have probably heard of E-readers, well Kobo is a brand of one. They are sold a lot in Chapters, as far as I can tell. Anyhow, I decided to give this app a whirl, since I do love to read and I got a Chapters gift card for Xmas from one of the daycare parents. The app essentially turns your iPod into an e-reader, you're just looking at a smaller screen, which doesn't bother me. Plus, you can adjust the text size, so you're reading only about five sentences per page if you really want.

So I logged onto the Kobo website and picked out the book I have been wanting to read for ages now, Mini-Shopaholic. Turns out it was about five bucks cheaper for the paperless version here. The Kobo website has hooked up with Chapters, and you can use gift cards there, so that was great.

I flew through that book (as I tend to do when I find something I really like) and soon enough found myself purchasing some more books, this time a "boxed" set of the Sookie Stackhouse series, which are the books the show True Blood is based on. And I am flying through these as well.

Here's where I am going to tell you the pros and cons of e-readers (in my opinion).

Pro: The books seem to be a bit cheaper, by about 20 to 30%.

Con: Even though the book is now yours to keep, you don't actually have a physical book. You have to keep it stored on your computer or e-reader, and then what if that crashes?? Hmmmm...

Pro: Better for the environment, less cutting down trees for paper and whatnot.

Con: No new book smell (boy I miss that!)

Pro: Light-weight, easy to transport and read in bed! Takes up no space on bookshelves either.

Con: Can't lend it out to a friend when you're done.

Pro: Instant download. No trekking out to the bookstore and hoping they have what you want.

Con: No trekking out to the bookstore and spending hours just looking around and breathing that wonderful coffee-scented-new-book-smelling air.

Pro: More privacy. People don't tend to look and see what you are reading in public, or try to read over your shoulder. This is good for reading things that others may frown upon for one reason or another.

Con: I constantly forget what I'm reading. Without the cover to glance at everytime I pick up or put down the book, I have no idea of what the title of the book is that I'm reading. Weird huh? Plus even though there is a bar hidden at the bottom of the page that gives you an idea of how far along you are in the book, it's not the same as physically seeing how many pages you have left to read.

Con: A real book doesn't run out of batteries.

Con: Even though you can borrow e-books from the library, I'm not sure that they've caught up, meaning that not everything is available that you may want and not in all forms (I think they only support some types of e-readers, not all such as iPod).

Con: As with iTunes, it becomes faaaaarrrr too easy to just click and buy without really thinking about it - oh what's another $10 on the credit card, huh?


  1. I am not convinced, not even for the environment. I love going to the bookstore and buying books and sitting on the couch and reading them. I love putting them on the shelf and looking, and loving, my collection.


  2. "Con: Even though the book is now yours to keep, you don't actually have a physical book. You have to keep it stored on your computer or e-reader, and then what if that crashes?? Hmmmm..."

    With Kobo - your library is stored in the 'cloud' (ie. Kobo's servers). You can access your library on pretty much any gadget (except a Kindle) - and do it in a very synchronized manner (for example, remembering where you left off reading from the last previous device you were reading on). Kobo seems to be very customer focussed and doing some pretty neat things.

    A computer crashing is a very huge frustration. But once you are up and going again, re-accessing your Kobo library is a breeze! As long as Kobo is around - your book library is safe in the sky.

  3. I've read on my iPod before, and while it's okay, it's like I have to turn the page (so to speak) extremely frequently.

    And there's nothing like holding an actual book in your hands, turning the pages, getting your thumb smudged with ink sometimes ... just physically holding an actual book.

    And what about bookmarks?!

    I tend to borrow books from the library more often now (it's way cheaper!) but some books I do buy.

    I agree though - being able to see the cover art is so beneficial. If you have a few books on the go at the same time, which I often do, it's nice to just glance at the covers and then decide which one to continue with.

    If I went electronic with reading, I'd rather a bigger object than an iTouch (or iPhone). Like ... heh heh heh ... an iPad. Ya, like THAT'S gonna appear in my hands any time soon :)

    Enjoy your reading!