Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An English Literature Graduate Reflects on her Beloved KOBO

My parents have owned KOBOs from Chapters for a few years. The Ottawa Public Library has lots of e-books available, so it was convenient for them to borrow books without even going in to the library.
I always was upset with the idea of an e-reader. As an EnglLit student, I was raised and taught to value stories and books. I feel so much more joy in a physical book, the scent of an old one, and yes, the pride I feel when people on the bus are impressed by my WWI lit.
Buying Books:
I only ever buy reference books or the Classics which I know I will want to cherish on my shelves and turn back to repeatedly. Getting an e-reader or not wasn't going to affect that, since either way I was getting free borrowing from OPL.
Reading Conditions:
I had started requesting some books that were promising me spot 254 out of 4983 for the physical copy, like the Hunger Games and Divergent series. To save time, I found free epubs online of them, and read them on my tablet/laptop screen. After many books in a row, my eyes were hurting.
An e-reader has "e-paper" which allows less strain on your eyes. Most of them also offer backlighting so you can read at night.
I have about 50 books on my e-reader, which would normally weigh lots and fill my entire suitcase. That's a great deal.
Some people (especially those who know what my undergrad was) judge me for buying an e-reader. But I also get to get away with reading slightly more trashy materials in public without anyone knowing. IF I was a reader of romances, no one would know.
The Decision:
Lots of my YA series are more readily available on e-readers, so that was great.
Over Christmas I had some friends up at my cottage, and Dayna was reading from her new KOBO Aura. She had gotten it during Staples' Boxing Day Sale, and loved it. I tested it out, and since my eyes were tired from my tablet screen, I was hooked.
I bought one the day I got back from the cottage using tax return money.
Probably shouldn't read it in the tub until I have a waterproof case...

A Word of Warning:
Absolutely, under no circumstances, let it fall. I dropped it face-down one day, and it broke. KOBO doesn't replace them for physical damage, so I had to buy a new one, after a couple weeks of being adrift without knowing how to read books anymore. The second KOBO I bought from FutureShop (now out of business) under warranty (the warranty will carry over to BestBuy) and I'm waiting for a waterproof sleeve to protect it at the cottage (since I like to read books on the dock).
I also have had issues with Adobe Digital Editions, the program to add library books to your KOBO. Version 4.0.3 kept crashing on me, so I eventually found 1.7 online and it works very well so far.
Final Thoughts:
An e-reader is an investment (mine was $130 plus the warranty) but it has saved me time and gas money. I don't have frequent use of the car, so often my physical library holds expire.
I love how small and light it is, so it's fantastic for going into my purse. I am now very, very careful on how I carry it, and make sure I close the elastic strap so that it can't fall out.
I can't judge someone for owning an e-reader. It doesn't mean that you are less of a reader, or read less high-brow things (I waded through 1Q84 on mine). Of the 61 books I've read in 2015, pobably 45 of them were on my KOBO.
I love it.

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