Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Taking the Plunge

Over the years, I thought about purchasing an e-reader off and on, with my healthy skepticism of the new technology ultimately causing me to wait. With most gadgets, I like to sit back and allow the manufacturers to work out all the kinks before plunking down my hard earned money. I like the tactile aspect of reading, and I didn't want to invest in a device that I would only occasionally, or would put my technologically challenged self to the test.  

After doing my research, thinking about my reading habits and entering into the dreaded Kindle/Kobo debate, I bought a Kobo Glo in July.  Though I considered getting a model like the Kobo Arc and/or Kindle Fire which are a sort of tablet/e-reader hybrid, I ended up ruling them out.  For me personally,  I read at night before bed, or to cure my insomnia, so the Kobo Glo was the ideal choice for me; it is side-lit and allows me to read without disturbing my bedmate.  The Kindle equivalent is the Kindle Paperwhite and I opted not to purchase it, because of the fact that I could not access public library eBooks with it.  Aside from literary classics that are available for free, most of the eBooks on my Kobo were borrowed from the library.  The way that the public library accomplishes this is by allowing patrons to upload DRM, or temporary files to their devices and these files are inaccessible after their due dates.  This works well for me, as I am a bit of a fickle reader and the concept of a deadline motivates me to finish books.  

With about six months of use, I am now used to the features of the Kobo Glo and its convenience.  The custom fonts, lighting and reading stats are my particular favourites. Though I still read books from my own library, rather than fully converting to eBooks, the ability to travel with it easily and slip it in my purse is a huge plus.  Another thing to consider when buying an e-reader is the necessity of a case.  Luckily for me, Best Buy had a deal and my e-reader came with a complimentary case (a $39.99 value!) and I saw similar deals when I was shopping around.  When you think about the beating the screen would take loose in a purse or backpack, paying an extra twenty dollars for a cheap cover is a really good idea.  If you have to pay for it at all.  The other factor with regard to e-readers is that most libraries now have programs where patrons can check out e-readers in the same manner as borrowing books.  That way a reader can test drive a particular model (in Canada these would be Kobo e-readers) and get a flavour of whether this technology will work for them.  Though it certainly took a lot of time and convincing, my Kobo has been a pleasant surprise!

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