Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Skeptic Reads an E-Book on the Kobo Aura

I'm going to put it out there right away. When it comes to e-readers, I'm not 100% on board. About this time last year, I interviewed my sister about her experiences with her Kobo. Together we came to the conclusion that paper books and e-books can compliment each other, but as you can tell from the interview, I was a bit skeptical of their value. Theoretically, I wasn't opposed to e-readers, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to own one.

Up until recently, I had never actually read an e-book on an e-reader. I had read a bit of a Netgalley arc on my tablet, but I had never read on an e-reader. Quite frankly, I wasn't planning on reading an e-book, but on our last long weekend vacation that changed.

My family was at the cottage having a grand time, which for me meant reading a lot. I talked about my stretches of reading in my post about the joys of summer reading. I had a lot more time than I anticipated to have to read, so I didn't bring enough books *GASP*. On our last afternoon, I had absolutely nothing to read, so my sister came to the rescue and lent me her Kobo Aura, all loaded up with books. I choose to read Soulless by Gail Carriger; my sister had this entire series on her e-reader, so I figured if I liked it, I could get the other paper books in the series from the library.

At first I wasn't too sure about the whole experience, but by the time I had finished Soulless, I knew that I wasn't going to bother getting the books from the library, and that I wanted to finish reading the series on my sisters Kobo.

The Good
The best thing about reading on the Kobo is the convenience of it. Hands down. When I was away at the cottage, I had the entire Parasol Protectorate series (five books) in the palm of my hand.

It's small. I always like to have a book in my purse to read when I'm waiting around. The Kobo is the perfect size to fit in my purse.

The screen is surprisingly easy to read from. It's completely different from the screen on my tablet. It's almost like a matte version of a screen on any other device. It doesn't have a glass top, so it doesn't have a glare. You can also adjust the size of the font to make it easier to read.

The back-light. This is a small feature that I love. The Kobo Aura has the option to have back-light which is great for when I'm reading in bed. I don't have to get up to turn the light off. Laziness at it's peak, my friends.

You can make notes and bookmark pages for future reference. I underlined a few quotes that I thought were funny when I was reading, but this would really come in handy if I was ready for school.

The Kobo charges with the same cord as my phone, and has fairly good battery life.

The Not-So-Good
It can be awkward to hold, especially if you're curled up and reading it. The edges of the Kobo aren't super wide, so I found that my thumb would slip onto the screen and turn the pages by accident.

Sometimes the screen was too sensitive. I don't know if this was a user error, but I found that I would sometimes turn three or four pages at once. There was a few times when I had to flip forward at least a chapter to get it back to where I was actually reading.

There can be lag. Sometimes it lags for a second when I turn the page, so I end up turning it twice. And sometimes it doesn't respond to touch at all, and I have to use a different part of my finger.

The battery dies at the most inconvenient times. I really wanted to read my book, but the Kobo was dead! It has good battery life, but the fact that I have to depend on a battery is always going to be a con.

In the end, I'm still not sure where I stand on the e-reader issue. I definitely liked reading on it, but those few hang-ups that I listed are holding me back from committing fully to it. I don't think I would ever get away from reading paper books, but having an e-reader would be nice for those books that I want to read, but don't want to take up space on my shelf. It would be a good tool to have in my reading arsenal. Let me put it this way, if I were to receive a Kobo Aura as a gift, I would not be opposed, but I don't think I will invest $100 into it.

How about you? Do you have an e-reader? Do you want one or hate them with a passion? Let me know what you think in the comments! I'm really curious to hear other people's experiences.

Reading: Heartless by Gail Carriger
Listening: The City Harmonic
Watching: Casey Neistat vlogs


  1. Hmmm, I enjoy the convience of ebooks but I don't like the experience. I just read on my iPad so the glare isn't always nice and like you, I wouldn't invest a lot of money into something like a Kindle. At the end of the day, I would always choose physical paper over a digital book. It was nice to hear your experience, though. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      I definitely do NOT prefer to read e-books on tablets (like an iPad), but it was totally different to read on the Kobo. That being said, you're right, a paper book is always nice:)

  2. I have a Kindle Paperwhite, which I really enjoy using. I think, like you said, it's a matter of convenience, and though I occasionally run into the issues you mentioned, it's never been a bother to me. After all, paper books have their own annoying features, like pages sticking together and being awkward to hold, so it just was a matter of getting used to something for me. Anyway, I've really enjoyed my Kindle—it's easy to read, easy to take anywhere. It was nice to take on my trip overseas because it meant I could bring fifty books that didn't taken up a ton of space or way more than a few ounces. And, especially through services like Bookbub, I've been enabled to get a lot of free eBooks, often in the adult section, which I'm not accustomed to, but I've really enjoyed the adult fiction I've read so far, and explored some other genres I normally wouldn't read. Also, it's nice, just because some books are only available in an eBook format, you know? Anyway, you could say I'm a Kindle fan. Ah, well.

    1. Ooo yes! I totally forgot to mention that paper books can be extremely annoying to hold especially as they get longer. Also, I forgot to mention the exclusive books that you can get on e-book.

      I've never heard of Bookbub; I'll have to check it out! Thanks for mentioning it.

  3. My parents bought me an e-reader (Barnes & Noble Nook) about four years ago. I wasn't sure if I wanted one, because I wasn't sure how often I would really use it, but overall I found myself really glad to have it (especially once I hit college).

    Basically, I'm with you, Sunny. I don't think I'd be able to survive with *just* physical books or *just* an e-reader, because it's simply really great to have both for different reasons. My Nook battery is slowly dying (it goes wonky at about thirty-percent and it used to go wonky at fifteen), which is absolutely awful because it winds up dying at the worst moment while reading, or else it dies and I have no other books on me. Yet it's small and portable, and you have many books instead of just one (which is awesome!). Plus, there's some really great deals you can get on e-books, and there are many books I don't think I would have read had they not been on sale for two bucks, or something.

    Lovely post, Sunny!

    1. You definitely hit on some of the highs and lows of e-reading for me. The battery life kills me. It's the WORST when you're in the zone and reading and it dies. However, those lovely cheap ebooks are so appealing.

      Thanks for visiting SOI!


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