Kobo Reader – the experience

I’ve been away the last few days, visiting a friend in Toronto. I took along my new Kobo reader.

Good things about it:

1. It’s light

2.I didn’t have to buy anything for the trial as it comes with 100 books. I read Emma, a novel I had neglected.

3. I could change the font to reflect whether or not I wanted to wear my glasses.

4.No light source, so no computer like beam into my eyes at bedtime.

5.I could carry it in a small purse.

6. I read it at a solo lunch. No keeping the pages open with the greasy fingers on one hand while trying to eat with the other.

7. No one could see what exactly I was reading.

8. It’s cheap, compared to the Kindle or the iPad.

Things I didn’t like:

1. No wireless, so no instant download if I had a mad urge to read something other than one of the downloaded books while away from my computer

2. No clock. (Okay, I don’t wear a watch.)

3. No light source, so reading was difficult in a dark cafe.

4.Font changing limited to smallest, smaller, small, medium, large, etc. not a number. No change in font style.

5.No one could see what I was reading so no conversation starting questions.

6.The battery seems to have a much shorter life than advertised. 8000 page turns relates, I think, to the number of times the page is turned on the machine, not in the actual book. I have no idea how many times i turned the page while reading Emma, but I did have to recharge.

7. It doesn’t ship with the adapter needed to allow a recharge from an electrical outlet rather than the computer. I used the one for my iphone.

8. It’s not as pretty as the iPad.

9. No underlining of favourite passages.

All in all, I like it. It’s a single purpose machine, that performs that function well. The features it lacks would all increase the cost and the weight. Within the time it took to read a few pages, I found myself just reading, and not focussing on the fact that I wasn’t reading a “real” book. Emma was still Emma. I did miss the ability to go back to previously read pages to find something I wanted to read again. It is possible ┬áto do that but it’s tedious.

I wanted a light weight storage/reading device that I could take to Europe. Kobo will do just fine. If I wanted to go into the Amazon, far from electrical outlets, it wouldn’t.

Gifts for the writer, gardener, birdwatcher, reader…

Poking around here and there on the Net, I found some great gifts for the passionate writers, gardeners, readers and birdwatchers on your list. Okay, gifts for me. Gifts for writers are up first, naturally, so check out Margaret Atwood’s suggestions on her Blog. 4 and 10 are the gifts I would choose, and can recommend 1 and 2 from personal experience.( My little book is the moleskin variety.) While you’re on Margaret’s blog, read her 15 book Tour packing tips. It’s hilarious.

Ben McNally, (of McNally Robertson) has a blog on Book Lounge, with his list of gifts for readers. He’s recommending Peter Ackroyd’s Venice: Pure City, a book I would like to read, mainly because I fell in love with the city last fall, and because he did such an outstanding job on London.

Susan Reimer writes a column, On Gardening for the Baltimore Sun. Her list of gifts for gardeners includes some of my can’t do withouts, like Felco pruners and gardening gloves. Lee Valley has some that are even warm on those nasty spring mornings, which can include rain freezing rain and wind in April, in Ontario.

Our Little Acre Blogspot has some unusual gifts for gardeners. I can recommend the Velcro plant ties, also available at Lee Valley. I’ve used them for years, especially for tying climbing roses to their supports.

For the birdwatcher, check out Squidoo. The site’s a bit wonky but worth it. What about birdsongs for the iPod!

All these blogs are listed to the right. Have fun!