25 05 2013

I bought a Kobo ereader from WH Smith a few weeks ago and intended to write a diary about getting used to it. That didn’t happen like a lot of other things because I’ve been too wrapped up in reading. Despite wishing I’d bought a Kindle instead for the first week or so I have persevered and now find it hard to put the thing down.

I’ve been re-reading a lot of books – some old favourites and some I only read last year. I don’t seem to have retained anything that I read last year which is frustrating and depressing. Usually it takes several years for me to forget a story to the extent that it all seems new when I open it again and stays seeming new after the first chapter. The joys of getting old I suppose. The positive side is that I should be able to save a fortune on ebooks if the trend continues!

I got a 32GB memory card to extend the Kobo’s memory so that I could carry my entire elibrary around with me, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I could have bought a much smaller card because it is a pain to search through hundreds of books and seems to take forever with only half a dozen books to a page on the Library list. I’ll be keeping a bare minimum on the card for reading and trying to remember to remove them once I’ve read them. The theory is that the Kobo will just be stocked with “To Be Read” books rather than everything and the kitchen sink.

The Kobo store hasn’t impressed me. They might have millions of books, but the single-level search facility and limited display makes finding things time consuming and frustrating. But that seems to be a signature feature of the device and its interface. I’ve had to learn how to use a touch screen which is sometimes too sensitive and other times unresponsive. AND THERE ARE NO INSTRUCTIONS!!!

I like to read the instructions when I get a new toy. I might not remember everything; they might not make sense; but at least I’ll have some idea how to do stuff or where to look for help. The Kobo instructions are five whole lines and three of those are about downloading the desktop interface. That was when my “wish I’d bought a Kindle” phase started, as soon as I got it out of the box at home.

I have mellowed towards it with time as I’ve figured out how to make it do what I want most of the time, and figured out what I’m doing to make it do weird things. Mainly I’ve just got used to the weird things and the lack of direct ways of doing stuff. And it does have built-in Sudoku so most of the time I’m not even reading just playing.

The battery lasts about a week now if I use the light a lot – that’s just basic reading and playing with no wi-fi or internet. That’s good enough for what I want. I’ve bought a mains charger because it was a pain having to tie the Kobo to the laptop for three or four hours to charge. It only takes an hour or so to charge direct from the mains. It doesn’t come with a mains charger just a USB lead.

I should have gone with the older, cheaper option without a touch screen. I’m probably just being old and grumpy about it and would have found as many irritations with a Kindle. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t tempted by a second-hand Kindle for £25 the other day…

I am enjoying the portability factor and the built in light that means I can read in poor lighting conditions and walk around reading like I used to with paper books only more so. I did read a paper book last month and it took a long while because I couldn’t adjust the font and my eyes needed frequent breaks.

I’m getting withdrawal symptoms since it’s been several hours since I picked up the Kobo…