Culture and Society,  Reading Books

How I Have Stopped Using Amazon’s Kindle for my Digital Reading

I read a lot of books, and I love the convenience of being able to take a book anywhere with me when I use digital formats. For the record, I still like actual books made of paper and comprised of tactile pages I can turn; however, the advantages that come with digital reading make my life as a daily reader much more streamlined, easy, and focused.

Up until recently, I have used Amazon’s ubiquitous Kindle ecosystem on its desktop and cell phone apps and largely on its e-readers. I love being able to switch easily between all three spaces without losing my place in a book. The simple and lightweight form factor of both their e-reader and my cell phone make it convenient to take them wherever I go in any kind of weather.

Fast forward to today when I have now eliminated my use of the Amazon Kindle platform. Relating to my last post (which you can read HERE), I am slowly moving away from using Amazon for anything. They are a multinational corporation and monopoly that rakes in HUGE profits for its billionaire CEO and its many coffers. At this point in my life, I want to support smaller businesses and exercise my right to direct my spending power away from these major conglomerates (such as Walmart, Target, etc.). Small businesses matter, and a diversified marketplace cultivates a wider variety of job opportunities, more ideas, and innovation.

My move away from Kindle does not mean I have stopped reading digitally. It is, in fact, one of the best decisions I have made that has enhanced my reading life.

This is what I have done:

  • I researched alternative e-readers and discovered a Canadian company called Rakuten that manufactures its own line of Kobo e-readers that has all of what Kindle offers and even more at reasonable prices.
  • I’ve found alternate apps such as Overdrive and Libby that grant me access to the digital resources of several libraries in different areas.
  • I’ve utilized the resources of the library at the college where I recently graduated from last December. My status as an alumnus grants me certain perks.
  • I have hunted down little free libraries that can be found virtually anywhere in the US. These are literally tiny wooden libraries in mostly residential neighborhoods in which people can take and leave books. (www.littlefreelibrary.org) There are two that I know of within an hour of where I live. (There are several in Nashville over an hour away from me.)

Instead of relying on the one Kindle ecosystem for all of my reading pleasures, I now have access to a treasure trove of different resources.

As far as my new Kobo e-reader goes, here are some details:

  • From a selection of great options, I chose the Kobo Libra H20.
  • Through a full charge, I can read for several hours.
  • I can store thousands of books with its native 8 GB of storage.
  • It offers12 different fonts and over 50 font styles.
  • There are exclusive font weight and sharpness settings.
  • The 14 file formats it supports include EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
  • It has Wifi connectivity to access the Kobo Bookstore and the internet.
  • With built in access to Overdrive, I can place holds and borrow books from my library of choice for free. (Kindle does not offer this.)
  • Language options are English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, and Chinese.
  • Screen specs: 7.0″ 300 PPI E Ink Carta display, 1680 × 1264 resolution
  • It is waterproof up to 60 mins in 2 metres of water.
  • There is a front light that has adjustable color temperatures. (I read a lot in bed at night. I love this feature!)
  • Unlike Kindle, there is no advertising whatsoever (and no extra price to remove advertising, for that matter).

My Kobo Libra H20 e-reader is easily the best e-reader I’ve ever used so far. It is also well designed with a rubberized and textured backing that makes holding it at different orientations much easier.

Initially, I was hesitant to leave Kindle because of my long history with it and its ease of use, but now, I’m so glad that I did. I have a much better digital reading experience with my Kobo and access to so many more free books!

Change can be a very good thing.

PS: If you haven’t seen it already, here is my newest weekly film release called “The Package”. It is a 5-part saga in just over 4 minutes. Enjoy . . .

3 Comments

  • Billy Kemp

    Dear Roque,

    Thank you for your well written excitement about your new reading path. It has certainly been on my mind for years to find ways to use Amazon as little as possible, if at all. Your post is inspiring me to take a look at Kobo. I have been using Overdrive for quite some time and find it a wonderful opportunity to find titles. I also really enjoyed The Package. The music, foley and images were entertaining. It made me think of Charlie Chaplin and The Wizard of Oz, two giants in my mind. Wishing you all good things…Billy

  • roque

    Hi Billy, so great to hear from you. Thanks for reading and for watching “The Package”. This pandemic has given me the time and space to build my creative muscles. Chaplin and the Wizard of Oz were favorites of mine growing up. Phasing out my Amazon usage has been challenging. When you live out where we do, the free and quick delivery that they offer is so convenient. We don’t have the ability to hop in a car and get whatever we want within a 10 or twenty minute drive. Hope you are healthy and finding immense satisfaction in this country life and in your music.

    • Billy Kemp

      Good to hear from you. The country life is suiting us and we are all in this summer drying herbs, making blueberry wine and hiking in the hollow. Happy art making… Billy

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