Tag Archives: kobo

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

July 20, 2020

Culture and Society / Reading Books

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 . . .

How I Read Books Every Day

July 6, 2020

Reading Books

As of this moment, I have read over 7,300 pages across 23 books since January 1, 2020. This is clearly an anomaly because I typically read only 12 to 15 books every year. (It’s been less than that while I was in college leading up to my graduation last December.)

Two primary factors have lead to this.

  1. I set a goal to read at least 40 books at the beginning of the year.
  2. The global Coronavirus pandemic effectively canceled all of my plans for 2020.

The lofty goal of 40 books was questionable, at best, and I’ve pursued it only because of the large backlog of terrific books I’ve yet to get my hands on. Covid-19 and sheltering at home have enabled me to develop very clear and simple reading habits that have made all of the difference. I only have 17 books left to reach my goal, and at my current rate, I may exceed that quantity by the end of this crazy year.

Before I outline how I have been able to read so much, I have a couple of disclaimers to get out of the way. First of all, I am not a speed reader by any means. I read at a moderate and steady pace, and I’ve learned how to read with my eyes—as opposed to reading with an “inner voice” that enunciates every word. I keep a moderate pace only because I find that comprehension and attention to detail gets compromised if I try to rush through a book. Secondly, I make sure that I actually want to finish the book. If it has a well-written and enchanting story with characters that I actually care about, then this definitely makes finishing it fun and easy.

So, here are the steps I take to enhance my daily reading excursions:

  • I read a minimum of 35 pages or read for at least one full hour EVERY DAY.
  • I have my next book ready to tackle as soon as I am finished with my current book.
  • I make time either in the morning when I wake up or before bed at night to read.
  • If a book feels tedious or boring by at least a quarter or a third of the way into the story, I dump it and move on to the next one.
  • I make sure I have sufficient light whenever and wherever I read to minimize fatigue in my eyes. My Kobo e-reader has a front glow light that I can adjust for comfort.
  • I borrow MANY e-books through my local library’s online Overdrive portal. I can borrow and download a book or I can place holds on several books in mere seconds without ever leaving my house. This saves me a lot of time.

That’s basically it in a nutshell. Because I enjoy reading so much, it’s not difficult to incorporate it into my daily life. Lastly, I cannot stress this enough. It is vital and paramount that you read a book with excellent content. This makes all the difference in the world. You’ll fly through an outstanding book and story in no time at all.

Find a terrific book and start reading now!! Whether you only read a handful or hundreds of books within a year, you’re bound to find a story that will enthrall and inspire you.

Happy Summer Reading to you!!