Original review: eBooks by Kobo in Review – sold!
For a long time, I was unconvinced when it came to ebooks. Having downloaded a couple, I found that trying to read them on my laptop screen was just a waste of time. I’d look at the words and my eyes would travel down the page, but I wouldn’t take a word of it in. So I gave up on ebooks and went back to my beloved physical ones. That is, until eBooks by Kobo came along. As you may have guessed from my previous comments, I don’t own an eBook reader, and previous experience was doing nothing to convince me I should part with my hard-earned cash in order to get one. This has all changed. This free app simply installs onto your device and makes it into your very own ereader! Granted, it’s considerably smaller than most available on the market, but it does the job.
It’s difficult to know where to start with this app because there’s so much to it. Firstly, and most importantly of course, there’s the interface. It’s light, clean and modern, and very easy to navigate. You have your ‘I’m Reading’ menu, which includes all the books you’ve added to your list, so you can find them easily when you fire up the programme. You can display these in list or shelf format, dependent on how you prefer to see your reads.
Then you have the ‘Discover’ tab, which is where Kobo really shines. There are endless options for you to choose from here in order to find your perfect book. These include Featured, NYT Bestsellers in Fiction and Non-Fiction, Staff Picks, Under 5 Bucks (always a good choice), Prize Winners and Vampire Fiction. So if you’re not entirely sure what you want to read next, there are tonnes of ways you can find something. The ‘Browse’ menu is much more a standard way you’d expect to pick up your next book – this is sectioned by Genre and Sub-Genre. Me being me, I navigated straight to Romance>Adult, where interestingly I found 151 books to sink my fangs into. Not many you may think, but it’s fairly niche. Looking at the Romance section as a whole, you have a whopping 4,215 books to choose from – and it’s being added to all the time. Naturally, if you know what you’re looking for, you can search for it.
When you’ve chosen from the zillions of books available what you want to read, you still have lots of options available to you to give the best experience possible. The default view is black text on a white background, but a function called ‘Night Reading’ reverses this, which would make things easier on the eye if you were reading in low light, or possibly didn’t want to have the light on for fear of keeping a partner awake or something. You can also put on Rotation Lock, which is invaluable because if like me, you like to get right into bed to read, you’ll find your iPhone screen wanting to flip round if you move your hand just a little too much. Other options include changing your page and text colour, how your page behaves when you ‘turn’ it, font size, font type, line spacing and more. Basically, you’re able to tweak every aspect of your reading experience until it’s perfect for you. Which is fantastic, particularly for a free app.
Once you’ve read a book or story, you can choose to Read Related, Email to Friends, Rate This and Tweet This – all of which are excellent additions to an already clever app. The prices aren’t too bad either. I actually compared a couple of prices to Amazon’s Kindle and found them cheaper. So if this was true across the board, then I think Amazon have a serious competitor on their hands.
In summary, Kobo has helped convert me to ebooks. I’ll never abandon real books, but this app has shown me that there is a comfortable way to read ebooks that isn’t a laptop screen. I will definitely continue to use this app and hopefully as the platform gains popularity there will become more and more content available for you to read. As it stands, you can get quite a lot of free content, so if you’re not sold on this concept, download the free app and a couple of free books and stories and give it a try for yourself. You can even read sample chapters of books you’re unsure about. I didn’t think I’d ever be convinced on the ebook concept – but I am now.
iTunes: eBooks by Kobo