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Interesting article on e-readers and their future

Tags: ereader kobo eink

I just finished reading this article on the future of e-readers: Is the E-Reader Dead? (not e-books I have to note) and I'm wondering what your opinion is.

Personally, I hope not! I love my Kobo Glo e-reader! I've been using one since the very first generation Kobo came out - which I think was around 2010? I still have my 2nd gen one around somewhere too. For a while I used a Kobo Vox, but I've happily gone back to the e-ink e-readers for several reasons.

The primary reason I've returned to the e-ink e-reader - I bought my latest one a couple of years ago, the Kobo Glo HD is the battery life. Overall, my opinion since is that I love it - the touch screen, ability to read footnotes, and the adjustable light, but overall the battery life!

I can take it on a week-long camping trip and not have to worry about running out of battery and reading-time. What's more, I don't have to read with a flashlight/headlamp at night either in the tent or by the fire. Personally at night I find that 2-4% brightness for the lighting works well, which is also dim enough that it doesn't always bother my camping partner.

I compare that with my iPad, which has about a ten hour battery life before I need to recharge it, or my old Kobo Vox which was about 6-8 hours of battery life and slow! Or at least looking back on it it seems slow.

One of the best things with the e-ink e-reader over using an app on my phone/tablet - besides it's habit of sucking battery-power - is the ease of loading the many non-Kobo e-books I have on my computer - the early Honor Harrington series thanks to the CD that came with the hardcover edition of War of Honor, similar collections from other CD's, electronic ARC's and even small-site purchases of e-books. Run those into Calibre, make sure they're in the right format, and then load them onto the e-ink reader.

If I'm doing the same thing with books on my iPad e-reader, I have to do the format checks, then e-mail the e-pub file to myself and then download it into the Kobo app on my iPad. Much more of a hassle in my mind. However, there may be a faster method that I'm not aware of.

Maybe it's a personal thing, but I like having a dedicated device for reading - I remember with the Kobo Vox how easy it was to read for a few minutes then get side-tracked with the games I'd loaded onto that device before coming back again to read for a bit more. Reading on a dedicated device reduces that temptation - though the fact I'm generally carrying a phone with games on it mitigates that.

For the most part, while I prefer paper books, the one thing I can't deny is the convenience of an e-reader of any sort for books like The Mists of Avalon, or The Deed of Paksenarrion - both books that are 800 pages plus, and often over a thousand pages each. Forget taking something like that traveling! Camping or otherwise. Even when traveling, I'm spoiled for choice, with probably a hundred e-books or so with me. Despite that, I'll still carry a couple of paper books too - no way I'm going to risk my e-reader taking it out on my kayak. An inexpensive mass-market paperback that I bought used - and can find again easily? That I'll take, sealed inside a zip-lock bag.

One of the other bonuses with e-books is the "instant gratification" factor. Finished one book and want to read the next in the series? Go online to the store and purchase/download it right away. No having to order the book and wait for it to come in. I will admit to buying some series this way for exactly that reason.

And finally, there's no need to be embarrassed by a book cover any more. Romance novel? No-one's going to see it and judge it - especially if you have a cover on your e-reader. Racy cover? same thing. Again, I have a couple of series that I'm only buying in e-form for just that reason.

Really for me, the dedicated e-ink e-reader really comes down to three main points that raise it over the e-reading apps for phones and tablets (though I'll admit to using the app on my iPad, and I also have the Kobo app on it, though I rarely use it).

First of all, the battery life - it's challenging enough keeping my phone and iPad charged when camping. Having a device for a pastime I do a lot of where I don't have to worry about the battery is a really big plus (I'll easily read for two or three hours a day sometimes).

Second is the convenience of being able to quickly and easily load on non-Kobo or books.

And the third point in favor of the e-ink e-readers: No screen-glare! Which does actually raise a fourth point - how easy it is to read on an e-ink screen under any lighting conditions - bright sun in sunglasses? no problem. Dim shade? Easy. Late at night? Simple. It's so much easier on my eyes. What's more, the e-ink readers give you more control over how the text is laid out on the page/screen I've found. More font-options, margin and line-spacing controls as well.

Overall, as you can see, I'm really hoping that the article linked above isn't correct in it's predictions.

What's your take on the issue?

This post first appeared on All Booked Up, please read the originial post: here

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Interesting article on e-readers and their future


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