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Canadian eReader - Page 70 of 74 - E-reader and book reviews

Kindle Touch – First Impressions (No more creepy dead authors! Woot!)

Those of you who follow my blog will know how much I've lusted after the new Amazon Kindle Touch, and also shared in my frustration at Amazon's refusal to ship it outside the US.  Anyway, today I caved and took a short trip across the US border to Best Buy in Plattsburgh to purchase one.

From my experience with the WiFi only Kobo, I did in the end decide to purchase the base model WiFi only with special offers for $99.  I had a few tense moments when a Nook was produced that had been set aside for me and the saleswoman couldn't find the Kindle Touches…  I was very relieved to finally have it in my hand.

As it is technically not available in Canada I was a little anxious about registering, especially as it took me three attempts with the virtual keyboard.  However, it all seemed to go through and I am now happily downloading my content to my Kindle Touch.

Size wise the Kindle Touch is noticeably smaller and lighter than the Kindle Keyboard – not surprising as it doesn't have a keyboard!  Comparing the screens to the Kindle Keyboard and Kobo, the two Kindles seem virtually identical, whereas the Kobo is noticeably darker with poorer contrast.  The virtual keyboard seems fairly responsive – I felt the Kobo was a little more responsive, but I couldn't swear to it.  In any case, the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate around.  I prefer the Kobo's user UI – books have such pretty covers, it would be nice to see them rather than just straight lists of text with book names.  At least they have FINALLY got rid of those nasty screensavers with the creepy dead authors.  I have the Kindle with Special Offers, which means my screensaver is adverts.  I really don't mind.

Of course, I've only played with it for a few hours.  I will update the blog with more feedback as I get it.

Kindle Touch – First Impressions (No more creepy dead authors! Woot!)

Those of you who follow my blog will know how much I’ve lusted after the new Amazon Kindle Touch, and also shared in my frustration at Amazon’s refusal to ship it outside the US.  Anyway, today I caved and took a short trip across the US border to Best Buy in Plattsburgh to purchase one.

From my experience with the WiFi only Kobo, I did in the end decide to purchase the base model WiFi only with special offers for $99.  I had a few tense moments when a Nook was produced that had been set aside for me and the saleswoman couldn’t find the Kindle Touches…  I was very relieved to finally have it in my hand.

As it is technically not available in Canada I was a little anxious about registering, especially as it took me three attempts with the virtual keyboard.  However, it all seemed to go through and I am now happily downloading my content to my Kindle Touch.

Size wise the Kindle Touch is noticeably smaller and lighter than the Kindle Keyboard – not surprising as it doesn’t have a keyboard!  Comparing the screens to the Kindle Keyboard and Kobo, the two Kindles seem virtually identical, whereas the Kobo is noticeably darker with poorer contrast.  The virtual keyboard seems fairly responsive – I felt the Kobo was a little more responsive, but I couldn’t swear to it.  In any case, the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate around.  I prefer the Kobo’s user UI – books have such pretty covers, it would be nice to see them rather than just straight lists of text with book names.  At least they have FINALLY got rid of those nasty screensavers with the creepy dead authors.  I have the Kindle with Special Offers, which means my screensaver is adverts.  I really don’t mind.

Of course, I’ve only played with it for a few hours.  I will update the blog with more feedback as I get it.

Review – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith follows a similar structure to his earlier book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in that it combines existing material with the fantastical.  The premise of the book is that American President Abraham Lincoln's life was spent hunting vampires as well as abolishing slavery.  
 
A mix of genres
Now, straight historical biography is not a genre I tend to read very often; I'd rather be transported to a new world than learn about someone who lives or lived in ours.  I found this particular combination of hard fact and fantastical fiction to be both fun and somewhat informative.  A reader of this book would not finish it with an encyclopedic knowledge of Lincoln’s life – I must admit I kept Wikipedia on hand to check historical facts – but he may know more about him than he did previously, and possibly be inspired to learn more.   It should be pointed out that as a Brit, my knowledge of American history is sketchy at best.  It may be that American readers will learn little that is new to them.  They however may enjoy trying to guess how the author will incorporate certain events into the vampire mythology.
 
One aspect I particularly enjoyed was the overarching theme connecting both the historical and supernatural; the idea of not judging an individual by the group to which he or she belongs.  This plays out both in Abraham’s attitude towards the vampires as well as the real world issue of race relations and slavery.
 
Pacing and structure
I found the pacing of the novel to be fast – almost too fast at some points.  Sometimes I had the impression Grahame Smith was doing a simple join-the-dots puzzle.  By that I mean he highlighted several well-documented events in Lincoln’s life and built the vampire mythology around them, for example the deaths of Lincoln’s first love and his sons.  These were very well done in themselves, but I would have the author’s going into more depth in many places and expanded upon them. 
 
The novel also breaks its own framing structure; it begins with Seth Grahame Smith’s being presented with Lincoln’s diaries by a vampire, upon which he supposedly based the book.  However, he fails to close this framing structure by not ending the book with a note from the author.   
 
The cultural card
I should point out that as a non-American, my knowledge of America's 16th President is sketchy at best, so I enjoyed learning a little more about Lincoln's life and work.  My enjoyment was probably enhanced also by the fact that, as a Brit, I have no cultural baggage regarding this historical figure. I can imagine that some readers may not be comfortable with the liberties taken with the life of a significant historical character the same way that others did not enjoy Austen’s Pride and Prejudice’s forming the basis of Grahame Smith’s earlier work.  I notice a series has recently been commissioned with Britain's Queen Victoria as a vampire – it will be interesting to see if I have the same reaction.
 
Why should you read this book?
Assuming you have no objections to historical figures being imported into vampire fiction, and despite its flaws, this is a fun read.  The overarching theme of not judging individuals by their group is well presented and forms a cohesive link between historical fact and vampire fiction.  Don’t expect any insights into Lincoln’s mind though!
 

Review – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith follows a similar structure to his earlier book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in that it combines existing material with the fantastical.  The premise of the book is that American President Abraham Lincoln’s life was spent hunting vampires as well as abolishing slavery.

A mix of genres
Now, straight historical biography is not a genre I tend to read very often; I’d rather be transported to a new world than learn about someone who lives or lived in ours.  I found this particular combination of hard fact and fantastical fiction to be both fun and somewhat informative.  A reader of this book would not finish it with an encyclopedic knowledge of Lincoln’s life – I must admit I kept Wikipedia on hand to check historical facts – but he may know more about him than he did previously, and possibly be inspired to learn more.   It should be pointed out that as a Brit, my knowledge of American history is sketchy at best.  It may be that American readers will learn little that is new to them.  They however may enjoy trying to guess how the author will incorporate certain events into the vampire mythology.

One aspect I particularly enjoyed was the overarching theme connecting both the historical and supernatural; the idea of not judging an individual by the group to which he or she belongs.  This plays out both in Abraham’s attitude towards the vampires as well as the real world issue of race relations and slavery.

Pacing and structure
I found the pacing of the novel to be fast – almost too fast at some points.  Sometimes I had the impression Grahame Smith was doing a simple join-the-dots puzzle.  By that I mean he highlighted several well-documented events in Lincoln’s life and built the vampire mythology around them, for example the deaths of Lincoln’s first love and his sons.  These were very well done in themselves, but I would have the author’s going into more depth in many places and expanded upon them.

The novel also breaks its own framing structure; it begins with Seth Grahame Smith’s being presented with Lincoln’s diaries by a vampire, upon which he supposedly based the book.  However, he fails to close this framing structure by not ending the book with a note from the author.

The cultural card
I should point out that as a non-American, my knowledge of America’s 16th President is sketchy at best, so I enjoyed learning a little more about Lincoln’s life and work.  My enjoyment was probably enhanced also by the fact that, as a Brit, I have no cultural baggage regarding this historical figure. I can imagine that some readers may not be comfortable with the liberties taken with the life of a significant historical character the same way that others did not enjoy Austen’s Pride and Prejudice’s forming the basis of Grahame Smith’s earlier work.  I notice a series has recently been commissioned with Britain’s Queen Victoria as a vampire – it will be interesting to see if I have the same reaction.

Why should you read this book?
Assuming you have no objections to historical figures being imported into vampire fiction, and despite its flaws, this is a fun read.  The overarching theme of not judging individuals by their group is well presented and forms a cohesive link between historical fact and vampire fiction.  Don’t expect any insights into Lincoln’s mind though!

The 2011/2012 TV Season – What I’m Watching

Now that autumn's here, it's time to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate, a purring cat on your lap (or in the case of Meret, a biting cat…), to watch the new TV season.  

There are several new and returning shows that I am following:

Desperate Housewives (ABC): this is the final season for Bree, Susan, Gaby and Lynette, and after eight years of following their exploits, I feel morally obliged to watch, despite the lacklustre effort of the last few seasons.  If nothing else, the increase in tension of not knowing if all four are going to make it to the end of the season does add a bit of interest.  There is a conscious effort to come full circle with many events this season echoing back to the first season, which is very nicely done.

Glee (Fox): I absolutely adored Glee's first season.  The mix of music and characters was fun TV viewing.  Unfortunately, the second season had a major slump, focusing too much on new characters and not so much on those we'd come to love over the first season.  The producers are promising a return to first season goodness, but we shall see.  So far the first couple of episodes have not drawn me in.

House (Fox): Although not officially announced as the last season, I'd be very surprised if House were renewed for a further season despite the excellence of Hugh Laurie.  So far the episodes have been watchable, but nothing outstanding.

Terra Nova (Fox): this is Fox's all-out budget drama for this year, and involves dinosaurs and time travel.  While the pilot made an interesting two-hour TV movie, the characters were not engaging enough for me to commit to watching the rest of the series.

Person of Interest (CBS): CBS's new Michael Emerson vehicle centres around an eccentric millionaire who has developed a computer system  linked to surveillance footage to predict crimes.  He brings in a rogue military man (Jim Caveziel) for the heavy grunt work.  Of course, I could quite happily spend an hour watching the wonderful Emerson watch paint dry, so this is on my list of regular viewing.

Grimm (NBC): I have not yet seen the premiere of this, but the premise sounds intriguing.  From what I understand it's about a catcher of evil fairytale characters in the modern world.

PanAm (ABC): This is another part of ABC's Sunday evening lineup.  It's about the lives of 1960s PanAm stewardesses, one of whom is a CIA courier.  So far I'm enjoying it – great costumes and interesting characters.

Once Upon a Time (ABC): For me this is the standout show of the new season.  I've only seen one episode and already I'm begging for more.  It is by the writers of Lost, and its pedigree shows.  The concept is intriguing – fairytale characters trapped in modern day Maine – and the characters are well written and acted.  I'm seeing hints of the character development and mystery that were a hallmark of Lost's success so I hope ABC has a real winner on its hands.   

The 2011/2012 TV Season – What I’m Watching

Now that autumn's here, it's time to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate, a purring cat on your lap (or in the case of Meret, a biting cat…), to watch the new TV season.  

There are several new and returning shows that I am following:

Desperate Housewives (ABC): this is the final season for Bree, Susan, Gaby and Lynette, and after eight years of following their exploits, I feel morally obliged to watch, despite the lacklustre effort of the last few seasons.  If nothing else, the increase in tension of not knowing if all four are going to make it to the end of the season does add a bit of interest.  There is a conscious effort to come full circle with many events this season echoing back to the first season, which is very nicely done.

Glee (Fox): I absolutely adored Glee's first season.  The mix of music and characters was fun TV viewing.  Unfortunately, the second season had a major slump, focusing too much on new characters and not so much on those we'd come to love over the first season.  The producers are promising a return to first season goodness, but we shall see.  So far the first couple of episodes have not drawn me in.

House (Fox): Although not officially announced as the last season, I'd be very surprised if House were renewed for a further season despite the excellence of Hugh Laurie.  So far the episodes have been watchable, but nothing outstanding.

Terra Nova (Fox): this is Fox's all-out budget drama for this year, and involves dinosaurs and time travel.  While the pilot made an interesting two-hour TV movie, the characters were not engaging enough for me to commit to watching the rest of the series.

Person of Interest (CBS): CBS's new Michael Emerson vehicle centres around an eccentric millionaire who has developed a computer system  linked to surveillance footage to predict crimes.  He brings in a rogue military man (Jim Caveziel) for the heavy grunt work.  Of course, I could quite happily spend an hour watching the wonderful Emerson watch paint dry, so this is on my list of regular viewing.

Grimm (NBC): I have not yet seen the premiere of this, but the premise sounds intriguing.  From what I understand it's about a catcher of evil fairytale characters in the modern world.

PanAm (ABC): This is another part of ABC's Sunday evening lineup.  It's about the lives of 1960s PanAm stewardesses, one of whom is a CIA courier.  So far I'm enjoying it – great costumes and interesting characters.

Once Upon a Time (ABC): For me this is the standout show of the new season.  I've only seen one episode and already I'm begging for more.  It is by the writers of Lost, and its pedigree shows.  The concept is intriguing – fairytale characters trapped in modern day Maine – and the characters are well written and acted.  I'm seeing hints of the character development and mystery that were a hallmark of Lost's success so I hope ABC has a real winner on its hands.   

A Few More Thoughts on the Kobo eReader

So I have been using the Kobo now for almost a week, and I must say I have enjoyed using it.  The touch interface seems responsive and is fun to use.  There are many things I prefer about the Kobo user interface to the Kindle interface – the use of book covers for one thing.  Some of those are very attractive and the Kindle's text-based user interface seems a little basic by comparison.  Of course, I have not seen the UI for the Kindle Touch, but from the video of the Amazon press conference it seems as if it is still predominantly text based.  Amazon's Collections feature where you can categorise your books into user defined groups for easier searching is one thing I find hard to live without.  Currently I only have a few books on the Kobo, so choosing/finding one is not too tricky,  but on my Kindle I have over 30 pages of books.  

A lot of the things I like about my Kindle are UI based.  I enjoy sharing on my Facebook page and Twitter feed when I find an interesting passage or have finished a book.  I just find that more intuitive on the Kindle than the Kobo.  Of course, maybe I'm just not used to the Kobo enough.  I also believe that the Amazon e-reading experience and infrastructure is geared towards simplicity in a way that the Kobo's is not.  

From what I've seen, the major difference between the Kobo and the Kindle is that the Kobo is a stand-alone reader capable of reading industry standard ebooks from multiple suppliers  whereas the Kindle is an integral and highly integrated part of one major supplier's ebook offering.  For Kobo this means that you are free to purchase/download ebooks from any number of sellers and libraries.  In the Kindle's case, this allows hardware, software and surrounding infrastructure all to work together seamlessly.  The downside of this is, it is a closed environment, and you are dependant on Amazon.  

That does concern me somewhat.  I do worry what would happen in the – very unlikely – event that Amazon were to close its doors and no longer support its Kindle ereader.  I have now invested heavily in Kindle format ebooks and it would be a serious undertaking to convert them all to the more open ePub format.  If my ebooks were in the open ePub format, I could put them on many other ereaders and they would be perfectly readable.  

At this point though, I am beginning to appreciate the whole Amazon infrastructure; book selection, ease of use, Whispersync synchronisation, customer service.  Despite my frustration at the US-centric focus, I am in general happy with the Kindle, and will likely to continue using it as my ebook reader and Amazon as my main supplier.  That is not to say there is no room for the Kobo there.  I am seriously tempted to keep it, too, in order to read library books and other ePub books not available for the Kindle.

A Few More Thoughts on the Kobo eReader

So I have been using the Kobo now for almost a week, and I must say I have enjoyed using it.  The touch interface seems responsive and is fun to use.  There are many things I prefer about the Kobo user interface to the Kindle interface – the use of book covers for one thing.  Some of those are very attractive and the Kindle’s text-based user interface seems a little basic by comparison.  Of course, I have not seen the UI for the Kindle Touch, but from the video of the Amazon press conference it seems as if it is still predominantly text based.  Amazon’s Collections feature where you can categorise your books into user defined groups for easier searching is one thing I find hard to live without.  Currently I only have a few books on the Kobo, so choosing/finding one is not too tricky,  but on my Kindle I have over 30 pages of books.

A lot of the things I like about my Kindle are UI based.  I enjoy sharing on my Facebook page and Twitter feed when I find an interesting passage or have finished a book.  I just find that more intuitive on the Kindle than the Kobo.  Of course, maybe I’m just not used to the Kobo enough.  I also believe that the Amazon e-reading experience and infrastructure is geared towards simplicity in a way that the Kobo’s is not.

From what I’ve seen, the major difference between the Kobo and the Kindle is that the Kobo is a stand-alone reader capable of reading industry standard ebooks from multiple suppliers  whereas the Kindle is an integral and highly integrated part of one major supplier’s ebook offering.  For Kobo this means that you are free to purchase/download ebooks from any number of sellers and libraries.  In the Kindle’s case, this allows hardware, software and surrounding infrastructure all to work together seamlessly.  The downside of this is, it is a closed environment, and you are dependant on Amazon.

That does concern me somewhat.  I do worry what would happen in the – very unlikely – event that Amazon were to close its doors and no longer support its Kindle ereader.  I have now invested heavily in Kindle format ebooks and it would be a serious undertaking to convert them all to the more open ePub format.  If my ebooks were in the open ePub format, I could put them on many other ereaders and they would be perfectly readable.

At this point though, I am beginning to appreciate the whole Amazon infrastructure; book selection, ease of use, Whispersync synchronisation, customer service.  Despite my frustration at the US-centric focus, I am in general happy with the Kindle, and will likely to continue using it as my ebook reader and Amazon as my main supplier.  That is not to say there is no room for the Kobo there.  I am seriously tempted to keep it, too, in order to read library books and other ePub books not available for the Kindle.

Kobo Touch eReader First Impressions

So, I have unboxed the Kobo Touch and have spent my first few hours with it.  My first impressions are generally positive.

Hardware: 

The Kobo Touch has the same 6 inch eInk display as the Kindle.  From what I could see, there was no discernible difference in contrast between the two, but as they use different fonts, it was tricky to say.  In any case, both are clear and easy to read.  I found the IR touchscreen reasonably responsive and easy to use.  In comparison to the Kindle 3G Keyboard the Kobo seems tiny; of course this is because it doesn't have a keyboard.  

I found the Kobo comfortable and easy to hold, and page turns were easy.  I did miss being able to turn back a page with my right hand – the Kindle has page back buttons on the same side of the case as the page forward one.  Personally, I found I had to use two hands – not easy with a cat purring in your lap.

One thing the Kobo does slightly differently to the Kindle is the screen refreshes.  By default it will only refresh the screen fully on every sixth page turn,  minimising the black flash.  Some users have commented that this has led to ghosting, but that is not something I noticed on my Kobo.  

User interface:

I found the user interface to be intuitive and easy to use.  The touchscreen keyboard works fine, even if it did take me about 10 minutes to find the underscore!  I like the home screen with the covers of the last few books you were reading.  The Reading Life section with your reading stats looks fun, too, although I haven't read enough yet on my Kobo to build that up.  I'm not sure if that will become annoying after a while.  The various views of your library are nice looking too, with the covers.  I found myself wanting to scroll as I do on my iPhone Kindle and Kobo apps!  I am not so fond of the way you can only view your library in one huge long list or one short list of your currently active items.  The Kindle's ability to split your list into collections is something I've really liked about it.

Ease of purchase:

The Kobo was super easy to purchase.  I simply went into my local Chapters bookstore and walked out 10 minutes later with my Kobo – for inquiring minds, I chose the silver coloured one.  I understand the Kindle is now available to purchase in store in Canada, but when I bought my last one, I had to order online, wait THREE MONTHS (delayed international shipments) and then it finally arrived.  

Ease of setup:

Setting up the Kobo wasn't particularly complicated.  I had to download the Kobo software, plugin my Kobo and then it was ready to register.  It asked if I had an existing Kobo account – I do – and when I entered my ID and password it registered it to my account.  I connected easily to my WiFi network and the Kobo downloaded the books I had on my account.

Of course, this is complex compared to the Kindle setup.  When you purchase it through the Amazon website on your Amazon account it comes pre-registered.  As soon as you hook it up to WiFi or 3G, it recognises you and is ready to download your Kindle library.

Book purchasing:

As I have mentioned, I had purchased a few books on Kobo prior to purchasing my Kindle when I was exploring the ebook market.  They were all there for me to download.  I picked up a free book and purchased one yesterday via the Kobo website and after a quick WiFi sync both books appeared in my Kobo's library.  No need to sync with a cable.  I also downloaded a sample on my Kobo and it's also available to me on my computer via the Kobo website.

Library/non Kobo books:

I borrowed a book from the BAnQ here in Montreal and was able to side load it to my Kobo via Adobe Digital Editions with no problem.  I'm now quite happily reading it.  It was in ePub format.  I did notice that some of the library books are in PDF format.  The other non Amazon book I had that I was keen to try on the Kobo was Les Chevaliers d'Emeraude by Anne Robillard.  The copy I purchased from Archambault was in PDF, and unfortunately neither the Kindle nor the Kobo are that great at handling PDFs.  

Other points:

When Kobo goes to sleep mode, it displays the cover of the book you're currently reading.  I really like that.  No more creepy dead authors staring back at you.  The Kindle owners amongst you will know exactly what I mean!

I may be mistaken, but as far as I can tell there is no option to pre-order books through the Kobo website.  That is something I do fairly often on the Kindle.  I love that when I wake up on the release day of a new book it will be waiting for me on my Kindle without my having to do anything.  

In general:

I believe the Kobo is a decent e-reader and I could see it working well for me.  I am trying to borrow more from the library, for which the Kobo is great.  However, I'd prefer not to have my ebook library split over two incompatible systems.  Both the Kindle and Kobo have pros and cons for me personally, and I will be reviewing carefully over the next couple of weeks to decide which direction I want to go.

Kobo Touch eReader First Impressions

So, I have unboxed the Kobo Touch and have spent my first few hours with it.  My first impressions are generally positive.

Hardware: 

The Kobo Touch has the same 6 inch eInk display as the Kindle.  From what I could see, there was no discernible difference in contrast between the two, but as they use different fonts, it was tricky to say.  In any case, both are clear and easy to read.  I found the IR touchscreen reasonably responsive and easy to use.  In comparison to the Kindle 3G Keyboard the Kobo seems tiny; of course this is because it doesn’t have a keyboard.

I found the Kobo comfortable and easy to hold, and page turns were easy.  I did miss being able to turn back a page with my right hand – the Kindle has page back buttons on the same side of the case as the page forward one.  Personally, I found I had to use two hands – not easy with a cat purring in your lap.

One thing the Kobo does slightly differently to the Kindle is the screen refreshes.  By default it will only refresh the screen fully on every sixth page turn,  minimising the black flash.  Some users have commented that this has led to ghosting, but that is not something I noticed on my Kobo.

User interface:

I found the user interface to be intuitive and easy to use.  The touchscreen keyboard works fine, even if it did take me about 10 minutes to find the underscore!  I like the home screen with the covers of the last few books you were reading.  The Reading Life section with your reading stats looks fun, too, although I haven’t read enough yet on my Kobo to build that up.  I’m not sure if that will become annoying after a while.  The various views of your library are nice looking too, with the covers.  I found myself wanting to scroll as I do on my iPhone Kindle and Kobo apps!  I am not so fond of the way you can only view your library in one huge long list or one short list of your currently active items.  The Kindle’s ability to split your list into collections is something I’ve really liked about it.

Ease of purchase:

The Kobo was super easy to purchase.  I simply went into my local Chapters bookstore and walked out 10 minutes later with my Kobo – for inquiring minds, I chose the silver coloured one.  I understand the Kindle is now available to purchase in store in Canada, but when I bought my last one, I had to order online, wait THREE MONTHS (delayed international shipments) and then it finally arrived.

Ease of setup:

Setting up the Kobo wasn’t particularly complicated.  I had to download the Kobo software, plugin my Kobo and then it was ready to register.  It asked if I had an existing Kobo account – I do – and when I entered my ID and password it registered it to my account.  I connected easily to my WiFi network and the Kobo downloaded the books I had on my account.

Of course, this is complex compared to the Kindle setup.  When you purchase it through the Amazon website on your Amazon account it comes pre-registered.  As soon as you hook it up to WiFi or 3G, it recognises you and is ready to download your Kindle library.

Book purchasing:

As I have mentioned, I had purchased a few books on Kobo prior to purchasing my Kindle when I was exploring the ebook market.  They were all there for me to download.  I picked up a free book and purchased one yesterday via the Kobo website and after a quick WiFi sync both books appeared in my Kobo’s library.  No need to sync with a cable.  I also downloaded a sample on my Kobo and it’s also available to me on my computer via the Kobo website.

Library/non Kobo books:

I borrowed a book from the BAnQ here in Montreal and was able to side load it to my Kobo via Adobe Digital Editions with no problem.  I’m now quite happily reading it.  It was in ePub format.  I did notice that some of the library books are in PDF format.  The other non Amazon book I had that I was keen to try on the Kobo was Les Chevaliers d’Emeraude by Anne Robillard.  The copy I purchased from Archambault was in PDF, and unfortunately neither the Kindle nor the Kobo are that great at handling PDFs.

Other points:

When Kobo goes to sleep mode, it displays the cover of the book you’re currently reading.  I really like that.  No more creepy dead authors staring back at you.  The Kindle owners amongst you will know exactly what I mean!

I may be mistaken, but as far as I can tell there is no option to pre-order books through the Kobo website.  That is something I do fairly often on the Kindle.  I love that when I wake up on the release day of a new book it will be waiting for me on my Kindle without my having to do anything.

In general:

I believe the Kobo is a decent e-reader and I could see it working well for me.  I am trying to borrow more from the library, for which the Kobo is great.  However, I’d prefer not to have my ebook library split over two incompatible systems.  Both the Kindle and Kobo have pros and cons for me personally, and I will be reviewing carefully over the next couple of weeks to decide which direction I want to go.

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