Kobo eReader, and What I’ve Been eReading


I was given a Kobo eReader for my birthday and yes, it’s definitely been keeping me busy!

I was able to move my library of ePubs bought from the Sony Reader Store onto my Kobo eReader – it was something I could have done before on my iPhone, by moving the ePubs to the Stanza app, but I never got around to it before now.

If you’re new to the Kobo eReader, or thinking of getting one, I highly recommend downloading the Calibre ebook management program. I was already using it to convert public domain PDFs from Project Guttenberg into ePub format, as well as converting my own WIPs into ePubs so I could do a first readthrough on my iPhone, but as it turns out, it’s a fabulous program for managing ebook content on the Kobo eReader; it’s a great way to selectively weed out the 100 classics that come preinstalled on the device.

But the thing I really like about my Kobo eReader is that I can now read DRM-protected PDFs on the go!  I have several of these, and up until now, they’ve been stuck in my “I’ll get around to reading them someday” pile because I haven’t been using my netbook very much, and I simply don’t like reading books on my desktop monitor.

Mind you, it’s not perfect (and that’s a function of PDF as a format for ebooks, and not the device itself)  – the reading experience depends on each individual PDF. With some PDFs, I can select an optimum font size and I’m still able to read each page in whole on the screen; other PDFs require me to choose either a too-small font size in order to fit an entire page onto the screen, or scroll back and forth. And let me just say, scrolling back and forth on a page (or up and down), is not fun.

So DRM-protected PDFs are now (mostly) readable on the go. But when it comes to my preferred ebook format, it’s definitely ePub.

I’ve been reading a fair bit on my new eReader. The funny thing is, I still prefer reading on my iPhone (which is why I’m holding out for an iPad for Christmas …).

What I’m eReading on my Kobo eReader right now:

No One Lives TwiceNo One Lives Twice, by Julie Moffett. This ePub came to me courtesy of NetGalley and Carina Press. Carina Press is Harlequin’s digital-only imprint publishing across a wide range of genres, and No One Lives Twice sounded like a book I’d love:

I’m Lexi Carmichael, geek extraordinaire. I spend my days stopping computer hackers at the National Security Agency. My nights? Those I spend avoiding my mother and eating cereal for dinner. Even though I work for a top-secret agency, I’ve never been in an exciting car chase, sipped a stirred (not shaken) martini, or shot a poison dart from an umbrella.

Unfortunately, it turned out I was wrong – and this is through no fault of the book itself. It’s just that it isn’t a match to my taste as a reader. I’d been anticipating more of a thriller novel with a female genius computer hacking main character doing lots of extraordinary things, but No One Lives Twice is more of a romantic suspense novel, with two possible love interests (who are both referred to in the rest of the synopsis, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t warned), and the extraordinary genius computer stunts are performed by one of the love interests and a set of super-smart twins (so far, anyway – I’m on chapter 18 of 26).

While it’s not really to my taste (I’m just not much into romance when it comes to books), there are lots of fun dollops of humor in it and the writing style is an easy read, so if romantic suspense is a genre you enjoy, you can check out the excerpt at Carina Press here.

Hacking Timbuktu

Hacking Timbuktu, by Stephen Davies, is a YA novel scheduled for release this coming November. I received my ACR courtesy of NetGalley and Clarion Books, and have just started reading it.

Danny is a freelance IT specialist–that is, a hacker. He and his pal Omar are both skilled at parkour, or freerunning, a discipline designed to enable practitioners to travel between any two points regardless of obstacles. This is fortunate, because they’re off on an adventure that’s filled with obstacles, from locked doors to gangs of hostile pursuers. Together they follow a cryptic clue, find a missing map, figure out how to get to Timbuktu without buying a plane ticket, and join the life-and-death treasure hunt, exchanging wisecracks and solving the puzzle one step at a time.

I am familiar with parkour, or freerunning, because it’s something my husband is interested in (and participated in, until he hurt his knee last year). It’s exciting to watch, and the pairing of it with the computer hacking is intriguing to say the least. So far, I’m on page 70 of 274, and Hacking Timbuktu is living up to its promise.

The LineupI am midway through The Lineup: : The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler:

What was the real-life location that inspired Michael Connelly to make Harry Bosch a Vietnam vet tunnel rat? Why is Jack Reacher a drifter? How did a brief encounter in Botswana inspire Alexander McCall Smith to create Precious Ramotswe? In The Lineup, some of the top mystery writers in the world tell about the genesis of their most beloved characters–or, in some cases, let their creations do the talking.

If you find these questions interesting – and I definitely do! – you’ll love The Lineup. I’ve also discovered some mystery series that I’ve now added to my TBR list. As a writer, the essays in this book are especially interesting; it’s a peek into how a series character has developed, and absolutely fascinating from a writing point of view.

The Element

I’m also on chapter 3 of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by Ken Robinson:

The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transform­ing education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century.

I’m really enjoying reading the various stories of all the different people in the book; the rest of the material isn’t quite as interesting, as it simply reinforces what I already know to be true. But it’s fun learning things like the fact that Elvis Presley didn’t make his high school glee club because the director of the club thought Presley couldn’t sing!

14 thoughts on “Kobo eReader, and What I’ve Been eReading

  1. Cat Woods

    Thanks for your reviews. I’m glad you let on to the secret of the love affair in the book No One Lives Twice. I’m a bit more action/suspense oriented than I am a romance reader.

    Glad you like your e-reader. I have a kindle and love it.
    .-= Cat Woods´s last blog ..Return of the Zombie Writer =-.

  2. Steve Kubien

    I am so jealous of you with your Kobo! I want one but I am still getting used to my iPhone so that will have ot do me for now. No more toys for me (except a VERY carving knife I got today. Shhhh, don’t tell Julie).

  3. nat @book, line, and sinker

    i’m at 40% in mockingjay on my kindle! i haven’t quite figured out how to download files on it and just spend outlandish amounts of money on amazon! i’ll have to look into it one day soon.

    how do you like your ereader? there was a bunch of hoopla a few weeks back on a blog about kindles and amazon in general and wonder how other people feel about their readers.

  4. India Drummond

    I’m definitely jealous of the Kobo, but I think I just want to have one of every kind of reader out there! After all, I already have a Sony and I also read books on my iPod Touch using the free Kindle app.

    I would love to have an iPad, but they’re waaaaay overpriced, IMO.
    .-= India Drummond´s last blog ..Happy Thought =-.

  5. Stephanie

    This is actually the first Kobo review I have seen! I am excited because I had my eye on the Kobo since it was released. Unfortunately, I have a fully functioning first generation Kindle that I don’t even use that much, so I am not in the market for a new ereader. With all the selections now, I would have held out for something sleeker.

  6. Vasilly

    You’re the first blogger I’ve seen talk about a Kobo. It’s really cut. I think I’m going to add Hacking Timbuktu to my TBR pile. Have a great week!

  7. Ann Best

    Thanks for commenting on a recent blog, which brought me here.

    How very interesting, the Kobo e-reader. I’m going to check it out. I have a Nook; I like it. Like you, I don’t like to read off my computer screen, so sometimes if I buy an e-book, I buy it so I can download it into MSWord and then print it out.

    How the publishing world has changed! But my heart is still with “old fashioned” publishing, and the brick and mortar bookstore.
    .-= Ann Best´s last blog ..The Show Must Go On =-.

  8. Penny

    I preordered a Kobo and had to take it in once to have it upgraded. I am super happy with it. I LOVE to read and at home, I tend to use the library. However, on holiday, I have always found it difficult to finish reading a book so that I can return it and then lug along umpteen books. I deliberately loaded The Passage and This Body of Death (Elizabeth George) both ginormous books. The Kobo is nice to hold AND really, I love it because all I want to do is read – I have no wish to surf the net or check email. IMHO the Kobo satisfies the very basic need of a reader – something to read. I had wondered if the “plasticity” might come between me and the experience BUT when I found myself more than once reaching for the top to turn the page, I realized that no, it’s the content that obviously counts.!


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