Sticking to the theme of this blog as a place to dump a review or deliver a “hot take” of whatever it is I’m currently doing, I decided to add a section for book reviews. I’ve slowly been getting back into reading lately, mostly on my tablet since I prefer a digital screen over paper. I like how a digital screen allows me to adjust font size, type, background colour, etc; but best of all, I can read in bed.
I work evenings and do not get into bed until very late on most days. The tablet allows me to read in the dark without the need of a overhead light, so there is little risk of disturbing my wife who gets up at 5:30AM for her job. The only real drawback for me is eye strain which comes to me much quicker compared to paper. I was getting around this by reading a paper book during the day and switching to the an ebook version of the same book late at night. The first few minutes of each reading session began with me finding where I had left off from one format to the next.
This eyestrain had me beginning to look into e-readers. e-readers use a different technology than tablets or smart phones as there is no back light. They call it “virtual paper” or “E Ink” which is designed to reflect light the same way paper does. The only real draw back is how it is only works in black and white making it a none option for those mini-computers. After testing a one out at a Chapters, I was sold. The words jumped off the device’s page/screen while its size and weight is approximately the same the same as a trade paperback. I could instantly see the benefit of adding yet another device into my life.
Now I had to decide on a brand. The two big options are the Canadian made Kobo and the American made amazon Kindle. Both are review very well, and the Kindle’s biggest advantage over the Kobo is it’s connection to the amazon store, but I went with a Kobo for one simple feature. Free books>buying books.
In the US, the amazon store is not your only legit option to read books on the Kindle. The e-reader will link to the US libraries as well allowing you to virtually take out e-books. The Kindle does not feature any library option in Canada, but the Kobo will allow you to link up to the Canadian libraries. Kobo it is. The feature is a little cumbersome as you do need to go through a PC to get your library book onto the device, but it beats spending $10-$15 on each book.
I choose the Kobo aura H2O which is a couple of steps up from the base model. It has 4 LED lights which point down at the screen allowing you to read in the dark and is water tight. (I have polished off a few paperbacks that began their time in my hands in mint condition and ended it as waterlogged.) I’ve owned the Kobo for just under two weeks now and I’m already onto my third book. Reading this quick has never happen to me before.
So, my good virtual friend Deke (Read his great blog right here) who after spotting my Goodreads/facebook post on Stephen King’s The Dark Half suggested doing write up here on the ol’ blog instead. I thought; Yeah, why not? I’ve written about a book before and I already do movies, music, and video games… I might as well go all in on books too. I can’t promise constant posts or anything as life is too busy for that, but I will try to write a little something if I have something to say after finishing a book.
I’ll begin working on a write up for The Dark Half after this, but one last plug for e-readers before I go. I highly suggest heading over to a Chapters and giving one a spin for free if you haven’t already. If you are Canadian I suggest getting a library card with a Kobo. You won’t need to spend another penny outside of the Kobo itself, and nothing beats the experience of taking out an e-book from your computer desk with only your gitch on. I love technology.