|

The delights of ebookery are many...

Let's see...? My kobo ereader arrived in July and my  ebook library now boasts over 600 titles. 

I have been a busy beaver.

Everything is in its place within Calibre  -- the extremely useful, the quintessential,  ebook management program -- and stored on my portable hard drive. As I decide to read a book I sync it from Calibre to my kobo ereader device. 

Consequently as culture and habits go I've been reading up a storm these last few months as my habit and preference  has shifted from hard copy to digital text. 

Evidence suggests that ebook owners and readers read more books when they turn away from hard copy. It figures. eBook readers are much lighter than books. More portable than books. They are a bookstore and extensive customized library held between two fingers.

All that stuff they feed you about alternatives to dedicated ebook readers: don't believe it. Laptops, iPads, tablets and such with their muli functionality don't provide what reading is all about. And contrary to the Luddite notion, books are not about smell and texture. Books are about reading thousands of words in comfort and ease...of your mind engaging with the text.

If McLuhan waxed on about the medium being the message  the primary medium is the text not the device. eBook reading is another way to access the medium of text.

I use a Kobo and you'll read stuff that will tell you that the Kobo isn't as flashy as the Kindle or the Nook. Apparently we are supposed to decide on what we read and how we read it  by ruling on the the way a book is bound. But there's only one rule as far as I'm concerned: epub -- and if you want a good read, you prefer all your stuff in epub format.

This is where the marriage of Kobo and Calibre kicks in. The Nook and the Kindle -- plus other ebook reader systems no doubt -- are closed systems designed to be online web store dependent.  Whereas  the Kobo -- and few other ebook readers unfortunately -- are open to delivering epub  and other formats regardless of where the book comes from (but certainly not not from Amazon in the Kindle file format).

So the reading world is your oyster in a way that the monopoly imposed by Kindle is not. 

However, if you think you'll be reading in the horrid format of pdf you need a bigger screen than what the Kobo offers. PDF of text alone in single column is easily converted to epub by using Calibre. But if your read is in paired (or several) columns with lot's of diagrams and graphics or in large size format -- little, light ereaders like Kobo won't suit. PDF after all is a format designed for printing. It is not an ebook format -- despite what the publishers try to make you believe. They like it because  they think it is easier to protect copyright by publishing in pdf rather than with epub (not really true ).

With Calibre there's a wonderful 'Get Books' button which will search the web for the book you're after and give you a range of sources to obtain it. If you want a particular book and want to read it on your Kobo I suggest your search and download within the Calibre options rather than do it via some other application -- like the crappy ebook program that comes with Kobo (which will restrict your search to the Kobo bookstore).

I also use the Calibre/Kobo partnership to read long web articles. If the article is long and I want to read it, rather than put up with all the scrolling required to read it online, I convert it to epub (a one click download) and sync it to my device for reading at leisure off line while out and about. 

Ah! eBookery is the best thing...since sliced bread.


0 comments:

Post a Comment