Well strictly speaking they gave me the money to buy it, and let me choose my own preference form the models and makes available.
|Almost as silly a name as Kindle|
At first the Kindle seemed the best bet, but it's a bloody stupid name, and I'd read that it is difficult to use if you don't wish to buy your ebooks from Amazon. The Nook looked good, but it's not officially available down here in NZ, and the version I wanted (and one that a colleague had sneaked into the country) which could also play MP3s only had a battery life of about 8 hours and used an illuminated LCD screen, which didn't work very well in direct sunlight.
All I really wanted to do was to read books from the device, and an E-Ink based device would let me read, even in bright sunlight for about 2-4 weeks before it needed to be recharged. Imagine you're on holiday. You can pack all your favourite books into your ebook reader, read them when sitting on the beach or beside the pool, and don't need to worry about running out of power all through your vacation.
So I bought the Kobo Touch. (Why on Earth do all the manufacturers come up with these stupid names; Nook, Kindle, Kobo? Why not something more straightforward, like Sony's Reader?)
I love my Kobo. It gives an amazingly sharp display that I can read in most light levels (It does need a light to read in the dark, because the display relies on reflection of ambient light to work) and it's small and light enough so that I can slip it into a jacket pocket and take it wherever I go.
Digital books are generally a lot cheaper than the traditional paper-based books, and they can be purchased on line and very, very quickly. Plus there are a lot of free digital books out there. Many of the older classics are out of copyright, and can be obtained from multiple sources.
|Many, many books. Heaven.|
One of the features I really like, now that I've been using my Kobo for a couple of weeks is the ability to read multiple books. I can be reading one book, close it down, switch to a second and a third, re-open the first, and my kobo will remember where I was in that book, and open that page.
I can carry hundreds of books in the machine without even adding any extra memory, and a cheap microSD card will increase the capacity into the thousands. I can switch to any book, depending on my mood.
|YOU want to control ME?|
As far as I can see, the only disadvantage to the ebooks is the stupid Digital Rights Management restrictions built into the publications. If I buy a paper book and enjoy it, I would be able to lend it to a friend to read. If they enjoyed it, they would probably buy their own copies of that author's other books, so everyone benefits. But the Digital publishers are scared of illegal copying and distribution, so they try and build in security that stops electronic duplication.
Unfortunately, their methodology also restricts which devices are capable of displaying their books. Amazon's proprietary book format only works on the Kindle, so theoretically I cannot use it on my Kobo.
But there are methods. I'm not just a pretty face, I'm a computer teacher.
Let's just say that I can use any ebook from any publisher on my Kobo. NOBODY tells me what to do with something I've purchased. I have no intention of releasing these publications onto the WWW. I respect the author's right to make some money from his work. I might lend it to a couple of friends; they might lend a couple to me, but we'll all be buying more from the author if we like his work.
|My favourite software|
The only real complaint I have is over the price of most ebooks.
Why, if a large part of the price of a book is the actual physical publication on paper, transportation and storage, does a digital document cost close to the price for a hardcopy one?
Beats the hell out of me.