On Thursday, April 25, 2013, Kobo launched what they’re calling a “re-imagined” eReader: the Kobo Aura HD. It’s being marketed as “the only premium eReader on the market,” offering an enhanced eReading experience, which improves the onscreen reading clarity by 20% from that of any other HD eReader. More importantly, it’s been designed specifically for avid readers. On the same day that it was launched, I began reading my first eBook on this very same device, which was given to me by Kobo in exchange for my honest opinion of it. Does it live up to the hype? Keep reading this eReader review to see if it’s worth picking up one for yourself or adding it your wish list for an upcoming gift opportunity.
Now, the Kobo Aura HD isn’t my first experience with a dedicated eReading device. Before it died last summer, I’d been using a Sony eReader Pocket Edition for a few years, which doesn’t have touch screen technology. Since December 2012, I’ve been regularly reading for a Kobo Mini, which like this new option, does. I happen to enjoy the Kobo Mini with its cute size and soft body texture, but the Aura HD is a cut above any other eReading experience I’ve had while reading a book from my Kobo Library. Many eInk eReaders have an obvious delay when you turn the “page” until the new page appears, usually with an accompanying flash on the screen that is semi-disruptive. With the Aura HD, however, you move from page to page without any of the typical lag time of other eReaders. I guess that has something to do with the speed of the 1 Ghz processor with which it’s equipped, so while you might get used to a slower processing time of other products and/or settle for physical copies to avoid the annoyance, you can rest assured that this time, the difference between reading a book and an eBook won’t be noticeable.
One aspect of this eReader that is highlighted in the product literature is just how much crisper the text looks on the Kobo Aura HD screen than it does on any other eReader available as of March 2013. The truth is that with my pretty excellent vision, I didn’t notice much of a difference between my other eInk technology experiences and this one…at first. It was easy to read, and it didn’t strain my eyes in normal lighting conditions, but if I hadn’t compared the screen to my other eReader, I wouldn’t have thought much of it. But then I did, and I quickly realized my mistake.
First, I noticed that the quality of the cover image was like night and day. Image shading is of the highest quality without any obvious gradations between one level of grey and the next and complicated images, such as those details on the cover of Kiera Cass’ The Elite, are rendered beautifully. Since you don’t spend much time on the cover, this might not seem like a big deal. However, I did my own side-by-side comparison between the text clarity on both the Kobo Mini and the Kobo Aura HD and the results are worth noting. Not only are the letters crisper, whether you select a smaller or larger sized font on the screen, but also they seem to be a darker shade of black with thicker lines making up each of the letters. If you worry that reading on a device will cause more eyestrain than a physical book, then you don’t need to worry anymore, and if you tend to seek out larger print books, then a quick adjustment makes your favorite eBook any size that you want the letters to be. Can’t say the same about a standard book from the local bookstore or library.
So now you know what I think about this eReader in normal conditions, but what about in low light conditions? With most other eReaders, you have to keep either the main light on while reading or stop reading when the lights go out. (Yes, there are some models that have a light function, but none of the one’s that I’ve ever tried do.) Now that I have this new eReader, I no longer have to worry that I’m keeping my significant other awake when I want to read well into the night, move into another room to let him sleep, or use the flashlight app on my iPhone while also holding the book or eBook I’m reading, which can be kind of cumbersome and eats up my iPhone’s battery life pretty quickly. (Yes, I’ve actually done all three of these things when I couldn’t put a book down in the past. None of which were ideal.) Moreover, you can adjust the amount of light emitted from the screen, so you can read easily in a pitch-black room or even when the sun has just begun setting and you just want to finish one more chapter before you turn on the light.
Finally, for those of you who want to make your reading life more social or might want to put the book down without letting go of this eReader, the Kobo Aura HD does the trick. You can turn on a function that automatically shares your reading life on your Facebook profile, surf the web on it’s black and white web browser, or play any one of a few different preloaded games. Personally, I haven’t tried any of these aspects, so I can’t comment on them, but you probably want to know that they’re there if you need them.
Clearly, there are a lot of positives about the Kobo Aura HD, and overall, I do think it’s worth not only the hype, but also the price. That said, there is one negative that I’ve experienced since trying it out. As a book blogger, I sometimes receive eBooks rather than physical copies for review. While the Kobo Aura HD supports EPub, PDF, and even DRM EPub or PDF files if you authorize Adobe Digital Editions and your device, it doesn’t mean that all of these files will run as well as a book you bought via KoboBooks.com. In fact, I recently had to resort to reading a PDF on my computer via Adobe Digital Editions because it’s heavy design and image based aspects made the Kobo Aura HD slow down to a snail’s pace. Perhaps EPub files from other sites or PDFs that aren’t as image dependent in the design will work better for you though.
All in all, I have to say that I’m happy to have a Kobo Aura HD now, and I bet that despite the issue I had with one PDF, you will, too.
Buy a Kobo Aura HD today!
Ever since the Kobo eReader came onto the scene last spring in Canada, it has been talked about as being the low-priced option that’ll kill Kindle sales here. Why? Well, I think we can all agree that the major factor separating eReaders like the Kindle from the new kid on the block is the issue of digital rights management (DRM) protection. When you buy a Kindle, you limit yourself to buying books from the Amazon store, whereas a Kobo has an open platform, which supports EPub, PDF, and Adobe DRM format and even enables you to borrow books from your local library.
While some popular eReader models (Nook, Sony eReader Touch, and Kindle) are only available in the US and, in the case of the Kindle, the UK, readers from Canada, the US, UK, Austrailia and New Zealand can all enjoy the Kobo wireless eReader. This is the lightest wireless eReader on the market, which makes it more comfortable to hold. Now you can even select your favorite color, so every reader can have an eReader that matches their personality. However, I’ve heard that the black eReader makes the screen contrast even more crisp and clear. Most eReaders allow you to change the text size, but I really like the idea that on the Kobo, you can select between a serif and a sans serif font depending on your preferences. Finally, the addition of a pearl eInk display makes the screen contrast 50% better than the previous model and makes it’s display quality equal to the competition.
It comes with space for 1000 books, and includes 100 free classic novels, so you can start reading right away. If you ever find that 1000 books doesn’t quite do it for you, then you can expand it carry up to 10,000 books with a 32GB SD card. Want to start reading some popular books right away? You can choose from over 2 million ebook titles – Try FREE! However, if you pick up a new wireless Kobo for yourself or for someone on your shopping list this holiday season, then you can select one of the Holiday Bundle Packs, which give the big reader on your list two or three additional books that have received a lot of buzz. Think your brother would like to check out the Millenium trilogy? Then the Millenium Trilogy bundle will be sure to light up his eyes. Have a sister who can’t get enough of the Vampire Diaries on TV? Perhaps she’ll want to take a bite out of the three-book Vampire Diaries bundle. Is your guy a big film buff as well as a reader? Then you can bet that when he sets his eyes on the books which inspired such films as Up In the Air, The Social Network, and Charlie St. Cloud in the Books On Film bundle that you’ll be remembered as getting him the best present ever. Finally, if you know someone who loves Canadian culture or would just like to learn more about it, then then Made In Canada bundle will spark some interest. Finally, if you know someone who likes to read romance novels, but who is embarrassed to read them in public, then she’ll definitely appreciate the Racy Romance bundle. In fact, there just might be a holiday bundle available for everyone on your shopping list!
Many of my reading friends got the Kobo rather than another eReader and are soooo happy with it that when my sister asked me for a recommendation, I gave my wholehearted approval to this model for the reasons stated. However, when I found out that there is a 30-day money back guarantee, I knew that I’d suggested the right option. If she doesn’t like it or doesn’t think that it’s the best eReading experience out there, then she can get a complete refund! Sound good – that’s what I thought too!
Are you in the US? Then use this promotional code Kobo20 — $20 off any Kobo wireless eReaders between now and December 31, 2010 only to save big!
Now, I don’t know about you, but last Tuesday, when I posted the Tell Me A Secret book trailer, I kinda fell in love. From the various animation styles blended together to the great voice over and dramatic soundtrack, it’s definitely a winner. Now if I wasn’t already itching to buy this new YA novel, I certainly am now because starting today, Holly Cupala is serializing the novel on her site www.tellmeasecret.com!
Putting out the money for a new book, sight unseen, is a bit of an investment, so this weekly serial podcast will do a couple of things. First, it’ll let you check out the first two or three chapters today, and every week another two or three chapters will become available until you just can’t handle waiting any longer. At that point, you can run out, pick up the novel and read to your heart’s content.
Plus, if you’re familiar with the the movies The Adoration of Jenna Fox and The Chosen One, then you’ll probably be familiar with the actress who is lending her vocal talent for the audio podcast. You see, the entire novel is read by the award-winning actress Jenna Lamia, which is the second piece of news about this new podcast. Finally, these chapters are only available for a limited time in the format that I’ve mentioned, so unless you intend on checking out the special edition full version, then you have to act now.
Once you’ve listened to the first today’s podcast, then prepare yourself for a fun Twitter party today (Wednesday, August 18, 2010) at 6pm PST/9pm EST. Holly Cupala will be chatting it up with you and the rest of the readergirlz. Look out for the #rgz hashtag to join in on the fun!
How do you get your YA books right now? Some of you get freebies from contests or other sources. Others head to their local bookstores to pick out the next book you want to read. Finally, a number of you might check out books at the closest library.
While all of these options might work for some time, buying books outright is pricey and they take up a lot of space at your place. As for the library, it’s hard to get the latest novels because either they don’t have them yet or they’re so popular that you have to wait forever to get your read on. Moreover, sometimes you forget the due dates and find yourselves footing hefty late fees. Have no fear of these possibiities, Book Swim is here! (Always wanted to write that.)
You might want to supplement some of your book buying with a service available from BookSwim.com to get more content without the headaches. Rather than pay for a book outright, we thought you might be interested in checking out our latest YA book offer: rent some of the latest narratives at a fraction of the regular price. If you do, you’ll definitely find yourself swimming in a sea of YA books as they come out.
Unsure whether you should believe me that this book rental company will service your YA needs? Check out the following titles that are all available right now:
Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid
Aprilynne Pike’s Spells
Leah Cypess’ Mistwood
Meg Cabot’s Runaway
Michael Grant’s Lies: a Gone Novel
D.J. MacHale’s Morpheus Road: The Light
Susan Beth Pfeffer’s This World We Live in
James Patterson’s Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel
Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1
Rachel Hawkin’s Hex Hall
Heather Brewer’s Eleventh Grade Burns
Ally Carter’s Heist Society
Carrie Jones’ Captivate
Lauren Kate’s Fallen
Sound good? Keep in mind that with Book Swim, you can rent multiple books when you want them AND there are no late fees or even due dates. Sound even better? I thought so too. Check out this service today, and get the hottest YA books without the hassle of other services.
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We’re living in a world were customization is the norm. Some people spend $100s more on a shiny new laptop with a limited-edition design or a nominal fee to have a message engraved on their new electronic device. Who really thinks that it’ll be easy to spot the thief who took off with your eReading device from afar when your name or other inscription is written on it? Yeah, didn’t think there would be too many hands up for that…! Now – for a fraction of the cost to get a limited edition laptop, you can personalize your eReading device (as well as your other favorite phone, iPods, laptop or gaming devices).
I’ve been a long time fan of GelaSkins. However, up until recently, I didn’t know that they provided their unbeatable and stylish protection for eReading devices, like the iPad, Nook, Kobo or the Kindle. (For now, they don’t have a template available for the Sony eReader in case you were wondering.) Once I read Chad Sapieha’s detailed review, I knew that I had to promote this great product to my eager e-readers. They will definitely protect your devices from minor scratches and their patented 3M technology means that you can reposition your GelaSkin as often as you want without leaving any adhesive residue as well as apply the skin without worrying about air bubbles popping up (they have patented microchannels to combat this very issue.)
Those who purchase any GelaSkins product will be impressed by the precision used when creating these photo-quality templates. Not only is the design crisp, clear and attention-grabbing, but also the cutout matches perfectly with the shape of whatever device for which they’re designed. Another great aspect to this product is the huge selection and variety of artwork that is already available. Keep in mind that they are adding new artists all the time, so if you don’t see your favorite artist, it might be there later. Even better for aspiring artist and writers, you can choose your desired template and use your own artwork, photography and even your latest book cover to create some awesome giveaways and to use as free advertising when you’re using the device in public. (Maybe the e-book will revolutionize your DIY book marketing campaigns more than you thought!)
Now, go ahead and protect your iPad or other eReading device or get this great product working for you and your YA book marketing plan! Buy one or more of your favorite GelaSkins today – you won’t be disappointed!
For hundreds of years, readers have become accustomed to the physicality of books. Some of us take the time to smell the pages of a book we’ve been waiting to read or, for the authors, to make it to print. We turn pages with anticipation when it’s a book that we love and with dread when we really wish that we didn’t have to plow through it. Most of us have also been taught to give reverence to books, to keep them, where possible, in pristine condition without any dogeared pages or pen markings, which might compromise the reading experience of the next reader.
We fill our bookshelves with those novels and nonfiction books that we think will impress visitors and hide those that we wouldn’t want to admit we love in a drawer, closet or other favorite hiding place. Finally, we wait with anticipation to purchase books at a store, wait patiently for online orders or ARCs to arrive and wait in-line at a book signing, imagining what clever bit of wisdom we can offer our favorite authors. (Sometimes the latter works out, and sometimes as when I met David Sedaris during his book tour for When You Are Engulfed in Flames we appear to be either bumbling idiots or French native speakers. Really, I was just shy!)
What will happen to our YA book-related rituals when eReaders, like the Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, iPad or Kobo become universal? Will tomorrows readers reject the physical book outright? Will they think we’re crazy when we tell them that when we were growing up, we had to actually turn the physical pages, not just swipe our fingers across a touch-sensitive screen? Will they laugh when we say that interactive books used to be nothing more than a-choose-your-own-adventure type story or a picture book accompanied by an audio component?
Perhaps some of these “predictions” will come true, but if we listen to Michelle Nichols and her article Publishers tune into lessons on digital content, then most of our worries would subside. She claims that although mp3 lovers were rejecting cds, there is nothing physically wrong with the traditional book form. Rather, physical copies of ya novels will be value added in a world where e-books reign supreme. Similarly, in an interview with Michael Sinanian of VentureBeat.com, novelist Justine Musk says that real books will never completely fade with the popularization of e-books: “if anything, [books] will become more valued and valuable. Publishers will produced limited, high-quality editions that are meant as collectibles.”
Most of us imagine that the e-book market will revolutionize the book publishing industry. We usually side with the idea purported by Justine Musk that writers will personalize e-books in some way or will write / share their novels online with their fans. We’re currently experiencing the increased familiarity with many of our favorite YA writers that comes with their increased online presence. However, not all those asked believe that e-book is on the brink of revolutionizing the market. For example, in Joanna Pachner’s article Where will the e-reader revolution take publishing? she cites James Belcher of NextGen Research, who believes that only when e-books and eReaders are “superior to [...] the printed page” will consumers flock to them in droves. What would that look like? Pachner suggests that the future may see us rolling up our eReaders and stuffing them into our pockets, much like one might with a single piece of paper now.
Now it’s your turn: do you think that physical books will still hold a place in an e-book loving world? Will you miss the physical face time with your favorite author at a local bookstore? Will you be nostalgic for a time when browsing through the shelves and being surprised by a new author? Or have you already abandoned the physical book for the digital variety? Will you wait with baited breath for a time when eReaders become as malleable as a single sheet of paper? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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Jane Austen fans probably thought that the chance of a new novel, or even a collaboration, were slim to none. I mean, anyone who died nearly 200 years ago doesn’t usually have the chance to come up with an all-new interpretation of her second published novel, Pride And Prejudice. If we had to hazard a guess, most Austen fans would imagine that the only to get another novel would be if we could somehow raise her from the dead.
Well, we all know that, in a way, Austen was resurrected, or at least, re-imagined for a 21st century audience in 2009. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies might not be the most clever title, but Austen lovers (though perhaps not the purists) can rejoice at the melding of the original story with tidbits of the popular zombie fiction genre, written in collaboration by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
If you think that this parody is the next best thing to hit bookstores, then YA Book Shelf has something that you won’t want to miss! If you are a true fan of this Austen-Zombie mashup, then you’ll want to wear your PrideAndPrejudiceAndZombies love on your sleeves.
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