The BF’s birthday was back in March. Rather than buy him clothes, which he would not have liked, but would have suited me just fine, I decided to buy him an e-reader. There was one little catch, though – I left it up to him to pick the one he wanted. With so many on the market now, including the Kobo, the Kindle, the iPad and Sony’s ereader, I left it in his hands to pick a model.
I did a bit of research myself on the options. I was pretty sure he’d pick either the Kobo or the Kindle – the iPad was too costly and the screen isn’t great for reading, and the Sony ereader seemed expensive and was a small contender. Here’s what I learned about the Kobo and the Kindle:
- Kobo is Canadian, Kindle is American
- Kobo can read ePubs, which is the most common document form for e-books; the Toronto library supports ePubs
- Kindle supports.azw files, and not ePubs, therefore making library borrowing impossible (or illegal, if one decides to download a book and hack it)
- A touch Kobo was just released, making it somewhat similar to the iPad format
- Kindle has a small keyboard on the bottom of the reader for navigation
- Kobos and Kindles are offered with Wi Fi, but only the Kindle has 3G connectivity, meaning you can connect almost anywhere without having to find a wireless connection; Amazon pays any fees associated with the 3G connection, not the user
- It’s difficult to obtain Kindle accessories in Canada
- The Wi Fi Kobo costs $109 CDB, the Wi Fi Touch Kobo is $139.99 CDN
- The Wi-Fi Kindle is $139 US, the 3G + Wi-Fi Kindle is $189 US
There are more differences than the above, but this was what I gathered in my short investigation. I also read a bunch of reviews and lurked in some forums, and there were definitely firm supporters behind each brand.
Fast forward three months (and after my own birthday passed), and he finally picked his present: the Kindle. He chose the 3G + Wi-Fi model, which means he has access to the internet all the time, and he doesn’t need to set up the wireless connection. Convenient when he travels for work or when we’re at Trinity Bellwoods Park and he decides to buy a copy of The Toronto Star.
Now, I am a big book person. I love to read, and I love real, actual books. I like holding them in my hand. I like their covers (unless the book has been made into a movie and the cover has been refashioned in the image of the film – then I despise the cover). I like the smell of the paper. I like having them out on display, they are like artwork on a shelf. Sometimes I like to lend them out with a firm warning to not bend pages. So I didn’t think that I would care for the Kindle all that much.
I’m pleased to say that the Kindle is pretty awesome. It’s fast, it’s well organized, and I like the pictures it displays when it’s asleep. BF LOVES it. He’s already bought the newspaper twice, and he has stated that he doesn’t intend to buy anymore real books. While I’m not willing to go that far, I do plan on borrowing it to read some books I don’t want to necessarily have on my bookshelf.
Plus, as a bonus, this little object will reduce the number of new books and magazines that enter our home. Every single shelf in our home that is dedicated to books is at capacity, and we have no room for a new bookcase. I’ve taken to stacking books on the floor beside my side of the bed, and the piles have almost reached the top of the bed.
Here’s a breakdown of the cost of the Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi:
- $189 Kindle
- $12.89 Shipping and Handling
- $25.33 Duty fee
TOTAL = $227.31 US = $227.84 CDN
Because he chose the more expensive model, I paid for $150 of the purchase and he covered the rest. For how much he seems to like this gadget, it was definitely worth the wait.
Do you have an ereader, or you do prefer real books? If you do have an ereader, which one do you have and do you enjoy it and why?