Of course you know I am a kindle girl. I love my Kindles. I have one for my personal use but it’s my 3rd Kindle, not counting the Kindle Fire (1st Gen). My first Kindle was the 3rd Generation, and the last to have a physical keyboard; the one that was dubbed the “Kindle Keyboard”.
My husband [fiancé at the time] knew my love of reading and got me my first Kindle, as a birthday present, the year we moved in together. That was almost 6 years ago. It’s hard to get books where I live. I mean, books I want to read anyway. For the first time, I had almost complete control over what I read. Most of my life I had read what my mother chose, or my aunt recommended, but now I had to power to discover books completely on my own.
I am thankful to Kindle for opening a world of books to me though not all of them where great, or even good books, it led me to this great adventure I have been on. Recently though, I feel like Amazon isn’t giving me more, but still asking for more. Like I have no idea why they expect me, or anyone to buy that hideous Kindle Oasis. Why won’t someone tell them it’s super ugly? It doesn’t even have much more to offer over my Kindle Voyage. The reason I got the Kindle Voyage was for page press (which I love) and auto-adjusting front light (which I also love). The Oasis is wider and it’s thinner on one side but I think it’s impractical.
I’ve been looking for something with more to offer and that’s how I discovered Kobo. I’m very tempted to get myself an Aura One, except that I am on a strict budget right now. The Kobo Aura One offers so much more than Kindle. The only set back is that I won’t be able to get my Kindle books over to a Kobo reader (because of Digital Rights Management [DRM] and all). But Kobo offers a price match so I wouldn’t lose money buying books on their site. They also offer a rewards system that gives you points when you buy books so that you can use it to buy even more books and which Reader wouldn’t like that? One thing to remember is if you read a lot of self published authors, they may be publishing via Amazon and so you will probably have to read those on a tablet.
The physical reader itself has some improvements over the Kindle as well. For one, it’s screen is 7.8 inches versus the 6 inches on the Kindle. It would be like reading on an iPad mini (more on that later). It is also water-resistant. That is something that no Kindle offers. While it’s not a big deal 90% of the time, I’d like to be able to read in the bath once in a while. Note that not all Kobo e-readers are water-resistant but there are at least 3 models that offer this. The other thing a Kobo has that Kindle doesn’t is the ability to use warm tones to make night-time reading better. Now this one isn’t necessary to me. My Voyage doesn’t bother my sleeping even when I read immediately before bed. The auto-brightness on the Voyage is good at adjusting in different lighting.
Now let’s look at what Kindle has that Kobo doesn’t. Kobo doesn’t have Goodreads built-in. This is probably because Amazon knows Goodreads. Honestly, the only thing I use Goodreads for on my Kindle is to update my reading status. Kobo does have reading status built-in though. It gives you stats like how long you take to read a book, how many books you’ve read, etc. You would have to get used to its progress settings which is good and yet odd. Kindle let’s you see reading progress by percentage or page or location, or nothing. Kobo shows pages, but those pages are relative. I like this in that you know exactly how many page turns you will make to finish a chapter. It also notes which chapter you are on. It shows you percentage but you would have to click the progress bar to bring that up. At least in the app, it doesn’t show you overall page number.
I am testing out the Kobo reading app on my Android phone and iPad mini. It syncs well between each other. I use the kindle iPad app for colour books or when my kindle is dying and I still want to read. The Kobo app offers different page colours, like the kindle. Overall the apps are very similar. You can do pretty much the same thing in both. You can’t buy books on either app but I believe that has something to do with Apple and not Amazon or Rakuten (makers of Kobo). Apple doesn’t offer an e-reader so I would probably never consider them as competition for my Kindle, only as back-up.
So while I am here holding out on buying a Kobo Aura One, I am hoping that Amazon will start offering a little bigger screen. I’m not asking for a Kindle DX by no means but 7.8 is still fairly small / normal size. Their motto can simply be, “the hardcover experience without the hardcover weight”.