Kobo Libre 2

A simple review

Over the last year, I’ve made two major purchases in terms of items bought: Thinkpad Z16 & Kobo Libre 2.

What led to buy a e-reader was the fact that I was moving up North for a job and didn’t want to carry a heavy set of books when travelling up and down the country. I knew Zhang had an assortment of e-ink devices and Roberts also had a kindle. The two biggest readers loved their devices and I wanted to join them. My father was an early adopter with a 1st Gen Sony e-reader, which was a clunky device but still a great build (even if slightly heavy).

So, instead of going to the classic kindle which everyone has, I got myself a Kobo. Why? Well, firstly fuck Amazon. Absolutely do not pay enough taxes in my opinion, I find it morally questionable for them to use loopholes and methods to reduce their tax burden. Also, I have maintained an Amazon boycott (direct services that I use, I can’t avoid using websites that use AWS), since late 2018.

What drew me to the Kobo, was the physical buttons, the large e-shop (it’s the second largest brand in this space), Overdrive integration and the fact it allows me to side load with ease. I decided to buy it directly from Kobo and got it with a cover. My biggest concern with it was the screen. It’s something that you cannot judge until you have it in your hand, and it was impossible to find a brick-and-mortar shop to see. The screen is fantastic, and I love view it on 1% brightness when reading in bed with no other light source.

I find the Kobo e-store easy enough to use and use calibre to organise the books on my laptop (or if I need to side load a pdf on). The fact that Barnet library services use Overdrive (a system that most public libraries in the West use to manage e-book lending), mean that getting books from the library are simple, which is great for classical literature or books that I don’t want to buy/install.

I find the pocket integration is great for the use that I have for it, but the lack of highlighting on the e-reader is infuriating (because I can easily highlight my books), so it’s good to read the longer form stories that I’ve saved. I sometimes wish that I could email a book to the device, but honestly, I don’t mind plugging it in and doing it over a cable too much. It’s a small trade off.

The only concern I have is the battery life. While not terrible, if I was reading solely on the device, I would need to charge it more often, but I just plug it in my laptop charger and it’s above 80% in less than a hour; which lasts me for a couple of weeks at a time.

In the end, I’m a happy customer who can barely write reviews. But in the last year, I’ve spent over 200 hours reading, finishing about 16 e-books. Considering that I also read physical books still, this is not bad. I would say that the biggest issue for me is that finding a book in person, is still such a pleasurable experience, that I prefer shopping for books in person and then wanting to buy them there and then.

One thought on “Kobo Libre 2

  1. The touch of paper in my hands is half the joy in reading. I spend too much time on my phone, work laptop, and TV as is. Don’t fathom bringing technology into another one of my sacred activites as well. Few remain that haven’t been tainted by techonology’s handles.

    In fact, I take solace in the smell of the book. Does it smell like mildew, hot/sweaty palms, maybe the cool of a public library Air Conditioner even? Books tell stories, not just what’s inside, but often in and of itself.

    Who read them, did you find an old receipt from the former patron, maybe even $20 (lol, yes), is it hold, is there a waitlist for it? The instant gratification of an e-reader is yet another example of technology solving a problem that doesn’t exist. Some may disagree.

    Not to mention…. As I’m getting into my thirties my sleep cycles are heavily dependant on reading before bed. I’d be curious to try an e-reader and examine the outcomes. But I think I’ll stick to what’s tried and tested for me.

    Take care my friend, glad to see you writing again


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