Posted by: Corri van de Stege | October 30, 2011

Bookshelves: the Kobo Reader and the Kindle

It’s been quiet here, I’ve been too busy, quite simple.  And when not busy, I’ve been reading, and have no time, or rather energy, to write about my reading.  I’ve been enjoying my new Kindle.  I’m becoming a compulsive virtual book collector.

A week or so ago, however,  I returned home with another e-reader with the excuse that I needed my bookshelves with lost books back.  The books that were all on my Sony Reader That Fell into the Muddy Waters of the Singaporean Beach, almost a year ago now.  Although I had managed to salvage the reader somewhat, dried it out (over a couple of days) and was able to recall all my books (over a hundred by the time I dropped it into the mud), reading became a hazard for my eyes, especially in dimly lit hotel rooms late at night.  It was not what it used to be, my much-loved reader, a yellowish screen as background, the font an increasingly dimmer grey, the reading experience had become a challenge in terms of keeping my eyes open and focused so that I could absorb what was there.

As you know, I invested in a new reader, the Kindle and started downloading books from Amazon, such an amazing experience being able to download straight onto my reader, without intermediate agency of computer or laptop, with one click straight from the website and the books were there.    I have already built up a respectable list of books, arranged between fiction, non-fiction, crime, literary fiction, etc.  It’s very neat, much neater than my bookshelves have ever been.  I no longer have to search across kitchen, sitting room, work room and other spaces to try to locate that book….

Nevertheless I still felt a certain loss: the Kindle format does not take kindly to the ePub format, favoured by Sony, KoboWaterstones and others: you cannot simply transfer the (still unread) books from a Sony reader to a Kindle.  As part of my much-needed retail therapy every so often (blame it on a stressful and much demanding job) I decided to buy another  bookshelf: the new Kobo reader, much praised by reviewers and commentators here in England as a nice little gadget that would compete well with the Kindle.    And let me tell you, it does.  It is classy, so easy to navigate (touch screen) and once connected to my laptop it simply synchronised all my lost Kobo (ePub format) books that had previously been stored on my Sony reader).   So I now am the proud owner of two readers – ‘just another bookshelf’ I said in justification…

And what am I reading?  Well, one of my ‘lost books’ of course, on my Kobo now: ‘Emotionally Weird’ by Kate Atkinson
definitely weird, with obscure references to literature and fantasy (Star trek etc), which I don’t always follow.   Nora and Effie sit on a very deserted Scottish island and tell each other stories.  It turns out that Nora is not actually Effie’s mother, as the latter thought, but then nothing is what it seems to be and there is a lot of confusion.  





  1. Very interesting. Smiths are selling the Kobo at £60 at the moment. I love my Kindle but do worry about my increasing dependency on Amazon. I’ve found some really good, cheap indie books though such as this and this

    I suppose you know that the free program Calibre will convert ebooks from one format to another. You can put anything on the Kindle using this

  2. Tom: yes I also want access to other sources in particular some of the review sources I had on my ePub reader (the Sony). I’m going to follow up your links and see what I find there for my Kindle. Much appreciated! I was aware of the converter software but am too time poor to want to bother with it at the moment 🙂 The Kobo reader is quite a nice gadget to have.

  3. I still prefer a printed book but loved my Kindle and now my Nook.

  4. I swap between Kindle and Kobo Reader… I do love the ‘real’ physical books though nowadays when I’m on the road I find it so much easier to drop an e-reader in my bag…

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