Buy a Kobo, Save the World? Hey, Maybe!December 19, 2012
So, here’s the thing: In the fight to keep people reading, and to make sure there continue to be good books to read, the forces of evil are against us. Amazon’s business practices are so dastardly that sometimes it seems like the company exists solely to destroy literature (not true — it also exists to give us easy access to screenprinted t-shirts and discounted computer keyboards*). Their Kindle is a particularly nasty piece of equipment, since it won’t let you buy books from anywhere but Amazon — it’s like if your iPod would only let you buy music from Apple, and never from independent retailers or the bands themselves. And the really annoying thing about Kindles? As eReaders, they’re actually pretty awesome. They’re easy to use, they work pretty much anywhere, and they let you have access to almost the entire world of books, anytime and anywhere. It might be nefarious, but it’s also pretty tempting. **
I’ve tried other eReaders, and I don’t like them much. Nooks (in my opinion) are bulky and just don’t feel, well, very cool. I read on my iPad sometimes, but it’s too heavy and slick and I hate that it switches from portrait to landscape whenever I move (you can probably turn this feature off, but I haven’t figured out how because I’m lazy). Basically, I’m the Goldilocks of eReaders. (The metaphor breaks down at the whole “breaking into houses” and “being friends with bears” thing.)
But, just like Goldilocks, I’ve finally found a fit that’s just right. Kobo is really well-designed and adorable. It works in sunlight as well as indoors. It weighs very little, so I don’t get tired holding it, and the back has a nice tactile feel so it seems like I’m holding a book instead of a robot or a mini-computer. Most important, though, is that my Kobo lets me buy books from wherever I want.*** I can buy books for my Kobo from Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, or get them for free from the library. Or I can do the very best thing for literature and for my community and buy books from my local bookstore. (In my case, “my local bookstore” is literal, since I, you know, own a bookstore.)
Another thing I love about Kobo: The price is so low, you can experiment with eReading without full-on committing. My Kobo Glo was $130 because it has a backlight, but the Kobo Mini is only $80. And this week (December 21-23, to be exact), you can get it even more cheaply, because our Kobo Minis are on sale for just $50. (If you want one, send me a message through the Order Books for Pickup link on the left side of the page by noon tomorrow and I’ll reserve it for the sale price.)
Is buying an eReader (or downloading a free Kobo App the supports my shop through the link on the right side of your page) really going to save books? No, not totally. But not buying a Kindle is a good start at limiting Amazon’s destruction, and the money we make on eBooks helps our bookshop. And I do think it’s true that the best way to save books is to read them — and if an eReader can make reading easier and more fun so that you do it more often (and reading on a Kobo is fun and easy), then that will help save books, too.
For more on me and my Kobo, follow my new(ish) Twitter account, Girl Meets Kobo, or check out my Etsy store, where I’ve listed the Kobo cases that I’ve been knitting as holiday gifts. Or, better yet, buy one for yourself (or as a gift) and let me know how you like it.
* Oh, and it exists to destroy all kinds of local businesses, not just bookshops.
** Nefarious and tempting, like evil usually is — you would know this if you read more books!
*** Except Amazon, but that’s because Amazon won’t allow their books to be read on other devices … just one more way they’re trying to control what you read.