Friday, November 25, 2011

Tis' the Season: eBook Knowledge

It is my personal belief that not all book passionate people need to read books in their original sense. For some having a hand held device that electronically allows you to enjoy the classics, the new releases and everything in between is just perfect. Although because the market for eBooks has exploded over the last couple years there are far too many choices, and depending on where you live (Canada, Europe or USA) there may be one just perfect for that picky book person on your holiday list.

A few points before we get into the “nitty gritty” features of different types of eReaders:
  • EReaders give the opportunity for those individuals who are conscious about the environment a way to decrease their carbon foot print. Although most if not all books offered in the eBook format still has a hardcopy, it allows the people who don’t want to purchase paper products to still be able to read the new releases and of course classics books.
  •  Not all eReaders will cost you an arm and a leg. Because most eReaders are still new to the book market there are always really good deals and sales on them around the Christmas season. Just make sure you keep your eyes open for them!
  •  User friendly is something I always hear a lot of people complain about with new electronic devices. EReaders will eliminate this problem for those people who aren’t the most tech. savvy individuals. Of course there are versions of eReaders out there that have connection to Wi-Fi, and have options for apps (Android or Apple) but there are also just the original black and white versions as well. Both have their benefits and both versions are excellent towards being user friendly. I should know! My grandmother loves her eReader and she can’t even set the timer on her oven sometimes!
Keeping those points in mind below I have outlined the main features of 3 top of the line eReaders from 2 books stores worldwide and one electronic store. Each outlines the amount of memory, special features such as Wi-Fi, Apps, and the versatility of the specific reader.

Chapters/Indigo: KOBO VOX – Price $199.99

The Kobo Vox brought to you by Chapters/Indigo bookstore is the newest version of their original reader the Kobo. This new and improved reader is a 7” multimedia colour touch screen with all the amenities of shopping at an actual bookstore. Some of the “tech specs” you should know right off the bat: it has 8 GB of storage to carry all eBooks and even Documents with of course a port to add a memory card for extra memory. It also has a speaker port to enhance your reading experience with the ability to add music, or purchase a “book on tape”. And being one of the user-friendliest eReaders it has three-button navigation, which includes: Back, Menu & Home buttons for easy access.

Other Features:
  • It is set up with over 2.2 million books from today’s newest releases to hidden gems
  • Stunning colour books for all ages, including an “engaging read along children’s books” as well.
  • There is also a Wi-Fi connection and therefore allows the Kobo owner to connect directly with the Kobo community of booklovers.
  • Unlimited web and email, music and video entertainment, and it wouldn’t be complete with out over 15,000 Apps for Android!
For more information about all aspects the Kobo Vox has to offer please visit, where most of the above information was found.

Amazon Bookstore: KINDLE FIRE - Price $199.00

Amazon Bookstore brings the Kindle Fire to its stores; similar to that of the Kobo Vox but still different in many exclusive ways. I am not personally able to go and discuss the Kindle Fire with any representative like I am able to do so with the Kobo Vox, but the website has been very helpful for my research. The “tech specs” include an 8 GB space of memory, with approximately 6 GB of room left after downloading the 100 free classics and all technical hardware. 6 GB is retrospect is equivalent to 8- apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books (which is a heck of a lot!). It is also similar to the Kobo with a 7” multi-touch display in high-resolution graphics for ample usage of being able to watch TV Shows, Movies or just reading a good book. Of course it also has access to a Wi-Fi network allowing the user to connect to the internet, including the Amazon online store for purchases.

Other Features:
  • Along with the tech specs, this reader has a fast dual core processor allowing the user to stream music while browsing the web or reading books while downloading videos as well
  • My favourite feature: Free Cloud Storage – the Kindle Fire gives the reader free storage for all Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud (online storage system) which is great if you’re not just using the reader for books.
  • The last main feature that really attracted me to the Kindle Fire was the “Amazon Whispersync” which allows the user to automatically sync your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights across ALL your devices.
For more information about all the aspects of the Kindle Fire please visit their very user friendly website and search Kindle Fire.
Apple – iPad, iPhone, or iPod App: iBooks – FREE APP
  • iPad 2: Price $499.00
  • iPhone: Price $199.00 with contract
  • iPod: Price $178.99
This version of an eReader is a little bit different because you are not buying the device you are buying the App, which in fact is free IF you already own the Apple device. I will not bore you with all the technical details of owning or purchasing an iPad or iPhone or iPod because I have a bias opinion because I personally own a Mac, and an iPhone. Although I will tell you, you probably will not find another high definition, touch screen like an apple product. It has a ton of memory depending on what you already have on the device; it has the option for apps, connection to Wi-Fi therefore connecting the reader with everything the Internet has to offer. It is exactly like the other two readers in the sense of Wi-Fi connection, and app usage. For the point of this post, I will be describing the iBooks App through that of an iPad 2 user.
Other Features:
  • The iBookstore – quick access to the iBookstore through the tap of the bookshelf when you directly open the app. You will be offered over 200,000 books many of them free. You can view what is featured on the iBookstore, and the New York Times best seller lists.
  • You have the opportunity to download full page illustrated children’s books, cookbooks, and art books – also offered with this feature is the voice of an author reading your favourite passage, or to even watch a supplementary video (for cookbooks).
  • It is the closest to weight and sound when it comes to actually reading a book. You are able to flip through pages and hear the rustling and page flip sound. You can read it one page at time or two depending on what you are comfortable with, and also the LED bright backlight gives the illusion of crisp colourful detail.
  • Like the Kindle Fire it also has the option to use the iCloud, which is Apples version of the online storage system so your device doesn’t get too cluttered.
All the above information about the iBooks App, and of course all the devices Apple has to offer, please visit their online website at

I have broken down three main eReaders including the main technical specs, and personal touches that make them unique! Of course nothing will ever replace an actual book for some book-obsessed individuals, myself included. Although we are coming into a world were more and more items are being sold to us using electronic devices, including that of literature. I personally believe that the Kindle Fire would be the best choice if choosing between eReaders. It has a huge amount of personality but it doesn’t take away what books are truly about! Having direct access to (or .ca) is a benefit that most if not all eReaders do not offer. Also, just recently I have learned that libraries are opening up their bookshelves to include borrowing eBooks as well, which will be helpful if you don't have the funds to always buy books.  I am hoping that this write-up has enlightened some of the more hesitant individuals about eReaders, and they are not all bad. Although I must say I will always prefer a hardcover copy of any book any day to that of a cold electronic device.


  1. I just bought a Nook from Barnes and Noble, and they're pretty decently priced. The Simple Touch (which I got) is only $99 and it's super light and perfect for carrying around at school and stuff!

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

  2. Hey Anna, thanks for dropping by! I knew i forgot one book store to check! lol. Sorry about not including the Nook from Barnes & Noble, I do hear some great things about eReaders from most of the people I know, although I don't know what it is I just personally prefer real books. But I can't agree more about it being light weight and easy to carry around :)