Why I'm Switching from Kindle to Kobo

There's nothing quite like holding a brand new book in your hands. I still get a thrill out of going to the bookstore, picking a book off the shelf, feeling it weight of it in my hands, and smelling the freshly printed pages. 

It wasn't until October 2013 that I started my nomadic lifestyle. I was jetting around the world, working and living in Paris, London, New York, and Los Angeles, and came to the realization that I couldn't possibly bring my entire literary collection with me everywhere I went. 

My parents gifted me a Kindle for Christmas that year. I'd heard some things about them, although they were still kind of a strange concept at the time. I was mostly excited that I could hold hundreds, if not thousands of books in my hands at one time. I started replacing hardcovers with e-books, and suddenly my Kindle library had over 300 titles. What I loved about the Kindle was that I could pre-order a new release, and I didn't have to wait until the bookstore opened the next day to pick up my copy. It was automatically delivered to my Kindle at midnight on publishing day. I'd often sit up all night reading and usually finish the book by the time folks were picking up their copy. 

Over the years, I kept up with the new Kindle releases. However, it seemed with every release that I was losing my passion for reading. The first Kindle I had, only really allowed me to read. The latest one had an array of features, and I found I was spending more time indulging in Prime video shows like Guys Grocery Games and Nine Perfect Strangers, chatting with friends on Facebook Messenger, and browsing the web. Suddenly, it was no longer an e-reader. I'd forgotten about my books. In fact, I hadn't purchased an e-book in months. 

Something had to be done. I also joined the Vancouver Public Library and had heard great things about an app called OverDrive. I wanted to integrate it with my Kindle, so I could borrow books, but it didn't seem to be an option — at least not an easy one. 

My partner sensed something was wrong

For my anniversary last year, my partner sensed I was no longer reading e-books. He heard me talking endlessly about Kobo and their integration with OverDrive one day. Low and behold, he bought me a Kobo H20 for our anniversary. I was thrilled.

For starters, as someone drawn to design, I immediately loved how the Kobo H20 looked and felt in my hands. Just a week before I dropped my copy of Convenience Store Woman into the tub while taking a bath. Charlie and I joked that I could take my next read for a swim (seriously though, the Kobo H20 is waterproof). 

The latest Kindle I had (Fire 7") had started to bother my eyes because it was so bright. The Kobo screen is glare-free, so it felt more like I was reading a book. It would also adjust to darkness if I was reading at night, but not so much that it would bother me. 

I'm not super into tech specs, but I like something I don't have to constantly charge. At this point in my e-reader journey, I was still switching between the Kindle Fire and the Kobo H20 (since I was working my way through a never ending list of Kindle titles). I was frustrated because my Kindle battery would last for 30 minutes before I had to plug it in again. I'd find myself tethered to the kitchen socket while reading, which was not pleasant at all. The battery life on the Kobo however, at least for the past year, has been fantastic. I've probably only charged it a handful of times over the past ten months.  

In terms of storage, it packs 8 GB, and weights 215 grams. I don't know a ton about storage, but what I will say is that despite having a lot of books on there, I haven't run into any storage issues. It's also very light, and I never tire of holding it in my hands. 

As a book critic, I review a lot of books and make a ton of highlights and notes. This is where I initially ran into some problems with Kobo, but it was easy to troubleshoot. With Kindle, they have an integration with GoodReads in that you can export your highlights directly to the review platform. I'd love to see this as a future feature with Kobo. In the meantime, I highlight my notes and tether my device to my laptop to export the highlights to a notes document. 

I also use NetGalley, a book review platform that gives us reviewers access to advanced reader copies. They have an integration with Kindle, but not Kobo (not yet, at least). In order to read my ARC on my Kobo, I need to use Adobe Digital Editions and add the book to my Kobo library manually. It's a bit of a longer winded process. However, I don't use NetGalley enough that this process pains me. 

Kobo Plus

I was playing around with my Kobo one day and came across a $9.99 subscription service called Kobo Plus. It promised access to hundreds of thousands of titles for a low monthly fee — with cancellation anytime you like. I had tried Kindle Unlimited, and was really disappointed with the titles on offer.

Kobo surprised me with their offering of New York Times bestselling books and authors. A look at the platform now shows me some trending titles include Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, Reese's pick Honor by Thrity Umrigar, and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. 

So, what about the library?

Well, one of the main reasons I converted to Kobo was so that I could borrow books from the Vancouver Public Library. It's been incredible. I love that I can borrow e-books using the OverDrive app on my Kobo directly from VPL. There's a nifty guide on doing so right here.

The Kobo Libra 2

KOBO LIBRA 2, $219.99 (Indigo)

The Kobo team reached out to me recently to let me know about the Kobo Libra 2. We're hosting a giveaway this week over on my Instagram. To be in with the chance of winning your own device, follow the steps on my page.

Although I love my Kobo H20, I decided to try out the Kobo Libra 2. The new hardware boasts several upgrades including more storage (jumping from 8 GB to 32 GB). What that means in non-tech speak is that the device holds up to 24,000 books and 150 audiobooks, or a combination of both. 

The design is again ergonomic and feels good in the hands, if not even better than the H20. The team at Kobo have kept multitaskers in mind while crafting this one, so I can feed the cat and dog, boil the kettle, and still turn the pages. 

One thing I'm really excited about is the new audiobook feature. I've purchased a lot of audiobooks through the Kobo iPhone app, and usually use my phone to listen to them. The Kobo Libra 2 supports Bluetooth wireless technology, so you can listen to Kobo Audiobooks. Pairing with my AirPods and B&O headphones was super straightforward. 

What I appreciate about this Kobo is that it still doesn't have a colour display. Many will disagree with me, and say that it's about time they upgrade to colour. But I beg to differ and say that by staying with the current display, it gives the look and feel of reading an actual book. 

So, why am I talking about Kobo so much?

Well, for the past ten months, at least since receiving my Kobo, I've been driving my readers to purchase all of their e-books from Kobo. Check every review on my website, and you'll find a link to purchase your e-book from their website. 

None of these links are tracked or affiliated with Kobo, nor is this post. I'm not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with Kobo in any way. Kobo is a part of my daily reading routine, and it changed and influenced how I read. 

As a book reviewer, I want to bring you the best of, and that includes books, and everything associated with them. 

So, just like the books you'll find on Avocado Diaries — I won't post about them, unless I enjoy them. 

I don't know much about e-readers outside of my experiences with Kindle and Kobo, but what I do know is that Kobo is my e-reader of choice, and right now I'm very much enjoying the Kobo Libra 2. 

As of this week, I officially allowed the battery to drain on my Kindle (it didn't take long) and I did not go searching for the charger. From now on I'll likely use both the Kobo H20 and the Libra 2. 

What's on my Kobo TBR?

I'm glad you asked! Next up is Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, then I'm planning to dive into Last Resort by Andrew Lipstein.

Disclaimer: Although this post is not sponsored, Kobo sent me a Kobo Libra 2 as part of a social media giveaway. I decided to do this review... because I felt like it.