If you have received a Kobo e-reader for Christmas and have questions on what it can do? Kobo has been in business for over a decade and they specialize in E INK devices that have a bright and well curated bookstore. You can purchase the latest bestsellers and also self-published ebooks. There is a wide selection of graphic novels and manga too. If you want to save some money, Overdrive is built right into it. You just need to attach your four digit PIN code and library card number. The local branch will be available to browse, and ebooks can be borrowed and read, without having to use a computer.
The Kobo Bookstore
Kobo currently operates in over 160 different countries and they have over 3.4 million ebooks. You need to register an account in order to download free and paid ebooks. If you are browsing the store on your ereader you can search for specific genres and dive into various sub-menus to find curated content or the current New York Times best sellers.
When you click on a book title, there are a few tabs that let you read the book description, read the reviews or checkout related content. Switching between tabs is very robust. The Kindle on the other-hand has everything on a singular page and promotes swiping downwards to see book reviews, publisher information and books that are similar in nature.
Kobo SuperPoints rewards you with 100 points for every $10 you spend on e-books and digital magazines. You can use the virtual currency to get free ebooks, the average title costs around 2,400 points and there are over a million of them to select from. If you manage to accrue 4,500 points you can enroll yourself in the Kobo VIP program which saves you 10% off everything in their bookstore and you can also select one free e-book a year.
At certain times during the year there are “Bonus Days” which will reward double the credits on everything in the store. Kobo has been very liberal with Bonus days in 2016.
Overdrive is the main company involved in the digital library space and chances are if your local branch as an e-book collection, more than likely they use Overdrive. All you need to get started is a library card and four digit PIN code. You enter these in the settings menu. Once this is done, your local branches name will appear in the top navigation bar. When this is clicked on, you will see their recommendations list, curated titles and a search bar to find a specific title or author name. When you find something you want to borrow, checkout is easy. The book will appear in your library and can start reading right away. After around 7 days, the book will disappear and go back into the libraries pool of available titles.
Loading in your own books
Kobo e-readers support two of the most popular electronic book formats, PDF and EPUB. They also have support for manga, graphic novels and comic books with CBR and CBZ, so users will be able to download them from the internet and easily load them on their reader. When it comes right down to it, it reads: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RFT, CBZ, and CBR.
You can load any of these formats onto your Kobo e-reader with the USB that comes inside the box. You can drag and drop any e-book format into the main root or documents folder and this will make them available in your Kobo library. You can check out our YouTube channel on our how to load in your own books.
What is a book without a good font? You can plug your Kobo into your PC and drag fonts into the /font/ folder on the Kobo. This gives you the ability to sideload in Amazon’s font family like Bookerly, Ember or Ember Bold. You can even sideload in your own dictionaries.
Pocket is a read it later free service. You can install a browser extension and send articles and news items directly to your Kobo. When you read an article, it is formated just like an ebook and strips away most of the websites code, nice and easy. You just need to register an account. Kobo has a great tutorial that gives you comprehensive instructions on how to set everything up and get running quickly.
Advanced ebook formatting
Kobo appeals to new users, but also advanced ones. In the font menu, you can easily establish your favorite reading parameters, such as font, font size, margins and line spacing. There are enough options to make you feel right at home on your e-reader. There are advanced options which give you a side by side, before and after system. You can adjust the font weight and a number of other cool things. This allows for a deeper level of customization that no other company offers. If you screw up, you can just reset it back to normal.
Do you have an extensive ebook collection saved in the cloud? The Kobo Forma is the only e-reader that currently supports Dropbox integration. You can follow along with these comprehensive instructions on how enable Dropbox and sync everything automatically to the Forma. Kobo has no plans to add support for their other e-readers.
photo courtesy of @thelittlethingsandmore
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.