For the past month I've been trying out the Kobo Vox Ebook reader and it's truly a stunning device: seven-inch colour touchscreen, Web browser and email functionality, and more than 2.2 million books available to buy - and around 1 million free books, too!
The fact this reader can hold dozens if not hundreds of books is appealing to a bookworm like myself. I've felt that back pain of having too many hardcovers in a bag, and I've known the awkwardness of trying to read a heavy tome while on the subway, standing up, for instance. The Kobo Vox makes reading simpler, and perhaps even more intuitive. When I read a Franklin book to see how the colour screen would look, the image sharpness popped off the screen impressively.
And when I wanted to page through some of my favourite passages in Frankenstein, finding what I wanted was easy by quickly flicking the screen to get to my desired page. No paper cuts here.
But after a few weeks, I found myself missing ye' ol' book. Why? I spend my day job, as many of you know, in front of a computer screen, and I often have to monitor Digital Journal in the evening too. So I'm constantly in front of a glowing screen, in some form. I need a rest from that eye strain; and reading a regular paperback gives me that respite. My eyes can relax poring over text instead of a screen, no matter how high-tech the e-ink.
I'm also accustomed to the feel of a book (and yes, even the paper cuts). There's something about curling up on a couch with a paper book that Ebook readers can't offer, and it's almost an indescribable feeling of routine, comfort, and nostalgia. I've grown up with books; and while Ebook readers fascinate me, they also worry me. Will kids today never know that wondrous feeling of rushing to a bookstore to get the latest sequel from their favourite author? Well, maybe they'll feel the same joy when they see that book pop up as a Kindle Single.
I enjoyed playing with the Kobo Vox, but that's the distinction: I played with it like a toy, and don't see it as a utility, as a must-have. For now. I know my tastes change - I used to be anti-tablet but now I'm quite pro-tablet - and I know how functional a reader can be, especially for something as eye-grabbing as comics. Maybe I'll warm to the reader trend, but tonight I think I'll give my Elmore Leonard book a read, and it'll feel just like home.