Tag Archives: kobo

kobo, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

I have been going back and forth on what eReader and/or software to consider for Mac or whether to bother.

Since we have been experimenting with the magnifying screen reader at school it appears that Mac may actually be reading more than we thought.  And, considering we are always going to be lugging around technology, it seems silly to carry books around too.  Mac will never be able to hold a book and, despite decades of people trying, it seems no one has ever perfected a portable, affordable, mechanical book holder and page turner.

I stumbled upon Kobo which I guess started as an alternative to Kindle.  Like most things we aren’t anyone’s “target market” – I have learnt to accept Mac’s needs/requirements are far more “bespoke”… but I have to admit to being really happy with what Kobo is offering us so far.


Image courtesy of:  http://www.kobobooks.com


We HAVE NOT worried about buying an eReader.  We use the school iPad, our Mac mini (plugged into the large loungeroom TV) and Mac’s Dynavox vMax as his locations to store his “library”.

So how do I love thee?

I love that Mac can auditory scan into the Kobo Desktop App from his Dynavox and then his two switches are allocated to automatically take over the task of turning the pages forward and back.  In time, who knows, he may be responsible for reading his own ‘full book’.

I love that I can also sync his personal Kobo library to his iPad at school which will allow his peers to choose from his bookshelf, not just the class books, if they want to read to him.

I love that it puts a bookmark on the page you are up to and then syncs this with your other locations when you open them.

I love that it has a dictionary option so if you press/click on a word while reading you can look it up in the dictionary right there on the screen.  We’ve only used this feature on the iPad – not sure if it is available on desktop versions.

I love that you can add notes in the same way which will be particularly useful in years to come I imagine.

I love that you can change the screen colour and font size to suit the user.

I love that the graphics look like real bookshelves – attractive, colourful, fun and motivating.  I love too that you can build your own shelf groupings for better management of your books.

This is Mac’s bookshelf so far…

So… any negatives?

Sure – nothing is perfect.

I would love to be able to buy a number of books at once – this may happen as they keep improving their site, currently there is no ‘shopping cart’ option but they do now have Paypal.

I don’t believe you can access the bookstore via your iDevices and the Kobo app – I thought you used to be able to so this may be a recent change (I’m thinking someone may have upset the “Apple” cart).

I would love to be able to have some sort of screen reader access for those with a vision impairment like Mac.  I haven’t tested this fully yet, but don’t believe it can happen – for now we use Audible for our audio books and Kobo for our eBooks.  Audio books are far nicer to listen to than a screen reader but every now and then a screen reader might be useful if Mac got too fatigued to read and it would be good practice to get used to screen reader technology and voices.

I would love to have the Kobo desktop version (PC & Mac) bookshelf switch accessible so Mac could scan through his bookshelf, select a book and then read and turn pages with the same switches he currently uses for auditory scanning on the Dynavox.  Of course, it would be great to have the iDevices switch accessible with R J Coopers switch plug – this would require a little bit of ‘app updating’ from Kobo, but hey, you never know…

But for now, we are pretty happy with our Kobo experience.

What eBook and eReader sites are you using?

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