Friday, 29 April 2011

Reading books on my Blackberry Playbook

I plan to add updates to this post as further information comes my way.

Update: January 18, 2012 - Linda at living, quilting and stuff has posted a pattern for sewing a cover for your Playbook.

Update: November 22, 2011
As I am writing this update, I am installing Kobo update 1.3.1.  I then turned the wifi off, turned it back on and am watching my books update.  Looks like everything will be there and all is happy.  Thanks to all those at Kobo who have been working so hard to fix this problem.
Update: November 12, 2011
Kobo acknowledges that there is a problem at their end and that they are working on the problem night and day seeking to resolve.  Playbook issues are not yet corrected.  In the meantime, they are not responding to error reports, though they do say that they will respond to them all in the future.  The only place that I could find information was on their Facebook page.  Kobo Support Facebook.

Update: November 11, 2011
Kobo App won't refresh/update, the little circle just sits there and spins.  On November 6, 2011, I bought a book from Kobo while using my desktop computer.  I find it easier to browse on my desktop as the search function is more robust than the one in the Playbook app.  I then picked up my Playbook, opened the Kobo app and tried to refresh.  After about ten minutes of waiting for the book to load, I put it down and went on with other business.  It was about two hours later that I went back to my Playbook and noticed that the book still hadn't loaded.  No worries, things happen.  I closed the app, re-opened it and started it to refresh again.  Since it still didn't work, I went back to my desktop and sent a comment to Kobo asking them to remove the book as I wasn't able to download it.  I got back an automatic response with a ticket number.  That is the last I have heard from them.  I did not get a response within the 24-48 hour window that they promised.  I sent another report, no response.  On the 9th I sent another comment quoting the previous ticket number and still no response.

Searching around online brought my the information I needed.  Kobo is having a problem.  It is not my Playbook. 

What to do?  Do not delete the Kobo app and reload it.  This will temporarily remove all your books and since the app is not working, you will not be able to refresh and return your books.  You can still read books that are already on your Playbook.  Close the app and re-open, do not try to refresh, just select the book you want to read.  If it does not open, then turn off the wi-fi and try again, it should work this time.  Just remember to turn the wi-fi back on after you finish reading.  You will probably experience problems with dogears at this time.  I can read books, but the dogears that I make aren't saved.

Original Post:

Like many voracious readers, I have been eying the ebook readers.  My plan had been to win one, but alas, that just wasn't happening.  I had started visiting shops and really checking them out.  I wanted something that was robust and would stand up to lots of use and some banging around.  Since I follow several book industry publications, I wanted a unit that would also be up to handling future books.  Right now the books are black and white copies of the text, but what about the future,  I can't imagine them staying that way.  I envision that they will have links embedded so that I will be able to see that meal that is being described, or the haunted mansion with the creaking doors that the naive girl has just entered.  I had also read about the interactive magazine subscriptions that are available.  I wanted colour, I wanted to flip a page with my finger, and I wanted to be able to upgrade the software instead of having to run out and buy a newer unit.

I hadn't found that product yet, so imagine my surprise when hubby came home last Tuesday with a Blackberry Playbook for me.  Never expected that one.  Rather surprising actually.  We live minutes from a number of RIM (Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberrys) buildings.  We know many people who work there, yet we don't have Blackberry phones.  Would this work for me as an ereader?  I started to play with it.

I came loaded with a number of apps including Kobo, which is the ereader that is aligned with
I clicked on that app and proceeded to shop.  I easily downloaded a couple of free books and started reading.

I sat reading in a chair, standing by the table, lying on the sofa, lying propped in bed with no hands on the unit.  I read in the car, I read in the car in the dark. I even sat at my desktop computer with the Playbook propped on my lap and super multi tasked.  It worked well in each situation.
I've included four photos showing the different configurations for reading.  I haven't tried the night reading yet.  It does look better than the photo as the white lettering doesn't really glow as in the photo.

My favourite at the moment is the traditional format shown in the third photo, though it's easy to change to the others, you just turn the unit.

What I am missing is Adobe Digital.  That's the reader that I can get review ebooks from NetGalley.  This was one of my main reasons for wanting an ebook reader. Adobe is working on this app and hope to have it ready by the summer.  I did call the Playbook help line and spoke to a very helpful lady in South Carolina (funny I had to get help from a local company from so far away).  She helped me with a few things and doubled checked about the Adobe Digital.  I then checked with Overdrive Media.  That's the software that my library uses for their audio book downloads.  You can currently download to your Blackberry Phone, but that app will not work with the Playbook.
There are plans to make an app for this unit.

What did I read?  Kiss Me Deadly by Michele Hauf.  It is a free download from Harlequin.  They currently are offering fifteen of their books for free download.

I've read a few paranormal romances previously and this ranked up at the top.  It was a well thought out story and kept me interested throughout all my reader manoeuvring and testing.

Witch meets Vampire.  A centuries old deadly rivalry.  Now add in the Devil and his secret schemes and you have some serious chemistry happening.

Thanks to Michele Hauf for the cover photo.

I am now onto my second ebook, The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 by PJ Haarsma and still enjoying this new age reading process.

May 1, 2011 - I learned something new today.  How to delete a book from the Kobo app.  Open the app, then locate the book you want to delete.  Touch the bookcover image with your finger and hold it there for a few seconds.  A box will appear and you then selection the option to delete the book.  Confirm your decision and the book will be deleted.


Postcard Perfect said...

I am so green with ENVY! I so want to have this Playbook!!!:)

Susan In Texas said...

Hi Heather,
Thanks for your kind comments about my very busy Ethan quilt. Left to myself I would have sashed it in dark blue to take the busyness down a notch, but I had already promised Joe the animal print.

Take care,
Susan in Texas

PS Very cool blog!

Marie said...

Very nice! I tried a clone tablet for a few days and didn't love it. Having said that, it did have some really nice features missing on the basic ereaders. I was very tempted to keep it.

Right now, I love that my eReader mimics a real book. I hope that in a couple of years, I'll find the do-everything eReader of my dreams.

Enjoy you new toy!