The new Kobo Glo and Kobo Mini ereaders have a special feature. They contain magnetic switches that can make them sleep and wake in the presence of a small magnet. If you already have an ordinary, non-sleep case for your Glo or Mini, I will show you how to turn it into a sleep case very quickly and inexpensively.
What you will need:
- Your regular case. (This NeoSkin Kindle Zip Sleeve works great for me. Dig the skull-and-crossbones design. I chose it because, um, you can't take your ebooks with you. It's a memento mori, right? Right.)
- A small, powerful magnet. (Radio Shack sells the Rare Earth Super Magnets (2-Pack) for US $2.49, which is where the "about $2" comes in. These are tiny (3/16") but extremely powerful, good for triggering your Kobo's sleep function without taking up too much room in the case.)
- Some sticky tape. Depending on your case, you have many options here. I used gaffer tape because it's strong and matches the black interior of my case. You could use duct tape, electrical tape, or even cellophane tape, which I used while trying to pinpoint where to put the magnet.
- Scissors (for the tape).
Now that you have your supplies, here are the basic steps.
- Very important: Turn on the magnetic sensing capability of the Kobo. Touch the three-bars icon in the upper right of the screen (under firmware 2.1.5). Select Settings > Light, Sleep & Power > Page 2 > Automatically sleep and wake up. I spent a day and a half wondering why no magnet I tried could activate my Glo, despite using some pretty powerful ones. Now you'll know better.
- Exit Settings and wave your magnet around the bottom-right corner of the Kobo screen. I literally mean the screen and not the bezel. To get at the magnet, you would have to peel the screen up -- it's behind the screen's layers. (Don't actually do this!) See if you can make the Kobo sleep and wake up, depending on how close you bring the magnet. Once you can reliably do this, you're ready for the next step.
- Temporarily tape down the magnet. If your case opens like a book, as mine does, you'll need to tape the magnet on the inside front cover. The advantages of cellophane tape are that it's easier to see where you're positioning the magnet, and it's also easy to unstick and reposition.
- Now try to sleep and wake your Kobo by closing and opening the case. If it worked with a loose magnet, but not with one taped to the case, move it around until you get it right. My magnet ended up near the lower-left corner of the inside front.
- Permanently tape down the magnet. First, once you're sure you know where the magnet should go, press down on the magnet with your thumb. It should make a small, temporary indentation in the case unless the case is diamond or titanium or something. Then, lift up the cellophane tape, replace the magnet in the indentation, and tape it down with stronger, heavier, better-looking tape.
Now you should have a functional and relatively handsome CheapSleep for a fraction of the cost of a genuine Kobo SleepCover, and available in a much wider variety of colors, patterns, and form factors.
I sometimes find the wake/sleep feature a little annoying, but there was little reason not to install it into my case, because it was so inexpensive, easy, reversible
, and I can turn the feature off temporarily any time I want in Settings
. Plus, I learned a few things. So enjoy!