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Old 01-18-2011, 02:04 AM   #1
ToBuyOrNotToBuy
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Question Are pdf novels hard to read on Kobo? Should I buy a Kobo?

Hi everyone!

I've been lurking around here for a couple days trying to figure out if I should buy the Kobo at Borders for $99 during their sale. (extended to 1/20/11)

Money is really tight for me so it's kind of a big deal. I want to be sure before I buy. I hadn't considered getting an ereader 'til I saw this sale and realized that I could borrow library ebooks instead of having to buy books for it--which is not an option.

My problem is that the digital library available to me has about 30+ epub books I want to read but many more pdf novels I'm interested in. But it sounds like pdf ebooks may be too small to read on the Kobo. Turning it on it's side to zoom and scrolling (slowly?) 3 times to get through a page sounds like a real pain. Is this a real problem or am I just confusing full sized pdf document problems with pdf ebooks?

These library pdfs seem to be drm protected so I can't just reformat them somewhere. Right?

I also spent quite some time looking for free ebooks on the internet but couldn't find much that interested me. (I mostly want spicy romance novels, if someone knows some secret vault of freebies on the web somewhere!)

Also, I don't know if you need this info but all of the ebooks at my digital library are adobe epub, adobe pdf, and mobipocket. Btw, this is the Southern California Digital Library. Are there other digital libraries I can use?

Can anyone advise me? Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:35 AM   #2
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I've read a lot of library books. Kobo is great for ePubs (except for some rare badly-formatted ones; I've never seen that myself).

You're right that PDFs can be difficult to read on the small screen, as panning is required and it's not a great reading experience. You would have to remove DRM to reformat PDF and then it's not guaranteed to work. (I've never done this as I avoid PDF)

Philadelphia library accepts non-resident members: Here is a very long thread with lots of commentary including how to apply:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93451

Also, be aware that there can be long waiting lists for eBooks. Just like paper books, but it's harder to return books early so many people keep them for the full checkout limit.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:09 PM   #3
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I have found my Kobo Wifi less than satisfactory when it comes to PDF files in general.

If PDF as a format is important for you I'm not thinking the Kobo is a great match.

But you could get some mileage out of it, what do I know?!

(The computer and Sony Readers are quite a bit better for PDF, IMO. With the computer being the best, obviously.)
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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I have had a Sony and now a KOBO. My impression is that all readers have a preferred file type. My recommendation is download Calibre and convert to the preferred file type.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:30 PM   #5
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DRMed PDFs can't be converted, though. (And from what I've seen, it's harder to break DRM on an PDF.) I did take out a couple of library books that were in PDF format, but I didn't read them because I found they were too much of a bother to read on my Kobo.

Someone I know was just complaining about how hard it was to read PDFs on their Kindle (she was considering rebuying all her PDF books so she could read them on her Kindle.) My impression is that Kindle handles PDFs in a similar fashion to Kobo. I have heard, though, that Sonys actually allow for text reflow when you resize PDFs. As far as I know, they're the only reader that has that technology atm, but they're priced higher than I'm willing to pay.

Last edited by Suzanna; 01-18-2011 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
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I have tested EPUB and PDF in my reader, and the former is much better to read. I would second the suggestion for Calibre if you wish to go with this reader.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #7
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I've tried to read PDF'S and it sucked I think the only E-reader that reads PDF'S good is the Kindle DX which is irrelevant because it costs way to much and is restricted to amazon. Allot of my library's books used to be in PDF but now they are coming out in EPUB.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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PDF files will always be a problem unless you can convert them using Calibre then you still have a problem with carriage returns, so you have to edit the resulting epub and get rid of all the white spaces "^p" at the end of all the lines.

It is a pity that money is so tight these days. I have a kindle DX with about 80 reference books which are a breeze to read.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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I have used PDFtoEPUB converter. Managed to get it for free, and it makes those PDF books easier to read.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #10
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The simplest thing is to "Just Say No to PDF Novels" if you can at all help it.
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