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Old 01-10-2024, 02:23 AM   #1
mikebarber
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Recommendation on first E-Book Reader

Hi there. I'm not new to e-books but I just discovered this forum. I've been using my Android phone (I know ) for Kindle Unlimited with the Kindle app, and using the built-in e-book app for other sideloaded books.

I'm now considering an e-book reader as I've realised I don't really read much on my phone due to the small size and overall user experience. What would you recommend as a first e-book reader? I might sometimes need PDF reading capability, and I also plan to use Calibre. Also, would something other than the Kindle be able to access my Kindle Unlimited library/books, whether by sideloading or conversion etc?
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Old 01-10-2024, 02:59 AM   #2
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As to KU books, not really. Also if you do manage to remove the DRM from them and convert, the authors won't get paid. KU authors are paid per pages read.

So if Kindle Unlimited books are a major part of your reading material, it's best to get a Kindle.

For PDF you really need a tablet, as anything smaller than 12'' is too small for PDF. That is, if you regularly read PDF files. For an occasional lone PDF a 7-8'' device will probably do.
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Old 01-10-2024, 03:18 AM   #3
mikebarber
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As to KU books, not really. Also if you do manage to remove the DRM from them and convert, the authors won't get paid. KU authors are paid per pages read.

So if Kindle Unlimited books are a major part of your reading material, it's best to get a Kindle.

For PDF you really need a tablet, as anything smaller than 12'' is too small for PDF. That is, if you regularly read PDF files. For an occasional lone PDF a 7-8'' device will probably do.
Thank you for the reply! Understood about the KU. It's not a major part of my reading material.

PDF reading is occasional.

I was thinking of the Kobo Clara2E or the Libra 2. Do those fit my goals?
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Old 01-10-2024, 03:29 AM   #4
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I was thinking of the Kobo Clara2E or the Libra 2. Do those fit my goals?
Other than KU books, they're both very good choices for an ereader, especially if you use Calibre.
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Old 01-10-2024, 04:32 AM   #5
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Oh I just noticed you are using a Libra 2! How is it compared to other readers, like a Kindle, for example? And I also did not mention that I have access to my local library through Overdrive, so does that make the Kobo an even more compelling choice?
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Old 01-10-2024, 04:53 AM   #6
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Oh I just noticed you are using a Libra 2! How is it compared to other readers, like a Kindle, for example?
Compared to Kindles, it has many advantages (more customization options; an open OS enabling users to write various patches and tweaks for it without needing to root/jailbreak; tight integration with Calibre, including automatic management of series and collections; the ability to install other reading applications, like KOReader), but also a couple of disadvantages (can't sync sideloaded content between different devices and apps, like you can with a Kindle; overall, Kobos tend to have somewhat more bugs than Kindles, although by no means always). The Libra 2 is also a bit slower than the latest Kindles, as it uses an older processor, but OTOH it has a very good screen.
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And I also did not mention that I have access to my local library through Overdrive, so does that make the Kobo an even more compelling choice?
If you're in the US, you can use Overdrive with a Kindle as well, but not elsewhere, as far as I know.
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Old 01-10-2024, 10:14 AM   #7
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Compared to Kindles, it has many advantages (more customization options; an open OS enabling users to write various patches and tweaks for it without needing to root/jailbreak; tight integration with Calibre, including automatic management of series and collections; the ability to install other reading applications, like KOReader), but also a couple of disadvantages (can't sync sideloaded content between different devices and apps, like you can with a Kindle; overall, Kobos tend to have somewhat more bugs than Kindles, although by no means always). The Libra 2 is also a bit slower than the latest Kindles, as it uses an older processor, but OTOH it has a very good screen.

If you're in the US, you can use Overdrive with a Kindle as well, but not elsewhere, as far as I know.
I'm not in the US so if I wish to have Overdrive access, the Kobo devices win in that aspect. Is it easy to load all the plugins and utilities with the Kobo, as I see there are a lot of guides in the Kobo section? Now to choose between the Libra 2 and Clara2E.

Hope others can chime in with their thoughts too!
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Old 01-10-2024, 10:29 AM   #8
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I'm not in the US so if I wish to have Overdrive access, the Kobo devices win in that aspect. Is it easy to load all the plugins and utilities with the Kobo, as I see there are a lot of guides in the Kobo section? Now to choose between the Libra 2 and Clara2E.

Hope others can chime in with their thoughts too!
Setting up any Kobo with Calibre and plugins is quite straightforward, and asking in these fora will always get you plenty of helpful and knowledgable advice. I don't own a Libra 2, but do have a Libra H2O (1st gen), so was going to recommend the Libra 2 anyway.
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Old 01-10-2024, 11:42 AM   #9
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Thanks to both of you, I think I have made the decision to go with the Libra 2!

Are there any guides you can point me to for the first-time setup out of the box so i can get everything running seamlessly?
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Old 01-10-2024, 12:37 PM   #10
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Thanks to both of you, I think I have made the decision to go with the Libra 2!

Are there any guides you can point me to for the first-time setup out of the box so i can get everything running seamlessly?
For the first time, just follow the screen prompts. You can always add and change things later, once you're familiar with the device.

For Calibre, installing the Kobo Utilities plugin would be a good idea, although not absolutely necessary. The Utilities plugin also offers an easy access to the Kobo Driver settings (via right-click), which is mostly what I use it for.
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Old 01-11-2024, 10:53 AM   #11
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Thanks to both of you, I think I have made the decision to go with the Libra 2!

Are there any guides you can point me to for the first-time setup out of the box so i can get everything running seamlessly?
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For the first time, just follow the screen prompts. You can always add and change things later, once you're familiar with the device.
I concur. When you first get your Kobo, use it as is for at least a little bit, to get used to it as it is by default. Then you can see things you would like to tweak or change.

Otherwise you could spend a lot of time applying patches that you really don't need.

You can apply patches, but it doesn't mean you must apply them. Many people enjoy Kobo out of the box. It will still work well with Calibre (including controlling collections and series) without any patches enabled.
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Old 01-11-2024, 06:08 PM   #12
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Now to choose between the Libra 2 and Clara2E.
It sounds like you made your choice already, but the main difference between the two is the larger screen and the dedicated grip area with page-turn buttons on the Libra 2. Unless you travel a lot and really need the device to be as small as possible, I'd certainly pick the Libra 2 for the ergonomics alone.
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