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Old 05-19-2022, 04:05 PM   #1
carmik
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KOReader merits compared to stock reader

Hello everybody!

My first post in this forum and a newbie one at that: I was wondering whether KOreader would be better compared to the native reader.

I'm mainly reading from epubs transferred from calibre (most likely kepub format). Which advantages / disadvantages does it have compared to the stock reader? Is battery life the same? Scrolling speed? Stability?

Thanks for any information you might be able to provide.
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Old 05-19-2022, 04:37 PM   #2
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Hi! Welcome to the forum!

Regarding your question, you're likely to get as many answers as Kobo/KOreader users.

My own experience drove me towards KOReader mainly because of its PDF reading capabilities. It can do a reflow of the PDF content, apply OCR using Tesseract datasets to allow any text to be searchable/selectable, and has a staggering amount of options.

Lately, I've taken up using KOReader as my main reading interface on all my ereaders (Kobo as well as Kindle). One reason is that i like having the same interface on all of these devices. Another is that I, for one, prefer not to share data on the books I read with a third party, be that Amazon or Rakuten. This might, or might not be important to you. But I'm a happy camper. And I have to say this is not related to Kobo's default, Nickel interface - I find it fantastic. It's just that KOreader gives me some extras.

At the same time, if you're a complete newbie as you say, you might not want to dive into installing third-party tools on your ereader just yet. My advice would be to evaluate what you needs and wants are, and, depending on how your reading devices satisfies them, proceed from there. If you look around the forum, you'll find that there are a gazillion ways to fine-tune your Kobo reading experience even without delving into the complexities of installing another reader on your device.

Going back to your specific questions, if you'r reading mainly (k)epubs, you might not see many substantial benefits from using KOReader as compared to Nickel, at least not at a first glance.

Nickel does a few things substantially better. One is its handling of collections and series via Calibre, which is just excellent. KOReader, by contrast, uses a mainly filesystem-based interface to your library. It can browse tags, but it has a rather clumsy interface for that. There's an option to add series to a book's title in the filesystem display, but that's about it regarding series. Another advantage of Nickel is its handling of DRM for books purchased through Kobo, borrowed from a library, or side-loaded via Adobe Digital Editions (KOReader doesn't handle DRM of any kind). It also has a very effective Pocket integration, if you use that - KOReader only allows integration with Wallabag, which is libre, but not as popular. Finally, I find that KOReader tends to consume more battery than the default interface, both on my Kobos and my Kindles. Not much more, but enough for me to notice.

Among the things KOReader does better are its seemingly infinite ways of adjusting page display, fonts, and other parameters. Its handling of user-defined dictionaries is also much easier than the stock one on Kobo, which is a bit of a mess. I also prefer its epub rendering in general (although that can be fine-tuned in both interfaces). It also has a nice, modular plugin API, and comes with a selection of plugins that add a lot of functionality: an RSS reader that downloads articles in epub format, an excellent OPDS interface, a very nice "Book Map" feature - a kind of "expanded" table of contents - and a very effective way to access your Calibre server if you use that feature of Calibre, and a highlight export feature which renders some very nice html files (Kobo highlight export depends a lot on a Calibre plugin, and is effective, but not as nice). Also, while not sharing reading data with a third party, it has an excellent reading statistics interface, with tons of report options.

Tl;dr: If you're just starting out, and you mostly read epubs, stick to the default Nickel interface. But do keep an eye on features and user feedback here on the forum and on the KOReader github. At some point, if there's anything you need that Nickel can't do for you, and there's no way to coerce it into doing it via config files, then KOReader might just be what you need.

Happy reading,

K.
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:04 PM   #3
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Its merits depend on your needs and preferences. For example, I tried it, but found no advantages over the stock reader for me personally. Other people use it almost exclusively. So it's pretty subjective.

You can try it and see for yourself.
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:34 PM   #4
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Wider Range of Reading Settings

I find that while I agree with the above post (no real advantage...) there is a wider range of reading settings. For example, the built-in reader seems to impose a limit on distance between successive lines (unless there's a setting I'm missing).
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:46 PM   #5
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Should cover it for the most part.
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Old 05-19-2022, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readologist View Post
I find that while I agree with the above post (no real advantage...) there is a wider range of reading settings. For example, the built-in reader seems to impose a limit on distance between successive lines (unless there's a setting I'm missing).
That's what patches are for.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:45 AM   #7
carmik
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Wow, that's a warm welcome. The community here seems amazing!

Thank you all for your comments. It seems I'll stick with the default reader for the time being (even though the inability to search for text in a book drives me crazy ). Or install it to run from the main interface, seems to be easy and without any issues.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by carmik View Post
Thank you all for your comments. It seems I'll stick with the default reader for the time being (even though the inability to search for text in a book drives me crazy ).
You can search for text in the book you are reading. And you can search within the last five books that have been opened. But, you can search across all books for text.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:14 AM   #9
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I used KOReader first on the Boyue Likebook Mars because the stock epub reader is terrible.
I found KOreader for epubs on Mars OK, but pointless for PDF as the Mars PDF reader does crop, brighten, contrast and more very well. I'd been using stock & Kobo readers for years.

I installed it on my Elipsa purely so as to crop PDFs. Tempted to install it on the Sage for that too.

I saw no need to install it on my Kobo original H2O or Kobo original Libra.

It's good at reading "bad" epubs as you can override, but I ALWAYS fix bad epubs in Calibre. Been doing HTML & CSS over 20 years and sometimes as part of paid job.


Issues with KOReader

I find the default touch/gesture annoying, but you can change it.
I find it hard to select system menu bar on Android.
Because it's so powerful and configurable there are huge number of menu items. I find the menu UX/GUI poor and non-intuitive.
The navigation for books is chunky like a 1980 DOS file commander.
I wish I could set it to only show folders/directories with PDFs on Elipsa and only epubs on the Mars.
It can use the Calibre Metadata for search, but not for a library view, unless I don't understand it. I forget how to get it to use Calibre Metadata.
It's OK to read epub or PDF on but I find it dreadful for finding a book or browsing books as the default is a file system view. No nice Library views based on meta-data of Titles, Authors, Collections, Series and option for Reading, Unread, Finished and sort options such as recent or name.

But I have ALL my ebooks on some ereaders and over 1000 on most.

On Kobo it's worth installing for PDFs, almost essential, and simple to install. It seems pointless on Kobo for epubs. The Sony PRS-350 native navigation is also better than KOreader and also does "Collections" from same custom column as the Kobo Driver uses once you edit driver defaults.

It's possible I simply haven't used KOReader enough, or not learned the manual as I don't read many PDFs on Kobo and the Mars is mostly for BorrowBox library books which has its own Android app, so I hardly use KOReader on the Mars.
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Old 05-20-2022, 07:36 AM   #10
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You can search for text in the book you are reading. And you can search within the last five books that have been opened. But, you can search across all books for text.
I'm more than ashamed to admit that I don't know how to do that... Can you please tell me how to do it?

@Quoth thx for the feedback, much appreciated!
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Old 05-20-2022, 08:16 AM   #11
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I'm more than ashamed to admit that I don't know how to do that... Can you please tell me how to do it?
Within a book, long press on a word. A menu will popup. A the bottom of the menu is "Search". Tap that and select "Search in book". You can also select multiple words for the search.

If you want to search for something that isn't on the screen, bring up the menus. At the bottom of the screen is a magnifying glass. Tap that and the search dialog will come up. The scope on the right-hand side will be "Current read". If you have uses the search there will be a list of recent searches. Tapping on one will run it. Otherwise, enter something and press "Go".

Outside a book, anywhere you can do a search, the scope will show what is that fits the current context. But, tap that and choose "Current read". After that it behaves as above. You can also choose different books. Under the search field will be the title of the current book. Tapping that will display four more books. These are recent books that are open. Select one and you can search it.
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Old 05-20-2022, 08:29 AM   #12
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KOReader, in my opinion, is for "power users" who like to tweak and experiment with settings. For people who want something that stays out of their way and just lets them read, the default software is hard to beat.
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:58 AM   #13
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:28 AM   #14
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As someone who switched to KOReader on my (now my wife's) Libra H2O a while ago, I love it. I have completed 206 books so far this year, and at most 6 of them have been in the stock Kobo reader. the rest in KOReader. I especially love the fact that its stats work - in the 4 years I've had a Kobo, the stock reader's reading time stats have never once been remotely useful or sensible.

Some people fix all their epubs before reading but for me, that's way too much faffing around, so KOReader's override options are easier. Especially because they involve zero typing, something I avoid as much as possible.

Of course, the best thing about KOReader is that it's free easy to install AND easy to uninstall, so you lose nothing by giving it a try. If you like what it offers, great. If not, also great.
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
The navigation for books is chunky like a 1980 DOS file commander.
The 80s were not that bad And with some configuration the file manager actually looks quite nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
I wish I could set it to only show folders/directories with PDFs on Elipsa and only epubs on the Mars.
I don't know, if you find this useful, but you could create a folder named PDF and another folder named epub. Put the corresponding files into each folder, you can also use subfolders. On the Elipsa long press on the PDF folder and then set as HOME folder, on the Mars do the same with the epub folder.

Tapping the upper left Home icon will now show you the content of the PDF folder and the epub folder respectively. So you have all the PDF/epub files with one tap from everywhere inside the file manager.
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