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Old 06-24-2022, 07:36 AM   #1
Uncle Robin
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Kobo Store no longer displaying page length or time to read?

I've noticed this in the last few days, and have confirmed that some books which WERE showing page counts and time to read a few days ago are now not showing either. It's a bit disconcerting to have no framework of comparison at all about how long a book is, does anyone know what the rationale for this change is?
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:17 AM   #2
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The Kobo CSR I spoke to was unaware of the change before my call, after a longish wait on hold, he came back and said "not enough people used the information, so it was removed" - given that the information was static and not linked/clickable, how they divined usage is beyond me, but c'est la vie
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:48 AM   #3
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My guess would be through polls. They do send out some questionnaires on occasion.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:56 AM   #4
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My guess would be through polls. They do send out some questionnaires on occasion.
I am a member of their Kobo Insiders program, which does run polls but when I login, I see no updates of any sort since August 2021. Then again, Kobo doesn't like me much - inviting me to apply for the beta program, then not replying to my application and TWICE emailing me to ask me to apply for a discussion group of readers with disabilities and then not replying to my following though on their request.
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Old 06-24-2022, 12:24 PM   #5
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I am a member of their Kobo Insiders program, which does run polls but when I login, I see no updates of any sort since August 2021. Then again, Kobo doesn't like me much - inviting me to apply for the beta program, then not replying to my application and TWICE emailing me to ask me to apply for a discussion group of readers with disabilities and then not replying to my following though on their request.
Iím an insider too. One of my Kobos is on the beta program though they never confirmed Iíd be in the thing. It doesnít get every beta and as Iíve now basically retired it Iím not even checking. Iíve given rather limited information to kobo so Iíve not been invited to anything else.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:23 PM   #6
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I did answer a poll one time when I visited the Kobo store in a web browser. My response was the page count was near useless and the time to read was totally useless. I mean who takes 6 hours to read short novel of 83,718 words? Yes, I know that is fairly accurate for the average reader and dividing by 4 gives me a decent estimate for myself. Still going by my Kobo Reading Life emails, they should have a decent estimate of my reading speed to use when I'm signed in.
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:14 PM   #7
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I did answer a poll one time when I visited the Kobo store in a web browser. My response was the page count was near useless and the time to read was totally useless..
I used the figures not as a guide for how long they would take me to read but in comparing books - it's reasonable to assume that a 400 'page' book is twice as long as a 200 'page' book. Book length is a factor for me because there are a lot of books that would be worthwhile if short, but tedious and bloated if long. There are also books that would be better long than short. Now Kobo offers me no way to make those comparisons.
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Robin View Post
The Kobo CSR I spoke to was unaware of the change before my call, after a longish wait on hold, he came back and said "not enough people used the information, so it was removed" - given that the information was static and not linked/clickable, how they divined usage is beyond me, but c'est la vie
It seems to be weird timing considering that Kobo have just added these details to the books on the device. I just checked a few purchased books and the details aren't displaying on the device. It looks like it is still there for audiobooks. I suppose that makes sense as there is a standard playback speed.
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:39 PM   #9
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Personally I'd see page count as maybe useful, but any time to read is going to be made useless by virtue of the fact that we don't all read at the same speed, and that people doing reading speed tests are specifically focused on *just* reading. I like to ponder on what I've read at times, at times I only pay enough attention to get what's happening without doing a lot of consideration on what it could mean and how it connects to the rest of the book. In either mode I'm unlikely to hit the standard reading speed.
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Old 06-25-2022, 04:15 AM   #10
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Personally I'd see page count as maybe useful, but any time to read is going to be made useless by virtue of the fact that we don't all read at the same speed, and that people doing reading speed tests are specifically focused on *just* reading. I like to ponder on what I've read at times, at times I only pay enough attention to get what's happening without doing a lot of consideration on what it could mean and how it connects to the rest of the book. In either mode I'm unlikely to hit the standard reading speed.
Once you get used to your reading speed vs what they say, you'll have an idea how long the book is.
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:02 AM   #11
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My reading speed is very uneven, with frequent interruptions. The main reason for this are my three cats, who constantly maneuver for places and positions, want to be petted and cuddled and so on. So any reading speed estimates are totally useless to me.
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Old 06-25-2022, 02:46 PM   #12
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What a disappointing move on Kobo's part! I used that information a lot.

Especially when considering a pricy ebook, I used that information to make sure I'd be getting my money's worth; I'll make fewer such purchases now.

Also, with things like Erle Stanley Garnder's PERRY MASON series, some of the ebooks are full novels and others are just short stories, and the wordcount stats were the way to tell which was which before purchase.

Last edited by RobertJSawyer; 06-25-2022 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:29 PM   #13
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Once you get used to your reading speed vs what they say, you'll have an idea how long the book is.
Except my speed varies with my mood. Sure overall I might average out, but itís never going to be a good metric for me with books.

Just for clarification Iíd need to figure out my average speed using multiple books and days of not weeks or months of reading then do the math to convert Kobos estimate to my own all for something which at best will only ever be moderately accurate and has no impact on if Iíll enjoy a book or not.

Page numbers are, at least as far as the Kobo stores former reporting of them, static figures. Yes once itís on my Sage it may have more or likely less pages, but the benchmark is easy to establish and variation would be minor.
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:33 PM   #14
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What a disappointing move on Kobo's part! I used that information a lot.

Especially when considering a pricy ebook, I used that information to make sure I'd be getting my money's worth; I'll make fewer such purchases now.
This actually surprises me coming from an author, good books arenít always long books, nor are short books always bad. Iíve also found that generally the short bad books are cheaply priced, I imagine those authors goal is mass production of product.
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Old 06-25-2022, 09:45 PM   #15
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This actually surprises me coming from an author, good books aren’t always long books, nor are short books always bad. I’ve also found that generally the short bad books are cheaply priced, I imagine those authors goal is mass production of product.
I'm not talking about fiction for the most part. But when you're contemplating a nonfiction book -- about 90% of the 5,000 ebooks I have bought -- especially from an academic or university press, where the book might be priced at $25 or more, yes, I want to know if it's a slim treatment or a comprehensive volume.

THE BONE FEUD (about paleontologists Cope and Marsh, self-published it seems) is 35,000 words long; HADROSAURS from Indiana University Press is 325,000 words. You bet that order-of-magnitude difference has an impact on how much one might be willing to pay for the books.

On the other hand, the 24 novels I've written -- ranging from 57,000 words to 125,000 words long -- are all a bargain, regardless of price.
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