Why I Changed My eReader

The story of why I changed my eReader is kind of a long and twisty one but I’ll give it a go. 

I love eReaders. I have used one for many years. I think they are a great way to bring your whole library together in one small and easy to carry around place. But recently I decided to end my association with the brand of eReader I have had since the beginning and the company that makes it – the Kindle by Amazon.

Why I hear you ask?

Being under lockdown for two months meant that I read much more than usual. eBooks via Amazon helped to fill the gap left by the unavailability of physical books due to libraries being closed. Yes – occasionally I do want to hold something more, bookwise, in my hand. A real actual thing with paper pages and I normally get these from my community library although sometimes I am gripped with book buying fever. I like to support my local library as I love and believe in the absolute necessity of libraries and all that they offer. So imagine my delight when I discovered that there are digital collections and that you can borrow ebooks from them. I thought this was a great way to continue that support.

Well I sat down all ready to dive into digital collections only to find out that if you have a Kindle, you’re out of luck. Yeap – that’s right. If you live outside the US and own a Kindle, you cannot borrow ebooks. I have to say I was aghast and very disappointed. This policy from Amazon prevents people, in no uncertain terms, from engaging with their library which I find … well … shocking to be honest. Libraries play a vital role in their communities and residents should be encouraged to use ALL of their services. The more access we have to stories, words and the storehouse of knowledge that Libraries contain, the better.

I asked myself why would Amazon do this. Well it must be related to revenue and the pursuit of profit. If you can’t borrow then you are compelled to purchase. I find this to be very cynical indeed. I mean it’s not as if Amazon doesn’t make enough money. And I think the fact that borrowing ebooks is allowed in the US shows that Amazon deep down knows that the policy would be viewed as intolerable there. So why is it ok elsewhere? 

And here is another thing. If the rest of the world is lacking the ability to borrow books via a Kindle, why do we have to pay the same purchase price (even after currency conversion) as US owners of the device if we are not getting the same range of functionality? Shouldn’t it be cheaper?

So I faced a clear choice. Continue with the way things presently are or walk away from the Kindle and Amazon. And I chose the latter.  Now I know this means more expense on my part, initially at least, both to get a new eReader and to replace the ebooks that I have in my virtual library, but I am willing to part with my money if it means I get what I want.

So I sat down, researched other options and found one that suits me the best, that being the Kobo Forma (which is made and supplied by a Canadian company I believe). I have decided to go up several models to get a bigger screen but the obvious selling point is that the technology which allows the borrowing of ebooks (Overdrive) is inbuilt. Looking at some instruction videos on YouTube showed me how easy it was to use and it how it allowed for a seamless user experience.

So I placed my order and I am now the proud owner of a lovely Kobo . Yay! 

As part of the switch I rationalised what I had in my virtual library, conducted a clean out and have kept only the titles that I really want to read keeping in mind that I am endeavouring to concentrate on a digital personal library albeit with forays into the physical book world. For all else I have made a library list and will be searching the digital catalogue for what is available and what needs to be reserved as well as having purchased some physical books that will be rehomed when finished with (lockdown you know).

And now that I am all up and running, I have removed what remains of my Amazon library and had my entire account deleted. I don’t think Mr Bezos will care much but I know that I feel better about it all. I never purchased anything other than ebooks from Amazon as the freight charges were enough to cause you to go bankrupt and much of what sold always had the ‘this does not ship to your region’ tag so I don’t think I am missing out on anything. 

So that’s it. That’s me exercising my tiny weeny bit of consumer power and changing my eReader. And of course this goes without saying but I’ll mention it anyway. This shouldn’t be viewed as a criticism of people who own and love their Kindles or those who use Amazon. It’s merely a personal expression of what suits me and my reading habits the best as a non-US citizen.

So the final few words I want to say are ….. happy reading to everyone however you are doing it! As humans we should all be united in our love of books and literature and for all the joy that they create! 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It is simply an explanation based on what I want an eReader to do for me.

(Header Image: Negative Space and Post Image: Sarah Kreig)