Today Borders customers (who haven’t opted out of the email chain) got a reminder that Borders has released their new ebook reader, the Kobo (which I understand is just a rebranded eReader from another manufacturer, but what isn’t these days?). While not having the spare cash to just buy it, I did play around with the desktop app/iPhone app today to see if broke the barrier that the Kindle has.
While the new Kobo certainly supports many more common formats, it still has in my opinion a big hangup – it’s too tied to the purchasing of books, even if you already own them. Granted, this is the pitfall of using an eReader sold by a bookstore, I know, but what I would love is an eReader that not only supported multiple formats, that not only worked on a stand alone device, that not only had a phone app, desktop app, etc., but that let you easily add books to the reader that you had acquired from other venues, and then kept them in sync between devices. How cool would that be? To be able to grab a book off of Gutenberg or manybooks.net or wherever, put it in your floating library in the sky, and then no matter which reader you were using (dedicated device, computer, phone app, whatever) kept your progress in sync?? That, my friends, would be a bibliophiles wet dream and no doubt make a lot of techno savy readers salivate and crawl over glass to get one. (Working with Calibre would be nice, but baby steps, baby steps).
So it looks like for now I’m just going to stick with my Calibre+kindle and Calibre+stanza solution. Its not perfect by a long shot, but at least it almost sort of works. Just not in sync.