No Bulls#!t Guide to Kobo Touch

Every day I am being asked same questions about Kobo Touch. Many people, when facing a technical problem with the device, turn to Google to find a solution. Some video reviews from the manufacturer that I’ve seen focus too much on unneccessary details like the location of on and off button or the purpose of the main screen menu. Seriously, I think we can figure that out on our own time, tell me what to do once the thing’s turned on and malfunctioning. This is where blogs come into play by providing an unbiased opinion and advise. Rather than trying to answer these question separately, I decided to utilize my blog a bit and release some of my experience into the masses. That said, I do not consider myself an expert in any way, but at the same time I am not afraid to experiment with Kobo to fix any problems that might arise. Now, let’s get moving.

1. Is Kobo Touch backlit and how can I read in the dark?

No, Kobo Touch uses eInk technology, which simulates the look of real paper, and is much easier on the eyes than backlit standard screens. It allows a reader to enjoy the book for hours nonstop, even in a bright sunlight thanks to its non-reflective surface. Also, it saves on battery life, and depending on your usage, might last up to several weeks. The major downside of eInk screen is of course the fact that you can’t read the book at night without an external light source. However, many major retailers like Chapters or Best Buy sells Kobo covers with a built-in light, or a clip-on devices that make night reading possible. These run on separate batteries, unfortunately, so it might not be as cost effective.

2. Can I buy my books from iTunes using an iTunes card? Can I upload iBook purchases on my Kobo?

The answer to the first question is “no, you can’t”. The reason being the fact that Kobo app on any Apple device operates separately from iTunes. Therefore, your payment information stored in iTunes is not available to the app whenever you want to purchase a book. The first time you buy something through Kobo you have to fill out your credit card information (which is I guess a drawback for people relying on the prepaid cards). As for the second question, I have to reply in a more vague manner. Technically it is possible, but legal limitations of digital industry prevents you from doing that without some major work involved. The problem lies with DRM protection that makes sharing of ebooks impossible for an average reader. So unless you know how to crack DRM, my advice to you would be to stick to one device.

3. My Kobo is stuck on processing the content…

It happened to me twice before. The first time the glitch happened, Kobo’s software didn’t have the ability to show percentage yet, so I wasn’t sure if it was just processing at very low speed, or if it was really stuck. After waiting all night to see any improvement, I figured it was up to me finish the process. The easiest way to fix the issue is to reset the device. On the back of Kobo, around the area where the “home” button would be located, you will see a tiny hole. Take any pin, insert, and wait for the screen to flash and restart. This way you will not lose any books, and Kobo will just redo the processing as soon as it’s back on. In case the problem reoccurs after the reset, a corrupt or invalid file you’re trying to transfer might be at fault. Shut down Kobo, remove the SD memory card and try restarting again. You might have to delete the file using some other device (like a cell phone) off of the memory card. This is a pretty rare issue, because Kobo is usually great with accepting all kinds of file formats. If your software is pretty old and it doesn’t show the progress of processing, keep in mind that Kobo takes its time to complete the job, especially if you’ve just transferred a large number of books. In this case, just be patient; reset only if you see no progress after 30 minutes or so.

4. My Kobo is stuck during reset…

It happened to me once and I was totally thinking my Kobo broke down and I even contacted customer service. Thankfully I figured out that the problem might be low battery. The thing with Kobo is every time it runs out of juice it just gets stuck on whatever screen it was on and sometimes it doesn’t give you the message to recharge. That’s when most people freak out, naturally. If yours is stuck, especially during reset/restart, try plugging it in for a few minutes and see if anything happens. It worked for me a couple of times already.

5. Is Kobo Touch available in different colors? Which one should I get?

I am surprised to see this question coming up sometimes, because there is really no difference which color you choose as it doesn’t affect performance. Personal preference is the key here. For the curious, Kobo comes in all black, all white, and a variation of white frame and blue or lavender quilting on the back. Which one did I get? Because I am revealing this top secret information, you have to promise not to tell anyone. My Kobo has a white frame and a lavender back. Love it!

6. Where do I get books?

Since I cannot recommend you pirate sources for obvious reasons, you have to rely on your own knowledge. However, there are thousands upon thousands of free books available on websites specializing in public domain books. Besides, classics are the best anyway. If you wanted to read any Austen or Zola, or Stoker, they all can be located for free and ready to enjoy. Usually I use Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks, or ePubBooks, and find amazing forgotten treasures of the past there.

This is everything I can think of right now, but I am sure questions about Kobo are endless. If there is anything specific you wanted me to address that is not listed here, please let me know, and I will do my best to answer it within the limits of my amateur knowledge. Enjoy and read on!

6 comments

  1. How do you use a prepaid card on the Kobo? I have seen that there are eCards or prepaid cards, but I am unsure to how you’re supposed to use them, or put the money onto the actually Kobo device,. Please help if you are able to!

  2. What kind of prepaid card are you talking about? Is it an Indigo gift card? A prepaid credit card? Some kind of specific card you buy at a convenience store? I will try to do my best to figure the answer for you once I know the details.

  3. I do not have any specific, but to further help you help me, I will search in local convenience stores for more information, on the specific eCards and prepaid cards. Although, I have seen something like a gift card, or something similar. I am unsure for now, but once I have the information, I will immediately tell you what I no, so you can help me! Thank you! But please, continue to find out! It would help out a lot. And just to confirm, I live in England, U.K. Thank you, again!

  4. *know

  5. To make things a little easier for you I did a bit of a research. Kobo has a short guide on the buying process itself over here .

    As for the type of cards, it looks like for now you have three options: credit card, prepaid credit card, and a qualified gift card. Since you are interested in prepaid options, you can go to a convenience store and buy a prepaid Visa or MasterCard and follow the step-by-step purchasing process described in the link. You other option would be to find a retailer that sells gift cards accepted by Kobo. That is not so easy, as Kobo doesn’t take just any card. A quick research tells me that in UK, where you live, WH Smith would be the major book store chain that distributes Kobo devices. You can go to one of those stores and ask a clerk if you can purchase books with the gift cards offered there. The reason I am saying this is because Kobo began accepting gift cards sold as Chapters/Indigo stores here in Canada. Now the problem with that option is that you still need some kind of credit card registered with Kobo as a back up in case the gift card does not have enough funds left. It is a pretty stupid system, I know, but that is how Kobo does things. So I guess buying a prepaid credit card would give you the least headache in the long run.

    Let me know if you have further questions.

  6. Thank you for the information. It has already helped me a lot! If I have further questions I will be sure to ask you. Thank you, again!

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