I’ve been playing with the Kobo ebook app for the iPad. I also have the Nook app, the Kindle app, and Apple’s iBook app. How are they the same? How are they different? Are the reading experiences the same? I’m exploring these questions. This post talks about social reading and the Kobo.
I downloaded the Kobo app after reading an article about it’s social reading capabilities – sharing what you read with others, Facebooking and tweeting your thoughts about a page of a book or a chapter, and so on. Initially, I thought this might be another use of updating your status with info that is important to you but that most people really don’t care about. Then, I thought that this might be the Internet version of a global book club.
The Kobo app came with a free version of Dracula and a few other books. It’s a good story, I like the diary format, and it is a popular enough book that I thought even the casual reader would find interest in my updates.
My first post resulted from the Places functionality. Simply, when the story talks about a country, city, or other place, you can use the Places functionality to post that you just visited Transylvania reading Dracula on the Kobo. The feature that I enjoy most is the ability to select a section of text and tweet it. It can be an interesting description, a funny passage, etc.
Are people responding to my posts? Yes and no. Nobody has commented about my posts but new people are following me on Twitter.
What is the value of social reading? There are educational values. Students can share comments about a book. More importantly, with planning, two classes, maybe one in England and one in Boston can read the same book. Sharing comments from two different cultures can bring valuable perspectives about a book and it’s contents. Different cultural perspectives about a historical book, a book about a current event, a philosophical book, religious book, etc. can become an exciting learning experience.
eBooks and social networking open many possibilities. It is just a matter of how you use them.