I came across a poll on MobileRead the other day asking if people shop for ebooks on their Kobo ereader and I thought that was an interesting question.
Currently 87% of participants in the poll say they prefer not to shop directly from their Kobo devices. That’s a high number, but it’s not particularly surprising.
The number would likely be lower if the same question was posed to Kindle owners given the fact that Amazon still sells cellular models, but most people buy the less expensive WiFi-only Kindles instead.
Most E Ink reading devices have built-in ebook stores to shop for ebooks without having to use a second device, and most have web browsers as well to get ebooks from other outlets.
But it seems like most people still prefer to use a separate device to shop for ebooks.
Pretty much anything with a web browser can be used to buy ebooks, or you can use an app on a phone or a tablet.
The main problem with buying ebooks directly from an E Ink device like a Kobo or Kindle is the process of searching and browsing ebooks can be slow and tedious unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Onboard stores often have less filtering and sorting options so it can be hard to find what you want. It’s also harder to quickly compare prices and read reviews.
Kobo’s ereaders have OverDrive built-in so you can also get library ebooks directly from their store, but unless you know the exact title or author you’re looking for it can be a difficult process to find something that’s available to download now without a wait.
Personally I find it much easier to shop for ebooks and checkout public library ebooks using a web browser on a computer or a tablet, and then have the ebooks delivered wirelessly to my device over WiFi.
Having the ability to shop for ebooks directly on E Ink reading devices is nice, but I find that I almost never use that option.
What about you? Do you like shopping for ebooks directly from your ereader or do you prefer to use a separate device?
In the 12 years that I’ve been using an e-reader, the situation where I need a new eBook and don’t have my laptop handy has never occurred. 13% who find it beneficial sounds about right. Some people like to travel light.
Always on another device.
Cheron Hayes says
Ditto – always on another device (mostly my computer web browser and deliver wirelessly to my ereader.
I shop on my tablet. I like to check out reviews before ordering a book.
Never thought about this until you asked 🙂 but I do this elsewhere but e-reader itself, just realized this now. By the way one of the reasons, price difference happens occasionally between Amazon and Kobo. Though I give advantage to Kobo since I’m not owning Kindle e-reader.
I totally agree with the points made in the article. I generally look for books on other devices and then I might download it directly from the Kindle. The eink device is just too slow for browsing through books. Goodreads is very limited on the Kindle too. So that doesn´t help much.
Sportbike Mike says
I had never thought about this before, but you’re right. At home I shop for books on the computer or tablet and on the go I use the phone. my Oasis has cellular too, but I use that to get the books on the go, not shop for them. I’ll buy the book on the phone and have it sent to the Kindle that’s sitting on the table in front of me.
There’s also another reason to shop off device, to look at other vendors. Between my Boox, Pocketbook and Kindle readers I can read an ebook no matter where it came from or what format it is. I shop by price now.
Few times, especially when books are a part of a newly discovered.
Kindle does tells the next book in the series and it’s just one click.
But that is a corner case most like 1-2% of the books I’m buying. Vast majority from phone or laptop and delivered directly on my Kindle.
I’ve had kindles, nooks, and kobo readers. I get all my books from 6 different public libraries. I always read reviews on Amazon and get my books on overdrive from my iPad. I send them directly to my kindle.
Lynn K says
Always on my web browser and delivered to my Kindle Oasis. Like to read reviews first before purchasing.
I use Calibre to manage my e-book library, so I shop from my desktop (and I’m never browsing–I’m always buying something specific, and I’m as likely to buy directly from a publisher or Smashwords as from my e-reader’s ecosystem), download the e-book, add it to Calibre, then add it to my e-reader.
I also shop using my desktop computer’s browser or phone in a pinch in Amazon’s or library’s online catalog then download to kindle. Sometimes if the next book in a series comes up in Goodreads while I’m in my Kindle and finished a book I might go buy it immediately from there. I know that’s not shopping as asked earlier.
I have a voyage with cellular. I only use it to buy books when I’m in a series and need to buy the next book. I’ve done the same thing with all of my kindles. All other books are bought or borrowed from the library using my PC.
Tina Hamaker says
The only cellular Kindle was my first one, and I seem to recall shopping a few times then. Now I get emails from sites like BookBub, and I have quite an inventory of books I have picked up for free while reading their email on the laptop. Occasionally I will want to follow a series from an author and will purchase from the Kindle on wifi at home. (usually at 1 am when laptop is shut down and I want to start the next book right away) Even then I prefer to check reviews if I am shelling out $$, and it is problematic on the Paperwhite. While Kindle allows the font size of the book to be adjusted larger, the rest of the text on the device is too small for me to read, so I have to scrounge up the cheater glasses to accomplish anything else.
TL;DR Once in a blue moon, shop mostly from laptop.
I borrow books on the reader but buy on a computer and then transfer – this way I have a backup of purchases.
I prefer to get discounts on ebooks, ereaderiq does that for me.
Buy ebooks on any one of my 4 Fires, usually when it’s on sale. Otherwise it’s on a Wishlist (now about 50 ebooks and climbing!). I also buy hardcopies whenever I pass a bookstore. I can never read the number of books I have.
Allways in my PC
I do it both ways. Looks like I’m the only one here. I like reading reviews of books (which you can do on the Kindle). I like to immediately see what the deal of the day is (which is front and center on Kobo), immediately reading samples (either device) or buying. Also on Kobo I can switch to searching the library, which you can’t get from the website.
Everyone here makes it sound like the experience of using an ereader to buy a book is complete crap, but it is not. Maybe you just haven’t tried it in several years. It is not that bad at all. Some complain about the difficulty browsing but frankly browsing sucks on the websites too. Kindle and Kobo both struggle with curating quality content.
Browsing is no problem with devices that know A2 mode.
Nope. easier on a PC.
I’ll sometimes check my wishlist directly on my Kindle, to see if anything on it is on sale. But 99.9% of my eBook shopping I’ll do on desktop or mobile, and send it automatically to my Kindle on purchase.