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How to Cope with the Death of an eReader

After a few days of futile factory resets and eventual silent mourning, I have finally come to the conclusion that my Kobo Touch has gone on to Kobo eReader Heaven. I think it is no secret that I am addicted to reading (one glance as my Goodreads account will show you that) so I’ve been going through withdrawls of reading. Luckily for me though, I had taken some actual books out from the library and I have my Surface Tablet to read on so all is not lost. (Read more about my experience using my tablet to read here).

I’ve had my Kobo for 2 solid years and in that span, I’ve used it everyday and never had a problem until a Monday morning. That morning, I ran into a software issue where the screen froze in place and the device would no longer turn on. It is possible that it took a hard fall from my nightstand but I’m not entirely sure what happened so I was a little dumbfounded as I had just charged the device overnight. I contacted Kobo via their customer service online chat forum and the associate walked me through all the resets I could perform on my device, but it wasn’t enough to fix it. The customer service rep was really nice but there weren’t any other options for me and Kobo does not have a service to repair eReaders. As I was out of my warranty, I was left with the option of looking for a new eReader.

As cliché as it is, I went through the steps I have on my eReading page to make my decision (I did create it for a reason!). Having been a part of the eReading world for the last 2 years, I thought I would have an easier time but these newer models are a little overwhelming and there are so many choices out there now! But I do know what I want out of an eReader and what I don’t want and what I could care less about so that is a start.

I continued to look at Kobo models because when all was said and done, I loved my Kobo Touch. It did everything I needed and up until that day I never had a problem with the device. It’s also a Canadian company so I am slightly biased in supporting a home-based company ;). But perhaps the biggest factor was the fact that I had a solid 100 books that I bought for my device and never had a chance to read and getting a Kindle wouldn’t allow me to read them so that was an obvious no go!

One thing I really didn’t like about my Kobo Touch was the fact it didn’t have a built in light. I would always forget my light somewhere and not have it when I needed it, so getting a device with a built in light was high on my priority list. But, as a graduating university student who would be having some major student loans to pay off in the next two months, price was another factor so I wasn’t totally opposed to buying a Kobo Touch again seeing as its price had dropped considerably since I bought it and I already have all the accessories for it. (And, if I spent less on the device, I could buy more books instead!).

I found the Kobo site’s ability to compare devices handy, but not enough for me to make my final decision. I’m a visual learner, so I really needed to see the devices at work to make a decision. From the Kobo website I narrowed it down to 3 choices: The Kobo Glo, the Kobo Aura and the Kobo Aura HD.

Basically, the devices differ in slightly different ways which means they differ in prices. As I said on my eReading page, buying an eReader is like buying a car because there are so many models out there and they only way they differ is in the small details. The Glo has the same quilted textured background as the Touch while the Auras have plastic with slightly slanted backs. Memory capacity and size were other ways that these differed with the Aura HD being the largest. The device colour options also differ between all three models. All three have built-in lights but after Googling the differences between the Glo and Aura and reading various forums, the Aura is the winner in the better light category.

I also found that the Youtube channel by Goodereader was very helpful comparing the three devices. They start from the outside of the model (appearance and light) and then work their ways into the interface of the device. Before watching these videos I was probably leaning more towards the Kobo Aura HD because it sounded like the better model from the forum reviews (I also thought it was the newer model, but turns out it isn’t! The straight Aura actually is!). It wasn’t until I watched the videos that I really saw the difference between them that I realized the Aura HD probably isn’t for me–it’s just way too big and it was more money than I was willing to spend when I could get all the features (that had been improved) in the Aura for cheaper.

So I was down to the Aura and the Glo but probably leaning more towards the Aura because I was willing to spend the extra $10 (they were on sale for $10 off when I was looking) to get the better light. BUT, I wanted to go see the actual device because the screen on the Aura is a uniformly flat (like a tablet) while the Glo is a sunken in screen like the Touch. I also wasn’t sure if I would like the physical feel of the Aura compared to the Glo–so that meant I had to go to the store and physically see the models.

I went to the store and seeing the models helped. While the feel of the Aura was different from the Glo and Touch, it was something I could get used to and would be easier to clean. One thing I found about buying my Kobo Touch as a white/lavender combo was that it got a little dirty. The white part of the device is actually still pretty white, but the quilted lavender part got dirty fast and easily scratched. Seeing the Glo on display also reaffirmed this fact as it is the same material. The Aura HD wasn’t as large as I thought it was but again, it was just a little over my price range. What my decision really came down to was the light and screen. The Aura had a much crisper screen and I really liked how you can use your fingers on the screen to adjust the light. The light was also more superior and the screen is much easier to clean because it isn’t sunken in. The tech expert in store also informed me that the battery life is much longer on the Aura including the light than the Glo without the life so that is an added bonus.

In the end, I bought the Aura. One nice thing about being a previous Kobo user is that it is super easy to sync your Kobo books to the device. I had some trouble transferring my library books to the device but I got that sorted out the next day. It also froze on me a bit when I tried reading it that night and I had to do a basic reset to get it going normally. I think I overwhelmed it by adding so many books and then subsequently changing all my settings. After the reset, it’s been working beautifully.

I like the interface a lot. For Kobo books it tells you how long it will take to read each chapter and the book overall. The page refreshing is a lot longer (though in all honesty the page refreshing bit never bothered me–I hardly ever noticed it) which I know some people will appreciate. Having the light is also super awesome. It’s weird not having a home button but I’ve gotten used to using my fingers to scroll up and down in my library or getting the menu up. I also like that I can sort books by whether or not they have been read, opened or unread.

So far the reading experience has been good and I am glad to be using my eReader instead of my tablet again. Though it sucks to see my old eReader sitting dead on my desk, I will always cherish the times we spent together 😛 But I’m looking forward to getting lots of reading done on my new (and slightly improved) device!

I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!

Year’s Reads in Review – Top Picks for 2013

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It has been a great year for books! While I personally didn’t get a chance to read as many books as I had wished, I did make a good dent in my “to-read” list this past year. I also started this blog which has been a lot of fun!

Check out which books I read this past year here!

I’ve decided to compile a list of my top picks from various categories based on what I read this past year. Most categories deal with books published only this past year (2013) but there are some exceptions. Each category is introduced and has a brief explanation why I picked the top book in that category. I also have links to reviews if I was able to create my own this past year.
Without further ado:

Top New Adult Series – Series that were published in 2013

1. Drew + Fable (One Week Girlfriend) by Monica Murphy ~~~Just a great series and one that got me addicted to the New Adult genre
2. Beautifully Broken (If You Stay) by Courtney Cole
3. Falling into You (Falling Into You) by Lauren Abrams
4. Rosemary Beach (Fallen too Far) by Abbi Glines
5. Losing It (Losing It) by Cora Cormack

Honourable Mentions: Off the Subject (After Math) by Denise Grover

Top New Contemporary Romance Series – A new series that was published in 2013

1. Fixed Series (Fixed on You) by Laurelin Paige~~~while it borders on New Adult, I was just really impressed with this refreshing novel
2. Stark Trilogy (Release Me) by J. Kenner
3. Tangled Series (Tangled) by Emma Chase

Best Continuing Series – A series that had a sequel book that was published in 2013

1. Crown of MidnightThrone of Glass Series #2 by Sarah J. Maas~~~this series took a turn I never saw coming and I am dying to get more!
2. Fiery Heart Bloodlines Series #4 by Richelle Mead
3. Through the Zombie Glass White Rabbit Chronicles #2 by Gena Showalter
4. Through the Evernight Under the Never Sky #2 by Veronica Rossi
5. Sweet Peril Sweet Trilogy #2 by Wendy Higgins

Best New Young Adult Series – New series that were published in 2013

1. Spellcaster (Spellcaster) by Claudia Gray~~~really impressed with the maturity and plot of this story!
2. Fate on Fire (Feudlings) by Wendy Knight
3. Hooked (Hooked) by Liz Fichera

Best Standalones – Books that I read in 2013, not their publishing date

1. Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn~~~a touching love story by one of my new favourite authors!
2. Everything Between Us by Mila Ferrera
3. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
4. Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
5. Addicted to Him by Lauren Dodd

Honourable Mention: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Best Freebie eBook – Based on Books that were Free during the 2013 year, not their publishing date

1. Escorted – Escorted Series #1 by Claire Kent~~~this book really surprised me and I loved reading it!
2. The Guys are Props Club G.A.P. Series #1 by Ingrid Seymour
3. Tangled Beauty – Tangled Series #1 by K.L. Middleton
4. Heartless by Catou Martine
5. Selling Scarlett Love Inc. Series #1 by Ella James

Worst Reads of 2013 – Based on books that I read during this year, not their publishing date

1. Vogel House by John Forrester~~~this book was just plain weird and twisted (not in a good way either); hard to follow at times
2. Rocked by Him by Lucy Lambert
3. WantedWanted Series #1 by Kelly Elliot
4. This Beautiful ThingYoung Love #1 by Amanda Heath
5. Taking Chances Taking Chances #1 by Molly McAdams

Sad to See Go Series – Series that ended in 2013

1. The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel) by Cassandra Clare~~~one of my all-time favourite series!
2. Ruby Red Trilogy (Ruby Red) by Kerstin Gier
3. Crash Trilogy (Crash) by Nicole Williams

Best Serialized Series – Books that were published in installments

1. Twisted Arrangement by Mora Early~~~cute contemporary read with a dash of drama and romance
2. Passion and Deceit by Leela Atherton
3. Blurred Lines by Breena Wilde

What were your favourite reads of this past year?

Have a safe and happy New Year! I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!

Updated Reviews & Review Directories!

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of new reviews! I’ve been working hard and have lots of reviews to come out over the next month!

If you have a specific series that you would like my review on, comment below and I can try my best to get that review published ASAP!

Meanwhile, enjoy these updated reviews! There isn’t a whole lot to read, just some comments about the newest books in their respective series at the bottom of the previous post. I’ve also updated the review directory pages so it is easier to see what series and novels I have already reviewed!

Enjoy your reading weekend!

Updated Reviews:

Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead **UPDATED**
Perfection Series by Abbi Glines **UPDATED**
Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier **UPDATED**
Starling Trilogy by Lesley Livingston **UPDATED**
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas **UPDATED**

Site Update: Apology for the Lack of Posts Recently

I just wanted to post a quick update that I plan on adding more reviews to the site over the next month!

School got super hectic for me this term and I just didn’t have the time to write full out reviews for all the books I have been reading over the last 2 months!

My hope is to take mini study breaks and write reviews between study sessions and share them all with you!

Thanks for your patience!

Happy reading and good luck with exams (if you are writing them now!)!

Brief Hiatus

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog won’t be updated for the next two weeks or so. I am busy preparing for the new school year and as such I have a lot to do and not enough time to blog or even read a book–GASP!

You can expect more posts to come from me by mid-September!

Good luck to everyone who is starting the new school year!

Site Update: Launch of Book Recaps M-R & Why we don’t Finish Books!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to get the word out that I have launched the 3rd of 4 Series Recap pages on my blog! You can now view recaps for series that fall between the M and R range on the alphabet! Only one more to go and then it just becomes a matter of updating and new series as I read books.

I also wanted to bring up an interesting thought that Goodreads posted last week: “The Psychology of Abandonment”. As you can see by the picture I have added below, Goodreads has compiled a list of reasons as to why we never finish a book:

I think it brings up an interesting discussion so I am interested in learning what everyone else thinks?

My Thoughts?
Personally, I agree with most of the statements on the photo–especially with the “Point of No Return” ones. Editing, annoying characters and a slow plot are my main reasons for not continuing with a book. Though for the most part, I finish the book even if it bores me to tears (like Wicked by Gregory Maguire) and just not read the next book in the series–but there are a few times I just can’t even stomach that (like Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas, so boring and annoying). I also have a rule that if by page 50-80 (depends on how long the book is) I am not feeling a book, I drop it or shelf it for another time.

Actually, one of the main factors I don’t finish a book is because I have to return it to the library and I can’t renew it–especially with eBooks because they expire right away 🙁 It never fails that I get a whole whack-load of books coming in from being on hold at once and sometimes I just can get to all of them in time or another books grabs my attention more. Most of these books I pick up again as soon as I can and finish them.

So I ask, what are some books you have never finished? Why didn’t you finish them? Do you have a set number of pages before you call it quits? And do you agree with the statements Goodreads has compiled?

Leave your comments below!

I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!

Site Update: Launch of Recaps Series G-L

Hi everyone!

First, I want to apologize for the lack of posts recently. I have been extremely busy with work and my other commitments and haven’t found the time to sit down and write posts–let alone read books!

As it is a long weekend in Canada, I plan on adding a lot of posts, doing a lot of site updates and of course get some SERIESous reading in! So I apologize in advance for the crazy amount of update emails that will be filling your inboxes (I might even turn them off just for the weekend).

The first of a major update is the launch of recaps for book series G-L. There aren’t a lot so this went up quicker than I thought :D. I hope to have M-R up by mid-July (hopefully most of it will be done this weekend!)

Check it out here!

For those who have a long weekend, I hope you have an awesome time and stay safe!

For everyone else, I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!

Site Update: The Official Launch of Book Recaps

Hello everyone!

I am happy to say that I FINALLY go around to launching the Book Recap section of my blog!

Well, just the first quarter of it anyways… 😛

See what I am talking about here!

When I started my blog, I had two main goals:
1) To provide a place for people to see if an entire series of books was worth their time by posting book “series” reviews and not just individual book reviews.
2) To provide a place for people to see what happened in the last book of their favourite series.

If you are like me, you read a ton and don’t have the time to reread the entire series whenever a new books comes out. And if you are really like me, you can’t remember what happened in a book you read 1 year and 50 books ago.

So last summer, I started a word document and began to take notes about major plot points from the book I was currently reading. I complied them all together so that when I want to pick up in a series I started a year ago, I get a nice little refresher of all the important bits that I need to know for this new one.

Now, not everyone has the time or discipline to do this, but my hope it to be able to provide you this option through my blog. This recap section is the only place on my blog that contains spoilers so PLEASE, don’t read the summary if you haven’t finished the book–nothing worse than spoilers!

Because of my limited time, today I am only able to launch series recaps for book series A-F that I have read within the last year or so. I hope to have the next one, G-L, up by mid-July.

Please be aware that the recaps are on a PAGE layout as opposed to a POST option on wordpress. This means that when I add a new series to the section, it will not automatically appear in the feed. So I encourage you to check back every once and a while to see if a series you are looking for has been added.

I hope you enjoy! I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!

Why so SERIESous?

I am an avid reader (who writes a book blog and isn’t really?) but I recently realized that I tend to read book series more than anything else. Some series are awesome; some start awesome and fizzle; and some are just plain bad. But how is one to know what series are the ones to read when people only review one book at a time?

Which is why I decided to create my own book blog and review the whole book series (without spoilers!) on the basis of whether or not you should pick up the first book of the series in the first place!

My reading tastes vary from young adult to mature romances to suspense so this site will feature a variety of book series reviews to meet the needs of everyone. I will also review some stand-alone novels from time to time!

The other feature of my site is book recaps. If you are like me, you probably read the first book of a series within the first week of release and have forgotten some plot points while waiting for the next book a year later. My hope is to jog your memory by posting some key plot points (warning, there will be spoilers!) in a separate area of my blog.

I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!