Using the Literati

Note: This is a follow up to my previous post “Literati ereader on sale.” 

After trying my new Literati for a few weeks, I thought I would share my perceptions about the reader.

The Literati needs a software update when you start using it for the first time. While I have heard of problems connecting to WiFi, mine connected without any difficulties. The software actually requires two updates and the device needs a restart after the first. The reader does not automatically restart and I had to do it manually.

The Literati is less intuitive and is much more complicated than either my Kindle 1 or My Kindle  3. It took a little time to figure out the operations of the eReader. The input keys are a little too close together in my opinion, especially if I was going to be using the keys more than occasionally. The D-pad control is definitely too small and even after more experience with the device, it still is the cause of most of my operational errors.

The page forward and page back controls are not actually buttons, but are touch sensitive, which is a nice touch. Since the controls are not buttons, there is no noise associated with using them. This is a real plus if you are trying to read in bed without disturbing your partner.

I am used to reading on a Kindle, which has an e-ink screen. The Literati screen is a backlit one. Because I have vision problems, I found the backlit screen very difficult to read on, especially for a long session.

The exception was the Literati’s night reading mode, where the screen is black and the text is white. This mode is truly excellent for night-time reading. In some reviews,  people have complained about not being able to see the forward and back page controls when reading in the night mode. Some have suggested gluing reinforcements on the buttons to be able to feel the controls. I found that if I used my thumb, started at the bottom of the display screen, and moved with an upward motion until I saw the page turn symbol on the display, I could turn pages in the dark just fine. Using the d-pad control and the home buttons in the dark was another story. I have to use my Mighty Bright or my Kandle in order to see those.

The Literati is tied to the Kobo bookstore, which is not as intuitive to use as Amazon. I had a little difficulty in navigating the site and finding the books I wanted. After creating an account, I was able to start downloading the 125 free public domain books fairly easily. The new books appeared on the Literati after I synced the device.

It seems to be hit or miss whether my computers recognize the device via USB. My netbook running XP recognized it and the books I put on showed up in the Literati’s bookshelf  just fine. Vista was able to recognize the device, but books I loaded onto it were not recognized by the reader. After a second attempt, of the two books I loaded, one book was shown on my bookshelf on the Literati while the other was not.  The Calibre software program recognizes the device with no problem.

The Literati is also quite heavy for its size. Because of this, I found that it is easier to read without a cover on. The difference in weight between the Literati and the Kindle is significant.

I haven’t tried the SD card function yet.

I wanted the Literati because it is capable of borrowing library books. After using the Literati, I realized that I would really need another e-ink device if I wanted to borrow library books. Right after I came to that decision, Harper Collins announced that it would limit the number of times an eBook would be allowed to circulate in order to force libraries to buy new copies. Because of this, coupled with the fact the Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not allow library lending at all, I have put plans for a new eReader on hold.

My final opinion is that this is okay for night reading and as a backup reader. However because the backlighting is really hard on the eyes and the device is very complicated to use, I would not want to be using this for my primary eReader.

This blog entry composed while listening to Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly.

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2 thoughts on “Using the Literati

  1. Pingback: Literati eReader on sale | The eBook Evangelist

  2. Pingback: New updates bring Audible to basic Kindle and new customization options | The eBook Evangelist

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