I'm a hoarder and ashamed to share that I have tried decluttering for years to little effect. Even the Queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo, admitted that her home is a mess now. Although my situation has little to do with having kids, owning only things that spark joy is not easy, at least for me. As a Literature student, you can understand my passion towards books, and having worked in a bookstore for five years, it is not surprising that I have amassed quite a number of books. However, with digitalisation, it is the easiest way for me to let go of books simply because they are readily available at the touch of a few buttons. The invention of e-readers has made the painful act of parting with my books so much easier. Instead of trying to spark joy holding onto hundreds of books taking up precious space in my humble home, I now spark joy with my Kobo Elipsa 2E.
Sounds like a cop-out for a book-lover who treasures the intimate moments of holding onto a physical copy in one’s hands? I get it – the unique smell of new and old books, hearing the crispy sounds of pages turning, the fulfilment of seeing one’s page progression in a physical copy, penning a heartfelt dedication to the book owner, filling one’s bookshelves with your favourite book of all time – do not underestimate a book lover's rush in a physical book hard copy. But hear me out. For me, the intrinsic and extrinsic value of an e-reader way surpasses the emotive thrill associated with a physical copy. Read on for a full disclosure of why I no longer hoard books.
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11 things I love about Kobo Elipsa 2E
1. It reduces eye strain
It features a 10.3” glare-free E Ink touchscreen and ComfortLight PRO to reduce blue light and eyestrain.
I used to read during my insomniac nights and managed to rack up quite a number of books in a year. Sadly, my eyesight has been failing me recently, especially when night falls. Besides reducing clutter in my modest-sized home, my failing eyesight is one of the most significant push factors for switching to e-readers. With e-readers, I can now increase the fonts to a comfortable size for my eyes.
2. Mark up, highlight and jot notes with ease
The new and improved Kobo Stylus 2 functions as a highlighter button and an eraser on the back. Mark up, highlight and jot notes in your eBooks and PDFs quickly, and transform your handwriting into typed text with a tap.
This is my first time using a stylus for gadgets. I admit that it wasn't intuitive for me. However, after a bit of toggling, pressing the tiny button at the tip allows me to highlight paragraphs or quotes that matter to me, while underlining with the pen proved super easy. The eraser mode at the top of the stylus was also simple to use. Moreover, the Kobo Sleepcover is designed so that a magnetic clasp houses the stylus snugly after use.
3. Export notebooks via cloud services
The built-in notebook feature for all your notes, ideas and to-do lists, with the ability to seamlessly export notebooks with integrated cloud services.
While I have yet to use this feature, I foresee how those pursuing academic studies and non-fiction lovers will find it helpful.
4. Save the Earth
The e-reader uses an 85 per cent recycled plastic exterior, including 10 per cent ocean-bound plastic. The SleepCover is also made from plastic that would otherwise become landfill and ocean waste.
Sustainability is no longer a bonus but an essential consideration for eco-conscious individuals nowadays. Thanks to manufacturers such as Kobo, I can now rest assured that I am not creating unnecessary carbon footprint.
5. It is National Library Board-friendly
Borrow free eBooks from local public libraries from your device with the built-in one-touch OverDrive access. As my friend who reads 100 books in a year attests, this one feature that is unique to Kobo e-readers can be a determining factor for those looking to purchase an e-reader. And the biggest plus? No overdue fines to worry about as the ebook will automatically check out when the due date is up – a massive bonus for busy individuals who may miss library book due dates.
6. It is also an audiobook
The Kobo Elipsa 2E supports audiobooks with Bluetooth wireless technology. Prep an earbud, and you are good to go. This feature works best when working out in the gym or engaging in repetitive chores such as mundane housework.
7. Long battery life
Compared to smaller versions of readers I have used, the Kobo Elipsa 2E packs a punch. In a single charge, I read at least three books – The Philosopher’s Book of Questions & Answers by D.E. Whittkower, The Comfort Book by Matt Haig and The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker. Plus, a full charge only took around an hour.
8. It has a book recommendation feature
When setting up the Kobo, you will need to answer a few set-up questions which including your book preferences. This will then be listed together with Kobo's book recommendations — a remarkable feature for avid readers always looking for new books to read.
9. Manageable weight and size
Measuring 20.5cm (Width) by 22.5cm (Height), the Kobo Elipsa 2E weighs only 390g (lighter than a 500ml water bottle), even though its 10.3 inch touchscreen is significantly larger than its predecessors, namely the Kobo Clara 2E, Kobo Libra 2, Kobo Sage, and Kobo Nia. Swiping less with each turn of the page adds to my reading enjoyment. The size is also similar to an iPad (but lighter) and can easily fit into most tote bags and back packs.
10. Useful beta features
Head to settings, and you will find bonus features such as saving words you have looked up in the dictionary under More > Activity. Long gone are the days of having a thick trusty dictionary by your side when reading, better still, when you can head to a page where all the unfamiliar words are consolidated for future reference. What makes the versatile Kobo Elipsa 2E more than a workhorse is that you can also play Sudoku, Solitaire and Word Scramble on it! However, the feature I value the most is the Web Browser capability. I tried the Search function in Google, and the results were instantaneous. With this e-reader, I can surely reduce my screen time on my smartphone over time.
It pays to explore the More feature. Under Activity, Kobo will list your past activity on the e-reader, such as the total number of hours spent reading, the percentage of books you have finished, and the number of books completed. For goal-based people, there’s even an Awards feature in which you can celebrate reading milestones with fun and surprising awards.
What could be better
One of the greatest banes of reading ebooks is that I can't mark up select passages that resonate with me, especially for someone who prefers non-fiction. The Kobo Elipsa 2E allows you to do just that. However, you must avoid lifting the stylus midway through a phrase or paragraph. If not, the highlighted portion will be truncated under the Notes section. However, this is a small matter as I overcame this once I got used to using the stylus. Sadly, if a waterproof feature is a make or break factor for you, you are better off with its earlier models Kobo Clara 2E, Kobo Libra 2 and Kobo Sage. Why the Kobo manufacturer did not include the waterproof feature in their latest e-reader is beyond me. I'm guessing it is to make the gadget more affordable for everyone, especially with the Elipsa 2E's elevated features.
The lack of the origami feature on the Kobo Sleepcover prevents me from propping it up on the table – a feature I wish the gadget has. However, this issue is easily resolvable with third-party origami sleepovers readily available on Amazon.sg.
Here are some of the prettiest Kobo Elipsa 2E sleepovers I found on Amazon.
E NET-CASE Case for Kobo Elipsa eReader10.3 inch
Slim, Lightweight, Trifold Stand Case with The Pencil Bag
Available in 3 colours
Ratesell Case for Kobo Elipsa (2023 Release) eReader 10.3"
The Thinnest and Lightest Leather Smart Origami Cover Case
Available in 10 designs
Why you should get the Kobo Elipsa 2E
Having read many ebooks via the Kobo Elispa 2E for months and even brought it overseas, I find the touchscreen extremely intuitive, with quick responses, unlike other e-reader versions I have tried. Every swipe and syncing was seamless with minimal lagging. With 32GB of storage space, the Kobo Elispa 2E is a godsend for someone like me with a high propensity to hoard.
If luggage/bag space and weight are a significant consideration, go for the smaller and lighter Kobo e-readers. A big pity the Elipsa 2E lacks a waterproof feature that would be a huge plus for incorporating it into our everyday living. However, the Kobo Elipsa 2E's winning new features, such as a more responsive touchscreen, longer battery life, bigger screen, note-taking function, plus access to Google, are outstanding features that I would not trade for any other readers.
Still prefer physical books?
We got our Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo Finance Southeast Asia, Esther Au Yong, who read 185 books in 2022, and has already finished 80 books this year, to share her favourite books and what she is reading next.
Favourite book of all time: 1984 by George Orwell.
Orwell is a writer and thinker who was miles ahead of his time, and his descriptive writing vividly brings life to his characters and ideas.
Fave book of 2022/2023: The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise by Pico Iyer.
Iyer is a master storyteller of non-fiction, particularly when it comes to the travel genre. In this book, he shares a magnetic tale of the search for paradise (the journey, rather than the destination) – physically and metaphorically.
Reading next: Greek Lessons: A Novel by Han Kang (translated from Korean).
I am looking forward to savouring this tale of marrying the beauty of language and human connection. I have high expectations as I really enjoyed Han Kang's Booker Prize-winning The Vegetarian.
Here are more reads worth making time for, be it via your e-reader or physical copies.
The Leeter Spiaking Singlish: Book 3: Loanwords
Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life and maybe the world
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Big Panda and Tiny Dragon: The beautifully illustrated Sunday Times bestseller
About friendship and hope