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December 12, 2010

Kobo Reading Life brings social aspects to e-books

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by Darren Allan

Kobo has launched Reading Life on the iPad, a new app which the company has labelled the “first social e-reading experience.”

The idea is users will be able to share books or highlighted passages they like, and they can also “check-in” with characters or locations. So for example, when reading Alice in Wonderland, you can check-in to the rabbit hole and inform friends on Facebook that this is where you’re at.

Reading Life will also provide a system of achievements, a bit like the book equivalent of Xbox gamer awards. For example, those who read daily will unlock “The Twain”, and folks who read late into the night will win “The Witching Hour” achievement. Again, these awards can be shared on Facebook.

Kobo Reading Life will also track statistics such as the number of books you’ve read, how fast you read, and indeed the app will keep a timeline of your entire reading life on Kobo.

Mike Serbinis, CEO of Kobo, commented: “People who are making the switch to e-reading and building their lifetime libraries want an innovative social experience to go with it. E-reading is going social, local and real-time with Kobo Reading Life, allowing us to create a fun, engaging and meaningful experience for our users.”

The Kobo store offers over 2 million e-books, apparently counting popular best-sellers amongst its library, along with popular newspapers and magazines.

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1 Comment »
  1. All in all, it sounds like a fun app. I’ve actually been waiting to see when someone would take the social media side of technology and apply it to reading. I think the description of Kobo’s version sounds promising - it’s fun, it’s recognizable, it’s fairly simple. If they continue to develop it with some exciting add-ons after the initial launch, it could be a winner.

    Too bad I don’t have an iPad. Reading Life is part of Kobo books original app - but the Reading Life only works on the iPad. That’s this thing’s biggest weakness. Why can’t my iPod touch use it too?

    Comment by Drew Patrick Smith — December 14, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

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