Toronto’s Kobo launches Reading Life, a first of its kind eReading experience


Kobo, based out of Toronto, has announced the launch of Reading Life, which Kobo touts as an “industry-first social eReading experience.”  According to Kobo, readers can now track their personal reading history, check-in with characters and places inside books, and earn achievements and awards for reading.  Readers can also share books, favourite passages, awards, and more with their friends on Facebook. Kobo Reading Life is currently available on iPad.

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

Some of Reading Life’s features:

Sharing Books and Passages:  Users can tell their friends what they are reading or highlight favourite passages in books they are reading.  This is a way to get a book club started, or update your bookclub friends as you read.

Statistics:  Users can track their reading life with interesting statistics, including how many books they’ve read, pages turned, how fast they read, and times of day they read. Statistics help users track their progress, earn awards, as well as discover and learn about their own reading styles and preferences.   

Activity: An activity panel shows the timeline of a user’s reading life, highlighting important events and milestones.  Users have an at-a-glance view of their reading life, including new books opened, read and finished, passages shared, awards earned, etc.

Check-Ins: Check-Ins enables readers to check-in with characters and locations inside books, enabling them to mark important milestones and win awards. For example, readers reading Alice in Wonderland can check in with or meet Alice for the first time, or check-in to the Rabbit Hole and tell their friends on Facebook. 

Awards and Rewards:  Readers can unlock fun and surprising awards that celebrate achievements in their reading life.  Awards like “The Papillion,” which is earned by the power social sharers, “The Twain” earned by those that read daily, and “The Witching Hour” for readers who read into the wee hours of the night – once an achievement has been earned the reader can than publish and share with friends on Facebook. Award winners can also be rewarded with special offers from Kobo or its partners, just by reading!

Personal Book Cover:  As your personal Reading Life evolves Kobo creates and automatically updates your own personal book cover – a mosaic of your reading life that you can easily share with your friends on Facebook. 

“This is truly a celebration of reading—not about individual books, but about a person’s entire reading life,” says Mike. “This goes far beyond sharing titles, but sharing experiences in a fun and social way.”

I personally think Reading Life is a very neat new service that can definitely bring a fun new light to anybody’s reading experience. I’d personally enjoy monitoring my stats and would definitely be gunning for “The Witching Hour” achievement.

Oh, and while I’m speaking of Kobo, why don’t you enter to win a free Kobo eReader for Christmas?