Providing a portal to the Kobo store as well as access to around one million free titles, the Kobo eReader app for Windows 8 will ensure that you'll never be stuck for something to read again.
Kobo is both an eBook reader brand and a portal for buying eBooks. Its setup involves creating an account via a link within the Kobo app. Once logged in to Kobo eReader, you can browse the store for new releases, bestsellers or classics that are offered for free.
Around a million titles are available without buying, and to Kobo eReader's credit there's a great selection of classics, ranging from Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde to James Joyce and Aesop. You can add items to your Kobo library or download the ePub books directly to the current device.
For more up-to-date publications it's worth looking through the ‘from 99p' section. Titles such as Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked and Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency appear here. Descriptions of many eBooks can be viewed by hovering over the ‘I'. Not all of this works as well as it should with the Windows 8 app itself, though. Having logged in with your Kobo account details, you're presented with a choice of bestsellers, featured and new titles – free and cheap books are not present. Instead, you can choose only from among non-discounted titles.
Kobo eReader: priced to shift (in the US)
While the website lists books in sterling, within the app itself everything is priced in dollars, at press time. Before you can use the Kobo service, you'll have to register a credit card with the it. You also need to be patient about accessing books you've bought and downloaded. The free books that we expected to find in our library initially failed to appear in our Kobo account, but were available for download and local reading a couple of hours later.
Kobo eReader looks great and will be an excellent option for tablet users of Windows 8 in particular. Right now, there are glitches to be addressed, but we're sure that these will soon be ironed out. Just remember that the best value books seem to be restricted to Kobo's web portal.