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Browse for a Book with Kobo on Your BlackBerry PlayBook

The Kobo store on the BlackBerry PlayBook is essentially the same as the online bookstores for Barnes & Noble, Borders Books, the Apple iBookstore, the Google eBookstore, and others. You can browse the virtual shelves for current titles, search through thousands of titles by name, author, or subject, and you can make a purchase that’s downloaded almost instantaneously to your PlayBook.

This example uses the Kobo store as the model for electronic reading. However, the same principles apply for anywhere else you get a digital book.

  1. Connect to the Internet.

    Do it by either directly using a WiFi link or indirectly with BlackBerry Bridge to your BlackBerry smartphone and from there to the web. When cellular radio models of the BlackBerry PlayBook are available you will be able to connect directly to a cellular data link in that manner.

  2. Launch the Kobo Books Reader app from the PlayBook’s home screen.

    You’ll find it in the Media section (or mixed in amongst all the apps if you choose All).

    Be sure you understand the details of the contract you have with a cellular provider if you intend to use a cell-based data link. Some plans offer unlimited data per month while others run a meter on usage. And all plans can run up very high bills if you use cellular data while roaming on another company’s cellular network, especially in a foreign country.

    When the Kobo store opens, you can visit three important sections:

  3. Decide which area you want to enter:

    • Store

    • Library

    • Search

Kobo Store on your PlayBook

Store is the simply but appropriately named retail page for books. Here you will find Today’s Top 50 (again, simply but appropriately named as a place for current bestsellers). You can tap Popular Categories to find titles by subject.

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Kobo Library on your PlayBook

The library is where you find the books you’ve obtained through the Kobo store. This includes titles you bought (speaking on behalf of authors everywhere: thank you very much), as well as classic titles you downloaded for free through Kobo.

And you will find previews of books you asked Kobo to send you. Those books follow you from device to device; if you open a book on your BlackBerry PlayBook and later sign in from your BlackBerry smartphone or PC, the content — including the last page you were reading —syncs up.

The library offers several views:

  • By Last Read

  • By Author

  • By Title

Here is the basic bookshelf. If you tap the second icon at the bottom-left corner of the page, you will see a different view of the books in your collection, showing titles and authors, as well as your progress in reading through them, expressed as a percentage of the book read.

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Kobo Search on your PlayBook

You can enter a name, title, or subject into the Search box in the upper-right corner of the Store page. You can see the results of a hunt for an electronic copy of T.S. Eliot’s superb observations on the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life, Prufrock and Other Observations.

The first version is a free download, the second a presumably more-recently edited and vouchsafed edition from a contemporary publisher. The other two books that turned up in the search for Prufrock apparently have that name buried somewhere in the text.

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