Sam Merrell's Blog Tinkerer. Parent. ADHD. Developer.

Kobo Libra2 impressions

Kobo Libra 2 marketing photo, the Kobo Libra 2 is black and has a wide right bezel with two buttons for page turning. The screen shows sample text on the e-ink display.

I got a Kobo Libra2 earlier this year and it has dramatically increased how much fiction I read. Since I got it early this year, I’ve read five books and I’m working on another two. Over a decade ago I had a Kindle and it was great but when the device broke I didn’t replace it. I chose not to replace the device because I actively avoid purchasing from and supporting Amazon as much as possible. For a long time, I simply didn’t have an e-reader, but I had started itching to read more fiction.

When I came across the Kobo it seemed like a great fit. The Kobo looked to be pretty hackable and was relatively cheap so I got one and I haven’t been disappointed. Having a device with battery life that lasts in weeks is incredible and the e-ink display makes it easy for me to read without straining my eyes or getting distracted like I do with my iPad.

I love borrowing books from the library

Being able to easily borrow a book from the library through Libby has hugely expanded my choices in what to read. I love libraries and its so nice to be able to use the library even when I’m at home. So far, all the books I have read have come from the library and I plan to keep that as my primary use case for the Kobo.


I wish I remember where I came across it, but I had read a blog post from someone with ADHD and Dyslexia on how they used their e-ink device so when I got my Kobo I went and did something similar. My modifications:

  • Turn off reading progress header and footer
  • Turn off showing the book progress bar
  • Increase font size
  • Increase line height

I’ve found these changes to make reading much easier for me. I don’t have to worry about how far along I am with the book and the larger font makes it so much easier to read and digest what is on the screen. I’ll probably keep tweaking the Kobo to fit my needs more, but so far those changes have been good enough for now.


Like any device, there are things that annoy me about the Kobo. Fortunately, most aren’t all that bad and can either be worked around or fixed outright.

DRM Strikes

Over the years I’ve purchased a few books from Barnes and Noble and when I had a Kindle, I purchased books from Amazon, too. I was hopeful that I would be able to find a way to transfer at least the Barnes and Noble books over to the Kobo. Unfortunately, DRM makes that impossible. From now on, I’ll be doing my best to purchase DRM-free books wherever possible. I really love the freedom I get from using an e-book, but DRM forcing me to essentially rent books instead of purchasing them is infuriating.

Kobo is overly aggressive in trying to get me to buy from them

The software on my Kobo is overly aggressive when trying to get me to purchase books from the Kobo store. Whenever I check out a book from Libby, the Kobo software also will download a “sample” from the Kobo store. That alone is frustrating, but the Kobo software also doesn’t differentiate on where the book came from, instead, I have what looks like two copies of the book! I haven’t fixed this yet, but I do plan on dealing with this one way or another.

Reading for fun

I love reading, but for the most part, I have read technical books and blogs. And while I love reading those types of books and blogs, I felt like I was missing out on some of the joys of reading. Now that I’ve been using the Libra2 for a while now, I see that I was right. Reading fiction books has been incredibly enjoyable and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Feed Favorites January 2023

Articles I’ve liked in the past month (4 to be exact).

My journey with Mastodon (so far)

I joined Mastodon in April of 2022 and now that I’ve had a little over six months of usage, I can say I’m glad I deleted all my other social media accounts. I had heard of Mastodon over the years, and I had even used a federated site back in 2009 when I used for a few months.

Picking an instance

I really struggled picking an instance. Before moving I read several helpful posts about getting started with Mastodon. Most of them ssugested strongly that I avoid and a few of the other large Mastodon instances. I wanted to take that advice to heart, but I found it extremely difficult to find an instance I liked. It made me feel silly that I couldn’t make what seemed like a simple choice, but I’ve always found it very difficult to pick when there are many things to choose from. I spent a few weeks agonizing over each possible server; either they were too specific of a topic, too general, or some other vague reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

After a week, I gave up trying to search for the perfect instance and set up an account on

Starting fresh

Starting a new social account is tough. I wasn’t sure who all I would find and if I’d even find people who I wanted to follow. But just like I had when I was on Twitter, I started browsing the timeline and followed people I found interesting. After a few days, those people started boosting others or having interesting conversations with people and I would follow them as well.

While it was a bit scary at first, I’m glad I started fresh and didn’t try and simply replicate who I followed back on Twitter.

Migrating to

I still felt awkward being on, but I had yet to find an instance that appealed to me. Then I read Twitter’s Demise is ActivityPubs Future and found The instance is small and looks to be both well moderated and well managed and it has a community vibe that I felt I could belong in. This was the first instance I felt good about so I decided it was time to migrate.

Migrating was both easy and not clear

A quick note about migrating. While the process of migrating from my account to my account was easy, there were a few things I found confusing. First, accounts following me get migrated but who I follow does not. It can take a while for an instance migration to complete so I waited about 24 hours before realizing it wasn’t going to happen. You can export your following list and import it, but nothing made it clear that was what I needed to do if I wanted to keep who I was following. Second, none of my account information transfers so I had to copy/paste over everything I had put in my profile from my account. Again, not a huge deal but it could have been made more clear.

I should blog more

Overall, I really enjoy using Mastodon and exploring the wider notion of the Fediverse. One thing I’ve been thinking about recently, is making sure I own my presence online. To me, that means I want to spend more time blogging and building out my own personal corner of the internet. I’m not a prolific blogger or really that vocal on social media of any form, but I plan to keep tinkering on my site and occasionally writing posts about the random things I enjoy.

Feed Favorites August 2022

Articles I’ve liked in the past month (4 to be exact).