I want to exchange my paper books for electronic versions. How about it Kobo?

I was pretty sure that I’d like to read books on my iPad. I’m a gadget guy and the idea of having a library of books and manuals at my disposal is just too geeky to pass up. Here’s the thing, I have a small stack of books (Blink, Under Heaven, Anathem, and Under The Dome) in the queue for reading (as well as a few business books I was given for review). As much as I want to read them, I want to read them on my iPad.


I think it’s the fact that I switch between them without carrying all of these giant hardcover books. I think it’s the, hmm, I’ll just read for a moment (yes, my iPad is close by almost all the time), that I like.

Unfortunately, I don’t really want to buy these books all over again (fine Under The Dome was a gift) so I can read them on my iPad. Then it hit me.

What if I could go to Chapters and turn in the books for credit towards buying the book through Kobo? Sure, I’d love a one-for-one trade, but I think that is hoping for a bit much. Now, Chapters could resell the books (unlikely) or donate them to the library. Think of how many new books libraries might be able to get!

In my mind, I think this could be a great way for Kobo to get more folks using their reader (maybe the credit could go to buying a reader) or the iPad/Android/iPhone versions of the app. Myself I really like the Kobo iPad app. Until the recent updates to iBooks, I thought it was a better eReader app.

So, let’s see if Kobo thinks this is a good idea.


  1. Danielle K says

    I think it is a very interesting idea. I was actually thinking something similar myself. I'm buying and reading books on my iPad now too and was looking for a website/service that allows users to sell books and get credit towards ebooks. I wonder if you can do something along those lines with Amazon? You can sell your books on their site, but they should have a program set up where sellers can have the money directly converted to ebook credits. Let me know if you discover anything along these lines! (@red_pencil)

  2. davemmett says

    Hey Tris, I think this is a great idea, but I think a more likely and also better experience would be if bookstores just began offering the epub version of a book along with the physical version (so you get both when you buy either). I know books from O'Reilly currently give you access to the online version for something like 30 days, and hopefully more publishers will adopt a similar practice (but ideally give you a download not timed access).

    Similarly, I bought a record recently, and got a code for the MP3s of the songs. CDs don't have to do this because we can easily convert them to digital ourselves.

    also, Blink was great, you'll love it when you get a chance to read it.

  3. says

    there are books i am always going to want to have the first edition first printing hard cover copies of, in that sense i collect books, but some i want to read but don't care if i own but when im spending the sort of money that books cost i make myself finish every book i read that i've bought. so no matter which eReader i think more books being available on an eBook is fantastic. and being able to trade in ones i've bought for eBooks would rule.

  4. says

    I know this is a strange thing…why not buy the ebook first. In my case I didn't have an ebook reader then. Buying a paper and e-version combo pack is exactly what Pearson does with their books (therefore mine as well).

    The one complication that I can see…the price for used books is pretty paltry. I don't see Chapters, or any other store, taking back books at close to full cover price. Maybe, just maybe, if you got it as a gift and returned it right away, even then, I'm not sure.

    Hey, I'd still like to see if Chapters or Kobo would do this even as a promo. “Turn in your paper for eversions from Kobo…” and I think this might be a great way to get more people to use their ereaders more. Here's to hoping!

  5. says

    That is a great idea. I have a lot of books that are just too much trouble to haul around and read all the time, but it would be great if they could become Kindle books.

  6. Duane Storey says

    I don't think there's a market for some books (i.e., my entire engineering collection, since the versions aren't up to date anymore), but I still would like to own them. I'd love to see a business where you could bring your books in and have them scan the entire thing and turn it into a eBook for you.

  7. Dslennox says

    I agree – I have hundreds of books – and even if I were to receive a 15 to 20% reduction on the price of an ebook by trading in the paper versions, I would be game for transfering a few a week over…

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