The Sharper Image Literati eReader vs Kindle

By Peter Chubb - Nov 26, 2010

Whenever you mention an eReader to people the first device that comes into their head is the Kindle from Amazon – why is that? There are a number of other good eReader devices on the market, such as the Literati from Sharper Image. Some of you might not have of heard of this new model, as it has only been on the market since last month; so how does it compare to the top selling eReader?

The Literati has a 7-inch display, so is already 1-inch larger than the Amazon offering. The price started at $159, but you can be certain that this will drop as we have now entered the holiday shopping season. David Carnoy from Cnet News talks of some great offers to be had right now, so visit their website to learn more on these.

The design of the Literati is a lot like the Alex eReader with its elongated shape, so does not look as elegant as the Kindle. Do not try to operate the device by touching the screen, as that will not work. You have to do things the old fashioned way – that means touching some buttons people.

However, this is something that Kindle users will already be familiar with; you have to remember that these are not tablet devices, so is very limited in their technology. When it comes to having a library of books at the touch of a few buttons, then these devices cannot be beat.

Choosing between the two will be a tough job, the decision will come down to two things, which design is best, and how much you are willing to pay; the choice is yours. Remember there are other alternatives, such as the Pandigital Novel 9-inch eReader and the Nook Color.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

Also See: New Kindle e-reader 2016 update for certain models

  • Anonymous

    The tech support at 800-481-7983 sucks because the system comes on at 40 seconds into your call stating how important your call is to them and then says “Goodbye” and hangs up on you at 60 seconds into the call.

    I am on the second Lookbook unit as the first one took a royal dump. They sent me a refurb unit that is as bad as the first one was.

    I would not get another one of these if they were giving them away for free in front of my house.

  • Rosii59

    Let me start by saying I love my Literati ereader.  BUT!!! I am on my second ereader, and its been freezing up just like the first one.  Rec’d the first one as a Christmas gift started using it in late Jan 2011 by April it just stopped working (In between Jan and April I had called Kobo (who services Shaper Image Literati ereader) a few times due to ereader malfunctioning). Finally called Kobo my ereader stopped working.  I had to wait about three weeks for them to mail me a box in which to return it in.  Then waited about another 4-6 weeks for them to mail replacement. NOW same thing is happening, Again called Kobo same recommendation RESET unit. I afraid that by the time this one goes, my warranity would have expired.

  • Dona_robinson

    I just bought a new computer (Win 7) and my Literati is not recognized. UI am very frustrated and plan on taking it bck.

  • Anonymous

    Frustrated. I connect with Kobo and download books, sync up then it recopies all the books into my library. I ended up with multiples of the same book. I deleted as many as I could but I am now down to 39 that have no cover. When I try to delete them the whole unit shuts down. I have tried to reset 4 times now with no luck. I have tried syncing with Kobo with no luck…the same 39 faceless books remain. Very frustrated and wondering why I bought it…

  • Anonymous

    Frustrated. I connect with Kobo and download books, sync up then it recopies all the books into my library. I ended up with multiples of the same book. I deleted as many as I could but I am now down to 39 that have no cover. When I try to delete them the whole unit shuts down. I have tried to reset 4 times now with no luck. I have tried syncing with Kobo with no luck…the same 39 faceless books remain. Very frustrated and wondering why I bought it…

  • Anonymous

    Frustrated. I connect with Kobo and download books, sync up then it recopies all the books into my library. I ended up with multiples of the same book. I deleted as many as I could but I am now down to 39 that have no cover. When I try to delete them the whole unit shuts down. I have tried to reset 4 times now with no luck. I have tried syncing with Kobo with no luck…the same 39 faceless books remain. Very frustrated and wondering why I bought it…

  • Anonymous

    Frustrated. I connect with Kobo and download books, sync up then it recopies all the books into my library. I ended up with multiples of the same book. I deleted as many as I could but I am now down to 39 that have no cover. When I try to delete them the whole unit shuts down. I have tried to reset 4 times now with no luck. I have tried syncing with Kobo with no luck…the same 39 faceless books remain. Very frustrated and wondering why I bought it…

  • Ben Washburn

    The bottom line for me is the cleanness and neatness of the Literati presentation for the free classics simply overwhelms the other things, some of which aren't as bad as people think who haven't quit figured it out yet, and the others are simply the tradeoff for 'readable' epub books. Taking a 4 second break every 20 or 30 pages is no big deal, you just take a sip of your drink. So don't think you're actually waiting for every page to load, they're immediate.

    If you get a chance to pick one up for $50 or less it's a no-brainer IMO, even, like me, you already have those other ereaders.

  • Ben Washburn

    Also, people confuse loading chapters and sections with page turning. Page turning is instantaneous, what takes a little bit of time is loading a section or chapter. So if you're just using it for the first time, with your first book or two, it seems like its slow because the title page is a section, the dedication is a section, hte table of contents is a section, and each will take 3 or 4 seconds to load. But in the book itself each chapter, say 30 pages, is a section which will load in 3 or 4 seconds, then each page turn is instantaneous.

    Now, very occasionally you'll find a 'free' book, The Life of Johnson, for example, that's literally a single huge file. That will take over a minute to open, you simply have to find aother version for the Literati.

  • Ben Washburn

    I have a Kindle, a Nook, and a Literati. For my purposes I actually prefer the Literati by a fairly wide margin. I read almost all eBooks and classics, the sort of thing you can download free from Gutenberg, etc. And I don't know why, but hte Literati processes those things with less than 10% of the random characters, misreads, etc, that you get on the Kindle and Nook. If you buy current books then that probably doesn't matter, but for the free classics there's almost no comparison. Somehow it parses out a usable table of contents from those scanned books, deletes the stray chapter headings and random characters and misreads, etc, and makes those books very enjoyable.

    Having said that, the battery life is a significant factor, and you can't haul around your audio books, audible, podcasts, etc, with it. But I like the color, there's no comparison with the presentation, and I personally haven't had any problems connecting, downloading, etc.

  • Linda

    I bought a brand new Liberati and can't get it to work at all. Won't turn on or reset.

  • Susan

    I enjoy the Sharper Imagine Literati for the following reasons: 1) I can download books from my local library for free 2) It's in color so I can download children's books for my grandson to read with me 3) It has a light AND back light so I can read in bed without disturbing my husband's sleep with a lamp 4) I was able to purchase it for under $40.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond. 5) Literati users can also purchase or get ebooks from Kobo Store and Borders.

    I have a computer at work and three computers in my home so don't really need to use my ereader for games & internet (like Kindle users have). The Literati does not have as long of a battery life as the Kindle but that hasn't been a problem for me.


    help…i've lost my instructions on how to get books form the book store. please where cab i find on line the instruction book. i'm looking foward to reading more when i travel.

  • Jack Barnes

    Is the battery supposed to discharge even when you aren't reading the book? I left my book 4 days and it discharged completely and lost all the programing.

    • mary

      mine does that too. I'm assuming the clock is running the battery down. It's a nuisance.

    • Judytimh

      You are probably not really turning it off, but putting it into sleep mode.  This happened to me.  You need to hold down the power button until it gives you the message that it is shutting down.  Now when I shut mine down it still stays charged for over a week.  That is the longest stretch that I have gone without reading on it, so it may stay charged longer than that.   My reader is 4 years old.

  • Lilly

    I also recieved my Literati for Christmas and my freind got the Kobo. I really liked my ereader at first, I couldn't wait to use it. At first it was very slow, still to this day when i turn it on I have to hit the button twice just to get it to turn on. I was playing with the settings and learned I could turn down the backlight. This was a huge relief, the lighting hurts my eyes to read this is really my only complaint. My friends Kobo has no backlight which makes it some much easier to read. I have actually had to put down my Literati and stop reading because my eyes were killing me. Is there any other way to turn the back light off? I will say its nice at night but during the day there is no need for the light.

    • Homer Pinkerton

      Read the instructions you bird brain!!!

  • Zen

    Have had no problems with it. Follow the directions.

  • reader

    I am now using my Literati more than my Nook. My main chair does not have particularly good light so I had been using a portable booklight for the Nook. It is much easier and handy for me to read for short periods off the LCD on the Literati. After updating to 2.0 I deleted all the free books (you can sideload them later if you want since they are available from multiple sourches) and I read publications and RSS feeds on the Literati downloaded and sideloaded with Calibre. Fast and easy, no crashes, nice color photos and charts.

  • Kathy

    I have had a Kindle since Christmas and just purchased a Literati at Bed Bath and Beyond ($32 with coupon) so I can compare the two readers.

    The Kindle is e-ink technology which means it is black/white and looks like a book (very easy on the eyes if you read for long periods of time). It is not a lighted screen so if you want to read at night you need a light (just like a book). I like it a lot and have had no technical problems – very good product.

    However, the Kindle does not support ePUB books which is what is available at my library as free downloads. That means I need to either purchase books from Amazon or download the many free Kindle books (of varying literary quality – e.g., some aren't worth reading in my opinion while others are great). So, with the price of only $32 I decided to try the Literati.

    The Literati is taller than the Kindle, a bit heavier, and has a lighted (LCD) color screen. It's not too hard on my eyes (I adjusted the contrast) and it is possible to read at night without a separate light. I have not purchased any books, but I have easily downloaded and read two library books. I have not had any technical difficulties other than my computer not recognizing it the first time I plugged it in (no problems since that – just have it turned off when you first plug it in, then turn it on). However, I have read that many people have had problems so I suspect that it's not as reliable as the Kindle.

    I think it comes down to budget and reading style (library vs. purchased/free books). Based on the number of user issues I've read about, I dont' think I'd pay full price for it and I don't think I'd rely on the Literati for my only reader, but it's a great backup for the clearance price.

    If you get one, be sure to charge it for 6 hours before using, download BOTH firmware updates by connecting to your home wireless network before you do anything else, and make sure to have it turned off when you first connect it to your computer. I have not had to do a re-boot (paper clip hole in back of unit), but I have read that it can solve many issues.

  • cindy Heda

    I got the Literati for Christmas , I love it , But this morning it froze up , cant turn it off or change pages or anything … As I am not at home I dont have the paper work with me …Any idea's ?

    • maxine

      Start saving money for another/diffedrent ereader. I dont recommend Literati to anyone, Not very user friendly.

  • Maxine

    Got the literati for Cmas. Can only download books ,direct to ereader, thru Kobo (per KOBO customer service), can only get wi-fi connection thru a secure network (which means I have to have the owners' password) ( per KOBO csr). These two things made me glad I did not pay for it. On Jan 18th my literati would not turn on (less than a month after Cmas). On Jan 19th, I called their customer service and was assured a prepaid FEDEX box will be sent. Due to a malfunction, I needed to send it back for a replacement. It is now Feb 10th and I still haven't received the box. After the 4th call and being assured (again) that it has been sent out yesterday (this time), we will see. I would recommend by passing this ereader.

  • melissa flint

    i have tried the pandigital, the sony ereader, and the kobo so far, returned them all, now im trying to decide between the kindle and the literati, anyone help me with this?? please!!

  • Amy Elzer

    I purchased this today for 39.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond on clearance. My mother in law gave me her store credit for 21 dollars, so I got it for 20 dollars and some change after taxes. I let it charge for the 6 hours it says to do. I was able to connect it to my WIFI easily. I love it so far. For the price I couldn't go wrong with this purchase as I am going to download cookbooks and some children's books for my 10 year old son

  • Elijah Matthews

    I bought one last night for about 39.99 and it seems to be working great. My wife said it wasn't easy on her eyes but you can use the Sophia tone which will work pretty well on your eyes. It seems to work great and I am getting my wife one today as well as my cousin in Westminster.

  • Natalie

    I have recently bought one for 40.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond. I was surprised that it was so cheap. I bought it thinking i wont get any other one because i live on a type budget. Is it true at first you have to charge it for atleast 6 hours? If you dont will there be something wrong with it?

  • analyst

    I bought 2 literatis from Bed, bath and beyond for $39..99 – 8(20% off) – $20 mail-in rebate = $12.. For this price, it's a amazing ereader, I connected to wifi, updated the software and also uploaded more ebooks from my laptop.. works gr88!! Happy with this ereader..

  • Michelle

    I just bought a Literati from Bed, Bath and Beyond on clearance for $39.99, along with a 20% off coupon and only paid $32, for that price I'm definately going to give it a try. Thanks for all the comments it will help me and probably a lot of people to problem solve should the need arise.

  • Sandy in Houston

    I purchased mine at Kohl's and it wound up costing me $40.00- on sale for $100.00-had a 30% off scratch off card and then got a $30 mail in. Even though it came with a case, I purchased a nice padded one for $5.40 w/tax. I like mine just fine. Can change font and font size and the lighting can be changed and it has night reading. I, too, wish there were more newspapers/ magazines, but this will probably improve over time. My battery life is at least two hours and does not take long to recharge. I find it funny that some people complain how long it takes to download a book. I guess 10/12 seconds is tooooo long for some people….

  • crystal

    Haven’t tried it yet but bought it at bed bath and beyond today for 39.99…really wanted a color book but with 3 kids I couldn’t pass this up also bought one for my father in law.

  • Loretta

    I just bought the Literati for 49.99. I see alot of comments that are not as positive as I hoped. I am going to give it a try and see what my experience with be. Thanks for all the comments.

  • tish

    I have been very pleased with my Literati. I read an article on my computer that advised me to set up my account on Kobo on my computer so I could get a 35% promotional coupon on my first book, which I did. The initial use was a bit hard for me, but I am not a computer savvy person anyway, so I expected that. I had to have my computer professionally set up with Wi Fi so that worked out well, although I connected to it by myself on the Literati without problems. The price of it can't be beat-I think with a 20% off coupon and 25% rebate it was about $55. I love the color; Kobo is great to work with. I just use it plugged in all the time except in the car as the battery issue is a problem. If you are looking for just an e-reader with color at a reasonable price, I think it's great, especially if you aren't looking for more than an e-reader. If you want the bells & whistles, then the Kindle or Kobo or one of the other readers would be right for you. This one is working great for me! Tish

  • Judy

    After a two year review of all different digital readers I made two decisions. #1 any reader I purchase has to be able to work with epub files since that is what the public library uses. I live in a small town on the Oregon Coast but our Library is part of a network that has over 7,000 books avail in epub format. As a member I can find anything I want download it for free and keep it for 21 days. Then if I wish I can check it out again any time.

    My other criteria was price. I have been working with home computers since 1983. Yes, before many of you were born. With the rate that technology changes and advances, paying too much is crazy. I got my Literati at eBay for $77.00 with free shipping. No we do not have lots of stores in our little towns and the big shopping areas are at least 2 hours away.

    The Literati is not for everyone. If you are into buying lots of books at retail prices well have at it. But for us retirees who just want something simple to use while reading at night this device is just fine. At 70 years old, but computer literate, I had no trouble setting my Literati up and getting books I want from the Library the same day.

    My only complaint is so far, I have not been able to delete any of the free books that came already installed, or a library book book that has been returned. I may have to call the help line at some point.

    At $77 it was a deal. In two years the technology will be even greater. However, if you are at all interested in Library Books, don't buy the Kindle until they add epub to their software.

  • Guest

    The USB connection will not work. Not even when you download the Adobe software. I got one for Christmas and it's already not working at all anymore. I suggest something other than the Literati. Battery did not last long either.

  • Anonymous

    The literat can be read at night. That is something the kindle can't do without a light

  • Tee

    I got a literati for christmas and i'm trying to figure out how in the world do you download books from amazon on to the literati. Do anybody know how to do this?

    • jeantownsend

      if you download from amazon they are protected and useable on a kindle
      if you go to many of the FREE sites on the internet for free books you download to computer then plug in literati and slide the books over to it.
      read the manual. for manual go to the sharper image literati site, look for customer service, i got the pdf there.

  • Carolyn

    Just returned my Literati which was a Christmas gift. Once I went thru the set-up I was really enjoying it, however, I did have to resort to using the reset button a couple of different times which was a bit annoying. The Literati was goint thru a download and I just had to restart it and it completely froze up. Couldn't get beyond the home screen. Called tech support but they still had their Christmas message on and I was not able to get thru. Frustrating. Did not make me feel confident in the kind of support available to the user. Returned the Literati to Best Buy today and I think I'll get a Kindle.

    • Linda

      yes, my froze tonight after a download…just when I thought I could live with all the little issues…now I can't even get it to start up. anyone else having this issue? Is there a fix?

  • Gloria

    My husband and I received a Literati for Christmas. Has anyone had a problem with the pc not recognizing the usb cable it came with? I would like to set up the e-reader to download books from our pub library using the Adobe digital editions but cannot because of the issue with the cable. Is there a replacement cable available out there?

  • Sharon Ballentine

    I got a Kindle for Christmas and I love it. So light and easy to use. Charging was quick and downloaded books right away. Use it every day and haven't had to re-charge it yet. Very easy to read off of- don't have the cover or booklight but haven't and any problems getting books and amazon always seemd to have new free books every time I look.

  • I think myself and a few others have GOOD reports on the Literati. Here is why I love mine:
    I can afford it. I cannot afford a Nook Color for $250.00. I didn't like the Kindle, what I saw of it on advertisements because it doesn't have a color screen. My battery life is approximately a day and then I charge it at night, along with my cell phone. I love the selection of books at KOBO. I have to sync them into the Literati via my computer because the internet here has a really long password that the Literati will not accept. I love the big screen and if you turn down the brightness, it helps to prevent eye strain and battery life. I take my my Literati everywhere and just absolutely LOVE it!!

  • egi

    This is a good basic ereader. If you are looking for something more like with the Nook or even the Kindle then you should buy those ereaders. I love the color LCD screen which is fine on the eyes, you can adjust your brightness. I believe the many of you have problems because you did not update your device. The device has a manuel that gives clear instructions on how to run this device.The device has updates that makes running the device smoother. I have not had any problems. It serves it purpose;reading books! This is not an Ipad so don't think you will have the luxury of one. I bought mine for under a $100.00 and I like it.

  • Jessica B

    I've done my homework, read reviews, etc., and I own a Kindle. The problems I'm reading that people are experiencing with the Literati are not a problem on a Kindle. I've only owned mine a couple of weeks and have read a LOT of books on it. The access to free books, current and classic, is amazingly easy. It's really basic, simple, and worth the $139. I also heartily recommend the cover with the integrated booklight. My husband is thankful I no longer read til the wee hours of the morning with a bright bedside lamp shining in his face. The literati might be ok for nightime reading because of the LCD but overall, the rest of the nonsense seems too much to deal with.

  • Lisa

    Just bought the Literati at Macy's for $39.99 spur of the moment purchase, as I have a Kindle from Amazon arriving any day. Was curious to see which I would like better. So far, no complaints with the Literati. Adjusted the brightness the first day, bought and downloaded a book with no problems. For the money you can't beat it! Compared to my friend's Kindle last night. Liked the crispness/clearness of the Kindle (more like reading a real book) –it will probaby come down to money. $139 plus a lighted book cover $59 or 39.99 which included a book cover and does not need a light for night reading. Overall, I think Literati is a great ereader for the money!

  • Lee Ann

    Don't bother buying the liberati. I opened mine yesterday and after letting it charge for the required 6 hours tried to get my wireless network but the liberati was unable to recognize my security key then the screen got really fuzzy and froze. I couldn't even turn it off, so back to it goes. Very disappointed!!!!!

  • rschasco

    My husband bought me the Literati for Christmas & I LOVE it! I did have an issue with a bad battery and had to return the first one. When I brought home the replacement, it would not connect to wifi and I was having major problems. I thought I was going to be highly disappointed in this e-reader & was getting really upset because I had wanted one since they first came out. I decided I would call technical support and see if they knew what might be wrong. Well, a girl helped me out & said to go to advanced and reset the system to the mfg settings & power it down, I did. We turned it back on, didn't set the date/time & instead reset the system again a second time. At this point it tells you that it may take up to ten minutes to power down & it does but once you go thru this process, your Literati will update w/ the latest software, work at a nice & fast pace & be all that you hope for in an e-reader!!! I'm really glad I didn't give up because I love, love, love this reader. As a bonus, I'm a student and can save some of my documents that I need to study on the SD card & carry them with me on my Literati instead of 10 different spirals!

  • Peacebrat

    I got a Literati for christmas this year. Well last year and so far it hasn't done what it is supposed to. I had to reset it and it erased all the pre loaded books it came with. I got it for 50.00 dollars and it came from New York where my uncle bought it for me. I hate the Literati and I 'm hoping for a branes and noble Nook. I recommend not getting the Literati

  • lann

    I received a Literati for Christmas. Got on wifi and updated latest update. The unit will not load after restart. Will not go past the initial screen. We will be returning this unit. Tried to send a message on the support screen and it is not working.

    • GDoyle

      I got a Literati for Christmas, too. It worked perfectly until yesterday. I was reading fine around 4p. Later, around 9p, it powered on but would not move past the opening Home screen. None of the buttons work and after several minutes of nothing, it automatically powers off. It's frustrating, too, because I was in the middle of a very good book!!!

  • Chezwik

    I recieved my Literati for Christmas for the sheer sake of computer manuals, having a color, non-touch screen was exactly what i was searching for. It opens files extremely well, even comics that i converted from jpeg to pdf. Connected to the KOBO store even on an unsecured network just fine. Battary life is fine, often times lasting 6 hours. Honestly, i don't have any complaints except how long it is, but seeing as how it needs the keyboard, even that is understandable

  • Lu Ann

    Just talked to customer support for the Literati — to go to the Kobo store, you must be on a secure wireless network, i.e. hot spots like McDonald's or Panera will not work. It will hook on to them but you cannot get to the store for security purposes. We will be going to the library or a friend's. I told customer support this should be clearer in the directions as we actually returned one thinking it was a defective unit.

    • Gail

      This is extremely helpful. I am just about to return mine because of not being able to download any books, and now I understand why I'm unable to. Unfortunately, our library only has unsecured access, so even that is not an option for accessing the bookstore. I'm unhappy that I already purchased an e-book, and now with having to return the Literati, will not be able to read it.

      • Gail….can you syn to your Literati via computer? That's what I do and it works like a charm. So you can shop for books online and then use Adobe Digital Editions (free) to sync them over to your reader. Piece of cake!

    • ED Dickinson

      Lu Ann…How do you know when your unit is fully charged? Do you have to charge it 6 hours everytime ? …Ed

  • Mag Pie

    I also received the Literati for Christmas. My major complaint is the battery life. It lasts less than an hour. I've charged it for the six hours as stated in the instructions but still it lasts less than one hour. I'm really disappointed. The pages load very slowly and the power button is very hard to get to and it's a little big. If I want to take it with me not only do I have to take the power cord (because it doesn't last long) but I have to use my HUGE purse. I think it's going back. I'll try one of the other ones.

    • I'm sorry your LIterati only lasts for an hour on a charge. Maybe if you lower your brightness level that will help more? Mine will last AT LEAST a day on a charge.

    • LibraryLady1

      You have to hold the power button in for a few seconds to turn the thing off. If you just push it quickly, Literati will go into standby mode and use up your battery. I have no idea why this is not in the Instruction Manual!

    • monika shaw

      You said you charged yours right? I plugged my Literati eReader in so i could charge it and 6 hours later it still wasn't charged. Any advise on how to charge it?

  • Pat Zorne

    I got a Literati for Christmas, but haven't opened it yet, and after reading some of the comments, I may not. One comment said you have to have WiFi – true? We live out in the country and are not WiFi. Book selection seems not to be too good, seems like you have to do an awful lot of downloading of this and that before it will work. Some have had trouble getting it to power up again after certain functions, pages load slowly, etc. Should I return it? Can anybody give me 5 good reasons not to??

    • von

      No…. Return it… My daughter and I both received Literati as gift and I have spent WAY to much time on the phone and internet rying to just load a book, We have only opened one just to check out and being in the country myself and not having wifi I drove to a local restraunt to do the update the the oh so helpfull tech support advised and assured me after the update there would be know problem simple buy on kobo, hook up lap top via usb, sinc , and read….. LIES ALL LIES save yourself the headache, I have emailed the company today as a last ditch effort and if I cant get help from there Im taking them both back

    • guest

      Depends. Do you have a computer? Do you have a wireless router in the house? Do you have internet access through your computer? If so, then you can probably use it. If not, then send it back.

      We bought two of them for my daughters for Christmas. Only set one of them up so far, and there WERE problems after upgrading the software via WiFi. Turned out it was because the thing spent a horribly long time digesting the upgrade. It finally did finish, and worked perfectly afterward. I buy books through Barnes and Nobel for my Nook, and I've loaded several I purchased there (after removing the DRM), and they work fine.

  • Dre

    The Literati is my second ereader. I own a Sony, but was given this as a Christmas gift. First off for the price of $79.99 this is an extremely affordable product. I'm a IT professional so the initial setup was very easy for me. I took it out the box, plugged it up, enabled the wifi and downloaded the two updates. Then I bought two books to test it. I synced my library, but my new books would not show up. Also, the initial 25 free books only showed as 15. I thought maybe I had a bad reader based on some of the reviews, but that wasn't the case. I simply had to do a factory reset by pressing the menu button and then going to settings, advanced which will bring you to "Reset to Factory Defaults" then press reset device now then press ok. This resets the reader completely. It will come back on and ask for time/date settings, enable wifi and log on to your wireless network again, and it will redownload firmware. Resynced to the Kobo store and everything came up properly. My books I had purchased synced to the device. The device works as promised. I looked at the News & Mags tab and was somewhat dissapointed there really isn't much of a selection which I hope will increase soon. Battery life isn't great but can be worked with by changing brightness on screen. Overall for the price this is a great affordable addition to the ereader market.

    • bev spear

      Just got mine and tho i have wifi at home, it is hidden and literati can't find it. Problem is, I don't see where I can put in my WEP # so the literati wud recognize my wifi. Any suggestions? I think I will enjoy it once I get it set up.

      • Jcb

        I'm having a similar problem. It will find my wifi and I enter the code to enable it but the reader will not allow me to join my own wifi connection (even with the secure code used). So I am not able to update the reader to use it. WTH are you supposed to do? The support brochure is pretty useless.

        • monica shaw

          I had the same problem but it turns out if you have any capitals in your password you have to use capital letters. Did you try that? It took me a while to figure that out.

      • DanInKtown

        Menu Button + Settings + Wireless

        Check “Enabled” box.

        Choose your network and Join it. Check “Show Password” box, and type in your password”

        Then, VERY IMPORTANT, un-check “Show Password” then Join.

  • Cathy

    I got a Literati for Christmas (from Kohl's) and WAS thrilled. I plugged it into the adapter, and it hooked into the wireless connection with no problem. I downloaded the update as it suggested, and it will not go back on. I tried using the USB cord, and my computer (Win XP Pro) only recognizes the device about 1/3 of the time. After reading all of the posts, I guess it's going back.

  • Jesyca

    We are considering one of these for my husband, we don't really need it for the "books" we are looking at it more for convenience, my husband is taking online college courses and many of his books are online reads. Due to him having a bad back and having just had shoulder surgery he needs to be able to do his studying while laying down or sitting in his recliner. Does anyone feel like for these purposes this would be worth the purchase ?

    • somoe

      yes it is great as long as it can be pluged in often

    • molly

      no it wouldnt be, considering kobo has such a limited amound of books

  • NSK

    I couldn't get the Literati to download books whether using WIFI or hooked to my computer. I'ts very slow and has to be reconnected to wifi every time you use it. Plus I keep trying to update it and it won't complete the update. It's heavier and more awkward than the kindle because of it's length. My daughters got kindles and they are way better. I am returning the Literati and ordered a kindle.

  • Laura

    I got the literati for Christmas and it will not connect to any wi-fi connection. It came with an adapter to plug in to your computer but you must have a wi-fi connection to get books. If you can’t get the books what is the point? My computer doesn’t knowledge the device anyway. Returning it for something else.

    • Melody

      Just received a literati for my birthday. After the device charged, it connected with my wifi without any problems…..I just had to enter my security pin.

  • jill

    havent had any problems with the literati including eye strain. i wanted to mention that the instructions do say to charge it for at least 6 hours before using. adjusting the contrast does help with eye strain.

  • K.A.

    I got the Literati for Christmas and I HATE IT! It is very slow to turn on and the book selection is very slow to navigate on the Kobo website. Plus the power button being covered by the band that holds your cover on is stupid. The directional buttons are also hard to use, and I have tiny fingers. I also find it hard to get any information, other than the title and cover images from books on the Kobo website, unlike the Amazon Kindle website, where you can download a sample of the books and you have book reviews to help you determine whether you like a book before you buy it. So I downloaded the free Kindle and Kobo pc apps and returned my Literati for a refund.

  • Fixitman

    Saw one of these at Bed bath and beyond today for 79 dollars after rebates. I already have a Kobo that I’m very happy with, but its features wouldn’t appeal to everyone. You might consider one, however, for the kitchen or kid’s room.

    Its main features seem to be as a kitchen recipe reader or kids comic book e-reader. It doesn’t seem to be aimed at the mainstream e-book market. Battery life on a color screen is not something I’d expect. It comes with an a/c adapter, which tells you right there not to expect much battery life.

    My Kobo goes for days, hours of reading each day, with the charge barely going down. IT is a b/w mainstream e-book reader ONLY, however. I certainly don’t mind loading books off my computer ONLY and charging off my computer only but some might.

  • fred

    where can i get a manual.

    • denis

      On Line I downloaded the manual about 20 pages long.

    • tired of it

      You can go online for it, but it's as worthless as what came in the box with the reader. It doesn't tell you anything what any of the extra keyboard buttons do, and explains nothing really about the literati itself. Going online is a joke, since my computer doesn't have wifi i had to buy a router, the router works perfectly but i still can't connect to Kobo to download anything. Literati reader is going back tonight, i'm geting a Kindle 3 with wifi and 3G.

  • John Van Olden

    i bought a literati this morning at Kohl's because it was such a good deal. $69.99 after a $30.00 mail in rebate, I had a $10.00 off coupon and at the register I got another 15% off because I used their credit car, total cost, $53.18. I have been reading comments and worry a little bit but I am a computer professional with over 30 years experience. Some trouble might simply because of not being as computer savvy as others. I am charging the battery right now, and this afternoon I am going to power it up. I have a laptop with ex and desktop with windows7, I understand windows7 is not compatible, no problem. I will write my experiences in a few days after I have put it through its paces,. I have WiFi through verizon dsl, always worked on everything.

    • joare

      I was wondering how you made out. I just got one for xmas. I was actually looking forward to using it in the kitchen as I plan on putting cookbooks on it.

    • Monique Mitchell

      I just brought the literati for my husband and myself. Could you please tell me if i can get on the internet to check my e-mail, get on facebook or just browse the internet?

    • susie q

      thx for the info. would like to know how it all works out.

    • julia

      so how did it work out for you?

  • I've had and used the Literati for a couple of days now, true the battery life is fairly short, especially if you have enabled wifi. – Pages take time to load. – Connected to my pc right away. – Was able to transfer previously owned ebooks onto it once I downloaded the suggested Adobe Digital Edition (ADE, free download) – epub and pdf went in perfectly. – The other types of files I had went in after a quick conversion with Calibre (also free download, both programs are suggested with web address in the quick start guide). – adjusted the brightness level – like the night reading option – some have complained about the books available for the remaining 125 free books after the 25 that are already preloaded for you, there are currently 210 to choose from, 60 are recent (few held interest to me and looked like the kind of books you give away to people to get rid of) and the remaining 150 were public domain classics (I'm sure I will read several, and get rid of some of my 40 yr old used paperbacks versions of them) – and lastly, am happy that I have tracked down a couple of legal free download book sites such as the Gutenburg Project that is gradually transferring books that are not covered under US copyright laws into ebooks.

    • Robin

      if you can use adobe digital edition on this it will be worth it for me since my local library offers ebooks for check out using that program.

  • Suzie

    The Literati is fine and a terrific deal for the money. For those who complain about eye strain, there s a very simple fix for that — adjust the brightness down. Common sense, people.

    • monika shaw

      I plugged my Literati eReader in so i could charge it and 6 hours later it still wasn't charged. Any advise on how to charge it?

  • who has had some GOOD results with the literati?????

    • molly

      No one.. the thing is a new product practically a beta

    • Tom Gossett

      I recently bought a Literati at Best Buy for $50. I wasn't expecting much, since I've read several reviews like others listed here. However, I figured for $50, it was worth a try. I have been pleasantly surprised. A firmware upgrade was applied when I first connected to my wifi network. The screen works well, and the buttons work fine if you're a little patient. I'm sure the Kindle or Nook are nicer devices, but they also cost at least $90 more. I was able to download books from my library, so I can read great new books for free! I recommend it for sure.

    • craig

      i got one and it works great easy to work holds a charge for a long time and night reader mode is great very compact and kobo is easy to set up and downloads in minutes i think it is a great product

    • Guest

      I have it and I happen to like it. I don't mind the buttons, once you learn them it is no problem. I enjoy reading it. I am sixty and if I can learn it so fast and download on it anyone can. Its all in what you want to pay. The basic thing is the availability of being able to read anywhere and I love it.

    • Hans

      I own a NOOK B&W and a Literati.
      The Literati takes more time to process things and needs a little patience. Saying that It also needs more charging up than the NOOK because of the LCD screen.
      Let's compare apples to apples however. The LCD screen makes it possible read in total darkness which the eink can't do, because like a book it needs reflective light.
      For my needs the LCD screen can be set to reverse with white fonts on black background and on setting the light level is set to 1 (minimal). The fact that the Liberati comes with a case that simulates a book, I can enjoy reading without my wife ever complaining about lights on in bed. The Liberati has its foibbles no doubt and the internet must be turned off to get a decent battery life. I really am satisfied however for it can do what the Kindle or NOOK can't do offer color and a lighted screen.
      BTW a too bright screen looks terrible and discourages the enjoyment of the Literati.

    • Bob Young

      I love mine. Had it for about 3 months. Took it on a 10 day cruise and used it fully with no complaints. One minor criticism…….. wish the battery life was longer. No major complaints.
      Bob Young Venice, Florida

  • Elizabeth

    Got this for my son's 10th birthday. It is for sure basic! but we paid $99.00 plus had a $20.00 rebate and a 20% off coupon and earned $20.00 in store bonus bucks for the purchase putting it at about $40.00 for that price I am really happy and lets face it he is a GREAT READER and LOVES his books but he is only 10 so it will work for now.

    • luann

      Where were you able to purchase it at that price? Are you talking about the Literati? I had my daughter purchase two of them on Black Friday. We have had trouble with both. The dowloading takes forever and the battery life dies after two days! The first one never came back after trying to set up the wireless connection.

      • Karla


    • kat

      yea i am 12 and i got it and i love it! 🙂 but i got mine for 79.99 : /

      • Shannon

        Bed Bath and Beyond has them on Clearance for $40!

  • kelly

    I bought the literati today because I was promised I could return it hassle free if I don't like it. It advertises 150 free books…but fails to mention that these 150 free books are all classics which you can easily find at your local library. The buttons are crappy and the thing takes forever to load everything. I will be returning it tomorrow. I have not used the kindle, but the Literati is not worth your time even if you can afford it.

    • margie

      got the literati for my daughter for christmas and she hates it…poor battery life and the thing just blanked on her today…thats right done….lines all over the screen fried! and she is 23 so it wasnt neglect….returning it today and getting the kindle at least that has a history of happy customers

    • kim

      I have both the kindle and the literati. I had the kindle first and then got the literati, but have gone back to the kindle due to its ease of use and the built in wifi. I was able to down load one book from the book store on the literati and then the next time I tried it said the wifi was disabled and would not let me toggle to enable it.

      The kindle however is a matter of clicking on the bookstore and it automatically connects to the wifi built into the kindle ergo no hasstle. I am fron this point on a devout user of the kindle.
      I have enough challenges in life reading is my relaxation and I want to keep it that way. I agree literati is crappy for many reasons

  • Abby

    I have the same question as Angela?

  • wanda

    should I get the literati or the kindle….???

    • i got the literati last night, turned it on, it seems to be cool, although the lcd monitor hurts your eyes too much, it`s very close to reading on a computer. the next thing i know it connects to a wireless network and asks me to install new softwear, which i did, after that it automatically restarts. it never went back on, i have been waiting all night and the whole following day, but it`s going back today… i won`t even exchange it for another one…

      • wanda

        Thanks for the info… I hate that happened. I was also thinking about the nook from Barnes and Noble… Its just so hard to decide when there is so many options. My husband ordered the literati for my B-day, but I wont receive it until the 16th. I have heard a few other negatives about the literati. Kind of nervous about it….

      • LuAnn

        I had the same problem with the install with our first unit. Tried the second. Install went through but the battery life is horrible–only last two days! Co-worker has the Kindle, uses it almost every night, and said she doesn't have to recharge for almost a month!

        • rschasco

          The battery will last for much, much longer if you disable your wifi connection.

        • How hard is it to plug in to charge? I love my Literati. I've had lots of cell phones that we can't even last a half day and it needs a recharging. So I just recharge the e reader at night and in the morning I'm good to go. It will last until the night when I charge it again. No problems. :0)

      • somebody

        you have to turn it back on yourself..

    • JeepsterBill

      I have a Nook, Nook Color and a $50 (Best Buy) Literati. If your reading is limited to black on white, in medium light conditions, then eInk is fine. If you have a challenging variety of lighting conditions in which you like to read; if you like your reading material with color content (books, magazines) then the Literati is a great choice at any price. Page turns are lightning quick on the latest software (and the secret to the Literati is in setting it up correctly). Charge it fully, run in ALL the software updates and restart it when told, then start loading up all the free literature available.

      Using a MiniSD you can load up B&N, Borders, Amazon eBooks like crazy as long as they come in a format the Literati can process (and that's grown since the software updates came out).

    • tired of it

      Don't waste your money on a Literati. I did just before Christmas, and like many people here, have had nothing but problems with it. Won't download, won't recognize my computer, won't connect to wifi, even if i'm in the store where the wifi hotspot is. I went out and bought another router thinking it might be bad, but after hooking it up and making all necessary changes and settings, it still didn't recognize my own wifi. You can only get books from Kobo web site, and the 150 "free" books are already in public domain so your not getting anything "free". Only good thing i can really say about it is that it is easy to read from at night because of it being backlit. You can get this reader for under a hundered bucks…now you know why.

      • If this reader WEREN'T under a hundred bucks, I wouldn't have been able to get ANY reader. My husband and I live on a strict budget, so when I saw this LIterati for $79.99, I couldn't resist. And I LOVE it!!!!!!!! No matter how many bad reviews I turn up, I still love it!! I got my books into the reader by syncing them through my computer and have had no problems! :0)

      • Linda

        My Literati works well with my wi-fi connection. I have had no problems.

    • Wanda, I was real nervous too when I had ordered the Literati, as I had heard the negative reports about it. But people are extremely picky and nit-pick on anything, so you don't know WHAT to do. Anyway, my Literati came and I LOVE IT!! I never have had problems with LCD screens, so that's not an issue with me. And I wanted an e-reader with COLOR. How cool! And, the price tag of $79.99 CANNOT be beat!! Order the Literati!

  • angela

    can you get books from the barnes and noble website to put on the sharper image literati?

    • Jaycee

      No, check out the literati web site. You must buy from Kobo.

  • Kim

    Is the Kindle only a reader? Can you get apps on the kindle?

  • brooke

    id like it if i knew how to work it. its really confuring. everytime i connect to a wireless network it has to restart and as soon as it starts back up i go to the store to get more books and its making me reconnect and restart over and over again. all i want to do is get more books on it. somebody please help me.

    • LuAnn

      We've had many problems with the Literati. Bought two on Black Friday. FIrst one never did come back after setup connection to wireless. Second one's battery life sucks. It is dead after two days. A co-worker has the Kindle and said she uses hers every night and doesn't have to recharge it for close to a month! Also have problems with the arrow buttons not wanting to connect properly most of the time.

  • Micheal

    The Amazon Kindle has more of a book selection with over 750,000 books, magazines, and news paper titles, wich is much more than the Literati. Plus the Amazon Kindle reads much more like a book using the best technology designed buy majors from MIT called Eink. Its screen isn't an lcd screen so it doesn't hurt your eyes, unlike the apple ipad or the literati. Anything that reads in color, has an lcd screen, which has a back light so it reads like a computer screen. This is why Amazon's Kindle is the top ereader. It reads like a book, not like a computer monitor.

    • TEX Message

      If you want a something that "reads like a book" then get a real book, at the freaking library, it free! If i'm paying a hundred plus some dollars, it better light up!

    • suzy

      whwere do u get books for the Literati

    • TMan

      The Literati uses Kobo for its library which contains over 2 million books plus it supports more file types and has opptional memory. That means it has more of a selection, can get books from multiple scources, and can hold up to twice as many books. I think that you didn't do any research and simply love your Kindle. That being said the Kindle is still a great ereader.