LN Ebook buying guide

You want to collect light novels? Good! Never has it been so easy to find and buy light novels than now. This guide is the result of the time I have spent researching and testing different solution for digital reading.

Hardware

This will be your first choice. I have personally gone full digital as most light novel are available in this format and takes far less space than physical book. There are only 2 devices which I would recommend:

iPad mini

The iPad mini is Apple smallest tablet. The form factor is ideal for one handed reading and transporting. It also comes with a great high DPI laminated screen for an excellent reading experience, and great image quality for coloured illustrations. As it’s iOS, you can download several reading apps, allowing you good compatibility with the different digital store listed in the following section. Moreover, aside of reading light novel, you can browse the Internet, also read manga, watch anime, play games, which may make it easier to accept the price.

Kobo e-reader

Unlike the iPad mini, e-readers are cheaper but will only do one thing, that is, display your books. They are lightweight devices which uses e-ink screen. These screen are non emissive as in, they can be read without any artificial light if you provide an external source like the sun. If like me you work a lot with a computer screen, such screen may provide a good resting time for your eyes. They also provide light when reading in dark condition, but it’s easy for the eyes. Sadly, they are black and white, so you lose the colours of the cover and first few pages.

So why Kobo and not Kindle? Kobo supports epub! You are not locked to Kobo store and can import any DRM free epub. Also, the Kobo store will provide higher quality ebooks. More informations on that in the shops section.

Hardware wise, they have a whole range of e-reader, from small to large. I have a Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2, a waterproof full touch screen reader. After almost a year of use, my complains would be that I would prefer buttons to turn page, and lighter/smaller.

Shops

  • JNovel Club: JNovel Club is licensing and publishing on their own website. You can pay a monthly subscription and get a credit for one of their premium ebook. Their premium ebook are high quality, DRM free, and may come with bonus which range from their editors note to Japanese store bonus or illustrations.
  • Kobo: Most publisher now also put their e-books on Kobo. There was a time when it was on Kindle but not Kobo. Now publisher don’t pay for the size of their ebook, so they can put the maximum quality for images. Buying foreign books on Kobo is possible using VPN and changing adresse.
  • Kindle: Amazon has the biggest store, but the limitations around them made me go see their competitors. Unlike Kobo, publisher pays depending on the size of the ebook. As such, illustration may have lower quality.
  • Bookwalker: Bookwalker is a Japanese web store for manga and light novel. They have a global store for all the English version. Their biggest advantage is that they often have sales and coin back offer, so I can recommend it if you have a low budget. Aside of that, they also have some timed exclusive for some LN. Now, I don’t use them outside of manga and LN exclusive, because I don’t like reading on their platform. Either you use the website or their mobile app. The later is slow to boot, to download content, crashes from time to time, and offer rather poor customisation when it comes to text formatting.
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