My Lookbook e-reader has arrived

Do you recall the CVS paper work that Engadget got a couple months ago? It showed a netbook and an ereader that CVS planned to carry this Christmas season. I’ve been keeping an eye on CVS, and the product page went up a couple days ago.

I bought one and it arrived today. BTW, I’m pretty sure it won’t be carried in stores; I checked the 4 stores within driving distance and they don’t have it.

You probably know that this is a Kindle clone with a 7″ LCD screen, Wifi, and support for Kobo ebookstore. What you don’t know is that this is a close relative of the Literati. The Lookbook is trademarked, copyrighted, and so on by Merchsource, the company behind the Sharper Image Literati.

Sidenote: I went and found the FCC paperwork. I don’t know how I missed it when it was posted back in September.

I still have the white Literati, so I’ll compare the 2 ereaders. The Lookbook is slightly shorter and wider than the Literati. It has the USB, power, and SD card slot on the bottom, the Literati has the SD card slot on the upper edge. The Look book has a curved silver back; the Literati’s back is beveled.

For the most part they have the same keyboard, but the Lookbook has an extra button: “/”. If it had a web browser, that button would come in handy.The Lookbook has page turn buttons, not swipe pads. And the keyboard on the Lookbook is very shiny (that’s why the photo looks odd.)

I’m really not impressed with the build quality; it has a cheap feel to it. Look at the picture, and you’ll see that the buttons don’t line up. It doesn’t look any better in person.

The 2 ereaders have the same library setup, ebookstore, and are running the same reading app. But they share the lack of decent annotation and formatting options, unfortunately.

One important difference is that the Lookbook doesn’t have the brightness control of the Literati. It also is having trouble finding the ebooks on my SD card. No, wait, it can’t find the card at all.

The support page is finally up (the site was down last I checked). They really need to rewrite the user manual; the font is ugly and it contains incorrect details.

That’s all for now; I’m going to go play with it for a while.

128 thoughts on “My Lookbook e-reader has arrived

    1. It’s listed at $149, which is not bad.

      I really like the idea. If this were an open platform, I’d be shouting it from the rooftop.

        1. I have one but can’t figure out how to hook up to wifi.. I called lookbook and they said call comcast i did and they don’t have anything to do with it so how do i get started??

          1. I started out with a Literati which didn’t even work. I couldn’t get it to come on or charge. So sent it back and they told me they would send me a new one. Waited and waited, called, called again (after finally reaching someone) and was told they were receiving a shipment that week and it would go out the first of the following week. Waited 2 weeks, never received, called again. This time they said they wouldn’t be getting anymore in and asked if I would take the Look Book. Sure I say. Waited another week and finally got it. Could tell as I removed it from the box that it was refurbished (mine was brand spankin’ new). Guess what, won’t come in or charge once again. So after 44 dials of the phone to get someone to pick up instead of getting the recording that I am “calling during peak times, Goodbye”, I once again went through the scenerio. I was then informed they have no new machines and won’t be getting anymore. They only have refurbished ones and thats all they could do for me. Tried to get a supervisor and I don’t think they exist. Their mailbox was full, then hung up on me. No instruction book or anything came with it. It didn’t fit the Literati case either. I asked them what they suggested I do and they said return it where we bought it. Well they don’t have anymore. And I asked how I could return a Look Book in a Literati package. No suggestions. And then he said “why don’t you trade it at Kohls because you don’t need a receipt for anything there and they probably won’t care about the package”. I couldn’t believe he said that. I asked “so instead of you ripping me off, you want me to rip off Kohls”. Not any return words were said. I am livid. Sold something I really wanted, no way to return it and still have nothing. The company turns out to be one that only sells items, they don’t take care of anything else. They were called Merch Source out of Chino, CA. Any suggestions?

          2. To Connie K

            What you just described is exactly the same scenerio I just went through to the letter. I just received my Lookbbook as a replacement for myLiterati –guess what wouldn’t turn on at all and could not charge it and it is also refurbished . What was the end results because I’m going to have the same problen. I’m also going to tell your story and see what excuses they give me. Thanks for the information.

          3. Connie- they gave me the same deal- bought a new Literati that bit the dust and always had charging problems…and I sent it back to them- finally after a while- I called- they sent me me a refurbished Look Book with is also a piece of CRAP and used! It will not charge either…I now have 2 Kindles!!!
            Should have bought a Kindle Fire- now I have one!
            Sheesh!

      1. i just bought mine today.. i couldnt find the free 150 books.. does yours have those? im thinking of returning it and just get the nook instead.. hmmm…

        1. I just purchased mine and the 150 free books you will have to download. Once you create an account and sign in at Kobo you can do that. There should be the 25 Titles already downloaded from the factory

        2. To get the free books, you must create an account. When you click on the “store” tab from the main menu. Once in the online store, you will see the words: Browse, Free and More in the upper right hand corner. Click on Free. This is where your free books are stored. You can download 150 free books out of 194 choices.

          1. I went online on my computer and created an account (could not find a way to do so from the ereader itself). Then I got on the wi-fi at the library and when I click on store it only shows the 25 books that come with it. There was no option for browse, free, or more anywhere. Also, when I click on the sync symbol, it does nothing. It keeps telling me that I am not signed in, but does not offer me any opportunity on any screen to sign in. I have sat with the quick start guide and with the complete user guide and it still does not do anything.

          2. Why so many negative reviews? I went on to website on computer. Seems like most of the books are classics with alot of repeats. How do you download from library? Is there any place else to get free books? I am hesitant to buy even at $50 if I have to spend alot on books. Kindle also seems to have more choice of free ones. Not sure about B&N. Does anyone else really like LookBook?

          3. I am a PC Tech & I have a LookBook also. I use it to store ALL my PC manuals (eBook Versions). I find it to be an easy way to carry around a lot of manuals for very little weight. I also make up a lot of PDF files that I have on the LookBook. At least if someone steals it I’m NOT out $400+ for an iPad or something similar.

        3. Definitely take this POS back and get the NOOK.
          i just got a nook and its the most amazing ereader ive ever seen or used.
          and ive used pretty much all of them.

          it blows all of them away..

          NOOK ftw. <3

        4. My husband surprised me with the lookbook as a way to say thanks for all the things I give up for my family everyday. I could not wait to get reading. 3 days later I finally managed to find the manual online, download, and sinc it to the reader (no small feat as the offical website does not have it or a way to find it). The thing won’t charge, Tech support will not call me back and the forced “update” took away 125 of the 150 free books that came loaded on it. Needless to say, I am beyond dissapointed. The wonderful gesture my husband made was ruined by the difficulty I have experienced trying to use the thing. 2 solid days of trouble shooting, and I am no closer to enjoying it. uggh!

    2. Decided to buy my 9 yr old a look-book. (He is an avid reader.) Had the kids go to bed early (Easter Bunny Ritual),,, The hubs and I decided to charge the E-reader up, get the time zones, set it all up for him to start reading in the morning. I guess the cat knocked it off of the shelf, and now nothing. $50 wasted.. I returned it today, and NOT getting another

  1. I would rather spend the money on a tablet type e reader is I am going to look at an LCD screen. Maybe the Pocketbook one will be a good one. They both remind me of Augen’s The Book and that one is a piece of trash.

  2. If you bought this from CVS, what are the free e-books that come with it? I haven’t been able to find a list anywhere. Is it the same old tired classics or are there any books at all that you would otherwise have to pay money for, to get the e-book version?

    Thanks,

    Graham

  3. I was just in a CVS store in Panama City,Fl and they have this ebook on sale for $99.00 – is it worth buying or should I purchase the Kindle from Amazon for $139.

  4. I just got the Lookbook at Walmart for $100. It updated to the latest software V1.9, Dec 3rd, and works fine. There are 5 font sizes, the pages turn quickly, there are 7 levels of brightness for the backlit screen and a night setting with black BG and white letters. There are two file types .epub and .pdf. The .pdf files can be horizontal and vertical. Sized from whole page or 100% to 200%. You can scroll down with the little arrows next to the button in the lower left. I originally had a Sony PRS-300 but it needs a light for night reading and the screen is small. It has internal storage or SD card. It is wireless and works well with my router. The 150 books are more than just the free classics, although there are some of those. I download from a local library and transfer with my computer to the SD card and it works fine. Use a Kobo reader or Adobe Digital Editions. For the price it seems a good deal.

    1. Can you download free books from the Library? I really felt like I was going to get more books than I did :=( It’s for my son and he is almost 13 Do you have any suggestions?

      Thanks
      Dman

  5. We bought 4 of the Lookbooks for our grandkids for Christmas. Was this a mistake and should we return them to get the Kindle? Also, can you use Barnes & Nobles gift cards to buy downloads to the Lookbook?

    1. It looks like they may have fixed the problems, so I don’t see why not.

      And no, you can’t read ebooks from B&N on the LookBook.

  6. My husband just got me the LookBook… they have fixed the problems!! But you are right, you have to download the ebooks from kobo in order for the LookBook to be able to read them, just like with the Kindle, my sister has that one and she said she can only download the ebooks that are ment for the Kindle, the same is with the Nook from B&N…. crazy – BUT kobo, still has some pretty good ebooks and they add more weekly as the books come out!!!

    1. Actually, you can use any ebook that’s in .epub format. There are quite a few sites on the web where you can download free books in that format.

      Unfortunately, I’m going to return the one I bought earlier today since I’ve had more than a few problems. First, in order to get RID of any of the books that are pre-installed (25 of ‘em), you have to plug in the USB cable, go online, and go through a very convoluted process to remove them from the reader and move ‘em back into your online “Library.” What a major pain that is!

      Speaking of the USB cable, it took six attempts before my computer could “see” the reader, and allow me to install the driver program, none of which isn’t even mentioned at all in the manual, for pity’s sake! When connected, a popup window appears that allows you to “browse” to the LookBook folder. You can then “drag” any .epub or .pdf file to the LookBook reader.

      You are instructed to click the “Eject” button before disconnecting the USB cable, but nowhere does the “Eject” button appear. Oh dear! You have to open My Computer (what a silly name!), right click on “KoboeReader” (yes, it’s mispelled), and then find the “Eject” button.

      Somewhere during all of this, it appears that the installation software for the PC and Mac versions has self-erased from the LookBook reader’s folder, so… Bah! Humbug!

      What can I say about the keyboard? If you are a pygmy and your fingertips are the size of a spaghetii noodle, you just *might* be able to use it. Forget about using it wirelessly to browse the bookstore! It’s just not worth the pain.

      As far as their prices go, they’re not unreasonable, but I can get many -if not most- of the books elsewhere for $1.95 less!

      1. Where do you get them for 1.95 please share.. I bought this for my son and he LOVES!! reading books.. I have spent so much on bookd and the library till i’m all spent out!! PLEASE!!! tell me how we can get some cheap books downloaded to our Lookbooks :=) thanks so much!!

        Dman

      2. Although I really dislike the little tiny arrows with the BIG button in the middle for navigating and selecting, overall I like it! I would like to point out that the folker is not “misspelled”. Koboereader= Kobo ereader.

      3. For you people having problems finding and/or installing the DRIVER (BOTH MAC & Windows) for the LookBook – I was finally able to get the driver to install correctly on my Windows 7 (64Bit) PC. If you use the Windows Explorer Program and browse the LookBook Device (Once it shows up on the “My Computer” Folder) You’ll see a Directory called “Desktop Installer”. In that directory are 2 Sub-Directories. One called “Mac OS X” & the other called “Windows”. These are the locations for the ACTUAL DRIVERS for the LookBook.

        If you can get to it, I suggest that you BURN these Drivers to a CD & keep it safe for future use in case you need it again. Then again, IF you CANNOT get to it, just E-Mail me and I’ll see if I can send you a copy of the Driver.

        Have Fun & Happy Reading…

        Joe S.

        1. Do you have the lookbook drivers and any .documentation? IF you would be so kind as to email it to me I would be very greatful. Thank you in advance for your consideration. Best regards, J

  7. I just bought my lookbook and I love it. I thought about buying an expensive ereader but I changed my mind when I seen this one. All I wnated to do was to read books and I didn’t care about all the extras. I just wanted to read books. I am even thinking about buying one for my 11 year old son.

    1. I just bought a lookbook for 49.00 at cvs… For me it will be just fine I am a simple person.. if this sale had not been on I would still be with out one.

  8. Every device is not for every one. I have a LOOKBOOK and am very satisfied. The capabilities are fine for what I am looking for. If you are looking for something more internet or web savvy purchase an e-reader with those capabilities. The price is excellent, the size and view sufficient, and night time readability great. I couldn’t ask for more for this price. I love it! Don’t take my word for it buy your own and make your own decision. If you don’t like it return it!

    1. I have had my LookBook for OVER 2 years now & let me tell you, FINDING LookBook accessories is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE!!! I’ve checked EVERYWHERE (Including Walmart) without ANY luck!!! Have fun…

  9. I’m a huge reader I chew through books so fast my mom bought this for me for Christmas. I’ve had it two days and already returned it once as the back arrow dd not work. After charging the second one all night, when I tried to turn it on I got nothing. Thinking maybe it wasn’t plugged in all the way (since there is no indicator button) I plugged in and it lit ip with an all scribbled screen on black and white lines and shut off right away. I agree the it is poorly constructed and simply a pain in the neck already. I’m taking it back and paying the extra money for the next one up.

  10. I just got my LOOKBOOK for Christmas and can’t load anything onto it. I have wasted hours trying loads some books – there are no preloaded ones on it. My son came over and wasted another 2 hours – my husband has been working on it for over an hour now. There is no tech support – just a recording saying they are too busy to answer and to call back later. I think everyone is trying to get their LOOKBOOK to work and needs help. Bad sign for sure!! I am really disappointed – going to return it and get a Kindle!!

    1. I bought a LOOKBOOK at Walmart and had 50 books on it and downloading to a computer and then hooking up to USB and selecting SYNC to download to your LOOKBOOK, or locking up to a wifi and downloading directly to0 your LOOKBOOK. I read the instructions and after sveral hours was able to navegate all functions.
      I find the Kindle hard to see the actual book cover and to get the price far more difficult than the LOOKBOOK, also Kindle has no color display capabilities. Avertisments make the Kindle popular…

  11. Can you tell me where I can get a case to fit the LookBook with the 7″ screen. The actual length of the LookBook is about 9-1/2 ” long.

  12. I, too, received a LookBook for Christmas. My daughter took the first one back the next day and exchanged it as it would do nothing after powering up. The second one is also going back as my computer and/or router will not even recognize that it is there. She is getting me a Kindle instead. What a disappointment.

  13. Does anyone know where to get a case or cover for the Kobo Lookbook wireless reader. It measures 9″X 5″ and the cases are made to fit the 7″ kobo or nook.

    1. just a note, I returned my lookbook back to wal-mart and went to cvs there unit comes with the book cover in the package. that’s why wal-marts was cheaper.

  14. I purchased a Lookbook for $99 at Walmart. Initially it was more than a little confusing. After I set up my Kobo account and synced it for the first time I was prompted to update the software. The unit is now glitch free and I love it. There are aspects that are definitely trial and error (such as needing to have at least one book stored on the memory card before installing it) and the manual isn’t overly helpful.
    To get free books check out the Borders site. They have over a million free books downloadable in epub or pdf format. I am a Border’s employee and I chose this model over all the models sold at Border’s (the Kobo models had a VERY high return rate). For the price, the screen size, the adjustable backlight, adjustable fonts/screen orientation, memory capabilities are an outstanding value. If you are patient and figure out the capabilities on your own, you will love the product.

  15. Per the prior question, if you look in the full manual (not the quick guide) there is an email address where you can look up accessories for this model.

  16. Yes the look book does have brightness control on it you can choose from Levle 1 up to level 7 and also has an option to switch display to night reading or Sepia. Read the manual and play around with it i did and i like it.

  17. Ok i have tried to sync my lookbook and it wont work. it just says “cannot update”. And I can’t figure out how to download books from kobobooks onto my lookbook or SD card!!! I’m so very frustrated!!!! Someone PLEASE help!

  18. I have seen some negative comments about the lookbook but I bought one and love it. I actually bought the nook first for $150 but when i wanted to use it at night and found out it wasn’t a backlit screen i took it back. Since the nook color with a backlit screen was $250 and the lookbook was $100 at walmart I decided to try the lookbook. I’m glad I did. It doesn’t have a mp3 player or a touchscreen like the nook color. But I wanted a reader and this works beautifully for that. And I had zero problems getting any books I wanted. All I did was search for torrents of pdfs and found tons. Easy as pie putting them on an SD card. Forget these other reviews, just get a lookbook. It does what a reader should do and does it for the best price.

  19. Forever I tried everything to purchase books from Kobo for my lookbook. After almost a month I finally spoke to custumer support. I have come to learn that because it is Canadian based it would be an international charge on my debit card. To do international charges you have to call the bank in advance. BEFORE EVERY PURCHASE!! How inconvenient.
    So as much as I enjoyed reading Dracula and not so much trying to type on that little keyboard, I am going to have to purchase a device that I can easily download a book.

  20. I got the Lookbook reader for Christmas from my husband and it was the best thing he could have ever bought me! There are plenty of free resources on the web to download books. I found using Calibre ebook manager is the best program for this reader as it converts almost all ebook formats and can also send them directly to the reader. (It’s also free) Happy Reading!!!

  21. my fiance bought me a lookbook cuz it was $100 at walmart it’s not bad i just wanted to delete the preloaded books they sucked!..i dont know how u claim the buttons dont line up they are there just fine on mine and with the new up date i can now delete those stupid preloaded books! for $100+tax+$6 for a extra 1year protection plan it’s well worth it..but I just wish kobo books could make it so i dont get charged a international transaction fee as bank of dumb america as i call it charges 3% so i use ally as they only charge me 1% lol.good for the price if ur going to complain about it being cheap u should have saved ur money and bought something else…for poor ppl this is just fine!

  22. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Lookbook and wouldn’t want anything different. I have loaded about 60 books and still have room without a card. As for the display, you can brighten it and darken it. It even has a “night reading” option. I am not sure where you are coming up with “the buttons don’t line up”, mine are perfectly lined. Can’t beat $106.00 tax and 1 year protection plan total purchase price. That and it has options the kindle doesn’t. I say if you are thinking of getting it, DO!

      1. I got a lookbook at Christmas time for my son becuase it was on sale. I pulled it out yesterday to give it to him for his Summer reading. I plugged it in and let it charge all day yesterday and today. Mine will not charge off of the USB. In fact it will not charge at all. In order to use it it has to be plugged into the wall charger.

  23. My charger is broken and the universial charger I own is not working ( same voltage) does anyone know where to get a replacement.. Other wise I love the lookbook…..

    1. My charger broke as well, and I could not find a 5v at walmart, so I got a universal charger and put in on the 4.5v setting. It does not charge on that but will work as long as it is plugged in. I am tethered to the charger. I too need to know where to find a replacement.

  24. I wanted a kindel for christmas but my husband got me the lookbook. I thanked him after I worked with it awhile. It is like everything elese you have to play with it to learn what it will do. I have told all of my reading friends if you want a e-reader get the lookbook I love mine.

    1. My LookBook came from Walmart and was $89. My only complaints are there is no case included if you buy it from walmart, and my power cord will not stay snuggly plugged in. After a few minutes, the cord pushes itself out. I have exchanged the unit 3 times and all are the same. Gonna send an email to the company about it. Otherwise, I like it. I have successfully downloaded a number of books from several different ebook sites.

        1. I just got mine at CVS today as well. I have plugged it in to charge and it has been charging for about 2 hours and I am still unable to turn it on. Is that normal?

  25. I bought my lookbook at walmart but i need a cover for it, i don’t like just putting it in my purse with no cover where do i find the covers at please help.

    thanks Betty

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