Troubleshooting The Sharper Edge Literati eReader


Since reviewing the Literati eReader from The Sharper Image, I have received a flood of search engine traffic from users trying to troubleshoot the Literati. Because I know many of the units have several bugs in the system, and because I’ve been able to work around a few things with my unit (or just learn to live with the quirks), I thought I would take a minute to offer user support to those having problems with their Sharper Image Literati eReaders.

One necessary disclosure:

Beyond being sent a Literati to review (for which I received NO financial compensation), I am NOT in any way affiliated with The Sharper Image. This is NOT official support for the Literati, just user experiences of my own that may help you.

Some of the issues that have lead people to my site:

SD CARDS: Some Literati units will not read SD cards at all. I do not know how to fix this. But some users also cannot figure how to insert SD cards into the unit in the first place. There is a slot at the top of the Literati for the SD card, and in order to get an SD card into place in my unit, I need to use the tip of a pencil to forcefully shove the card into the slot until the spring loads and the card sticks. This often takes me two or three tries to get it right. And I always have to use the same method to remove the SD card. Yes, this seems rather ridiculous, but it’s the only way it works for me.

USB: Some Literati units will not recognize USB at all. I do not know how to fix this, and frankly, I don’t even care anymore. My original unit did not recognize the USB or my Windows 7 system. But since it did read my SD card, I used an inexpensive SD card reader to transfer books from my computer to the card, and from the card to my Literati – essentially making the USB unnecessary. The Sharper Image did send me a replacement unit which does recognize the USB and Windows 7, but I still stick with my SD card/reader method.

DETECTING NETWORK: I have had repeated problems with my Literati not recognizing my wireless network. This is the most consistent and most baffling problem with these units, since the wireless is such a big selling point. The only advice I have is to reset the unit by pushing a paperclip into the tiny hole in the back of the unit. This will typically clear the unit’s system and allow it to recognize your network again. But don’t be surprised if the next time you turn it on, it fails to recognize the network again. As with the USB problem, I simply do not use the wireless feature anymore. I buy my books on my computer and transfer everything via SD card.

RESET: There are two options to reset the Literati: factory reset from the Settings options, or a quick reset that does not erase your data. I recommend you use the quick reset. There is a tiny hole in the back of the unit, use a paperclip to push the button inside. That will clear the unit’s cache without deleting hard data.

UPLOADING BOOKS: If you happen to get a unit that detects wireless and works seamlessly with Kobo, you can easily upload books by setting up an account with Kobo and purchasing/uploading books on the fly. This feature works well with the replacement unit sent to me by Sharper Image. BUT, if your Literati does not detect wireless or the USB, your only option – as I’ve said – is to load books onto an SD card from your computer. Sometimes my Literati has problems uploading from the SD card. If I turn off the unit, load the card, and turn the unit back on, it will usually begin processing the new content. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries. If you do not see your loaded books, make sure (a) they are in the correct file format (my Literati reads only Kobo books or unprotected EPUB ebooks…this is very annoying) or (b) that you are looking in the “New” section of your Literati library. I will briefly say that I had Kindle for PC books downloaded and various protected and non-EPUB library books that originally would not work with my Literati, but because of many hours spent on Google, I have learned it is possible read them with my Literati. I won’t say more, just that it’s possible if you have some time, some familiarity with programming, and LOTS of patience.

OTHER ISSUES: Problems with keypad – I don’t use mine, so I’m not sure how to help with this. Games for the Literati – the Literati is a VERY basic system, no bells and whistles, no games, nada. Updates to system – if your wireless works with the Literati, make sure you follow directions when it prompts you to install updates; The Shaper Image (in my experience) is trying to fix a lot of the bugs in the Literati and will roll out these updates as they can.

*Note: this post was originally published in 2010. I have not used my Literati in years and will not answer any support questions about the unit. I have no direct contact or information from The Sharper Image – I just wanted to share some of my experience with the unit, in case it might help you.