Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sony E-Reader

(By the way this post dates me, I am exactly 15 months behind the times - I live in a circa April 2006 timewarp).

I've decided I want one. It's pretty and slim and it has a leather case, and although it currently retails at $299US ($50 off regular price), there's a free book package with that (if I can make up my mind to be an impulse buyer within the next few days, I think the deal ends on the 17th of June, though Americans write their dates funny. Or I do. Depending on your perspective.)

The two major weaknesses is it's not Mac OSX compatible (though there seems to be a way around that) and you have to mostly use their ebooks, and the bookshop is of course very US-biased, since the reader hasn't been released outside of the US (can't find anything to indicate this will happen any time soonish either). I don't mind that too much since I can easily get Australian releases at the library. The bookshop isn't great on Kids/YA books either, but there are plenty of books on there that I've been wanting to read and I think reading adult fiction will probably be extremely good for me. I don't do it enough (hmm, am I thinking about spending several hundred dollars to trick myself into reading grown up books?)

I like the idea of training myself to enjoy technology when it comes to reading. Of course I love blogging, and I like trees and I like trees not being cut down and pulverised. Though I do think technology is nowhere near addressing our environmental, consumable resources concerns, not till mobile phone are built to last for years and be solid and reliable, and people are reprogrammed to keep computers for longer than a butterfly minute.

Anyway, I love the fact that the Sony Reader isn't backlit so no glarey hurty eyes, which I get from the computer. I like it's dimensions. I like the idea of buying books 'for keeps' without seriously compromising our already limited living space. I personally like the fact that I can't write on it - I don't wanna.

I have resisted the call of the ipod. I do have a mobile...somewhere. I don't think I've switched it on since, well, circa April 2006. But the Sony Reader is a sweet sweet siren song. Maybe because I've just read Questionable Content all the way from number one to number 900, and I loved it. I never would have thought I could get so deeply involved in a narrative online. But now I am having serious comedown issues. Now it's finished, my life feels emptier. Must fill gaping hole with...Sony Reader...


  1. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Nooooooo, don't do it! It's a flawed product, locked into a Sony business model they are experimenting with, with no certainty where they'll take it.

    It's their new minidisc!

    You can find lots of similar reviews on the web! Ebooks have been around for a few years now, but never seemed to actually catch-on.

    Ereaders are still prototypes in a lot of ways, really, hence the $$$ price tag. The epaper technology is still evolving, as is the interface and most importantly, the business model. If the format makes it into the mainstream in 2 years, you'll see $100 versions of this tech, only better, in a more standard format rather than one company's Digital Rights Managed-locked version. If this e-reader breaks, and sony abandon the platform, you won't be able to read those books on any other device!

    Me, I'll wait for the marketplace to battle it out, and buy something in a couple of years when they know what they're doing, create some standard format all readers can use, and are cheap. (Just as iTunes have just offered DRM-free versions of their songs)

    But if you want to be cutting edge, go for it...just be warned, the cutting edge is often the bleeding edge!

    A random 2 cents!

  2. Thank you helpful anonymous voice out there.

    Actually you're right, there's something a bit disquieting and, well, mean and stingy, about the way Sony have put the product together...not very sharing and caring. But having thought about buying it, I now feel like I can justify going out and spending $400 on new books, with all the money I've saved on my ereader.

  3. O! i love QC. I wear my Library Science tshirt very often. Do you read Unshelved?

  4. I want to stay away from QC for another 900 days (plus weekends) because it was so much fun reading them all at once. Except I can't stay away.

  5. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I love my Sony e-reader!!! Actually didn't expect to like it so much. Who would have thought reading electronically could be just as pleasurable as the feel and smell of a paperback?!?! Yes, it was expensive. Yes, the future of the technology is uncertain. But in the meantime, it's great for non-copyrighted classic literature (available for free through websites such as project gutenburg). It's also great for adult fiction that you probably will never read again - so does it really matter if file format or DRM haven't been sorted out to an industry standard? Better to have the books on a memory card than in stacks of wasted space in my home!

    The Sony Connect store seems to be expanding every month. It doesn't have all the books I seek, but it's selection is impressive nonetheless. One caution - I recall some early grumblings that the Sony store only accepts US credit cards. If you are not an American, then I would check into this before your purchase, or you might be disappointed.

  6. Anonymous3:39 AM

    No way! Their library is extremely limited. I don't understand why can't we simply upload the e-books from any other place! Well, the reason is obvious: money! They don't simply want you to purchase their gadgets, they want you to spend dollar after dollar on the service of it! Well, let me tell you something: I'd rather buy viagra pills than buying this e-reader!
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