I Took the Digital Reader Plunge

This Sunday I went to Best Buy and purchased a Sony PRS-350 Pocket Edition.

Why? First, the sale price of $129.99 (and the fact that a friend from out of town bought a Kindle) brought me into the store where I was able to compare the Sony with the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Amazon Kindle.

The Nook is a nice device with plenty of access to current titles but the interface bugged me. I kept wanting to push a button or tap the e-ink screen, but instead you have to use the LCD screen below. Many people like this, I found it awkward.

It was close between the Kindle (wi-fi) and the Sony. The Kindle’s screen (like the Nook’s screen) is bigger: 6” vs. 5” for the Sony. But I liked the touch screen interface on the Sony a lot more than I liked the little navigation buttons on the Kindle. Wi-fi or 3G never factored in the equation for me. As a stay-at-home parent, I was looking for a device that will, in the long-term, cut down my book-buying budget and that my wife can use, too. That my wife might use it too, brought out another factor: note-taking. The note-taking abilities of the Sony seem better and more usable (thanks to the stylus and touch-screen) than the Kindle.

Amazon’s title selection was very persuasive, especially since like most people I have an account at Amazon and have bought a great many things from Amazon. (When my wife and I lived for from family, Amazon was great at Christmas time and for birthdays.) But ultimately, I found that many of the titles I’m looking to read in the near future are available at the Sony store for around the same low price that Amazon offers.

I also don’t mind using my MacBook to purchase books from a store of get them from Project Gutenberg and then download them onto my reader. First, I’m going to back up everything locally. Second, I intended to use Calibre to organize my ebook library to sync with my device. I found out about Calibre thanks to that amazing resource known as mobileread.com, which has all the information you could ever want or need when it comes to digital readers.

I was in the middle of reading Jane Eyre, as part of my “Educating Richard” task I set for myself with regards to the history of the novel, when I made the purchase.

Here’s where I stopped reading the paperback version (Norton Critical Edition) for the ebook version.

The picture was taken with the camera on my phone (an LG Ally).

I finished reading Jane Eyre this morning on my Sony Reader. Great novel. But I can see why my 16-year-old self had absolutely no interest whatsoever in reading it when the book was assigned in an English class in high school.

Reading on the Pocket Reader? Pleasurable. And it’s easier to hold in my hands because it’s lighter than the physical book.

I don’t foresee myself going exclusively with the Pocket Reader. I still have a physical TBR pile of books. Plus, there are often used books that are cheaper than their ebook counterpart. So I’m going to be a divided reader for some time.

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9 thoughts on “I Took the Digital Reader Plunge

  1. Can I simply say boo!!! 😛 I am holding out until the laws mandate e-readers! lol

    • LOL I have to say, it did come in handy these past few days for a trip to Chicago to visit family and for my wife’s job. We attended a performance of Romeo and Juliet and it was nice to have the play on my reader to read beforehand, instead of lugging around my beautiful, but very heavy, copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works.

      • Oh, well I can say I would never need it to read Shakespeare before a Shakespeare play! I would probably fall asleep doing either LOL. I am more into plays like Grease or Chicago. I hope your trip went well!

      • @Karin, thanks! It was a very nice trip. The kids got to spend some time with Grandpa and Grandma while my wife attended some work-related talks, and my wife and I got a night out for dinner and a play.

  2. Hi Rich, is this still your ebook reader do jour?
    I want to get one too, and I would really like what you’re using.
    My idea, at least at the moment, is to get a NOOK HD+.
    TIA.

    • Hictio, indeed it is! It’s still working flawlessly. Lately, I’ve been reading more Dead Tree books.

      Funny, I was looking at all the recent tablets and thought that the Nook would be the best one, based on the specs, and for viewing movies and TV shows over the internet.

      • Thanks a lot for the reply, Rich!
        The only thing that worries me about a multi purpose ebook/ tablet is the capabilities that the device offers you to loose focus on merely reading and start browsing, etc, etc…. The joy of technology I guess 🙂

      • Well, tablets connect to the Internet, aka the Great Big Distraction of our age. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Honest Errors | What to Do When the Company That Makes Your Ebook Reader Exits the Market?

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