I was so excited to get my hands on the Sony Digital Reader, give it a spin and tell you all what I thought of it. When I supervised the media department at a public library after college, we were always talking about the latest technology in video, music and book readers. This was about 5 years ago and digital books were out there in the market but none of them truly felt like you were reading a book. I thought they’d never catch on.
For a few years now I’ve had the scriptures and a few other books uploaded to my PDA and it’s great for quick reference but not particularly enjoyable to use and I don’t want to feel like I’m reading from a computer. I wanted to review the Sony Reader Digital Book so I could tell you how the technology was coming along and all the reasons it wasn’t good enough.
Well, that was a couple of months ago. The reader showed up at my house and I pulled it out of the box and started using it immediately. And it feels like a book. It’s small and lightweight and the screen is such that it looks like paper, truly. The font and spacing feel like a paperback except that you can CHANGE the font size. I like to keep it somewhere between itty bitty Lord of the Rings font and granny-needs-glasses large print.
There’s no backlight, which may seem like a downside, but what book glows? Not this one. It’s really like you’re reading from paper, only it always saves your place, you can fit hundreds of books in one small device, and most importantly you don’t have that lopsided page flipping problem. You know when you’re lying on your side reading and one side is always more comfortable to lay on, depending on how far along you are in the book and whether you’re reading the left or right page? But then you switch to the other page and you have to flip over on your other side or hold the book in some really weird way?
You don’t have to do that with this book. It is never lopsided and there are buttons on both sides to turn the pages.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one digital blog reader and wireless device, this is not the toy for you. But that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for this. It does also have a black and white picture viewer, an MP3 player, and two storage card slots so you can use it to store and use a TON of media. You can even play music while you read.
It has a long battery life and the screen is viewable even in direct sunlight… like… I don’t know… a book!
There are a few negatives. The books do load slower than I’d like because you know, I like it fast. The software interface for downloading and uploading books is not super user-friendly. I fancy myself somewhat of a techie and I had some trouble figuring out how to get the books on the device the first time. There is no way to use the book while it is plugged in your computer to charge and you have to buy the DC power adapter separately, which I would highly recommend. Sony also doesn’t have the greatest selection of books in the world. They have a good amount of classic titles and a lot of new releases but the selection is not as broad as that for the Amazon Kindle.
However, I prefer the Sony reader to what I’ve seen of the Kindle because I want a book, a real book, but better. I hope they continue to grow their inventory of content.
I waited weeks to do this review because I’m so enjoying using it and because of my advertising contract now I must pass it on to one of you. So weighing in at a retail value of $299.00, I give you the Sony Reader Digital Book. It also comes with 100 free classic titles from Shakespeare to George Eliot.
Now does anyone want to give me one? It’s on my wish list. Oh the joys of carrying my entire library around all the time!
If you’re willing to enter this giveaway, even though the reader is lightly used and has my cooties on it, leave a comment listing 2 non-religious books you’d like to carry around with you everywhere. I know you all love the Bible and the Koran. What else do you love? (I’m willing to ship within the US. Anywhere else, I’ll be happy to send it if you pay the postage.)
I’ll randomly choose a winner Sunday night at 10pm PST. Oh, and Sony wants me to let you know that they’re not responsible if you fall and hurt yourself while reading it or if it self-destructs when you disassemble it to see the little men turning the gears on the inside.