In retrospect, I think I expected a wondrous magical device.
When I was picked to test drive the Sony eReader, I was more than thrilled. I could buy books, load up my reader with as many as I wanted, and never run out of something to read. My kids were happy, too, because they could get a book FAST without waiting for it to show up in the mail or running to the bookstore. (Kids. Instant gratification is all they want. J
I thought that my whole reading life was about to change.
Not so much.
The stuff I believed would be problems actually turned out not to be a problems and I ran into problems I didn’t anticipate.
I worried that I could never enjoy reading without a physical book in my hand. But the reader feels substantia. I held it just like a book and I soon forgot that I wasn’t holding a paper-bound book.
The text is readable and I just love the feature that allows you to switch to large print in one click. Love the large print to pieces.
I also noticed that I had a bad habit of skimming ahead when reading, until I’d get to a part where I started paying attention again. The eReader forced me to pay attention to all words on the page because I couldn’t flip back nearly as fast. And this helped me focus and get more into the book. Score one for technology.
We did load up on books. Project Gutenberg was very helpful, as I picked up some obscure Arthur Conan Doyle works, and the kids pulled some classics, including Alice in Wonderland. Books in the public domain for free!
But there were some technical issues. Without Calibre, it would have been difficult to sort out how to download from other sites beside the Sony on-line store. Registering the eReader with Sony and at the store took much longer than I thought, as there were far more steps than, say, an iPod, which is basically plug-in, input registration number, and you’re off.
And the wide variety of formats for ebooks confused me, as some are compatible with the eReader and some were not.
But the biggest problem is that I found I couldn’t take it everywhere, like the bathroom (my biggest refuge!) or to the YMCA when watching swim lessons. A little water on a paperback is no big deal but a huge problem for anything electronic.
I also can’t send on a book I love to someone else without passing on the eReader, which I really did not want to do. J I understand the reasons for this and, as an author coming out with an ebook next year, I sure don’t want anyone copying my book illegally. But I don’t like the lack of used book portability.
But the main issue is not the Sony eReader.
I expected because the eReader made it so easy to download and obtain books that it would also somehow magically create extra time in my day to read. I might have got it confused with that whatchamacallit that Hermione used in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” which gave her extra hours in the day. (That seems to be what I need. Dammit.)
If I traveled a lot, I’d be all over this, as it’s far easier and lighter to take on planes than a load of books, so I’d recommend it for anyone with that lifestyle.
But until my life gets a little less crazy, the Sony eReader is of limited use to me.