I never thought I would be in this situation—a woman torn between two devices. After six months of blissful monogamy with my iPod Touch, I believed myself to be settled and perfectly content with a device that gave me everything I asked of it.
But then came temptation—the promise of a no-strings-attached fling with a device promising a larger screen and a longer battery life. Size and stamina, baby! But I’ve been a romance reader my entire life and I know this plot well—the fling becomes True Love and I live happily ever after (until September) with the Sony, the iPod having revealed some nefarious flaw proving it to be unsuitable as a hero after all.
My iPod is a device of many talents. I hold it in the palm of my hand, where it jumps to do my every bidding at the merest swipe of my thumb. I have to push the Sony’s buttons to get it moving and trying to find those metal nubbins drags me out of the book I’m trying to lose myself in. It’s awkward to hold, the controls not falling where my fingers can easily reach them. I need two hands to hold its package.
The iPod is always at my side, indispensable as it manages my life—everything from Twitter to manuscripts to recipes to my schedule to catapulting penguins—allowing me to sneak a little reading here and there without changing devices. The Sony makes me seek it out and, once I pick it up, all we can do together is read.
With the Sony, however, I can step out into the daylight. It doesn’t shy away from bright lights like a pre-midnight snack Gremlin—it embraces the sunlight and its amazing screen offers up the crisp text as beautifully as paper. Alas, we must part ways in the darkness. The iPod hides its words from direct sunlight, but it embraces the night. On sleepless nights, we can even play games under the covers and my husband never knows. (Of course, we can’t play very long before its battery needs recharging. Stamina. It matters.)
If devices were sex, the Sony Reader would be the missionary position, while the iPod is the entire Kama Sutra.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little missionary position if it’s done really, really well, and the Sony Reader does it really, really well. Beyond the refolding of the ungodly instructional sheet, I had no problems giving it a boot and loading it up. The screen is amazing and the size of the page perfect. The battery life, compared to the iPod, is outstanding.
But, other than that screen size and battery life, as well as the instant gratification I’ve grown accustomed to, I find the Sony Reader almost as limiting as a hardcover. It doesn’t fit in my purse. I have to remember to bring it with me anywhere I might be going to read. I find it uncomfortable to hold. It requires adequate reading light.
I think if the Sony had been my first, our relationship would be orgasmic. But I’ve found myself buying recent books for my iPod Touch again and, halfway through the test drive, I suspect the Sony Reader and I aren’t going to live happily ever after. But the fling isn’t yet over and it could still steal me away…