Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm Finally Using My Sony Reader

In May, my generous, thoughtful brother-in-law gave us a Sony e-reader for our anniversary. He’s been very supportive of my writing and thought we would enjoy it. Back then, however, I was immersed in a tight editing deadline while working a day job. By July the deadline was met, but we were off on a short vacation, and then more time passed. After an interesting discussion with my writers’ group this week, though, and a hands-on look at Sony's and Kindle’s readers, I was inspired to take ours out of its dusty box. With the help of our son, we set up an account with the Sony store and in less than five minutes had purchased three books. To my delight, I also had several free excerpts already downloaded onto the reader.

I’m now happily navigating my way around this little beauty. Mine doesn’t have a backlight, which is fine because I don’t really want one. A writing colleague mentioned that she has less eye strain with no backlight compared to reading on her computer.

So far I’m loving my Sony. I can change text size, move it from vertical to horizontal, and bookmark where I left off, for starters. Also, the bottom of the screen gives me the page number. There’s even a little orientation I can try. I still have many print books on my TBR pile, so I don’t see myself switching completely for a long time, if at all. Even those who own e-readers in my group still love the feel of a book in their hands, but they also love the convenience of popping their readers in their purses when traveling rather than carrying a suitcase loaded with paperbacks. The only question now is how much of a budget I should set for the e-books I plan to purchase?

Do any of you have a reader? If so, what brand, and what do you like about it? I’d love to hear your experiences and tips to get the best out of this wondrous gadget.

My Vancouver-based, Alex Bellamy mysteries can be purchased at


Lisa Blyth said...

I have a Kobo e-reader. My son gave it to me for mother's day and I love it! It's a very basic e-reader with virtually no frills, but I can adjust the font size and it returns me to the last page I was reading. The Kobo is very light-weight, easy to hold and the screen has no glare.

The only downside to having an e-reader (in my opinion) is that it isn't easy to flip around the book. Sometimes when I am reading I like to go back and find passages that will refresh my memory about a character or situation. Doing this is time-consuming and awkward with my e-reader. However, this little issue isn't important enough for me to give up on my Kobo.

It's interesting to note the varied reactions I can get when people see me reading my Kobo. Most are curious about how it works and think it's a neat little gadget; but a few react with real disdain and tell me that there's no way they'd ever use an e-reader in place of a real book. I say don't knock it until you've tried it. I was a bit skeptical at first as well because I love the feel (and smell) of real books. However, when I am using Kobo, I often forget I'm holding an electronic gadget in my hand instead of a paper book. I love the convenience of being able to stuff 100+ books into my tiny handbag without there being so much as a bulge or feeling weighed down. And, I will never again run out of books to read while on vacation. I just love my Kobo.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comment here, Lisa. The Kobo ereader is a basic dedicated ereader without extra frills. It definitely does it's job.

I bought one for my Mom, but I bought it early and had a chance to play with it for a while before giving it to her. As an author I feel I need to know how these ereaders work. I loved the whole concept, but not at first. Like you, I like the paper feel.

But that quickly turned to "I like the feel of the Kobo ereader". It's lightweight, easy to hold and no more cramped fingers from trying to keep a hefty paperback open with one hand while I use the other to grab my coffee. lol

I have mild arthritis in my fingers and I realize now how much of an advantage it is to have an ereader.

I've passed the Kobo on to my Mom now and she's excited about it--even though she wasn't beforehand. When I told her it would hold tons of books, her first reaction was how great it would be not to have to find a secondhand store or a friend to dump her books off to. That's when I knew I'd converted her. hehe She reads a couple of books a week.

I am now ereaderless, but I did have a chance to play with the Kobo and I enjoyed the experience. I'm now reading using the Kobo and Kindle apps on my iPhone.

I did get a chance to quickly look at a Kindle and an iPad. I'm trying to convince my husband that I need to buy both so I can play with them--you know, as a business expense.

Debra, another great post! Thanks for sharing your Sony experience. :-)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
bestselling author

Debra Purdy Kong said...

And thanks you for your comments, Lisa and Cheryl. Great point about wanting to flip back to reread passages, Lisa. I'll have to see how that works on Sony.