Thoughts on my eReader

I’ve been meaning to make this post for several weeks, but it kept escaping me! I didn’t want to post when I first got my Reader because I wanted to spend a little time with it so that I could post what I love/hate. So, here goes…

My friend Angie says on her blog that she is “passionate about digital publishing.” She also says that her mission is to “drag people to the digital dark side, one reader at a time.” She finally managed to drag me to that dark side… after years of agonizing and debating which eReader to get (seriously, one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make!), I finally broke down and bought one a few months ago.

This is what my cute, little Sony Pocket Reader looks like:

Why did I ultimately choose the Sony Pocket over all the other Readers out there?? I think it was really a process of elimination…

I knew I didn’t want the ever-popular Kindle. Although I don’t know much about the ins and outs of digital publishing and ebooks, I have learned at least ONE thing from Angie: if you buy a Kindle, you’re stuck buying ebooks from Amazon. Period. End of story. There are a whole slew of fun ebook stores out there, and I like having the option to shop around. So, the Kindle was never really an option for me.

I definitely considered the Nook, however. Like the Kindle, you can order books directly from the device… and, even though it’s a Barnes & Noble product, you aren’t limited to B&N for your ebook shopping. Love that. But, I went to my local B&N store shortly after the Nooks were available, and for some reason I just wasn’t impressed with it… not like I thought I would be! I couldn’t figure out HOW to turn it on. And then when I finally did find the power, I had no clue how to navigate the menus, etc. And, it didn’t feel very comfortable in my hand. It felt very “plastic” and not as sturdy as I imagined it would. So, from my very limited first impression of the Nook, I was pretty sure I didn’t want that one either.

I very briefly considered getting an iPad. Although the price is outrageous (compared with other Readers), the iPad is so many things other than an eReader. And I liked the idea that it has a backlit screen. For some reason, I was really having a hard time imagining this “eInk technology” that most of the Readers have… and I didn’t think I’d like it as much as a backlit screen that I could read in the dark while my husband was sleeping next to me. But, ultimately I decided against the iPad, too. The price is a lot more than what I wanted to spend. And, even though it does a million other things, I really just wanted a Reader.

So, at this point, I pretty much knew that I’d end up with a Sony Reader of some type. Over the years, I’ve heard Angie mention the lack of file management on some of the other devices, but I knew that was one thing she liked about the Sony. I really thought I’d want the Sony Touch. But, then I started reading different reviews, and kept reading that the touchscreen creates a horrible glare. Ick. Touchscreens and I don’t generally get along very well anyway (every time I try to use Nick’s Droid phone, I want to sling it across the room because the touchscreen does NOT work for me, ever!)… so it didn’t take long for me to decide that the Touch probably wasn’t for me either.

I kept coming back to the Sony Pocket (I think it was the hot pink color option that was calling to me! Who can resist pink??). So then I started reading lots of Sony Pocket reviews.

  • For one thing, the price is nice! At $150, the Sony Pocket comes in well under most of the other Readers on the market (theΒ Kobo Reader wasn’t yet available when I was shopping!).
  • Even though it’s a smaller Reader with a smaller screen than the others, I read one review that said it actually displayed the same amount of text (if not more) than some of the larger Readers. So, duh, why would I want a bigger screen, just so the margins and spaces could be bigger? Seemed like kind of a waste to me.
  • It doesn’t have wireless and I can’t order books directly from the device. But, honestly, I spend the majority of my time sitting in front of my computer… so shopping via the computer and transferring files to the Reader via USB is really not a hardship for me!
  • I can’t take notes while I’m reading. And if I were a student that might matter to me. But, I read for pleasure at this point in my life. I don’t take notes. If I had a Reader with that capability, I’m fairly certain I would never use it anyway!
  • I also read a review comparing several of the different Sony Readers… I learned from that review that the page turns are slightly faster on the Sony Pocket and the eInk display/contrast is actually better on the Pocket than any of the others. I think that pretty much sealed the deal for me!

So, I’ve had my Sony Pocket for a few months now. And I’m pretty thrilled with it. I think I definitely made the right decision and chose a Reader that is perfect for me. It’s certainly not the fanciest Reader out there (although I do think it’s the cutest, hands down!), but it does do everything that I need it to do.

I’ve only had trouble finding one book that I wanted in ebook format. It was rather frustrating because I knew that I could run down the street to Walmart and buy the paper version of the book right then (and I did consider it!)… but I got over it. I’ve probably purchased somewhere around 20 books since I got my Reader, so frustration over one title isn’t too bad, I suppose! For the most part, the shopping/downloading process has been fairly painless. Oh, and did I forget to mention the whole library thing?? I was shocked that my library in po-dunk actually participates in an online/digital library, but they do! They don’t have TONS of titles available, but every now and then I luck out and find one. It’s way cool to be able to “borrow” a book for free, from the convenience of my own home (because, God forbid I actually go out into the world).

Although one feature that sold me on the Sony was its file management capabilities, I have yet to figure out HOW to manage my files! Right now, all of my books are just lumped into one spot, and I scroll through them alphabetically when I’m looking for a book to read. One of these days I’ll have to figure out the file management thing and set up my nifty categories. One of these days…

I still have a whole slew of paper books that I need to read, piled up all over my house. So, I switch back and forth between digital and paper books at this point. I do still love the feel of a “real” book in my hands… and sometimes the formatting of the ebooks is wonky and confusing. But, I’m getting used to digital reading. I’m thrilled that I finally made the purchase that I agonized over for years… glad to have finally joined Angie and countless others on The Dark Side! πŸ˜‰

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15 Responses to Thoughts on my eReader

  1. Donna Alward says:

    Great post! I did the same thing – deliberate and ended up with the Sony touch. It was hard to decide between the touch and the pocket, but I also liked the jpg and mp3 capability of the touch too.

    I don’t know about organizing things on the pocket but in my sony library I created “collections” – and then just click and drag. So all my series romances are in one spot, YA in another, Women’s Fic in another, classics, etc…it makes for a lot less scrolling!

    Interesting what you said about the glare of the touch, because that is the one thing that gets me. I didn’t expect to have as much of it. And I did have a glitch once where if I used the button to turn the page it would scroll continuously (and drain my battery, and frustrate me no end) but once I reset the reader it was fine again.

  2. Jody says:

    Great post! I have a Sony e-reader and really love it as well! More people need to give ebooks a chance.

  3. Liz Fichera says:

    Very helpful post! I was so torn but I ended up going with the Nook a few weeks ago. Love it.

  4. ChrisB says:

    I love your review, that’s just the sort of thing I needed when I was asknig a million questions and deliberating and agonizing! Glad you joined us on the “dark side”…isn’t it fun here? We are about to become a 2-ereader household, in addition to my Nook (where I admittedly won’t allow anyone to touch without threat of death!) DH says we also need a Sony reader for the rest of the house to use. So the review of it comes at a great time.

  5. Terri says:

    I have a Kindle and Angie is wrong I buy from almost ALL the e-book stores. The only thing is I can not take a Kindle book and use it on another E-Reader, although now they have Kindle for PC so I can read them on my computer and on my netbook too.

  6. Angela James says:

    Terri, you probably buy non-DRM, small press books in PRC format. But you can’t, say, go to Books On Board and buy a book from Penguin or HarperCollins (or even Harlequin) and put it on your Kindle, or buy the Kindle proprietary AZW format. It’s a pretty important distinction, because for traditional publishers’ books, you’re limited to Amazon because the Kindle doesn’t take DRM-PRC files or any form of ePub at all, and Amazon doesn’t allow anyone but Amazon to sell AZW

  7. Erin says:

    I have NO idea what Angie just said… but, yeah, that’s why I didn’t buy a Kindle! LOL

  8. Jean says:

    Very interesting. I’d probably agree with all the rationale (except the hot pink — that’s a deal breaker for me; I’ve always hated hot pink). This sounds like a great reader, and I’ve been partial to Sony for most things except Walkmans (I’ve always lost the left channel in Walkmans, so I’ve sworn off them — do they even make them anymore?).

    I chose an iPad because I didn’t care if I got an eReader or not and didn’t want a dedicated device. The eReader capability (mostly the Kindle app) have sucked me in, and I’m using it for reading a LOT more than I ever anticipated I would.

    The $150 price is MUCH better than the iPad. I think it also has a much smaller footprint, too, so it may be less cumbersome. The 1.5 lb weight of the iPad is probably the upper limits of what you want to have to deal with while reading in bed at night. I’m sure the Sony weighs a LOT less than that.

  9. Erin says:

    Jean, according to the Sony site, the weight of the Pocket Reader is 7.76 oz. So, yes, much lighter than the iPad! Still, the iPad is a nifty device!! I’m still lusting after one!

  10. Mary says:

    Nice post. It’s funny how some people think if you have an e-reader you will never pick up a paper book again. I love reading from my e-reader but I have probably 150 paper books on my shelves that need to be read – and I want to read them! I still buy paper books. E-readers are just another way to read and I love reading from mine.

    On another note, I recently moved my blog to WP. Still trying to figure things out. I noticed you have the Sizzling Summer Bookclub button in your sidebar. HOW did you put it there? I can’t figure it out. I have other buttons in my sidebar but I couldn’t find code (or whatever its called) to add the SSBC button. Any help you can give me would be immensely appreciated.

  11. Erin says:

    Mary, re: WP sidebar fun stuff… I save the button image first to my computer, then to Photobucket. Then in the WP Dashboard, go to Appearance/Widgets/Add an Image. In the “Widget Image” box, copy the direct link from Photobucket in the Image URL spot. Then put the site’s URL in the “Link URL” spot.

    I hope this helps!! πŸ™‚

  12. Mary says:

    Thanks! I’ll give it a try. I haven’t used photobucket but I’m will πŸ™‚
    When I saved the button to my computer it saved the entire page, not just the button image. So I need to figure that out first I guess.

  13. Rhea says:

    Erin I was just looking yesterday at the different options I had for a ereader. I had no clue what I wanted. I saw this one and was thinking this was the one I wanted and now I know I’m sure. I just started really reading so I still may wait a while to make sure it will be worth it. Thanks for posting this.

  14. Erin says:

    I do love mine, Rhea! I think you’d be happy with a Pocket, too. Like I said, it’s not super fancy… and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other readers have… but it lets me read on it, which is really all I want to do! πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to hear what you think if you get one!!

  15. Pingback: 2010: Looking Back (the Book Edition) | Crazy Comma Momma

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