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Waterstone's are going to start selling the Sony Reader from the 3rd Sept. I'm very tempted. In fact the only thing putting me off is the price tag - £199 is a bit much for a toy. The other thing that concerns me is availability of titles, and the price of them. I know that this subject has been debated elsewhere on the forum and opinions vary.

 

I was just wondering whether any of our non-UK contributors had used this reader and had any opinions to share?

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I have to say, it's not often that Waterstone's are so quick off the mark...apparently their website is the only place you will be able to download quality ebooks as well, or something to that effect? I'm going to get one if I can use my staff discount.

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Oxymoron?

 

I know, preposterous. The term used in the press release was different; it still made me cringe but escapes my memory. I won't say too much, some employer's do not look kindly on rogue booksellers who take to the net with their opinions...

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I'm not sure what Waterstone's will offer for ebook selection. However, that's probably your best bet for purchasing ebooks. Most ebooks by established, bestselling authors are usually encrypted--meaning that you can only read them to the device you specified or use the software you specified. I think that may be what they were referring to by "quality ebooks". If you want to branch out into some of the genres (ie. romance, erotica, sci-fi, mystery), there is a plethora available in multi-format--meaning there is no encryption and you can read them on any compatible device or with any software. If Waterstone's only offers the "quality" ebooks, you can check out Fictionwise for additional titles. Never pay money for an ebook in the public domain. Those can be downloaded for free, but some places try to charge you.

 

I'm not sure what image software it will come with, but I recommend downloading some maps from Mapquest or some other such website. That will come in handy no matter what you read. Even if you read classics, you can find maps of that time period on the internet.

 

I envy you the e ink. I'm still waiting for PDAs to have that at an affordable price.

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I envy you the e ink. I'm still waiting for PDAs to have that at an affordable price.
I've never seen an 'e-ink' display and that's one of the things which has piqued my interest. As for 'affordable', well, that's a matter of opinion!
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I've just had an email from Waterstone's inviting me to enter a competition to get my paws on one of these things early in order to write them a review. I really wish I was good at writing snappy paragraphs!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the link, I don't usually listen to Open Book so I'd have missed it. As it was it made me lust after the Sony Reader even more, and as I seem to have failed in my attempt to win one, I'm going to have to think of a cunning plan!

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  • 3 months later...

Twas my birthday yesterday and I got one of these. I have loaded up some of the classics that I fancy reading (may actually get around to reading Great Expectations one day). I think I will probably start with an old favourite such a Jane Austen as I think it will take a bit of getting used to and reading a book I am familiar with should help. It is rather lovely though. The display is quite easy on the eye and it can be magnified which could prove useful as the years go by. The page turn blink is a bit annoying but I tend to look away as that happens.

 

Waterstones appear to have around 6200 ebooks available so not a bad start. I am also investigating a US site called booksonboard.com but I am not sure if the copyright might be a problem. I will drop back in here in a couple of weeks when I have used it a bit more,

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  • 3 months later...

I was given a Sony Reader for Christmas by MOH. I have managed to master some of the instructions and load some of the novels from the 100 on one of the discs. There is a second disc with information and instruction manual - from the latter I have printed off some of the instructions so that I have them to hand when using the Reader (a personal quirk).

 

On the plus side the size and weight are excellent - it is about the size of a paperback but very thin. I have one of the faux leather covers so it feels as if I am actually opening and reading a book. The screen takes up 80% of the surface and, as donnae says, can be magnified; there are in fact three sizes to choose from. It is also possible to move the display so that you read the screen sideways - it gives a longer line of print to run the eye along. I have tried previous readers (is that what a PDA is?) from the library but the back-lit screen was very wearing on my eyes. The 'e-ink' screen on the Reader is not and my aged eyes have no problem with it at all.

 

The controls are neatly placed down the right hand side, or at the bottom and with all the new technology these days such as mobile phones and i-pods, they are in keeping with that ilk. There are two means of 'turning the page' and I prefer the one on the side of the Reader because my fingers can manipulate that easier.

 

On the down side, I have to agree with donnae that the page turning 'flick' can be a little bothersome, but I have found that after a while it is not a great problem; sometimes I blink or look away and at others I am so engrossed in what I'm reading I don't realise it has happened.

 

As yet I have not purchased any e-books from Waterstones - or anywhere else - but I have noted the suggestions made here for future use. When I loaded the Reader I was automatically linked both to a Sony website and to Waterstone's, so it will be quite a simple matter to look through the catalogue of e-books the latter site holds.

 

It is also possible to store music on the Reader and listen to it with headphones - if that is your preference - and it will also store some photographs. Quite a neat tool as far as I'm concerned.

 

One of the best things I have got from my Sony Reader is discovering the writing of Voltaire. I have to admit I would not have picked up a book with his name on it in a bookshop. The 100 novels disc contained Letters on England by Voltaire and I have found this very engaging and amusing writing.

 

I can see the Reader's applications for holidays (and for me when I go into hospital next month too). But on the downside of that the battery will need recharging on a computer after a few hours (I have not actually timed this fact yet but my guess would be about 6 hours - the battery also seems to discharge even when the Reader is not in use). Alternatively I will need to purchase a charger and whilst I have not priced this up yet I am willing to bet it is quite costly.

 

Apologies for a long review, but I though it might be informative or encouraging to some.

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Hope it's nothing serious Barblue?
Not very, thanks Squirls. I suppose you could say a repair job due to the ageing process. I could be sat in front of the computer for a few weeks afterwards so I will probably be using BGO quite a bit - and reading lots of course, which is where the Reader will come in useful.

 

Glad you liked the review JDE. Do let us know if you get your hands on one. I would love to know other views on it.

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I can see the Reader's applications for holidays (and for me when I go into hospital next month too). But on the downside of that the battery will need recharging on a computer after a few hours (I have not actually timed this fact yet but my guess would be about 6 hours - the battery also seems to discharge even when the Reader is not in use). Alternatively I will need to purchase a charger and whilst I have not priced this up yet I am willing to bet it is quite costly.

 

Apologies for a long review, but I though it might be informative or encouraging to some.

 

Great review. I am loving my Reader more and more and in fact the past 6 books I have read, have all been on my Reader. Booksonboard is brilliant and much easier to navigate that the Waterstones site. The prices are quite good and lots of the books come with "Rewards" - money that can be added to your account against future purchases.

 

I don't know if you have a Sony PSP BB, but if you do, the charger is compatible with the Reader and I use it for charging mine.

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Thanks for the tips about Booksonboard and the charger donnae. I don't have a PSP, but I think other family members might, so I will ask around for any spares going. In fact I priced up the Reader charger in the Sony shop this weekend and was told they were £24.99 which is cheaper than I expected. I would have bought one but they were out of stock!

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I've wanted a Reader since I first heard about them but I'm having to save my pennies - which is taking a long time as I'm not too good at doing so!

 

Loved your review Barbloue but it's made me want one even more! Best wishes for your hospital stay x

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Does anyone know if this reader will go into speech and read the book to you, say if you wanted to carry on reading, but had to make the dinner or something?

 

I have a friend who's interested in getting one. She has arthritis and also wants to know if the controls are easy to use.

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Does anyone know if this reader will go into speech and read the book to you, say if you wanted to carry on reading, but had to make the dinner or something?
So far I have only been able to read from the screen. The only audio is the music you can load onto the machine and then listen to through headphones whilst reading. I do like your idea though Star - many's the time I have wanted to carry on reading whilst cooking or cleaning. I suppose that's why I also buy spoken word CDs too.

 

I have a friend who's interested in getting one. She has arthritis and also wants to know if the controls are easy to use.
There are, of course, differing levels of arthritis. I suffer from this in all my joints, which means I have problems holding small items and opening jars. Can't say I have found any problems with the Reader on this front. The buttons for turning the page forwards or backwards are on the right side of the machine on a bevelled edge. It is about the size of the top edge of my thumb nail so it is very easy to use. There is another dial on the bottom left-hand corner of the face that can be used for this which is slightly larger, but I find that awkward only because I have to move my hand down to that place - it is easy to manipulate. All the other controls are very easy to use in my experience.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been dribbling over the reader since about July last year and havn't managed to get my hands on one yet but I do however have a Nintendo DS and they've just released 100 Classic books for that.

I must say, I've really become quite accustomed to electronic reading and would recommend it for anyone who has a lot on their plate. I started using my DS for reading when my daughter was only a month old and I found it possible to read at times and while doing things that I couldn't have done before. I became quite easy to flip a couple of pages while boiling the kettle, feeding or even changing a nappy. Also, if something unexpected were to happen you don't need to worry about saving your page.

I'm now back at work and it takes me an hour to walk to and back from my childminder and I get this hour every day as quality reading time thanks to my DS. I just flip it open and hold it easily in 1 hand while I push the buggy and as long as there isn't too much footpath traffic I can read happily while walking.

I still read my "normal" books when I actually get the time to sit and read but I've found this method so effective for reading on the go. I assume the reader would have the same advantages and be even better for this because it tailored specifically for reading.

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