Okay, I’ve taken a step I probably shouldn’t have; I’ve bought a 5″ Sony eReader. Here are the pros and cons, as I can see them so far.
1. If you’re a Mac user, it gives you a glimpse of the arthritic world of the PC. Interface is ugly and slow (although no less ugly than the Kindle). Transferring files is not instinctive, and requires that you create a library, register for Adobe and log onto your chosen store – three contradictory steps.
2. You must also shift books from library to reader via sync – again, a bit trial and error.
3. Awesome small size also means that ‘Bleak House’ now runs to about a billion pages.
3. Ugly positive-negative flash every time you change pages.
4. Shop assistant warned me off of Kindle for ‘thin screens that are always cracking’. Says he replaces ten a week.
5. No wifi is fine (do I need more wifi in my life?) but you may find yourself setting up several libraries on different devices. Cue syncing issues.
6. Magazines pointless on this device unless you always have your computer with you to download them.
7. Will not replace books as feared but will be the perfect travelling device.
8. Means kitchen counter is now charging two iphones, two laptops, two ipods, an ipad and an ereader. Realise I have become slave to gadgetry.
9. Waterstone’s eBook site is like wading through bin-bags of unlabelled novels in a shop basement with the lights off. It would help if they told you which books were electronically available, for a start. Appears to have been designed by somebody living on the Isle of Wight before the Second World War.
10. No technology in the world is as wonderful as the sight, smell and touch of a 1968 Pan paperback.