Going Off-Page

London, Reading & Writing

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.

10 comments on “Going Off-Page”

  1. madmary says:

    I bought a Sony ereader a couple of years ago as I was going away for a month. It was brilliant for being able to have reading matter when away from home with limited packing space. I love mine although I’m more into listening to books at the moment. Another advantage is my limited living space and not really having a lot of room to store books although paper versions do creap in from time to time.

    Enjoy!

    Mary

  2. I actually read short stories on my iPod (instapaper is an awesome app), but I just can’t get into the e-readers. Mostly for the reasons you listed above, but also because I like being able to lose myself in a real book.

    It could also be that because I’m a book designer, I’m loathe to go all-digital.

  3. Jules says:

    Totally agree with arthurprefect here. You really can’t beat the physical act of page-turning! Tried the Sony e-reader, the kindle and the iPad and I still prefer the real thing. Besides, us girls need to retain the excuse that we have to spend fortunes on large, designer handbags that must be big enough to hold a book!

  4. Alan Morgan says:

    I think with that psychic paper held like that you’d make a wicked Dr Who. :0)

  5. Gretta says:

    Alan makes a good point. So should I be worried that I can’t read anything on said psychic paper?

    As for eBooks, yada yada. I’m much more interested in where you got the print of Divine. ;)

  6. Rick says:

    Agree with Arthur re INSTAPAPER app (though I find reading on the iPhone a challenge – I email myself links to the useful stuff to read on my computer. Very good. I just got the new iPad and find it’s great as a reader. Using it with both the Kindle App and Stanza for ebooks, it’s swell for everything from PDFs to magazines. Though it’s not as small as the other readers, it’s not that big a deal to tote around.

  7. Alison says:

    I have a Kindle – it is all of six weeks old – and I love it. Nothing will replace books, but when you’re short of space like I am, a Kindle is the answer.

  8. Stephen Groves says:

    Hi Chris,
    Have a Kindle, can’t get all the books I whant to read on it.Those I can get will in most cases be from a restricted selection or only be part of a series, if that is the format books take. What is the point?

    All Best
    STALKY

  9. Just popping in again to let you know that you can actually get US-release books from Amazon, at least. A friend of mine registered his Amazon account with a UK credit card, but listed his address as 18 Broad Street in NYC, the address of the NY Stock Exchange. It was accepted without issue, and they do not verify which country the card is attached to.

    So it’s something to try, I suppose.

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