Review: The Sony Reader

By Superwench83

I was one of those who was slow to embrace the concept of an electronic reading device. One who said a book in hand was worth more than a book on screen, that nothing could beat the old-fashioned feel of flipping through those pages. But I began to see the convenience of having my favorite nonfiction books in one portable little reference. Then I got to thinking how great it would be to carry a sleek e-reader in my purse rather than a massive hardback novel. And thus I began to covet the Sony Reader.

If you’ve already considered these benefits and others, you’re probably already sold on the idea of an electronic reading device. In your case, my goal is to share my experiences with the Sony Reader, Touch edition, thus informing any decision you wish to make. And for those who aren’t convinced, who don’t think e-readers are the greatest innovation in written communication since stone tablets went by the wayside: I am here to make a believer out of you.

The Sony Reader has a number of benefits and features which make for a wonderful reading experience. For starters, it’s instant. With a broadband connection, you can find, buy, and begin reading a book in as little as ten minutes. (Those with dial-up can expect to wait a bit longer.) How many times have you been at home, ready to settle in for the night with a good book, and realized you have nothing to read? It’s pretty amazing to be able to turn on my computer and let a book download while I make some hot chocolate to drink for when I sit down to read.

Another thing I love is the Create Notes feature, which allows you to highlight text and scribble your thoughts right on the page—a sacrilegious thing to do to a paper novel according to many. And all notes can be erased without a trace if you so desire. You can also hide the notes if you want to read a clean copy of the book without deleting your scribbles and highlights. Best of all, every note you make is instantly recorded in a chronologically-ordered table of contents for easy reference. The Create Notes feature means no more interrupting my reading to hunt for pen and paper when I want to write something down. All I need is the stylus which comes with the Reader, conveniently and securely stored on the Reader’s top right side.

Additionally, the Sony Reader’s size has benefits I’d never considered. A paper book can be heavy. With large hardbacks, you need two hands to support the weight of the open book, and even with smaller mass market paperbacks, it’s difficult to hold the book and turn pages using only one hand. This means that laying down and getting comfortable while you read can sometimes be a challenge. But with a slim Reader, no book is too big to hold one-handed. And you can use that same hand to turn the page with ease.

Other features of the Sony Reader, Touch edition: It’s got a larger screen than the Pocket edition. (And as the name indicates, the Touch edition is a touch screen.) It’s got instant bookmark-ing. Any time you stop reading any book, the Reader marks your place so you can pick up right where you left off. (And these bookmarks don’t fall out!) You can create text memos, drawings, and handwritten documents. You can download PDF and Microsoft Word documents to the Reader, making it ideal for almost everyone. Students can make notes on documents while on the go, and people whose jobs require them to review documents on a computer screen will find the Reader a marvelous device. It’s easier on the eyes than a computer screen and more portable than even the smallest laptop. You can even store audio files and pictures there.

Since the Sony Reader, Touch edition is the only e-reader I’ve used, I can’t compare it to similar devices such as the Kindle. But I am absolutely thrilled with my Sony Reader. I knew I would be, but I honestly had no idea I would love it this much. If you’ve been thinking of getting one but aren’t sure if it’s worth the investment, I would bet that it is. This is an amazing piece of technology. And I do believe it is the wave of the future.

9 thoughts on “Review: The Sony Reader

  1. Superwrench83, you certainly make a passionate case for a Sony Reader and ebooks in general. I love being able to buy and hold a physical book, but I agree that ebooks are the wave of the future. Though for me, the technology will have to increase considerably and the price will have to come down quite a bit before I’m willing to put any money into an ebook.

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  2. I went with an iPod touch because I didn’t want a one-use device. I like it, but I’m still looking for a decent PDF reader. The Stanza apps displays actual ebooks quite nicely.

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  3. Benjamin, I wasn’t going to buy the Reader because of the price, either. But I have a fantastic husband who got it for me for Christmas. Myself, I had been trying to talk him into an iPhone because I figured he’d find it more practical, since it was a phone as well. I do agree that until the price of e-readers comes down, their sales won’t be as high.

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    • Urg. I meant to say that the iPhone was a phone and you can read novels on it, too.

      And I have to say that another feature I love about the Reader is that you can make the fonts huge, creating less strain on the eyes.

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  4. Writing notes would be useful for book reviews – much friendlier on the book than turning over page corners and hoping I’ll remember what I was thinking on that particular page.

    Might get one when the prices eventually drop.

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  5. I’m so glad you reviewed Sony’s reader. I’ve been looking at Kindle and Nook seriously ever since B&N announced theirs but haven’t considered the Sony yet. It was next on my list to investigate. I was sorely disappointed in the reviews and strategy of Nook on a number of levels and am not thrilled with Kindle’s proprietary file system, so I’d like to check out everything Sony has to offer. Thanks for the great review!

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  6. Great review! Another convert to the world of ebooks! yay!!!

    (One thing to consider before buying –look for the books you might want to read on the ereader. Selection is getting better, but there’s still a lot of misses when it comes to waiting for some of the books I want…)

    Maria

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