An embarassingly short time ago I ranted against eReaders in general, stating that it was highly unlikely that I would ever own one of the devices. And if I did, it wouldn't be for a long time. Well, I'm eating my words now. After some serious comparison shopping, my husband picked me out an eReader for Christmas. He got me the Sony Reader, Pocket Edition (5" screen) and I absolutely love it.
First and foremost, I love how user friendly the Sony is. It's a touch screen, allowing me to navigate easily between books or functions. I can read eBooks on it, I can listen to music or audiobooks, and I can store my own pictures to use as screensavers. I can take notes with the stylus in my own handwriting, or I can highlight passages to be referred to later. I especially love that I can look up any unfamiliar words by double tapping them, and I can choose from several dictionaries.
The Sony allows the reader to go into "sleep" mode when not in use with the simple flick of a switch at the top. So if I'm reading a book on it and need to go and do something else, I put it to "sleep" and wake it up by sliding the same button. I don't have to reload anything, and it goes right to the page that I was at. The battery stays charged for about 7,500 continuous page turns (approximately 2 weeks), and the unit stores about 1,200 books.
I find the screen and its eInk technology easy on my eyes, and this weekend hubby is going to buy me a case with a light for when I want to read in dim light (they were out of stock at Christmas). I also love that the text size is adjustable and that the Reader remembers which text size you prefer for which book.
My favourite feature? The Sony reads both PDF files (great for review copies) and ePub formats, as well as several additional formats. I've already taken advantage of my library's e-lending program to borrow an eBook. I don't have to drive there to pick up a book, and when I'm done it returns itself- no late fees! I've also been using NetGalley and have loaded my Reader with some exciting titles! Books in seconds: a great way to feed my addiction.
There are a few drawbacks to it, the main one being that I can't bring it into the bathtub with me, which is my favourite place to read. I also have to be careful when reading outside in inclement weather, which happens. It's also far more fragile than a paperback (although the construction is impressive) and I'm a little afraid of breaking my new toy. And of course, it's not possible to lend a friend a book with the Sony yet.
Overall, the Sony Reader is a great addition to my library. Do I think that I will ever give up hard copies? No, definitely not. I'll still continue to add to my physical library through bookstore and used bookstore purchases, as well as those enticing review copies. But as an additional way to read and review books? I'm hooked. And now, I will officially eat my words.