Friday, July 31, 2009

The Digital Debate - Susan Rix Gives a Passionate Reader's View of the Sony E-Reader

Sony E-Reader For the Passionate Reader
by Susan Rix

For those of us passionate about reading, why a Sony E-Reader? That's a good question and one I've tried to answer time and again to my hubby and many of my friends who simply do not get it. First off, the benefits of using an E-reader in general.Storage - A Sony Reader is a fabulous storage solution, especially if you've downsized to a teeny tiny cottage like I have. Our spare bedroom is packed floor to ceiling with books of all kinds and space is a real issue, but not now I have my E-reader!Convenience - If, like me, you mostly read at bedtime (why is it the only place we get the peace we need sometimes?) you probably get earache from your partner wanting you to turn the pages quietly and/or turn the light out. Sound familiar? Trust me on this: my Sony Reader has helped to avert marital strife. I can now turn the pages of my book at the click of a button. There's another button that will also put a bookmark in, so there's no fumbling for these either when you're sleepy and wanting to put your book down. Yep, for me, it's another win-win situation.

Travel - The Reader is the perfect thing for avid book lovers when it's time to pack some reading material, whether it's for a vacation, long journey, or even an appointment waiting room. You can carry all your books in your handbag! This is great if you're never quite sure what mood you're going to be in as you literally have your own library with you at the touch of a button. Beats lugging around a suitcase full of books everywhere!

Variety - My reading taste's eclectic and changeable. Sometimes a romance might not give me what I'm looking for. Perhaps I need to read a thriller, historical or an autobiography/non fiction title, or a literary or classic book. With the Reader it's no problem. No more heavy sighing or cursing how I can't locate the book I want. And no, 'that' one won't do, it has to be the specific one!

Organisation - On my Reader, I can organise my books into collections. For my Harlequin Mills & Boons I have a separate 'shelf' for all the different series. At the click of a button I can choose a Modern, Romance, Medical, Historical, Spice, or wherever else my mood wants to takes me. Perfecto – and a lot easier than struggling to control or search through an overflowing bookcase...

A common criticism against E-books and readers goes like this: "But, I love 'real' books. The smell, the print, the whole turning the page thing." This may come as a surprise, but so do I! Okay, not strictly true because I have an aversion to mouldy, dirty books from second-hand bookshops (and occasionally library books). I mean, there are times when you wonder where some of these books have been, don't you think? For me, the beauty of my Sony Reader is that it's gorgeous to look at and touch. It's true that the smell isn't there but for what the Reader gives you that's a small price to pay, even if you do love the smell of print books, right?
Some might argue that E-Readers are not a replacement for print books. As far as I'm concerned, they don’t have to be. My e-books complement my print books. They do not diminish or replace them. One example is when I first started reading an e-book on my laptop. I was enjoying the story so much that I wanted to continue reading at bedtime. Have you ever tried reading from your laptop in bed? It isn't comfortable.

Why choose Sony over another brand? I've been waiting for this question! For starters, it looks absolutely wonderful, beautiful in fact, but that’s not the main reason. I'm sure I'm not the only person whose eyes get fatigued - especially after sitting at a computer all day. Well, the Reader has the fantastic ability to increase (or decrease) the size of the font on the page! I have to admit I was dubious about this in the beginning, but once again, it's so quick and easy to do and it doesn't detract from the story either. It feels the same as a print book, only better! Other Readers might well offer this option but Sony have it all mapped out to perfection.

Sue is a member of the RNA's New Writers Scheme and blogs regularly here.

12 comments:

Hazel Patching said...

I have to admit that I'm of the 'I like real books' league, but I can't deny the beauty of an e reader, my OH is always moaning about me having the light on in bed when I read and although most of my handbags are big enough to house a book, it's a problem when I'm nearing the end of a book and need to carry 2!

Thanks for this Sue, it's made me see the virtues of an e book and I know what I want for Christmas this year :-)

Sue Locke said...

Have been thinking of this for a while. Dont have the OH prob as have a clip on booklight. Hmmm. Dear Santa ....

Liz Fielding said...

I think I'll be going with the Sony. Roll on Christmas!

Lori x said...

I've always enjoyed a real book, but there is something very compelling from the arguments being put forward here! I'm definitely moving out of the never ever camp to the maybe camp!!

Susan Rix said...

Hazel, I admit I wasn't converted until recently. I didn't jump on board until I realised that Harlequin Mills & Boon offered the choice. Not only does it allow me to buy out-of-date books that I've missed but it saves on postage too!

A word of warning though...you can get Readers with a built-in light but mine doesn't have this. I use a clip-on torch light and it's still preferable to having to move it every time I want to turn a page on a paperback.

Susan Rix said...

Sue and Liz, what can I say? I'll keep my fingers crossed that Santa's listening... xx

Yayy, Lori! Come on over - you won't regret it. I still enjoy reading real books (I have sooo many on my TBR shelves) but it is wonderful to have the choice. There are also stories that only come out in e-pub, not to mention the 60 freebie titles that Harlequin are giving away as part of their 60th Anniversary celebrations.

Victoria Blisse said...

I have just ordered myself a Sony eBook reader and I am impatiently waiting for it's delivery.

I can't wait to have so many books so easy to access. I can never find the ones I want even when I own them because I have so many!

Jenny Haddon said...

Sue, how long did it take you to get used to using it? Or did you just and the Sony EReader just clock straight off?

Susan Rix said...

Ooh, Victoria, I remember that impatience! Hope it arrives soon and don't forget it'll need charging for a few hours before you can use it. I found that a toughie once mine arrived!

Susan Rix said...

Jenny, downloading the books was easy. Sorting them into collections took me a bit longer, but that was more of a reflection on me than the Sony. I was surprised by the speed I got used to it.

It's especially good when reading outside (if we ever get a summer) because there isn't any glare on the screen from the sun (plus the pages don't get smeared with sun-cream!).

Louise Allen said...

I had a look at the Sony e-reader site and it seemed to imply you could only download books via Waterstones. Is that right?

Susan Rix said...

I've never (yet) downloaded a book via Waterstones. So long as there's a choice of pdf or Adobe digital it's fine.