Blogging about the Sony Reader from 38000 Feet

OK. It’s not often I say something nice about American Airlines – especially since they now charge for everything from checked baggage to a crappy sandwich over and above the ticket price. But being able to surf from up here *is* pretty cool. I’m on AA75 from Dulles to LAX if you must know 🙂

This post does have something to do with e-books though. Because I was going to spend this flight getting up close and personal with the Sony Reader. I spent half an hour on purchase day setting it up. Out of the box, it needed a battery top up. (It doesn’t come with a charger, which is fine – because the voltage would have been wrong anyway, so charges via USB) Twenty minutes did it which was time enough to sort things out Mac-side. 

As we all know, the Reader is ostensibly PC only. And ostensibly US only as far as content is concerned. But I’d done some digging before commiting my hard earned (and at 62 cents to the Aussie dollar, it hurts rather a lot at the moment.) I’d already downloaded Calibre and lo and behold once the little Sony was charged, it showed up as an icon in the Calibre window. I’d also found some lrf files on the darknet somewhere and it took about five minutes to get a Jack Reacher novel transferred to the Reader. Yes, my choice of in-flight reading is limited to crappy thrillers from a single author 🙂

Anyhow, I had a quick browse and my first impressions were

1. It’s physically very nice. Not ugly at all, and much much slimmer than I expected. It slips into my computer bag and seems to take up much less space than a boxed DVD. (I don’t have a boxed DVD with me so I can’t say for sure)

2. The screen looks pretty average in low light – but get it under a good reading light (as if you were reading a printed book) and it’s very very good. Sunlight seemed to work well too.

3. The interface is slow and clunky. I said the same thing about the iliad – but the iphone has spoiled everything else. Friends who were with me when I bought it couldn’t get their brains around the lack of a touchscreen and the slow responses of the physical buttons. The PRS-700 seems a lot better.

4. The flash between page turns is pretty annoying. Hard to tell how annoying after only a quick ‘read test’ – and that was going to be what *this* flight was for. Sidetracked by the net instead!!

Once I’ve read a whole book on the Sony, I’ll post more comments. But it seems like a pretty cool toy so far. (And there’s *plenty* at the Borders in Silver Spring if you’re taking this as a recommendation!!)

6 comments so far

  1. […] Update On Sony Reader Sold Blogging about the Sony Reader from 38000 Feet […]

  2. mikecane on

    >>>I’d also found some lrf files on the darknet somewhere and it took about five minutes to get a Jack Reacher novel transferred to the Reader.

    Ouch. I hope you own the paper book too. I don’t like seeing writers go unpaid.

  3. shermanfyoung on

    Hi Mike – yeah, gotta confess the bookshelves are full of Lee Child books. I tell people it’s just for plane rides 🙂

    Any thoughts on making the Sony Bookstore work from Oz? (Haven’t tried it yet – gotta get my hands on a Windows box first, but you might have some tips…)

  4. John Warren on

    Just out of curiosity, why the Sony Reader and not the Amazon Kindle? Did you feel the Reader was the better device? Why?
    btw, great to meet you at the conference.
    Nice blog!

  5. shermanfyoung on

    Hi John

    Good to meet you in DC too. I chose the Sony because I could walk into a Borders store and buy one. I think you have to buy a kindle from Amazon, and they won’t sell outside the US. You also need access to the Sprint network to get the Amazon content – another impossibility from Australia!!

    (Not to mention, it’s ugly!!)

  6. Savva on

    With sony you have much more content.
    If you can’t find a book in .lrf use this converter

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