I broke down and picked up an inexpensive ereader last night. A Sony PRS 300.

I decided not to put in a ton of time into researching the market alternatives as the technology is somewhat in transition. I am also interested to see what Apple may bring to the market. However, there were factors that drove me to try the platform now.

Weight and portability. Whenever I travel, I like to read. However, taking several books on a trip always presents a challenge particularly when traveling by air. Hardcover books are heavy and they take up a lot of space.

Legibility. As I now have to use progressive bifocals, finding the sweet spot on a larger hardcover edition is annoying. I am always moving my head. And reading at night becomes a balancing act as I try to move the book in the right direction of my focus area.

Archiving. Although I do not re-read books regularly, I like to have them accessible. Many years of collecting books means many bookshelves.

In much the same way that I have moved my music collection to iTunes — outside of the studio work most of my listening is done against 256kbps AAC files — I expect to increasingly build my collection of ebooks. The downside is that I cannot migrate my existing collection of physical books.

The ability to travel with a couple of hundred books on a digital device is very appealing. Using a device configured for reading, such as the eInk technology found in ereaders, makes the transtion to digital much easier than trying to read books on a computer or an iPod.

I was reading on my new ereader last night and it was a great experience. Lightweight, easy on the eyes, and a very straightforward user experience.

4 replies
  1. G F Mueden
    G F Mueden says:

    Oh, I read you (!!!) and understand. When I travel I like to read shilling shockers (that dates me and places me) and in the upper crust of British country house detective stories, peopled by the well educated, there are so many literary references that I am lost without my Bartlett’s and my Benet’s Reader’s Encycloperia. l need them with me. If they are available in an e-reader I’d go for it.

    However, my eyes are going and I need good sized type and high contrast, or a good combination of the two. Pleae tell us (me) how your Sony PRS-300 does with this problem. ===gm===

  2. Allen Woolfrey
    Allen Woolfrey says:

    Richard, welcome to the progressive bifocal cohort. I have two recommendations:

    1. Get progressives optimized for computer screen distance and reading. They make using a computer much more comfortable than finding that sweet spot.

    2. Get pure reading glasses. I no longer try to read with my standard progressives. It’s much more relaxing to use prescription reading glasses.

    This means two more pair of glasses to carry around, but the vast increase in comfort is well worth it.

    Cheers, Al.

    • Richard Cleaver
      Richard Cleaver says:

      Hi Al,

      Yes. I find that I am constantly tilting my head upwards to focus in on the computer screen. And with a book, I am constantly moving my head side to side.

      Something to be said for comfort 🙂


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