Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sony eReader

So, I finally made a decision and chose an eReader. I went for the Sony (pictured below), as it is compatible with at least one ebook retailer in the UK (Waterstone’s). I must say, the machine’s fantastic. It’s small, light, and feels like a metal book. Not perfect, but also far from bad.

I’ve made a couple of interesting (ok, “geeky”) observations: eBooks from Waterstone’s online store have a slower refresh-rate than eBooks from the Sony store.

Waterstone’s uses Adobe’s eBook format, while Sony uses the BBeB format. I don’t really have any more technical information than that, but for thrillers and really gripping novels, I image it’ll be really annoying reading them on this reader, as the page turn speed can be a little… tiresome on stuff I’ve bought from Waterstone’s. The Sony store also has a much better selection of Politics books, and the special offers are actually special – Waterstone’s just has 20% off a price that’s more than a full-price paperback/hardback, which Sony’s store has comparable offers to Amazon’s Kindle shop, as well as some great deals. For example, I recently got Lee Child’s Persuader absolutely free, and Brian Ruckley’s Winterbirth for only $1. Waterstone’s? Not a sausage, when it comes to decent prices.

Some examples of pricing disparities (book/eBook, where applicable):

James Patterson’s Run For Your Life

  • Amazon US: $15.95/$9.99
  • Amazon UK: £9.53 (hb)
  • Sony: $11.99
  • Waterstone’s: £13.29/£17.47

Kristin Cashore’s Graceling

  • Amazon US: $11.05/$9.99
  • Amazon UK: £6.99
  • Sony: $11.90
  • Waterstone’s: £7.99/£14.86

Also, it must be said that the quality of the eBooks from Waterstone’s are nowhere near as good as those from Sony’s store – the pages aren’t justified, the cover artwork is either grainy or non-existent, and it all just looks either rushed or cheap, which makes the extra cost doubly annoying.

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(Pictured with Leslie Gelb’s Power Rules ready to read, purchased from the Sony Store)

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