E-book reader battle continued...

by Lara Killian

29 March 2009


Yet another distracting factor in my ongoing mental vacillation between coveting Amazon’s Kindle or Sony’s Reader: Sony has recently teamed up with Google to get access to all those public domain digital versions of Jane Austen and Shakespeare Google has been stockpiling.
Sony proclaims that it has just increased its Reader-compatible offerings by half a million free ebooks. Amazon only boasts a catalog of 250,000—but those are mostly bestsellers and more contemporary stuff. I feel like I need to make a “pros/cons” list of the advantages and disadvantages of each e-book reader. Amazon’s titles can be downloaded wirelessly, while Sony’s have to be loaded up manually after downloading to your computer. Sony is PDF compatible, while Amazon uses its own proprietary software. On the Reader I can get free Dickens, but would I rather read Kindle bestsellers (and pay the ten bucks)? Top of the Kindle bestseller list is currently Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, so there is some scrolling involved to find current titles I’m actually interested in, but I know they’re out there. Another con: on the second page of Kindle bestsellers is the Kindle Cookbook—a $4 manual for how to get the most out of your device. Shouldn’t that information be free? Especially with Sony now able to offer so many titles gratis.

Perhaps I should simply invest in a swanky full screen color iPod instead—if I could stand reading a book on an even smaller screen. On second thought…

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