After reading so many reviews and opinions about Amazon’s Kindle, I conclude that it is catching on. People are broadly positive about it and the reading experience, especially when it saves them from carrying a pile of books (eg technical manuals) around the world. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to buy one in the UK, although one enterprising Australian author told us at Harrogate that she had obtained a Kindle on Ebay and finds it indispensable.
Help is now at hand for those desperate to try out this reading method, in the shape of the next version of the Sony e-reader, almost available in the UK (it has got to the pre-order stage, anyway). If you are keen, Waterstones is offering Sony’s Reader at £199 and 500 points, from waterstones.com or some stores. The Reader comes with a CD of 100 “classic” (out of copyright) books; 6,800 page-turns per battery; the ability to store and view a range of file formats, such as PDF, Microsoft Word, mp3 and various picture formats; bookmark and a three-times zoom; as well as various navigational features, e-ink of various degrees of black, and a six-inch screen. I have to admit I am tempted. According to Waterstone’s website, the Sony Reader will be in the shops from early September, simultaneous with “thousands” of e-books also going on sale. (The reader holds up to 160 at a time, it is said.)