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Some of us have been reading only ebooks for years

Kevin Tofel comments that some of us have been reading ebooks exclusively for years. Welcome to the 21st centuty, WSJ. :-)

I’ve been reading ebooks exclusively (bought from Peanut Press/Palm Digital Media/eReader) for years now, too. Nice to see the world catching up. :-)

That said, the new Sony ebook device is intriguing. I played around with Phillip Torrone’s Sony Librie from Japan that he hacked to show other ebook formats, and the display was incredible. The eInk really is impressive, and I’m presuming this is the same technology in the device they showed off at CES, and plan to bring to the U.S. this year (from everything I’ve read, it is).

I definitely wouldn’t mind having a dedicated ebook reader like the Sony unit, and will probably pick one up unless the price is too high. I wouldn’t really want to pay much more than $100 for a single purpose device. If I’m going to pay $300 for a device to read ebooks on, which is the price they’ve been floating around, I’d buy a Dell Axim x50v with a VGA screen that can do a whole lot more than just read books. I hope Sony doesn’t price themselves out of the market on this one. It will only give more ammo to those that say ebooks will never catch on.

It will also depend greatly on the formats that it can read. Text, HTML, and PDF are a minimum. I also want to be able to read Palm Reader’s PDB format – that’s what most of my library is in, and when I buy new books, that’s the format I use. It’s the only one with sensible DRM – you unlock the book using the credit card number that you used to buy the book. If you’re going to illegally share a book you bought, you’ll have to give out your credit card number along with it.

Also, I feel kind of dirty thinking about buying another Memory Stick device. :-)

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2 thoughts on “Some of us have been reading only ebooks for years

  1. 1) Text, HTML, and PDF are supported. Some conversion to BBeB (Sony proprietary format) for some is necessary. I doubt that PDB will be supported, but you might be able to convert those to txt and then cross-convert them again. Perhaps write a shell script to automate it…

    2) Reader also takes SD cards, so you don’t have to buy any more memsticks if you don’t want to.

  2. I’m with you Josh: my Axim X50v is the perfect ebook device for me. Obviously, this is a personal choice and doesn’t apply to everyone, however, I worked in a library for 6 years in a past life and after reading ebooks, I simply can’t go back. A PDA with EVDO, WiFi or other internet connectivity gives you access to purchase books on the fly; this (along with eInk) is the big strategy by Sony…nothing really new here!

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