Sony's Reader or Amazon's Kindle?

CNN’s Business Traveler posted reviews this morning of both Sony’s Reader and Amazon’s Kindle. For those of you that don’t know both the Reader and the Kindle are electronic books: little gadgets about the size of a paperback that will hold lots of books in their large electronic memories. In other words – pure heaven to anyone who’s both a bibliophile and a technophile!

I don’t know anyone personally who owns a Sony Reader, but several of my friends have Kindles. They’ve been very pleased with them so far, and I’m happy for them. For myself, though, I want a little bit more from my e-book gadget.

I want an e-book gadget that costs less than $200. I want e-books that are priced around $5.00 or less. I want to be able to read them in .mobi or .pdf or any format I like. It would be really nice if someone combined the talents of the Kindle with those of the Peek. A portable e-book reader with email and SMS messaging capabilities. THAT sounds like a gadget for the ages, doesn’t it?

Do you own a Reader or a Kindle? How do you like it? And if you could request new features or upgrades, what would they be? Post your comments here.

2 Replies to “Sony's Reader or Amazon's Kindle?”

  1. Ok, here’re some of the reasons I love my Kindle!

    1. No monthly fees (unless you get a subscription, at which point you at least know what you’re getting for the money). This seems silly maybe, but I’d not have purchased one if I had to keep paying for it as time goes on.
    2. I can download stuff using the phone network, so ideally almost anywhere (in the States of course) I can click a button and have a book in less than a minute. (That minute statistic really does seem to be true in my experience.) Not too sure how the coverage will be in BFE Colorado though. 😉
    3. I can shop for books either from my computer, which is most common for me _or_ from the Kindle directly.
    4. I can convert lots of different files (including .mobi and .pdf to be read on the Kindle. Actually, I’m pretty sure they don’t technically need to be converted… Just some of the formatting, especially of those with pictures is potentially sketchy from what I’ve heard.
    5. There are about a bazillion places where you can just plain get free books to put on the thing.
    6. The little silver scroll indicator thingy really is cool! 😉
    7. You can hold ~200 books on the Kindle itself and can increase that number by a whole lot just by using an SD card. (Not that I’ve even gotten to the point where this is useful to me yet.) All in a package that’s lighter and smaller than most trade paperback books. This makes it super cool for traveling!
    8. The battery lasts for a _really_ long time when the wireless is off. And you can buy new ones, which is always a plus!
    9. Oh, and the samples you can download to find out if you might like a book before you buy it.
    10. And you can search your entire library for keywords!
    11. And, I’m sure I could think of more, but the most important for me was the e-ink screen.

    To make a couple comments on the notes above… _Many_ of the books for the Kindle are less than $5. The new releases tend to be more expensive, but older books have quite a wide range of possible prices. For example, I purchased the complete set of the Wizard of Oz books for $0.99. I’d guess that an average would be around $5.50 though.

    Technically the Kindle can do some internet work. I’ve read of people who use gmail on their Kindle using the mobile version though I’ve never tried it myself. That doesn’t cover the SMS messaging though.

    So, while I certainly can’t argue with the original price of the thing, I’d say the Kindle might come closer to what you’re looking for than you might realize! 😉

    As for things I’d like for it to improve? Mostly the organization of the library. Currently they’re all just listed out. You can change _how_ they’re listed (e.g. by author, title, etc.), but I really wish you could create folders or something to divide things up. Paging through a long list is pretty irritating, where paging through a smaller list of authors or genres for example would be much more manageable. The search function could help with this, but if you don’t already know what you want to read next, that’s relatively limited in usefulness. That’s my main beef! I suspect they’re working on that though, so we’ll see what happens next!

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