Friday, January 1, 2010

Sony PRS-505 Ebook Reader

We bookworms love the touch of books; the smell of books. I loved everything about them, the art, the blurb, the colors they give to the walls. Books were not only my favorite things to read, they were my favorite decor! Wall to wall, floor to ceiling--I want a house full of books--made of books! Who would have thought the day would come when ebooks will become the "in" thing?

I was getting into ebooks way before most bookworms thought that ebooks will take off. I used to read on my XDA O2, using microsoft reader. It was cook, in a way. I was starting to get self-conscious about always carrying books around. Reading on an XDA O2 made me look like I must be very popular, since people assume I must be texting.

Now, I own a Sony Ebook Reader PRS-505. I have had it, probably for two years now, going on three. I got it even before I even heard of the Kindle, or the Nook. Most of my books are in PDF format, so my only request would have been to be able to read my PDFs on an ebook reader (I tried on my XDA..I won't even try to explain how hard it was to do!). At first, the only way to read PDFs on the Sony was to set it on horizontal orientation. The text stayed small, and they were still a pain. There was a recent upgrade to the firmware, though, so now, with limitations, I can make the fonts larger.

The main limitations that's very apparent was that the reader would try to reformat / rewrap the text around the screen. So sometimes, it will break a word right in the middle, without any sense. For example, if there is that phrase, "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs," it can look something like this:
The quick brown fox jumpe
d over the la
zy dogs.

That's fine, though. Once you get used to it, you'll be able to read without noticing any of that anymore. The problem would be if you were reading a book with lots of pictures, such as a book on digital photography. It would be splashed on the screen like per column. So sometimes, where the text says, "take a look at the picture on the right," you will find that there is actually no picture on the right, and you can spend a few minutes hitting the arrow keys turning pages, looking for that same picture, if you even figure out which picture it is. But then again, why even read a book on digital photography on the ebook reader? The color rendering wouldn't be so good, and the pixels won't be so fine enough for you to figure out the differences between foggy and sharp.

I love my ebook reader, though. I have read quite a few books using it. My only serious gripe, and it's not so serious, is that there's a barely discernible lag when turning pages. Otherwise I'm very satisfied with it and never regretted getting it. I'm glad I don't have to lug 2 to 3 books around anymore just because I can't quite decide which book to read. Now I can carry lots.

The problem now is organizing all the ebooks I have collected over the years. I must have about 10,000 of them now. I am looking at "Calibre" and "My Ebook Library," both freeware, as alternative (or complementing) solutions for managing the ebooks. I will write on it tomorrow, after I have played with them some more.