The Reader – what would be more natural test of my new ebook reader - the Sony Reader 505? The last page is closed and there is nothing in the afterthought and numbness indicating that the means of transportation hampered the effect of Bernhard Schlink’s good story of the boy that started to read loud to a 20 years older woman with a history.
I would recommend the book. I would also recommend the ebook reader. The e-ink qualities of the screen is good. With the Summer coming up and a chance to sit in the garden to read, this device will be the only one that gets better the stronger the sun is shining. And for an insular bloke as me, I bet the temptation to buy fresh books online for immediate consumption will be difficult to withstand, especially when you are abel to save some money. The Reader cost me $ 13.25, half the price of a paperback version. (For the paper version the boat ticket to the city will be an added expense.)
Sony has hardwired the device to M$ Windows and their own Sony ebook store. The ebook market is not mature, and there is still a lot of issues with DRM, formats and different business models. Sony is trying to control the distribution channel of ebooks. So is Amazon with their Kindle reader.
I did not buy the Sony PRS-505 only to read novels. I needed to find a way to read my library books, papers and PDFs and hopefully, some of my news feeds. And I am happy to report that this working just fine, providing I apply some tricks to make the works travel. The Sony reader comes with two slots for SC cards, which enables you to load your complete collection of books to the device which has a better battery life that most mobile devices due to the fact that only the page turning consumes power.
If you are a Mac user and want to buy a Sony reader (₤ 194 at LHR), here are some pieces of advice that would save you time:
1. To be able to buy DRM protected ebooks you have to borrow a Windows PC for five minutes as a one time operation. You will use the Adobe Digital Edition to manage your DRM protected books. Registerer for an account. Download the PRS-505 driver to the Windows PC, install the Adobe Digital Edition software and authorize your ebook reader to your AdobeID. Then forget the Windows PC. You can now upload the PDF of the book you bought to your Sony reader using the Finder on your Mac - and you will be able to read it on your device.
Now you can buy ebooks from any source, e.g., www.booksonboard.com or waterstones.com.
2. Travelling as I do, I will not be able to bring my library books with me at all time. Therefore I scan them all to PDF. However, reading books on screen is tiring. And sitting with your laptop on your lap for 15 hours a day kind of fries your lap, if you get the picture. And sitting out in the sun under the North African sun calls for more than one reading device. Therefore the ebook reader.
The problem is that a double page scan does not fit well to the screen of the Reader. You need to slice the pages. It is easy, if you know that tools to use: 1. Make two copies of your book, called l.pdf and r.pdf. Open the l.pdf in Preview, mark the left page, open the Inspector, and crop all pages. Save. Repeat for the right pages. Open the files in pdfsam-1.1.1 and split the document in one file per page, l-1.pdf, l-2.pdf, and r-1.pdf, r-2.pdf, etc. Open all single page files in PdfMergX and merge into one document. Now you have a single page document that reads well on your Sony Reader, especially in horisontal orientation.
3. Use the calibre ebook library manager to manage your books and news feeds. Especially some English newspapers are downloaded nicely in full text via the scrips that comes with the software.
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