Friday, November 13, 2009

My E-Reader and Me

A few weeks ago I indulged my not-so inner Trekker and splashed out on a silver Sony Touch E-Reader. Two of the main reasons for buying it were:

a) the fact that my eyes aren't as good as they were and there are 5 print size settings on the Touch.

b) the hope, perhaps naive, that some of the review copies for euro crime and my teenage fiction blog could be received as e-books rather than print books. Like most bibliophiles my house is overrun with books. It's more like a library with the odd bit of furniture.

The E-Reader is gorgeous and I'm enjoying reading on it. The text looks lovely and clear and the ability to increase or decrease the print size depending on eye-tiredness is as useful as I'd hoped it would be. The epub book I bought I read on the second setting, medium and the pdf review copy I'm currently reading is on the third setting, large.

I've only made a tentative enquiries about e-book review copies to a couple of publishers and one was positive and the other less-so. (I wonder if e-review copies could be sent to promote the paperback editions, if not the hardback editions?) It's early days yet I think. Only a few days ago Simon and Schuster (US) announced an e-galley grab programme. (I just need to get a contact there...)

One useful site I discovered via Twitter is NetGalley which is an intermediate between publishers and readers. You put in a request for e-review books and wait to see if you get them. So far, I've requested and received one for my teenage blog. There are some euro crime type titles available including a couple from Poisoned Pen Press.

As to buying e-books, so far I've found that W H Smiths are cheaper than Borders and Waterstone's but the same titles aren't always available on all the sites. A website I haven't yet tried but which has some US authors I'm interested in is Smash Words and ultimately they should have the Inger Frimansson titles we've reviewed recently.

Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise reports back on her recent (International) Kindle purchase.


Bernadette said...

Do keep us posted on how you go with the e-reader Karen. I like the look and feel of the Sony more than the Kindle and am curious to hear your experiences.

Ali Karim said...

Yes keep us posted Karen, though i'm a not convinced with all this digital wiffle, to [mis-]quote Bob Duvall -

"I love the smell of papyrus in the morning..."


Anonymous said...

How have you found the oft commented screen reflection.Does the touch screen surface impair easy reading?

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

I was a bit worried about the reflection issue myself after seeing the reviews and it's not as clear a screen as the pocket one probably is but I've not had any problems. Occasionally I have re-adjusted the angle I hold it at but I do that with a print book as well. So I would say so far it's not a problem. I haven't been out in the sun with it though, mostly trains and coffee shops.
My screen is slightly covered in fingerprints now so I need to check what you can clean it with!

Xavier said...


Do you plan to give up entirely on "real" books?

Anonymous said...

Hello Karen,
I would think you could clean the Sony Touch Reader screen with the same solution you would use to clean your eye glasses. I'm told that it isn't good to use Windex and or paper towels.