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Why I Love My Sony Reader

Updated on February 10, 2011

Ebook readers have been the talk of the town lately. While they've been out for years, by many different brands, they have gained a lot of popularity in the last year. While ebook readers will hopefully never fully replace physical books, they do add a nice choice for when you want to read a book on the go. I've owned a Sony Reader for years and have found it to be a nice addition to my library.

What a Wonderful Birthday

After much research, I decided I wanted a Sony Reader for my birthday. It was between that and the Amazon Kindle. But, since I didn't care about connected remotely to book-buying servers and I didn't want to deal with proprietary ebooks, I stuck with the Sony.

On my birthday, I looked over my presents and was a bit dissapointed. None of the wrapped gifts were very big. I must not have gotten the reader.

To my surprise, one of the smallest packages contained--you guessed it--the blue Sony Reader PRS-505. I was thrilled! So began my love affair with this ebook reader.

The eInk Display

Have you ever tried to read an ebook on a computer? If you're like me, you found the backlighting and shiny screen irritating.

It hurt my eyes!

I love that the Sony Reader comes with an eInk display. The screen isn't black lit so there's no light that can hurt my eyes. It really does resemble a printed page.

Even better: When move the reader and look at the screen from different angles, I can always see the word perfectly. They don't disappear depending on the angle. Nice!

Book Lights Brighten the Page

Speaking of backlighting, you may wonder how you can read a Sony Reader in the dark.

The answer is the same for a real, physical book: you use a book light.

I picked up a book light on sale at Target. I clip it to  the book cover that came with the Sony Reader and shine it on the screen. It does a great job of adding light while in the dark. It also makes it feel more like a real book, which is always a plus.

Though you can use any old book light, Sony also says light accessories. You can get a Sony Reader cover with a built-in light, or use one of their name brand detachable lights.

Personally, I think my cheap Target light is just fine.

Reading Any Ebooks You Want

One of the biggest reasons I chose a Sony Reader over a Kindle was that it was much easier to add new books--especially books not bought and the official store--to the device.

Here's the cool thing: the Sony Reader uses multiple ebook formats. They have their own .LRF format, but that's gone by the wayside. Now they almost always use EPUB, even from their own store.

Know what that means? You can find EPUB books all over the Internet and easily add them to the Sony Reader. Because of this, I have 500 books on my Sony Reader.

You read that right. 500 books.

And I have thousands more on my computer waiting to be transferred.

Converting Ebooks

But what if you find an ebook you want to read, but it isn't in the LRF or EPUB format? Good news!

Go download Calibre. This free ebook management software can convert nearly any ebook format to work with your Sony Reader.

I'm used this a LOT. For instance, you can find a lot of books online in the Microsoft Reader LIT format. But LIT doesn't work on the Sony Reader. So I've used Calibre to convert these books and read them on my ebook reader. Easy!


Of course, the coolest thing about any ebook reader is the portability. I love my Sony Reader because I can throw it in my purse no problem. Then, if I'm stuck in a doctor's waiting room, it's easy to pull it out and read my favorite novels.

Sony provides Reader covers to protect the screen. Your Sony Reader will come with a cover, but you may find that it's too small or doesn't protect the side. Sony and generic brands sell other covers that may be better.

I personally like the cover that came with my Reader.

Free Ebooks From Sony

I rarely pay money for ebooks. With all the free books you can find online (and are totally legal), there's very little need.

Sony actually provides free ebooks at their Reader Store all the time. I just go to the "Bargain-Priced" section and look through their free books. They've got a good selection of high-quality novels in their for free--and I love that!

Another thing I love? It comes in multiple colors!
Another thing I love? It comes in multiple colors! | Source

Years of Enjoyment

I've now had my Sony Reader for almost 3 years. I still read books on it all the time, the last being "Victim Six" by Gregg Olsen.

Here's something important: Even though I use my Sony Reader all the time, it hasn't replaced paper books. It's actually made me read MORE in general. I still buy physical books and get novels from the library. Now I have all sorts of reading options!


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