Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I don't think I will be having an electronic reader.

We made the trip into Tallahassee yesterday with the intention of getting a Sony E-reader.  We went several places that either didn't have any, or their displays were not functional.  That should have been my first clue.  We finally found the Sony PRS 600 at Target for $169.  We bought it and took it home, with the understanding that it is returnable with the receipt within 90 days.

The first thing I noticed is that is appears that it was "previously owned", and that irritated me.  I like my stuff, fresh and new.  There were 11 e-books already loaded onto it..most foreign and nothing I would ever have thought about reading.  The box had no instruction manual except for a quick start guide which was less than helpful. I don't know if that was just missing from my already been used reader or they just don't come with a regular manual.  Would you have though an E-Reader would at least have had a manual already loaded into it?

The book was dark...not enough contrast between the "ink" and the "page."  I kept wanting to turn up the brightness on the screen.  I don't think it is possible.  You are reading black "print" on a gray "page."

Years ago, when I bought electronics, computers and the like, there was always a steep learning curve.   In the past several years most everything is extremely user friendly right out of the box and directions are rarely needed, and that is they way I want it.  Our Garmin GPS was like that.  It was very intuitive right out of the box.  This was not like our Garmin Gps!

This Sony E-Reader is very frustrating to me.  According to the quick start guide once you charge it, you disconnect it from the computer (which charges it) and then follow the on-screen instructions!  Fine, but there were no on screen instructions.  Evidently that was a one time thing and the guy who owned my new reader got to them first!!!

I installed the "e-book library software" and registered to the e-book store.  The directions say when the reader is connected to my computer, the autoplay will appear on the screen.  
I then went to the Georgia Library to see what was available to read through their e-book program.  I could find nothing that was available right now.  You had to "place a hold" and they would notify when it was available.  Some of the titles I chose surely would have been available because no one would have wanted them,  I just wanted something to test out..  No luck there.  Also Georgia's on line search is terrible. I used to use the Florida library frequently and always found lots of interesting things to read. They had the New York Times Best Seller list and many others.  In Georgia, you'd better know what you want or you won't find it.  So I don't think I'll be getting any e-books from Georgia.  It was also very confusing. I went to Florida's library and it seemed much easier to get their e-books, but unfortunately my old library card number doesn't work anymore!  I don't know if I'll be able to get another card from Florida since we live in Georgia now, but we do own a house there and Al has a business there...so maybe. 

I was able to download some books to my computer, but had a little more trouble getting them over to the E-reader.  Finally, I got it figured out and even found an instruction manual on line, not on the E-book where you'd think it would be.

Oh, yeah,  I also found a nice photo of my E-readers first owner along with two songs he chose to listen to while he read those 11 foreign books!

In the process of all this, I decided the Sony is just too hard to read.  It supposedly has a dictionary, so that when you come across a word you don't know, you can highlight it and get the definition.  I thought that would be nice, but I can only occasionally get it to work.  Usually  when I try to select a word to get a definition for, it  just turns the pages on me, but the few times it did work, the definition was not in the larger print I preferred, but in tiny, little print that I can't read anyway.  So there is no point to that!

So my rating for the Sony E-book is a two thumbs down!  The reason we chose this one, is because it has the format that library's use and I thought I would primarily get my books from the library. I do not intend to pay $10-20 for a E-book. 

The good news is that it's returnable and back to Target it goes.  Maybe some of the other models will have brighter screens, and maybe I would get used to them, but for now I have lost interest in an E-book.  I did look at a Kobo E-reader at Borders bookstore.  It was lighter weight, seemed to be a little easier on the eyes.


  1. About a year ago Jim ordered a Sony E Reader for me and it got returned about two days later. I hated it. And I'm not ready to give it another try. Just let me carry around my paperbacks.

  2. I'll bet the first owner of that eBook returned it to Target just for the same reasons you have detailed in your blog. Sounds like it's a defective unit to me. I bought a camera like that a few years ago, and as soon as I realized it wasn't brand, spanking new, I returned it for a new one. I can't believe these stores are so careless as to try and flog used stuff for new.

    p.s. I love my Sony PRS-505 eBook Reader!!


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