Thursday, May 22, 2008

Read 'Em and Beep

This will come as no surprise, I'm sure, but in case you've been wondering, I'm something of a geek.  I love gadgets, the shinier and higher-tech the better.  If it weren't for Sell-It-On-eBay, I'd have a closet full of out-of-date tech goodness -- including several iterations of ebook readers, going way back to the original Nuvomedia Rocketbook.  (Now there was a monster -- big as a hardback book, heavy as a concrete block, but capable of holding several hundred books, with an easy-to-read screen.  If you didn't mind developing carpel tunnel syndrome from reading an Agatha Christie novel, it was pretty handy.)  I've tried stand-alone ereaders, Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs with ereader programs, software programs for notebooks and laptops... you name it, I've tried it; I've even attempted to read books on my mobile phone.  So far, nothing has quite worked, though some have come pretty close.  Why these things continue to attract me, I'm not really sure -- maybe I just like the idea of carrying a small library around with me as I go about my day.  It's a sickness, I admit it, but I'm not really ready to seek a cure.

The latest gizmo I've been using is the Sony PRS-505 Digital Book Reader.  It's a pretty nice device -- as light as a paperback book, with a nice clear screen, an easy-to-use interface, and enough memory onboard (with the option to add two SD cards) to carry upwards of a thousand books.  In addition to buying titles from an online store that works pretty much the way iTunes works with an iPod, you can also load plain text files, or Microsoft Word docs, or PDFs onto the device without much difficulty.  It also supports MP3 playback, including audio books.  Combine this baby with the free public domain books at Project Gutenberg, and you have access to thousands of titles ranging from classic to modern literature.  If you're interested, you can find it here:

Shiny, isn't it?


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