Was catching a train at some ungodly hour this morning (the 7.14 from MA if anyone cares) and a woman got on the train at Chatham carrying, what I thought was, a hardcover book with the dust jacket removed.

She sat down sort of kitty korner to me and opened the ‘book’. It was actually a sony ebook reader (prs 505 if you must know).

Now I’m usually pretty shy about talking to strangers on trains (or trams) but I had to ask this woman about her ebook reader (actually my first thought was mug her and race off the train at CL with the ebook reader).

Now I’ve previously blogged about how I’m not a fan of the iLiad ebook reader (sold by Dymocks) but I quite liked the look and feel of the Sony.

Beth (we exchanged business cards) had bought the leather cover for the reader so it looked like a v. thin hardcover, jacketless book.

It was about the size of ye averagey hardover but only about as thick as my palm pilot (or a blackberry) – definitely thicker than an ipod (maybe not much thicker than an ipod classic though)

Beth bravely let me hold, and play with, the ereader. Here are my thoughts…

It was heavier than i expected it to be – about the weight of a trade pb,

Without the case it was a bit awkward to hold (prob get used to it tho’)

With the case it’s like holding a book

I had glare issues with it (I didn’t like to change too many settings!)

I kindly let Beth hold the ebook reader and asked her what she thought of it…

You need to download special software to read pdfs as the sony format ebooks aren’t available in Australia . With this pdf software you can buy eboks from Dymocks & read them on the Sony

She bought the ereader in America (damn!)

So far she’d mainly been downloading out-of-copyright ‘classic novels’ from the web (eg Project Gutenberg – she’s going through a Dickens phase)

She likes her ebook reader and wouldn’t donate it to a worthy librarian (me!)

Now I want one – they’re not available in Oz, tho’ you can buy them on ebay for A$530 – A$750 .

Googling them indicates that getting them sent from the US costs about A$450 including postage/freight/etc.

Wanders off to ponder claiming one as a work expense (professional reading anyone?)