Open Thinkering


Why I bought a Sony Reader ebook reader today.

I learned today that the best gadget purchases are those that solve a problem. Whilst it’s wonderful to have the latest and greatest (I’ll be getting a free iPad via my attendance at the Handheld Learning Conference later this year) it’s very satisfying when something plugs a gap.

The Problem
Briefly stated:

  • I’ve got lots (probably hundreds) of journal articles to read for my Ed.D. thesis.
  • I use a computer screen for my work much more than I used to, meaning on-screen PDFs is problematic.
  • I get the train (c.30 minutes each way) and then walk to work. I don’t want to have to carry around anything heavy.

The Solution
Today I bought (or should I say my parents, who are extremely supportive of my studies, bought me) a Sony Reader PRS-600. It’s the one with the touch screen for highlighting and annotation. It’s got an e-ink screen meaning it appears like a physical book instead of a flickering screen.

What I’ve tried previously:

  • Printing out articles (cumbersome, expensive and not environmentally-friendly)
  • Dropbox iPhone app (doesn’t ‘reflow’ PDFs meaning horizontal scrolling which isn’t very user-friendly)
  • GoodReader iPhone app (iPhone screen too small for annotation)

I considered an Amazon Kindle, but after seeing and handling the Sony Reader at the JISC Conference earlier this week, I was sold on it. JISC had funded a project where the Sony Readers were used by previously technophobic academic staff to mark student essays. They loved them and if they’re good enough for that purpose, it’s good enough for me!

It’s still (very) early days. I’ll let you know how I get on! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Why I bought a Sony Reader ebook reader today.

  1. Thanks for the heads up. It’s articles like yours that make a difference and can actually go against the ‘grain’ for a good reason. If the Sony e-Reader is fit for purpose of reading and marking assignments, then it’s good enough for me too. If it’s cheaper than the in-thing gadgets, then that’s a huge bonus. Thanks for sharing your review.

    1. #1 – (Kindle v2 with 3G, imported from US) – damaged by X-ray scanner at Dubai airport #2 – damaged when crushed on a camping trip (replaced free of charge by Amazon)
      Buy a Kindle, but get the keyboard 3G version. I went for wifi only with #2 and #3 and really miss the 3G sync everywhere stuff. :-/

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