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EBook readers
So people, my question is, do I want an eBook reader?  What are your experiences, thoughts and are they too expensive to put on my birthday wishlist?  I thought they looked very cool but want to know the pros and cons from anyone who has used them or knows of people who do.  One thing I know for certain - I could not use one with a highly lit background - computer monitors are not my long term reading friend and while I know of some which have more "natural" backlighting, are they good devices? 

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Tehani has one and loves hers I think.

I saw a Sony ebook reader in November/December and was really impressed. I looked at the display and it looked like a mock up. So I pressed the button and was amazed when the screen changed. From what I understand the Kindle has a very similar screen. The e-ink products are good to look at.

I went and did some research because the initial purchase price, while steep, wasn't enough to be a barrier to purchasing one. In the UK, the Sony people have a deal with Waterstones who are the location to buy ebooks. Given that there is nothing to deliver but data, they are outrageously expensive. There is some provision to load other kinds of books onto them and there has been stuff in the news over the last few weeks about Google making lots of older books available. Probably great if you like all of the out of copyright stuff. Gutenberg books were also available.

My bit of research also indicated lots of people are using things like the iPhone as an e-book reader.

The attraction to me is that I could just have one device which I had all the books on. It was certainly good enough in spec that I could use it. I'm kitted out for good backups of my digital archive of goodies so the risk of losing everything is low.

But the books available were limited and you couldn't get a broad selection of current titles. They were expensive not representing any kind of saving. I had no pressing need of one. There is still an era of change in the marketplace for these devices which if I wasn't going to use immediately and love (as Tehani apparently does), then I'd be better off waiting and see what happens over time.

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