Now, I don't want you to think I spent all weekend playing with my new Sony Reader. Oh no. No no no.
I only spent most of my weekend playing with it. I took the occasional break to pop to the toilet, eat, sleep, that sort of thing.
Actually, I did take it in the loo with me.
And I did read a few chapters during a lazy lunch.
But not even I could manage to read it while sleeping. Although it is entirely possible that I dreamt about it.
Tish and pish. I am not quite that sad. Walks were walked, fruit was picked, children were played with, the weekend was weekended as normal. But I did get to know my new toy quite well during the gaps in between.
First things first, if you love reading then you are almost certainly going to enjoy the Reader. I read books, I read the back of cereal packets, I read sauce labels, I read CD booklets, I read the local paper, I read the school newsletter. I read whatever is to hand. I prefer to read books, but I am fairly happy reading anything. So why shouldn't I enjoy a flashy new gizmo loaded with reading material? Precisely.
The Reader is easy to use. A few seconds after turning it on I was reading the opening pages of Lust, Caution. The menus and buttons are intuitive and don't require much referring to the manual (although, bizarrely, the manual is to be found on a CD-Rom, not loaded onto the Reader itself which would strike me as a pretty bloody obvious thing to do). The software chucked itself on to my computer without any fuss and the main interface, eBook Library, is so similar to iTunes that I was adding books to it more or less straight away.
So far so good. I have managed to turn the bugger on and stick some books on it. Well done me.
The screen is a wonder. A techno numpty like me cannot begin to understand how it works but trust me, it is like no other display you've seen (unless, of course, you have actually seen it). There is no glare, no reflection to speak of. It looks great and is a pleasure to read. You can increase the size of the font (using the traditional small, medium and large) for comfort and readibility. It is a dinky thing, small and light, like an A-format novella.
Suffice to say, it is a gorgeous object and it does the job.
It came, as you know, with Lust, Caution by Eileen Chang already loaded. It also had excerpts from books by a range of authors from Agatha Christie to Marcus Zusak. In addition, the Reader comes with a CD-Rom containing 100 classics. So, if you were paying £199 for it (rather than getting it for free like this lucky fucker here) you would have, at Penguin Classics rates, at least £500 work of books on day one. Not too shabby a deal, assuming you can get to grips with reading the material electronically.
But these are just first impressions. I will delve a bit deeper into the Reader, its functionality, advantages, disadvantages and possible uses in the days ahead. And don't forget, if you want me to explore or check out anything in particular do let me know.