A word of warning: The following is a completely biased opinion of the Sony Reader because, for me, it's the best thing since, umm... discovering Harlequin Mills & Boon. Yes, it really is THAT good!
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE ABOUT READING, WHY A SONY READER?
That's a good question and one I've answered time and again to my wonderful hubby and many of my friends who simply do.not.understand.
A Sony Reader is a fab storage solution. Especially if you've downsized to a teeny tiny cottage like I have. If you're lucky enough to have plenty of storage, please carry on reading because there are plenty of other reasons too.
"But, I LOVE 'real' books. The smell, the print, the whole turning the page thing."
This may come as a surprise but, SO DO I! Okay, not strictly true because I have an aversion to mouldy, dirty books from secondhand bookshops (and occassionally library books). I mean, there are times when you wonder where some of these books have been, don't you think?
For me, the beauty of my Sony Reader is that it's gorgeous to look at and touch. It's true that the smell isn't there but for what the Reader gives you that's a small price to pay, even if you do love the smell of print books, right?
READERS ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR PRINT BOOKS
As far as I'm concerned my ebooks COMPLEMENT print books. They do NOT diminish them or REPLACE them. One example is when I first started reading an ebook it was on my laptop. I was enjoying the story so much that I wanted to continue reading at bedtime. Have you ever tried reading from your laptop in bed? Trust me, it isn't comfortable.
If, like me, you mostly read at bedtime (why is it the only time we get the peace we need sometimes?) you probably get earache from your partner wanting you to turn the pages quietly and/or turn the light out. Sound familiar? Trust me on this, my Sony Reader has helped to avert marital strife at night time. I can now turn the pages of my book at the (gentle) click of a button. There's another button that will also put a bookmark in, so there's no fumbling for these either when you're sleepy and wanting to put your book down. Yep, for me, it's another win-win situation.
VARIED READING TASTE?
My reading taste's eclectic and changeable. Sometimes a romance might not give me what I'm looking for. Perhaps I need to read a thriller, historical or an autobiography/non fiction title, or a literary or classic book. With the Reader it's no problem. No more heavy sighing or cursing how I can't locate the book I want. And no, 'that' one won't do, it HAS to be the specific one!
EASY TO FIND BOOKS
On my Reader I can organise my books into collections. For my Harlequin Mills & Boons I have a separate 'shelf' for all the different series. At the click of a button I can choose a Modern, Romance, Medical, Historical, Spice, or wherever else my mood wants to takes me. PERFECTO.
Is there anything else the Sony Reader can do that a paperback can't?
I've been waiting for this one because the answer is a resounding yes, Yes, YES! I'm sure I'm not the only person whose eyes get fatigued - especially after sitting at a computer all day? We-ell, the Reader has the fantastic ability to increase (or decrease) the size of the font on the page!!! I have to admit I was dubious about this in the beginning, but once again, it's so quick and easy to do and it doesn't detract from the story either. IT FEELS THE SAME AS READING A PRINT BOOK ONLY BETTER!
GOING ON HOLIDAY?
The last point I'd like to make about how fab the Reader is for avid book lovers is when it's time to pack some reading material, whether it's for a vacation, long journey, or even an appointment waiting room. You can carry all your books in your handbag! Again, this is great if you're never quite sure what mood you're going to be in.
WHAT DOES EPUBLISHING MEAN TO AUTHORS?
There comes a time when change is inevitable. E-publishing has proven itself to be more than a one-hit-wonder. Like it or not it's here to stay. I think no matter which profession we're in, it pays to keep up with the times otherwise we risk getting left behind. I guess it's even more important if, like me, you're aspiring to make a career in this profession. In fact that was another of my arguments. Everybody who writes for publication wants to have their words read, don't they? So it makes perfect sense not to shun the advance in technology but to embrace it and let it take you along with it.
I believe that epublishing makes a readership more accessible, as well as opening up a whole new world of prospective buyers for your words. It doesn't matter if readers (like me) have run out of storage to buy their books. It doesn't matter if people travel a lot and/or need to put down their chosen reading material more frequently (I'm thinking parents here).
A little secret for other aspiring writers? You can easily turn your completed manuscript into a PDF document which means, published or not, you can read it and enjoy it the same as a published book! Read it from an editor's perspective and a READER'S too.