So, is it any good?

<p>So, is it any good then? Well, I've been using the <a href="http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/navigate.do?pPageID=1576">Sony Reader </a>for the last couple of days, hard testing it in extreme reading situations like; in the office! On the train! In the garden! On the sofa! I am pleased to report it performed well over all terrain, and the much heralded e Ink technology is very kind on the eye, and can be read at the sort of angles you generally only achieve on a ride at Thorpe Park. I've not tested the MP3 side of it yet, as all that's on this sample version are two songs by Jun-ichi Nagahara. No, me neither&hellip;<br />
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I've read a few of the pre-loaded samples that are on my model &ndash; there's a bit from the new James Twelve Hawks novel (I wonder if the author, of whom little is known other than that he lives &ldquo;off the grid&rdquo; and probably doesn't have any hawks, appreciates the irony in being available in a format that, were one to buy the complete e-version, would require the purchaser to register at a website, credit card details and all), some of <i>The Other Boleyn Girl</i> and a Joe Hill short story. I read them all, quickly and easily &ndash; Tom Tivnan of T<i>he Bookseller</i> <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/a-real-pagetu... the machine is 'clunky'</a> but I don't see that: you press a button, the page turns, and repeat up to 6,799 more times if the mood takes you. I suppose its lack of bells and whistles in replicating the 'real book' experience might make you think 'is that it?' but that's the point &ndash; reading a book is all about turning pages, reading the words and stopping when you want. What else do you want a book to do? <br />
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I went on holiday last year in France and read, I think, 8 books. I can't remember all of them, but I know there was a proof of Douglas Coupland's <i>The Gum Thief</i>, the second Sam Bourne thriller, a '70s comet hits the planet doorstopper by Larry Niven,&nbsp; and Terence Blacker's biography of Willie Donaldson amongst them. I enjoyed them all, but the only one I brought back was the biography. The others were proofs and paperbacks and, given the fact we were flying Ryan Air and they charge by the pound of flesh for every ounce you check into the hold and I wanted to get a couple of bottles of wine in there, the only one that made it back home was the hardback, which I couldn't bring myself to part with.<br />
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And that's the crux of it &ndash; I cannot ever imagine giving up solid, tactile, bound and printed books. But there are occasions when the last thing what someone wants is a stack of heavy books, and that's where I think the Reader is going to come into its own. I'm off on holiday again this Saturday, and again I'm choosing my books carefully, knowing that, for most, this is a one way trip. Oh, to leave my hardcopies at home and just load my Reader with a veritable library into its slender frame (it's the size of a slim B format novella) for me to read at strange angles whilst cocking a zeitgeisty snook at the Spanish sunshine. <br />
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And here's the proof that as ever, anything that gets people reading is a good thing for the book trade. The Joe Hill short story I read on the Reader? It's brilliant, and has made me want to read <i>20th Century Ghosts,</i> the collection it came from. So I've ordered the book &ndash; the real, paper, glue and ink version. </p>