Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sony Wants to Sell Me a New Reader

Sony may have just sold me a new e-book reader - with an assist from Kristy who alerted me to an email offer she received from Sony yesterday. It turns out that, as far as its e-book store goes, Sony is killing the e-book format that works on my PRS-500 reader. That means that I can no longer get new content for the reader from Sony.

Sony offers two workarounds, however, and both of them are tempting. Option number 1 involves sending my PRS-500 back to Sony for about two weeks so that they can do a free firmware update that would allow my reader to use the new format. Option number 2 offers me either $50 or $75 for my old reader if I buy one of the two new Sony readers.

I'm seriously considering the PRS-600, the "Reader Touch Edition." What intrigues me is that the reader claims to work perfectly on PDF files, Word documents, other text files, the ePub format, and others. It also offers access to all the non-copyrighted Google books out there and to library systems that make e-books available to patrons. It seems to cover all the bases for me. Admittedly, if I understand correctly, there is no WiFi access for ordering new books from Sony or another bookstore but that is not an option I would use often anyway. No big deal.

The numbers look like this:

I spent $300 in 2005 for the PRS-500. Sony is willing to give me back 75 of those dollars if I give them another $300 for a PRS-600, leaving me with $525 invested in Sony readers. Now, of course, I've used the original reader for over 4 years so I've probably gotten my money's worth out of it already. (I'm a CPA and I just can't help running the numbers in my head - bad habit.)

I'm off the rest of the week, and I will probably run up to the big Sony Store at my local mall tomorrow. Can I resist the temptation? Should I even try? I suspect it's hopeless.


  1. This looks good but I think I still prefer my Kindle with no back light so I can read it anywhere.

  2. Gaston, I haven't seen one of these in action yet but I've read comments from several people wishing that it did have a backlight - so I'm assuming it doesn't have one. Some have said that it reads more easily outdoors or in natural light because of that. I'll find out this morning, hopefully.

  3. Hey Sam...let me know what you decide. The way my husband broke it down to me...I'm better off getting the free upgrade and then buying the newer model if I'm not happy because then I have more for my money this way than if I just sent it back and spent more money to get the newer model and then only had the new model to show for it. IE: My old model is surely worth more than $50 to $75 in working order.

    I'm shipping mine back. I'll update you on the process and how it turns out.


  4. I think your husband is correct when it comes to dollars and cents, Kristy.

    I did decide to go the other way, though, and I've been playing with my new touch reader for the last three hours or so. There are so many neat features that I think I'm going to be able to convince myself that it was worth spending the extra money. Sure hated to see my old reader go, though, because it's provided good service to me, never missing a beat.

  5. You could've bought a brand new nook for less than that. :(

  6. Almost, Annie. With the rebate, the Sony Reader was about $37 cheaper than the Nook. I went with the Sony because of its immediate availability and because of the specially formatted Google books that work so well with it. I've found some Civil War memoirs, via Google, that were written in the late 1880s that are truly outstanding to someone like me. I'm loving the Reader so far...

  7. Glad you're liking it. But I can't be happy about it. ;)