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.