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Ereaders – Sony to Kobo

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We bought a Sony ebook reader just over 2 years ago and it has proved a great success.  Amongst the very good things about this reader are its compact size (it fits easily in almost any handbag), long battery life (up to a month of general use, but obviously less when on holiday), the simplicity of the internal navigation, the ease of adding bookmarks and notes and especially the excellent range of dictionaries which are included.  This makes it a really good tool for language learning (especially as it is so easy to download so many classics from http://www.gutenberg.org/ and other free ebook sites (see our list on https://delicious.com/bridmcgrath/ebooks)) and for travelling abroad.

One significant negative, however, is that the OCR (optical character recognition) isn’t consistent, so italicised or superscripts don’t display correctly – mainly a problem with foreign phrases in English language books, or much older material. Recently, however, Sony decided to abandon the ereader market and arranged for its rival Kobo to take over its Reader Store.  While the transition has been very smooth and readers were well supported by both Sony and Kobo, the change has had some implications for users.  Any book that had been purchased transferred quickly and easily to the iPad but any ebooks which had not been purchased (or which were not available on the Kobo store) did not load onto the iPad – this is a serious drawback for public domain books; they are still on my computer and ereader, but have no longevity unless I download them again manually from Gutenberg or other sites like archive.org.  The books look really well on the screen, adjusting fonts and point size is very easy and the colour screen is a great enhancement but the dictionaries are gone, which is a huge loss.  We can only hope that Kobo decides to restore them in a future version of its software.

 

Image http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Paris_-_Salon_du_livre_2012_-_Liseuse_Sony_Touch_Ereader_Prs-T1_Wi-Fi_Red_-_001.jpg

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