eBook Readers on the Beach

I recently took all three leading eBook readers – Kindle, iPad and Sony – on holiday. I’ve been a convert to eBook readers for holiday reading for some years – they make life so much easier, in terms of weight and bulk, as well as in terms of being able to take a good selection of books with you to pick and choose as you like. 

iPad – it is far too heavy to use on the beach, and I gave up very quickly. The fact that the iPad doesn’t have mobile roaming (and I have a 3G iPad) is another drawback, which means that you can’t easily use it to purchase more books while travelling. For me, the iPad is a big NO where holiday eBook readers are concerned. (I don’t get newspapers on holiday so that capability isn’t too compelling for me.)

Kindle – apart from the dumb aspects of the Kindle (see my earlier Kindle post), the fact that it has internationally enabled Whispernet means that you can purchase and download books anywhere in the world – a definite plus. Both my Kindles, however, mulfunctioned – they’re both telling me that they’re out of battery power and re-charging them doesn’t make a difference. So, possibly a useful device but failure to function kind of set it back a lot for me. There’s also an obvious security issue with the Kindle (and with the iPad, if you have the Kindle App installed), which is that the Whispernet technology and one step purchasing means that a thief who makes off with your Kindle could relatively easily run up a significant credit card bill for you at the Amazon store.

Sony – this is the third holiday I’ve taken the Sony eBook Reader with me – and it’s still functioning perfectly. It’s got a bunch of books on it now (some of which are very thick and long and whcih I’ve been reading for more than a year), it’s got great battery life, and it works fine in sunshine and in the shade. It fits in a pocket, it’s lightweight, doesn’t have Whispernet technology and is capable of purchasing books from a much wider range of bookstores than just Amazon. (Not all publishers sell their books through Amazon, because of Amazon’s predatory pricing of eBooks). Of course, I take a laptop on holiday with me anyway, so downloading more books via the laptop is straightforward.