For the Love of eBooks

I bought an eBook Reader last year. A Sony Touch PRS-600 if you must know. I’ve commented on it before elsewhere, but to be honest since then I haven’t used it all that much. As in, not at all. The problem with it was the battery life. I used to have the old 505 model, and before I broke it I used it all the time.

I’ve praised the virtues of ePaper and eBooks before and will again in the future, because there are some great developments just around the corner – full colour and even motion video. But for now we just have black and white static ePaper and for people who love books, it’s enough.

When I bought the Sony Touch to replace my 505, I had high hopes. It had some fantastic new features. Aside from having a touch screen it has a built in dictionary (tap on any word for the definition). You can also handwrite notes on the page, which is great for editing purposes, or just to scribble down a to-do list or rough ideas.

Unfortunately the battery sucks.

Quick aside – I used to carry around a Zippo with me all the time. I don’t smoke and I’m not a pyromaniac or anything, I just think having a lighter is a good idea. You never know when you’ll need one. Plus, they look cool.

But a Zippo needs to be refilled every week. The lighter fluid simply evaporates, no matter what you do. So I stopped carrying one, because by the time I actually needed it, it was almost always in need of refilling. I switched to a butane lighter, which is cool because it’s like a little mini blowtorch.

The same can be said for the Sony Touch. It needs to be recharged every week, regardless of use. I never had this problem with the 505. It’s because of the touch screen, which still uses power while in sleep mode. This is a major pain in the butt, because I like to have my eBook with me wherever I go, and don’t want to have to worry about recharging it every few days for fear of being caught out. Not to mention all batteries lose their effectiveness over time, so it wouldn’t be long before the time between recharges got shorter and shorter. That’s just not a good design.

Like my Zippo I stopped using it – until someone clued me in to a little trick for a full shutdown, by holding the power button down for three seconds. Before that I had to navigate through several pages into the options and finding it there, which was just messy and annoying. This way the battery doesn’t drain when I’m not using it.

So I’m using the I’m using the Now the only downside is how long it takes turn back on. With a hundred or so books on the internal drive, it takes about forty seconds to start up, with two hundred and fifty books, about fifty-five.

Then I tried adding seven hundred and fifty books on the SD drive, and it took over HALF AN HOUR to load up. Obviously I won’t be using that again. I’ll just put the books I want on the internal drive.

In short – the Sony Touch eBook reader is still very flawed, but at least now I find myself using it again.


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