Reading E-books: Sony Reader or iPhone?

My birthday’s coming up next month, and I’ve been trying to decide what I should ask for. I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d like a Sony Reader (I can’t buy a Kindle because I’m in Canada and it’s been, what, four years since the first Kindle and well, we’re still waiting here in Canada … and waiting … and waiting …). I’ve already bought several eBooks through the Sony eBook store, and have enjoyed reading them on my netbook.

I do like the idea of being able to take tens (okay, make that 100s and 1000s) of books with me easily, though. While I love my netbook, and it’s light for a laptop, weighing in at around 3 pounds, it’s still on the hefty side for carrying around casually in a handbag.

ref_iphone3gs_front So, until recently, I’ve been thinking of asking for the Sony Reader for my birthday. But my husband got the latest iPhone recently, and I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with it when he’s not looking.

I’d read that Amazon offers a Kindle app for iPhone, but again, there’s that geographical restriction. I can’t access the app through my iTunes store because I’m in Canada.

Recently, though, I read about Barnes & Noble’s new iPhone app; intrigued, I got my husband to load it onto his iPhone so I could see what reading on the iPhone would be like. Even though you don’t get the “like-paper” feel you get with the Sony Reader or the Kindle, I found I enjoyed reading on the iPhone (the B&N app comes with a number of free books, including Pride & Prejudice, so it was easy to test without buying anything).

So I’m definitely leaning toward the iPhone right now – with one little gadget, I can have my phone, emails, texting, Twitter, ebooks and audiobooks in one hand. After reading Inkygirl’s review of B&N’s iPhone app, I’m probably going to give the other iPhone ereaders a try, though. And I still have to get out to the local Sony store and test drive the Reader before deciding. But so far, it looks like the iPhone will win out around here.

Which ebook reader, if any, do you use? If you have an iPhone, do you enjoy reading ebooks on it?

18 thoughts on “Reading E-books: Sony Reader or iPhone?

  1. Brian

    I own an Amazon Kindle (K1) and I absolutely love it. I scale the page to be mass market size and I am off and running. I don’t think I have read a non-kindle book in over a year. The kindle screen is about the size of a paperback so it works real well.

    I tried a friend’s iPhone version of the kindle reader and the screen was too small for me, I suppose if push came to shove I would get used to it, but I don’t think I would be as in love with the eBooks as I am now.

    I typically read three to four books a month when I am on a good tear.
    .-= Brian´s last blog ..Happenings on multiple fronts =-.

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  2. Cathryn

    I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into eBooks. I still prefer reading paper books and don’t see that changing in the near future. I spend about 12 hours a day in front of a screen M-F, and when I read I want to curl up with a book, not another electronic device (much as I adore my electronic devices!)

    However, I read a review of the Kindle in The New Yorker and that persuaded me that there are some benefits to eBooks on the iPhone – reading at night when I can’t sleep, without disturbing my husband, for one. So in the short term, I’ll probably go that route soon. I’ll let you know what I think.
    .-= Cathryn´s last blog ..Market Research =-.

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  3. Belle

    Brian, I wish Amazon would release the Kindle in Canada. I’ve heard such good things about it, and the Kindle ebooks are so nicely priced too. When the Kindle first came out, I thought to myself, that’s okay. I’m patient. I can wait. But that was SO long ago, and I haven’t heard of any changes on the horizon.

    rhapsodyinbooks: Yes, I love this choice! What I’ve done is told everyone not to buy me a gift individually, and to pool their money instead. Big gift, I tell them, big gift for Mom! :) It’s how I bagged the netbook for Mother’s Day!

    Cathryn: I hadn’t even thought of that, being able to read in bed without disturbing my husband! I wish I could get the Kindle app on the iPhone, though. Thankfully, the other choices sound just as good.

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  4. Carrie Anne

    Oh to be in Canada, not always so good is it.

    Funny, I can read and write on my computer, but someone reading books that way doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe because I spend so much time on my computer, reading is my escape (when I do it).

    But maybe if I had a reader it might not be so bad (and I might actually get some reading done) LOL
    .-= Carrie Anne´s last blog ..Foto Friday: Sugar Crash =-.

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  5. Belle

    Carrie Anne: Canada will be absolutely perfect once we get the Kindle :) I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I’ve been finding I seem to write better when I read more so it’s a balance thing for me. Both ebooks and audiobooks seem to help my “read” quota.

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  6. Debbie F

    I have a IPhone and I love it. I download my books from fictionwise.com. Books are better cheap and I have tried many new authors that I otherwise would never have tried. I still love my ‘real’ books, but the IPhone has many readers that you can download that I use often.

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  7. Gigi Reynard

    I have a Netbook, a Cybook which is an eInk based reader much like the Kindle or the Sony reader and an iTouch which is much like the iPhone. I read on all of them.

    Very different experiences for reading.

    The netbook gives me the greatest flexibility – I can pretty much read any format and see a lot of text at a glance; don’t have to keep paging. There are a lot of titles that only come in Adobe Reader formats and the netbook lets me read those. A Sony reader also let you use Adobe files. It is a little heavy and very awkward to try and use it when reading in bed.

    The eReader (cybook) is less work since the pages are much larger (no need to keep turning pages) and the eInk can not be beat for reading in direct light. The battery life is long and it is easier to read with one hand. This device uses Mobipocket as the reader and there are a lot of books available but not all. I also end up with 2 copies (which is very nice) one on my netbook and one on my eReader. Very flexible if slightly cumbersome to download files. I use a night light clipped to the cover to read in bed; easy to do just have a problem getting the light turned off sometimes.

    The iTouch is much more convenient — I take it with me everywhere anyway. You can read comfortably in the dark, but the battery life is a problem. I would get an iPhone except that AT&T has lousy reception where I live. This devices utilized eReader and the books can be downloaded directly to the device with no PC involved. I find it a little awkward to read in bed because it is so small and because I have to change pages every very few seconds, but the back lighting is great!

    If I were to forced to make a choice about where to spend my money, I would opt for reading on the iPhone. Just keep your power cord handy.

    Gigi Reynard – gigi@ebooksabouteverything.com
    eBooks About Everything
    eBooks For Everybody, Everywhere, Everytime
    .-= Gigi Reynard´s last blog ..SUBTLE SINS – eBook edition =-.

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  8. Memory

    I have an iTouch, and I’ve read a couple of books on it. I find it really convenient; it’s teeny tiny, so it’s quite portable, and I actually like the backlight. The eReader application I use, (Stanza), is pretty customizable, too; I haven’t played around with it too much, since I like the default setting, but I believe you can change the background colour, font size, and other settings that affect your reading experience.
    .-= Memory´s last blog ..113. Taste of Tenderloin by Gene O’Neill =-.

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  9. Debbie

    I have the Kindle which I love. I’ve seen v2 of it and it looks even better. The iPhone app looks pretty cool (my friend has it) but I don’t know if I could read on it for extended periods of time. I really want an iPhone though :)
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..In My Mailbox 8/1/09 =-.

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  10. Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books

    I upgraded my pay-as-you-go phone to an iPhone last month, and absolutely love it! Taking pics and instantly emailing them or uploading to Twitter is great. I downloaded the B&N program, but haven’t given it much more than a quick glance. The screen is so much smaller than e-reader, I don’t know if I’d have the patience to read an entire book on it …

    But, all those iPhone apps really rock – so versatile!
    .-= Dawn – She is Too Fond of Books´s last blog ..Best. License Plate. Ever. =-.

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  11. Belle

    I’m really leaning toward the iPhone now – thank you so much, everyone, for all your comments. It’s been really helpful to know how other booklovers have enjoyed their experiences on the various ebook devices. I told my husband today that it’s the iPhone for me :) And Dawn, yes, I just took a look at all the iPhone apps and I am in total awe!

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  12. Julius

    I would agree..the iPhone is the PERFECT EBook reader. I ahave used ebooks since the late 1990s on all sorts of devices, and through the years have bought over 300+ books from Fictionwise and Ereader, which are now owned by Barnes & Noble. The BEST app out there is Stanza, will allow you to purchase books from Fictionwise or Ereader and use them via a quick over-the-air downlaod. EReader is the next best app. I DO NOT like their version for B&N because it only uses B&N books. I do know that Ereader WILL soon allow you to download B&N EBook purchases into it’s reader once Apple approves the update, so go with that if you want a third source of books available to you. The experience on the iPhone is fine, and the portability just what my wife and I like. No reason to go any other way. ENJOY READING!!

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  13. Kenneth Elliott

    The only problem that I foresee with getting a iPhone would be that the screen is so small. The eye strain would kill my eyes and I have 20/20 vision. If I could not get a Kindle and the iPhone was my last resort, I guess I would go for the app.
    .-= Kenneth Elliott´s last blog ..PSP e-book Reader =-.

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  14. Sally

    Does anyone have any problem falling asleep after e-reading at night? I find I read for much longer and don’t go to sleep as easily.
    Sally

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