Yes it’s still the talk of the dinner table. And now my appetite is well and truly whet after a week’s holiday in the US. I was out in suburban New England and yet even so was surprised that the large Barnes and Noble that I came across had no idea what I was talking about when I approached the desk and asked if they stocked the new Sony eReader. The polite store helper suggested I have a look on Amazon instead. Hmm.

So anyway after a week of unsuccessful hunting, imagine my joy when at the airport, I came across (and yes I really did find this quite entertaining) a Sony vending machine!! I’d thought the paperback vending machines in the UK were fun, but this was really the one you wanted to get the accidental extra packet from!

And in the Sony vending machine, there it was…

Unfortunately stuck inside a box, but nevertheless looking sleek and attractive.

Guess what. That wasn’t the only e-Reader in the airport. To my great joy, guess what was adorning the sales desk in Borders? Yes. A ‘try me’ Sony e-Reader. Loaded with books and ready to use.

Well I have to say I am not a techy. And I’m not an early adopter. And I like my paperbacks and magazines in print. But I have to say I liked it. It’s very very aesthetically pleasing. It’s much smaller than the older models I’d seen, and the navigation is simple and sensible. The e-ink is actually more impressive than I thought it would be too – it really is easy to read.

Will I buy one though? Really not sure. The Bookseller this last week shared discussions between publishers on e-book pricing ahead of the UK launch. There’ll be some interesting follow ups over the coming weeks as we see what areas of publishing will be most successful here, and where this just isn’t going to work. Will the prices go down if there is no uptake? Will there be some interesting new business models developing? 

I’m in the camp that there’ll be a lot of early adopters on this one, despite the cost, as it really is a nice looking package, but for me, for now at least, I’m just going to sit back and watch what will be a really interesting autumn.

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