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Old 11-26-2007, 12:30 PM   #1
Mirtika
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Smile Hola, from Miami (a befuddled noob)

I am not all that tech-savvy (okay, I'm NOT tech-savvy), but I am an avid reader. My house is crammed with thousands of books, and I thought an electronic reader would help me control the accumulation. To that end, my husband got me a Sony Reader PRS505 as a Christmas present. Um, an EARLY present.

I really like the physical aspects--it's easy to read, I can enlarge the letters (yes, I have presbyopia), and the actual operation (turning pages, etc) is simple enough for a techno-dinosaur like me. The dark blue one is very elegant. I definitely like the feel and look.

However, I am not happy with the selection of books at the Connect store or the prices. I assumed (stupidly, I suppose) that since there is not cost of paper, ink, transportation, warehousing, storehousing, etc related to e-tomes, that the cost would be hugely lowered. It's not. And I've gone several times to the e-store and NOT found books I needed, either for pleasure or to review on my blog. I'm not talking obscure books, either. This has certainly put the kibosh on my Reader joy. If I can't get a great selection, it sort of defeats the purpose of getting the Reader, as I still have to purchase the books in hard format.

I've been skimming around the forums trying to get answers to some techie vexing issues, and I hope I'll find them. Otherwise, I'll have to call Sony, and I hate calling tech support.

I hope I can sort out the issues (can't figure out how to get books OFF the Reader without deleting them from the library, which would be boneheaded as I PAID for those ) and that the e-store eventually ups its selection to at least be competitive with Kindle. The price and look of the Reader, imo, is better than the Kindle's, but I'm not 100% shiny happy with my Reader... yet.

Meanwhile, hello. And sorry if that turned into a gripe.

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Old 11-26-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum.

Hopefully the Kindle will motivate Sony to improve the selection. And, you're right, the publishers save a ton on ebooks but don't pass it on. Reminds me of the idiot "convenience charge" ticket sellers add to the cost. In reality, they are charging you for saving them money.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
NatCh
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Welcome to MobileRead, Mirtika!

Sony has been steadily adding books over the last year, they launched the store with ~10k titles and they now have ~24k, so that's a pretty good increase, especially since they seem to have lost some titles somewhere. I agree that it's not nearly enough titles, but they are working on it. I also think that the Kindle Effect will start to increase the number of available texts. One thing to keep in mind though, is that not all of the 80k+ titles that Kindle claims are actual books, many of them are blogs and newspapers and such. I don't know if anyone's tried to get a "book only" count. But anyway, as more become available, they become more widely available.

The price thing is something we all grouse about. Apparently there are some costs somewhere that we can't pin down, but there again the Kindle Effect has lowered prices in pretty much all e-book shops. The publishers have pretty firm control as to what the books cost, but Amazon seems to have the muscle to push them down a bit.

You might want to look at FictionWise as well, they've recently started selling their "multi-format" books in the LRF format which the Sony Readers use. They're still in the process of converting, but they already have a respectable chunk of them available.

As for removing books from your Reader there are a couple of things that may help you there. The first is that you can delete them from the Reader without deleting them from the library by selecting the "Reader" entry in the e-Library software and deleting from there. They'll stay in your library unless you delete them from the Library part of the e-Library software.

The second thing is that you can take those files and move them around on your computer totally independent of the e-Library software, so you don't have to keep them in it if you'd rather not. You can even rename the files to something meaningful rather than the gibberish they download as -- renaming them won't affect the way they work, but you will have to re-import them to the e-Library software so that it recognizes the new names.

That will hopefully get you started, if not, pop on over to the Sony Reader sub-forum and ask away. There are lots of folks who know lots about the things and we can probably help you with most of your questions.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:56 PM   #4
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Hi Cassidy and Nat (love the "Gizmologist" moniker)!

I found a tip on the Sony Reader section of the forums that helped me delete ALL THE BOOKS on the Reader (and which wasn't in the manual, I say shaking my head). But I'd love to know if there's a way to delete just ONE or TWO books from the Reader itself? When I tried deleting individually, the ones tagged "synchronized" wouldn't delete. And I don't know how to disable the synchronization doohickey for individual books. Any links to threads dealing with that?

At least now I have 10 books in my Reader instead of the unwieldy 30+ that I had in there.

I do find the battery isn't lasting as long as I thought it would. It drained 1/3 in a matter of days and I know I didn't have more than around 250 page turns, because I wasn't reading much.

I am trying to keep it charged (every other day or so).

Thanks for the welcome and the pointers. I will keep strolling through the forums, though, not having a lot of tech-language under my belt, some of the stuff leaves me scratching my head.

But, hey, ONE problem sorta sorted out. Yay.

I did notice someone mention BAEN. I'm a charter subscriber to Baen's Universe--an SF fan--so I will want to look at those downloads.

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Old 11-26-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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Hmmm, I have a 500, so the synchronized option doesn't apply to me, but for a guess, I'd try pulling the books out of the synch directory into the regular library section and then see if it doesn't either just remove them itself, or let you delete them from the Reader.

I think of the synch function is being meant for things that are updated regularly, like RSS feeds etc., so I probably wouldn't have tried using it for books ... but that perspective is shaped by having/using the 500 model.

Baen just rocks is all. I find I can take their RTF files and drop them right into the Reader and they work just fine. I usually stop into Word or WordPad and bump up the base font (select the whole text with ctrl+a, then ctrl+> to increase the font size from whatever it is -- that keeps the chapter titles bigger than the text), but other than that, no processing required.

However, most of the time I run them through BookDesigner, and get an LRF file, which is smaller and displays the picture.

Another option is the libprs500 application which you can find on the forum, it'll convert several formats of the Baen files with no fuss. There's a GUI for it, but it can be run by command line, if that's your preference.

You may find that the battery life improves over several charge cycles as the meter routine learns what "full" really looks like. You also may get some improvement by deliberately discharging the battery fully (the MP3 player function is good for that, if not for much of anything else), and recharge it. Also, let it charge 'til the light goes out, that's the only way to be sure it's truly fully charged.

Also, the Reader will draw some power even when it's not in use, if you leave it in sleep mode. If you know you're putting it aside for several hours, you might want to use the "turn off" feature in the settings menu, that shuts it down fully, but it takes about 2 minutes to reboot from that.

I'm glad you're happy with your new toy.
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