I have to preface by saying that I did not switch to DVD until I got a player as a Christmas gift. I did not start carrying a wireless phone until Mary was deep into her pregnancy with Micah. I want neither an iPhone nor an iPod nor anything with Steve Jobs’s fingerprints on it. (I like him less than I like Bill Gates.) But every once in a while, a gadget catches my attention, and I just must have one.
Of course, I know well that Sony’s reader came out a couple years ago, and at first I just giggled at it. But now I realize the potential: sites like Munsey’s have hundreds if not thousands of books in Sony reader format, all public domain, all free. Yes, all free. So if I got ahold of one of these critters, I could carry a nine-ounce device that contains in it the complete works of Plato and Aristotle, six or seven Bible translations, all the works of John Milton, the plays of Shakespeare, the complete Anglo-Saxon poetic record, and pretty much any other book published before 1908. In other words, I could have at my fingertips pretty much the sum of English-language publishing before World War One.
Beyond that, the screens on these devices, according to the fifty or so reviews I’ve read, are legible in direct sunlight and don’t strain the eyes the way a computer screen does. And because the unit doesn’t use electricity except when switching screens, the battery would last quite a while.
I have no desire for in iPod or an iPhone, but I think that I’m going to start saving up Borders credit as soon as I can to get my hands on one of these bad boys.