Monday, July 09, 2007

E-Book Reading

Once upon a time I had a "Rocket eBook Reader" which was one of the very early dedicated devices for reading ebooks.  It was cool, but really only in a gadget sort of way.  If what you really want to do is tear through books of any sort, at any time and pace you want, then you need a ubiquitous device, and most dedicated e-Book readers are anything but.

Lately I've been carrying a Palm device.  Not a Treo, not a cellphone, a traditional "sync it up to your PC" PDA.  It's a model Tungsten C, the one with Wifi and keyboard.  But realistically over the last few months it's become an ebook reader for me.  I can dump PDFs and text files onto it, and whenever I have a minute where the iPod/podcasts aren't appropriate, out comes the PDA.

Well, the thing finally died on me today.  I guess my kids dropped it on the floor one too many times.  So now I'm left pondering just how much I like reading ebooks, and whether it merits getting a new device.  I don't feel like spending $400 on something.  I'm tempted to get the cheapest Palm device I can find and calling it a day, but then I wonder, are there any other dedicated ebook readers out there that are any good?  I'm not talking about the new $300 Sony thing, which I'm sure is pretty cool and all.  I'm talking about something pocket sized, barely more than a dumb text/PDF reader.  Something that I could get for maybe $100 or so.

I figured I'd throw it out there, see if anybody knows anything.  Maybe there's an online market for older ebook readers that have gone out of favor (ala the Rocket) that still have a hacker's market?


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