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Sony Reader: UK Launch on 4th September

Readerhands_250 No sooner had I finished bemoaning the lack of ereaders coming to the UK, when an interesting email dropped into my mailbox from Waterstones, inviting me to pre-order the Sony PRS-505 reader which..wait for it...launches on 4th September. Yahoo! This is great news on its own (remember it came out top in the Gadget Show 'road test'), but the even better news is the retail price - a very reasonable £199 (which is almost half the price of the iLiad!!). Unlike Borders, with the iRex iLiad, I don't think Waterstones have an exclusive on selling the Sony Reader in the UK (?) so we may, or may not, see the UK price being shaved off slightly in the months to come. Edit: It appears, aside from 'selected electrical shops' and Sony themselves, that Waterstones is the only 'bookshop' distributor for the PRS-505 in the UK. This is heading for a nice retailer head-to-head ereader competition with Amazon and their Kindle (when it finally arrives on British shores), Borders with their exclusivity with the iLiad, and now Waterstones with the Sony :o).

Going back to the pre-order invitation from Waterstones though, and I want to make it clear that this invitation isn't solely open to me (I just subscribe to their loyalty cardholder newsletter). So if you're interested in pre-ordering the Sony PRS-505 ereader for yourself, then get along to Waterstones and get that pre-order in ASAP.

Now, how to raise £199 quickly? :o)

E-reader choice in the UK still woefully inadequate

Gadgetereaders So I was watching The Gadget Show earlier tonight (the UK’s premier show about, you guessed it - gadgets), and for the first time on British television (as far as I know), there was a feature on e-readers. Great I thought! About time I thought! The Gadget Show is pretty good at getting their mitts on the latest gadgets, so we should be in for a bit of a paperless reading treat here I thought; heck maybe we’ll even get a glimpse of the Amazon Kindle ‘in the flesh’, on British soil, for the first time. Sadly however my initial euphoria was quickly dampened, and not even the presence of ‘we’re not worthy’ Nigel Havers as guest ‘reviewer’ could raise it again :o).

Sure we got to see the BeBook in action; which looks to be an ok e-reader (and reasonably priced). We got a ‘hands-on’ demo of Irex’s iLiad Book Edition e-reader (which I’ve mentioned before as being new to our shores, but with the caveat of it being TOO DAMNED EXPENSIVE - but oh how I love it's 'inking' feature), and we got to see the reviewers pawing over the Sony PRS-505, the best of the bunch by far, but STILL not available in the UK. That was it - one reasonable e-reader, one over-priced and one unavailable, and no sight nor sound of the Kindle, or any other e-reader for that matter.

So guess which e-reader of the three came out on top with the reviewers? Yep you got it - the Sony PRS-505. Thanks for that guys! I’ll be sure to rush out to the shops first thing in the morning to fruitlessly search for your recommended, ‘unavailable’ e-reader :o).

Seriously though the Gadget Show’s e-reader feature really depressed me. In the end it achieved nothing but to highlight the fact that e-book provision in the UK is STILL woefully inadequate, and as a  paperless operative who’s screaming out for better e-book provision in the UK, that’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m just thankful that BeBook seem to have the right idea. Worldwide distribution and a ‘reasonable’ price, means that the average wage-earner in the UK, has at least one viable choice of e-reader. Thank heavens!!

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