A couple weeks ago I broke down and bought my second ebook reader, a Sony Pocket. I love my Kindle, don't get me wrong. But there was this ebook sale, and, well.... If I wanted to read any of the books that I really, really wanted, it was either use the lap top (which has it's uses, but generally isn't a practical reading device for me), grow magical hacking skillz and strip and convert all these lovely new books into a format that would work with my existing ereader, or break down and buy something that would accept the formats the books were already in. And there was the Pocket. It was CHEAP (as these things go), and it was PINK (not usually a big draw for me, but I just loved that bright fuchsia from the first moment I saw it). So I gave in to my baser instincts and spent the money.
I am LOVING this thing. Not so much the unit itself, although it is adequate. It's not terribly difficult to use. I'm not loving the button placement (spoiled by convenient page turns on both the left and right sides of the Kindle), and the screen is a bit smaller than I'd prefer. But it's quite a bit lighter than the Kindle, so big points in it's favor there. (I always feel it when the Kindle is in my purse. It makes the damn thing so much heavier.)
What I really, really love about the Pocket is that my local library has expanded their service, and now I can access ebooks through Overdrive! Before all they had were scholarly works, and I am so not the scholarly type. I'm working diligently to rot what's left of my brain with works of pure entertainment. And now I can, for free! I was just using my city library, which has a kind of small subscription to Overdrive. Certainly enough to keep me happily reading for quite some time. I even have one not-completely-brain-rotting book on my wishlist- it's about Egyptian history, which is one of the few topics that could tempt me to read non-fiction.
And then, I hit the jackpot. In several places lately I've seen people talking about maintaining non-resident library cards, usually by paying a fee for the card. So I started checking around to see what it would cost me to get a library card in some of the other major cities in Texas and if it would be worth it to pay the fee to have access to their online ebook services. Which is when I discovered that not only do we have a major city library with dozens of branches around town, we also have a county library with many fewer branches but a much larger ebook collection. Much. Like, literally 10x the size of the city library's collection. Ka ching!
I spent the last two evenings working my way through the fiction list on the county library's website. (It takes a long time to go through a list of over 2000 ebook titles and pick what looks interesting.) I now have 9 new titles waiting patiently on my pretty pink Pocket, a half dozen books on hold, and 149 books on my wishlist. Between what I bought in those last two sales, what I've grabbed for free off Amazon, and all the ebooks available to me now through my county library, I probably won't have to buy another book for two years, maybe more! (Of course, there are a few favorite authors whose books I'll be buying anyway, just because I Must Have Them Now.) Even if you assume used book prices, the Pocket will pay for itself three times over, just with the books on my list now. And that list will only grow as new titles are added to the database.
I love my little Pocket!