Sony Readers are coming to every town!

If you’re lucky enough to live in the U.S. then you have plenty of options when it comes to a dedicated eBook reader. For those of us from Europe however, the pickings are much slimmer. That is until now!

In case you’ve been living under a log – come this Thursday we in the UK will have our very own Sony Reader Digital Book (PRS-505)!!

According to the website; they will start shipping the new Readers on the 4th September 2008. The regular shipping takes 5 working days but pay an extra £13 and you’ll receive it within 24 hours. Just think, you could be reading on your very own Sony Reader this weekend!

What do you get for your £199 (+ shipping)

I’m sure you all know the details by now so I’ll be very brief;

  • 6″ E-Ink paper like reading screen
  • Space enough for 160 books (10,000+ if you use the memory slots)
  • 6,800 continuous pages turns (avg. users may charge just once every 2 weeks!)

And What About Books?

  • Tens of thousands of bestsellers from the Sony Book Store and Waterstones (plus many others websites.)
  • 100,000+ Free public domain books via sites like Project Gutenberg (H.G. Wells, Jane Austin, Alexandre Dumas, etc.)

Now, if you’re thinking about ordering a Reader from the Sony website why not use my link below. By clicking on this link I will get a chance to win my very own PRS-505! Yep, those great people at are running a competition and for me to be in with a chance of winning, I just need to place their link on my website and hope some of you lovely people will click it before ordering.

If I do win, I will however be putting the Reader to good use – I am currently developing tools to convert the Project Gutenberg txt eBooks to the ePub format and expect to start releasing them for free on before the end of the year. Having a Reader to test them on will be a big benefit! So…[link removed]

What About Other European Countries?

As the title of this post indicated, it seems the UK is not the only country that will be receiving a Reader release this year. user doctorow posted on the site that perhaps Germany will also be getting their own Reader before the year is out. According to (written in German) they have spoken with Sony Germany and there are plans for a release there. Perhaps an announcement will be made during this year Frankfurt Book Fair.

There is also speculation that France will follow suite before the year is out.

UPDATE: We’re now hearing that Waterstones book shops in Amsterdam and Brussels will be stocking the Sony Reader.

This could be an interesting year for us Europeans.

Fictionwise to start selling ePub formatted books…soon

A few days back one of the MobileRead forum members contacted Fictionwise and asked when they will start selling ePub formatted books. As they noted in the post, BooksonBoard are currently the only online bookstore that are selling commercial ePub books.

UPDATE: We should not forget that O’Reilly have a small selection of titles that come as an eBook bundle, included in that bundle are books in the ePub format.

Fictionwise replied by stating that “We are currently making our plans for epub compliance over the coming months.”

However, it seems that one of the biggest hurdles for them is how to encrypt their titles, “each vendor is currently using their own proprietary encryption scheme for epub.” DRM isn’t going to go away anytime soon so it’s understandable that they need to work out these issues before they can move forward.

An interesting point they made was that there are still very few publisher supporting ePub at this time, yes more will follow suit, but until they do the number of available titles will be limited.

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Sony Reader now reads ePub books!

Very early this morning, 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time to be precise, broke the news that Sony are officially releasing a firmware update allowing the Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-505 to read the IDPF ePub formatted books – available from their website today.

The ePub standard has seen great interest of late from both professionals and amateurs alike but this is the first time were are going to be able to read ePub formatted books on a dedicated eBook device such as the Sony Reader.

The new firmware allows the Reader to view both DRMed and non-DRMed ePub/PDF files, which also means Sony users can now purchase books from vendors other than Sony itself (Fictionwise, O’Reilly, Penguin UK, etc). A short time ago we had confirmation from several publisher that they will start to provide ePub formatted books – Penguin UK announced they’ll have plenty of ePub books available from September 2008.

Waterstones/SonyStyle to sell Sony Reader in the UK!

For those of us who are UK eBook fans, Sony have partnered with the Waterstones book store in the UK to start selling the Sony Reader, available from 3rd September 2008, they will have over 25,000 titles available when they go live! You can also Pre-Order your Sony Reader UK (PRS-505) from The eBook titles to be made available at Waterstones will be released in the ePub format.

Continue reading “Sony Reader now reads ePub books!”

Waterstones in the UK to stock the Sony Reader

Good news for all British Sony Reader (PRS-505) fans! According to, it’s believed Waterstones have signed a deal with Sony to stock the Reader when it is released the in the UK later this year.

As a Brit myself this is great news. I bought my Reader from the U.S. in December 2006 but have to live with reading public domain titles or buying PDF versions from sites such as and so fighting with Sony’s inferior PDF viewing quality. Let’s hope once it’s released I’ll be able to use their services, even though my Sony is a U.S. model.

It looks like eBook readers are going to have a good time this year in the UK, I’m sure the rest of Europe won’t be too far behind for Sony or the Amazon Kindle.

Although we’re still waiting for Adobe’s Digital Editions to be released for the Sony Reader, once this happens, all those ePub titles being released by Penguin and HarperCollins will give Sony’s PRS-505 a huge boost over the Amazon Kindle. No doubt Amazon are aware of this so let’s hope they react and make the Kindle read the ePub format natively.