Having written several blogs about why I don't like the pricing model of the Kindle book reader I've been very interested to read about Sony's new e-book readers, especially as you can download books to it from your local library. I've played with the $300 Touch model and quite like it. The only real competition to it for me is a netbook. If you're not familar with netbooks, they are basically really small (8 or so inch) laptops with limited disk and memory; designed to view documents and web pages but not really to do authoring.
The standard discussion goes like this: e-readers are single purpose devices, netbooks are general purpose devices. E-readers are better for actually reading books but can't do much else. Netbooks are less suited for reading but can do more. For techies like us the argument that no one would want to look at an LCD screen for hours at a time is kind of funny since that's what we do all day, every day.
I was about to get a netbook, especially since much of what I read are PDF versions of technical books from Manning Press or The Pragmatic Programmers, when a senior collegue made the following remark:
"Brian, we are thought workers, designers, creative people. We have an obligation to read non-technical material so that we can keep approaching problems from unexpected directions and keep bringing creativity to tasks. You should get the device that makes reading fiction easier".
That really struck me. So, after posting this entry I'm driving to the Sony store to buy the Touch E-Reader!