In my mailbox


I got a nice bookish gift in my mailbox this week. Believe it or not, our family joined the group of Kindle users. A friend of mine gave us her spare (first) Kindle as a gift as she received another, more recent, one for Christmas. You might know that I am no Kindle friend, but have to admit that it looks quite good and it has some features that my other reader hasn’t got. Still, I will stick with my trusted old Sony and will only use the Kindle if I have no choice.

As far as books go…

I got for review

  • The Stranger by Kyra Davis, obviously another part of a trilogy with a multi billionaire CEO and erotic tendencies. Reminds you of something? Yes! I couldn’t resist when I saw that one in the Netgalley newsletter. Ally, you should definitely take a look at it!

Cover The Stranger by Kyra Davis

What was in YOUR mailbox recently? 


The end of the e-book reader?

On there is an interesting article about the possible / probable approaching end of the dedicated e-book reader. Main reason is the recent price drop, of which I knew nothing, since over here there was none, and the release of the iPad and general multifunctional devices like smartphones.

Would you like to read a book on your iPhone or Android? Or on your laptop? I wouldn’t. According to the article’s author the “Millenials” would go for iPad, phones etc, whereas the “Boomers” as the majority of hardcore reader types would stick with the reader for now.

I don’t agree, why would a “Millenial” – if he is a reader – put up with a tiny display and / or more inconvenient “ink technology if he can have something better?


Used Sony Reader at Thalia

For people living in Germany this might be an interesting offer. Thalia, the shop who introduced the Sony Reader in Germany some time ago, will sell a limited number of used Sony Readers for 179,99€. The readers were used to train Thalia employees and have been tested and reset and come with the usual warranty. The price for a new one is 249,00€, so the offer is not too bad.

Sales will start on Oct. 04 and will last until supplies run out. Go here for more info on the Sony Reader sale at Thalia.


DRM sucks. Again.

Recently I got two books from All Romance ebooks, both from the same publisher, in Mobipocket format. I now always get that format because it works so well with the e-reader. But both books turned out to be DRM protected. I had to complain with the shop and was told that the publisher uploaded the wrong file. What gives? I wasn’t aware that any of the publishers that I bought books from sold DRM protected files in the first place. Both books also were from the same author. I don’t understand that at all. It’s a right pain to want the book – I’m sure you know about the instant gratification thing – and then it turns out the book is DRM protected. I can’t load it into the reader and now havt to wait until I get an unprotected file.

Am I the only one this has happened to? Does it only happen with Mobipocket? Does it only happen with that one publisher, author, shop? I’m pissed off.


Sony Reader – trouble with metadata?

I just read a post at e-book addict where she complains about the fact that the metadata of files can’t be changed with the Sony Reader. Often the files are named in a horrendous way, the author is wrong (Elemental Alchemy anybody?), the book title is odd and what not. That way you will never find your book on the Reader if you look for a specific title or author.

Yeah, that’s right, but with Calibre, this all is in the past. Calibre is an open source program that works perfectly to solve all these problems.

With Calibre you can change all metadata, like author, book title, publisher etc, you can add tags or keywords which show up as collections, as well as even number books in a series, so you know in what order to read them.

Calibre will convert the given file – if you want – into the Sony Reader format .lrf before you upload it to your Reader. I first downloaded .pdf files and converted them, but the pages just never lined up properly. It was a pain. Now I use the Mobipocket format, convert it to .lrf and this works like a charm.

If you have any of those problems – and you probably do – get Calibre and you troubles will be over.


DRM. Sucks.

These days the Sony Reader has hit the shelves over here. Germany is like a third world country as far as technology for consumers is concerned, but we do get stuff eventually. Now it’s the Sony PRS-505. The price of a whopping 299€ doesn’t keep people from buying it, astonishing when you consider that the shop that sells it, Thalia, and Sony are telling people only half the story. If I only knew what they let on about it, I’d NEVER buy that thing.

They say:

  • you can buy an ever growing number of ebooks at Thalia
  • the standard format for ebooks is EPUB, which is equipped with DRM (which is a good thing, "because it makes sure the rights of authors and publishers are being observed")
  • You need Adobe Digital Editions to read your ebooks
  • You need the Sony reader software to read your ebooks
  • The only difference between a .pdf file and an EPUB file is the DRM that comes with the EPUB
  • ebooks from other sources might not work properly

They don’t say:

  • you can buy ebooks from loads of shops on the net (ok, maybe not in German, but English books are a big market over here as well)
  • the Sony reader reads various formats, including .pdf and the reader format .lrf. There are even shops who provide a .pdf file for Sony
  • there are shops that sell ebooks that are not afflicted with DRM
  • you do not need Adobe Digital Editions if you buy ebooks without DRM
  • you do not need the Sony software if you buy ebooks without DRM
  • a .pdf file enables you to read the ebook on any computer anytime you want without having to install software that you ONLY need because of the wretched DRM. EPUB with DRM forces you to install horrible software that you barely comprehend (I don’t even understand how Adobe Digital Editions works and can never find the right button) just because of DRM
  • that there is software out there that is easy to use, cheap ( source and free) and doesn’t suffocate you and your rights as a consumer, for example Calibre
  • DRM sucks. You have to install software that you otherwise wouldn’t need. You have to register with Adobe in order to get an Adobe ID. You can’t transfer your files to another computer. If your computer has to be re-installed you have to go through the rigmarole of re-authenticating everything and possible re-downloading your books – if you still can, that is.

Obviously the ad campaign of Sony and Thalia over here sucks as well. How can they hope to sell the thing if they make people believe all that crap? Oh, well, not my problem! I’ve got one and love it. I never bothered installing the Sony software and never missed it.

The Smart Bitches have a post up about DRM and a list of shops that sell ebooks without DRM. They all sell romance or erotica (obviously the people writing and publishing for that genre are more customer friendly and more consumer oriented than others) and all shops I have bought from offer excellent service. Additionally also the following shops sell ebooks without DRM:

Ellora’s Cave

All Romance ebooks


Think your e-reader looks boring?

I sure do. I never knew that they even existed in other colors than silver. In fact on amazon in the UK they are still only available in that color. The brownish cover is ugly and not very inspirational. So I had a look around for a nice cover and only found more boring leather covers until I checked on Etsy.

Annesaddictions is selling various handmade fabric covers for the Sony PRS 505 which look absolutely lovely. The postage to Europe is extremely reasonable, so there was no question of whether to buy one or not. This is my future cover. Can it get any more girly and cool? Absolutely love it.