The Winner from the EBook Reader War

Recently, I blogged on the various e-book readers available in the market (The E-Book Reader War). My time was running out, since I had to get one at the sub-$175 rate, as well be a pretty decent one.

And finally, I chose one – the Sony PRS-600 Digital Reader (shown to the right). It seemed to have all the features I wanted – I wasn’t particularly keen on Wi-Fi or a color screen, yet wanted a touch screen as well as  the possibility to add plenty of memory.  The Sony PRS-600 seemed to be a decent solution to satisfy these requirements, with support for up to 16 GB as SD card as well as a Memory Stick.

I ordered it on Amazon and  was delivered to my cousin’s place in LA. He loaded it with some books from Sony’s e-store, as well as a few other titles and then delivered it to me (since I am in India and Amazon is adamant about delivering some neat stuff only in the US of A).

So, now I finally had it in my hands, and couldn’t wait to start reading something on it. With great expectations, I hooked it up to my PC, and……………………………………….

Nothing. Nada. Absolutely, positively  ZILCH! My PC refused to recognize the device, though the red LED indicating charging had lit up. Thinking I might have a loose contact somewhere, I tried restarting the machine and hooking it up again.

Aha! This time, it was recognized. Though after an agonising wait of half an hour and a yellow blinking LED throughout the wait. But of course, being recognised is only part of the process. Next comes the installation of the drivers. Unlike, in Indian colleges, where the students and staff come first and classes begin, and the authorities think about the AICTE recognition only much later in the day.

Can you imagine how long it took for the installation of the drivers? 4 solid hours. And with a little one at home, the only uninterrupted time I can spare for such nefarious (according to my Hubby) activities is after he is asleep at night.

Then, I tried loading up the Reader Library which comes bundled with the Reader. Despite having read so many bad reviews about the uselessness of the software and how it always crashed your machine, I must have had a tiny inkling of hope to have started it up. However, the software lived up to its evil reputation and immediately proceeded to crash my machine. And thus the Reader Library experiment ended.

Now what? This was the question in my head. I could neither read the books that had been preloaded in my Reader, since the evil Library software had managed to format the device (God alone knows how it managed that!) and I couldn’t add any more books.  that was when I discovered an alternative to the Evil One (a.k.a Sony Reader Library software). The Calibre software… (drumrolls please…..)


Calibre was touted as the best for managing e-libraries. So I set that up in my machine, again connected and my Reader, and waited…..waited………….waited…………………………….waited. Once again, there was no response.

I was at the end of my tether. This meant war. It’s either me or the Reader. There we were – standing at a face-off with guns drawn. And I was ready to burst into tears if I didn’t win 😦  If the device had turned into a brick, then all I could do was throw it into the dustbin. I wouldn.t even have the luxury of returning since I am not staying in the US.

Suddenly, my hubby had a brain-wave – “Do you think the fault is with the USB port?” Of course, that was it! All this while I was trying to get my precious Reader to work using a port which rarely responded.

Immediately the offending port was changed and the Reader was a plugged into a new one. And there it was – my Reader was finally working as it was supposed to. The Evil One still doesn’t respond on my machine, but Calibre works bea-U-tifully, and I have around 40 books all loaded and ready to be read on my device.