Sony electronic book reader goes on saleE-book weighs less than a hardback

04 September 2008

The Sony Reader

An electronic book with enough memory to hold up to 160 novels will go on sale in the UK today.

Model Lily Cole launched the Sony Reader at a Waterstone's store in London ahead of the nationwide release of the £199 gadget.

At 260g (just over half a pound), the e-book weighs less than a hardback and uses power only when readers turn a page.

Battery life

It has a battery life equivalent to approximately 6,800 continuous page turns, enough to read War And Peace five times on a single charge, according to Sony.

Tens of thousands of titles are available to be downloaded on to the gadget, Waterstone's said.

Traditional books

The British Library said the gadget was unlikely to kill off the traditional paper book.

Stephen Bury, head of European and American collections, said the book lover and pleasure reader would not give up the traditional paper book for an electronic gadget.

He said: 'How can you guarantee you are going to have access to the books on the Sony Reader in five or 10 years' time. If you've got a library of 100 hard copy books it's hard to lose them.

'We have books at the British Library that have been annotated by the authors or by famous people and people are still going to want to experience that.'

Which? will be testing the reader soon and we'll publish our review online.