Well, who’d have thunk it?


I have become an eReader fan. I didn’t expect to be one, and I’m still a bit surprised about it – but I like my new acquisition a lot for a whole lot of reasons.

This all started a year ago, when a literary agent friend told me how easy it made reading typescripts. Her submission guidelines specify only electronic submissions, which she first checks on her computer and then downloads anything she wants to consider further on to her eReader. She can read those anywhere – in the office, at home, on the bus – without having to lug around heavy, slippery piles of paper.

And I have a part-time job reading unsolicited material for a literary agent, a job that’s not only recently become more demanding of time but also uses lots of people’s energy in remarkably inefficient ways: sorting, opening and logging hundreds of submissions a week, and storing and accessing heavy boxes and baskets full of these. I need to carry the ones I want to spend more time considering back and forth between the office and home … and then there’s the writing, printing and mailing of replies.

So after a lot of discussion we’ve just begun to encourage electronic submissions. It’s great! I’ve even discovered how to load typescripts from my home Apple Mac into a Sony eReader (they’re not compatible) and already it’s saving lots of everyone’s time.

I am going to take the eReader a step further at some future stage, and load it with books to read for pleasure. For long plane journeys it’d be great – the only present drawback would be what’s available electronically, but you have to hope the range will improve.

My advice if you’re considering this yourself: DO get the original eReader (PRS 505) and not the newer version, which has a weird shimmer on the screen. There are several patches you can download for Mac compatibility, although I haven’t yet tried that route. And I can’t compare the eReader to the Kindle because the latter’s not yet available in the UK, but so far with what I have, so terrific.

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