The Sony Reader was my first experience of ebook reading and I had invested the best part of £500 in books at the Waterstones' online bookstore before I decided to defect to the Kindle store – initially because I could synchronise my purchased on all my devices. Since then I've been left with a budding library of purchases that have been inaccessible except by using the Sony software on my Mac.
In December, though, all that could change when Sony introduce their apps for iOS and Android. The hope is that all books bought from the Sony Reader Store will magically appear on the smartphone apps. This would be ideal and would answer all my criticism of the Sony as a closed system. I wonder, though, how this is going to be achieved because. Unlike Kindle and other cross-platform systems, the Sony Reader works on the basis that purchases are downloaded once and that's it. And for users outside the USA, who have to rely on a ragtag of third-party bookstores in the absence of an official Sony store, the problems can only be greater. How are we to get our purchases from Waterstones, W.H.Smith and other suppliers to sync to the iPhone app?
I hope these purveyors of eBooks are now giving some serious thought to how it can be accomplished because, without doubt, there will be some very unhappy customers out there. We have paid good money for our books and the least we can expect is that they should be readable on a wide range of devices. It's no use saying we can't, because Amazon and others have shown how easy it is.