Over the years, I have embraced technology in my private and my professional life. While many are debating the value of books in other forms than bound printed text, I have leapt onto the bandwagon. I've been an audiobooks fan for years now, and for the past two, I've been the proud owner and user of the Sony Electronic Reader (PRS-505). I have even been able to keep separate the book on my eReader, the one on the nightstand, and the one in the car CD player.
This week, though, I became aware of the potential for disruption, if not disaster. We had our children and grandchildren here for the holidays, and once everyone had turned in for the night, I thought I would read for just a few minutes. I was about a third of the way into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, far enough along to want to know what's going to happen next. I clicked on the bedside lamp, and flicked the "on" button. Nothing.
Assuming the battery had died, I went on to sleep and plugged the book into the charger, but when I tried to turn it on again--nothing. I tried all the fix-it methods available, first plugging and unplugging, trying different computers and charger cords, even looking online at the FAQs on the Sony website. Finally, I tried the online chat with an "analyst" who called herself Adriane. She was responsive and polite--offering such replies as "Thank you for the additional information, Nancy." She could not, however, help me. She recommended the "hard reset," which would have wiped the book's memory clean. I was a little reluctant, and when I realized I had to power up the book to do it, I knew it didn't matter. Next I tried visiting Best Buy, from which the book had been purchased. The nice little blonde spiked haired Asian "geek" tried to help. He managed to get it on, but I couldn't turn it off. (Eventually, it went back off on its own.)
Next I called Sony and was told that I could replace it with a refurbished model for just over $100. For $199 I could have a brand new model, and for $299, I could have an upgrade. I told him I would have to think it over.
Finally, I did what I should have done first: Asked my twenty-two-year-old son to take a look. He worked on the on-off switch a minute, and it was back in working condition.
Do I still recommend the electronic reader? Sure. But I recommend grown children even more.