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The Sony Reader

2 November 2009

'I've never been much of a gadget girl. I do have a mobile phone (Orange, obviously...) but, about to embark on a three-week book tour in August, I agreed to test drive one. I was a far from obvious choice. I don't have a BlackBerry, don't travel with a laptop and have an old-fashioned pen-and-ink diary. I saw the sense of taking one device rather than lugging quantities of books in and out of customs, but I was lukewarm.

Four countries and three weeks later, I'm another convert. The ReaderNew website launched by magazine for readers which provides readers' reviews, mostly of classics, and reading rooms for online discussions. is wonderful when travelling and, once you get the hang of it, easy to use. But, actually, I think the most significant thing about the Reader is not the issue of convenience, but its potential for transforming non-regular readers' relationship with books. We're all hard-wired for story telling, both as listeners and as tellers. We know there is a problem with literacy rates in the UK. If we are to solve it, we need to be more imaginative. We need to accept that the tools are not what matters - voice, print, audio - but the narrative itself. And acknowledge that, for some, a resistance to the physical book itself is a problem.'

Kate Mosse in the Bookseller