This evening I was bouncing around among various book blogs and ran into mention of a novel by Wilkie Collins called No Name, some 700 pages in the version the blogger had. The blog was Tales from the Reading Room.
Off I went to Google books to take a look at this "chunkster" to see if it might be something I would want to read. And of course it did appeal. Next step: download it onto my Sony PRS-505 through the link to Google books at the Sony ebook store. Now it's on that marvelous little device and I can read it - instant gratification at no cost (beyond, of course, what I paid for the PRS-505). Not only was it free, but I can now read it without my hands hurting from holding such a large book; and I can increase the font size for easier reading. I just opened No Name on the Sony reader, and it is 734 pages.
I love Google books and have spent many happy hours searching and downloading and reading. When I first read that Sony and Google had teamed up to make Google books available through the Sony ebook store for free download I couldn't understand what the advantage would be. I had been downloading the pdf versions of Google books onto the reader already, so what was the advantage? True, "turning" the pages in the pdf books was frustratingly slow, but I had learned to time pushing the turn page button so that I wouldn't have to wait. Well, there is an advantage to downloading Google books through the Sony ebook store: they are converted to text, and the frustrating page turn lags are gone.
For one who loves 19th century literature, as I do, this is amazingly wonderful. All I need now is more time to read!