Amazon’s eBook control spooky? Try out this Sony Reader workflow

The recent buzz about Amazon automatically deleting eBooks from people’s Kindle was interesting. For a little bit of contrast here’s the workflow I’ve been using for about 1.5 year now.

  • Buy a Sony Reader. You can actually transfer PDFs and eBooks back and forth between the Reader and your computer without paying anything; I thought that in this post-DRM era sharing your own data with yourself ought to be normal, or am I dreaming?
  • Aggregate all the RSS feeds you care about in Google Reader.
  • Install Calibre (Linux, Mac, Windows).
  • When you know you’ll be commuting for a while:
    • Open Google Reader in a browser, hit Update.
    • Plug in your eBook Reader.
    • Open Calibre and ask it to download all your Google Reader unread items to the Reader. That takes a few minutes.
    • In your Google Reader browser tab, mark everything as read.

And voilà, you got all your news, with images and all, in your Sony Reader to make your commute time a bit nicer.