Borders to Sell Digital Reading Device

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April 4, 2006 The electronic book has been on the horizon for such a long time that the announcement of its launch by Sony was not given the media fanfare such a significant development deserved. Dedicated readers will be pleased to know that the Sony Reader will be readily available though, as Sony will be making the innovative reading device for e-books and text documents available through Borders stores.

The Sony Reader will debut in Borders and more than 30 Sony Style stores around the United States as well as online. Borders stores, including some airport locations, will be outfitted with custom-designed display fixtures that will enable customers to learn about the device firsthand and experience reading with the high-contrast, high-resolution electronic paper display.

"Borders is committed to helping our customers enrich their lives through knowledge and entertainment," said Borders Senior Vice President of Trade Books Bill Nasshan. "That is why we've always been committed to offering a vast selection of books in our stores. Now, with this agreement to offer the Sony Reader to Borders customers, we are adding an exciting, new book format that gives those who are passionate about reading another way to indulge that passion. We are proud to be associated with Sony for the introduction of this exciting new product."

Coupling an innovative electronic paper display with a lightweight, compact form factor and a stylish, durable design, the Sony Reader will allow active readers to carry as much as they want to read whether they are traveling on the road or just around the corner. Roughly the size of a paperback novel, but thinner than most (about .5 inches thin), the device can store hundreds of books and other documents using a combination of internal flash memory and optional Memory Stick(R) or Secure Digital (SD) flash memory cards.

"This agreement with Borders, a brand that resonates with book lovers everywhere, affords us the opportunity to showcase the Sony Reader directly to reading enthusiasts," said Ron Hawkins, vice president of Portable Reader Systems at Sony Electronics. "Borders stores provide the premier locations for customers to see the Reader and experience all the advantages this revolutionary digital reading device has to offer."

As part of the relationship, Borders customers will also have the opportunity to purchase prepaid cards, redeemable online for e-books at the Sony CONNECT service which will offer a broad selection of trade fiction and non-fiction e-books from major and independent publishers at prices competitive with books offered in stores.

"In addition to e-books, the Sony CONNECT service will offer Borders customers who buy the Sony Reader access to a broad selection of web content in the form of blogs, news feeds and online magazines," said Lee Shirani, vice president of Sony CONNECT Inc. "Reading enthusiasts can now join the ranks of other digital media consumers to read their text content -- e-books and Internet content -- portably, anytime, anywhere."

In addition to e-books offered through the Sony CONNECT service, the Reader can store and display personal documents in Adobe PDF format as well as JPEG photos. With a seemingly limitless battery life equivalent to roughly 7,500 page turns, avid readers can devour a dozen bestsellers plus War and Peace without ever having to recharge. It is not yet known if the Sony Reader will be available internationally through Borders international stores which number 55 Borders superstores (located mainly in the U.K. and Asia Pacific), 33 Books etc. stores (primarily throughout Great Britain), Paperchase Products (U.K.-based gifts and stationery retailer with approximately 90 locations) and Waldenbooks Specialty Retail outlets which number over 675 Waldenbooks, Borders Express, Borders outlet and airport stores. More info as it comes to hand.

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