Win your Deployed Spouse a Sony Touch Reader for Valentine’s Day

Rules of contest:
* Prize is a Sony Touch Reader valued $299.99 with the bonus of 10 pre-loaded top titles (selected by Borders).
* You must be the spouse of a deployed hero to enter.
* Copy of deployment papers and APO will be required upon winning.
* Last date to enter is Sunday, January 24th midnight central time.
* You must comment on this post to be considered. I will weigh my decision heavily on your answers here, as well as those who in addition tweet (I’m @kissmygumbo) and Facebook about it too (on your status if you include @gretaperry – I will be tagged in it)
* Photos and creativity for answers are encouraged.
* Winner will be announced on #militarymon on January 25th.

To enter, you must answer this question, “ “WILL E BOOKS AND READERS CHANGE THE WAY YOU SHOP FOR BOOKS?”


I was contacted by a PR company on behalf of Borders Books to demo the Sony Touch Reader. Being a gadget dork, this was a very exciting opportunity. Believe it or not, I’ve never really played with one because I’m still “old school” when it comes to wanting to touch and feel the paper between my finger. 2010 is the first year without a written date planner, so maybe I’m ready for this too. The enticing opportunity about this demo, was not only a free reader for my family, but the opportunity to give one to the deployed spouse of one of my readers for a Valentine’s Day gift. A win win situation for everyone.

The email said:

One of the most popular items being shipped to our deployed military this holiday is an electronic book reader. Due to the content available, storage space and ease of use the devises are popular and the perfect toy for those who must travel light, but enjoy reading โ€“ sometimes multiple titles at once!

While other booksellers have released their own e readers, Borders offers Sonyโ€™s models. Weโ€™d like to know what you think about the e readers and would like to give you the Sony Touch in exchange for conducting an in-store demo and telling us about your experience โ€“ what did you like? What features make the device easy to use? How would an e reader make life and reading easier for you?

I did my demo at the Borders in Metairie and well…I’m in LOVE!!! I see no reason to buy another book. Yours truly does lots of book reviews and I understand those will be paper. Otherwise, I’m on board and can’t wait to start using mine. As a professional organizer, I’m all about simplifying and frankly the stack of 20 books on my nightstand is overwhelming! No more need to sell books at garage sales or sticking them on my husband’s nightstand to collect dust when I’m finished. If you’ve PCSd, you know book weight can count towards professional poundage. We were out of control with books through our career!

So… I can carry up to 350 titles on this little 6″ display screened gadget at one time (wishful thinking, Greta). Woot woot! The demo lady told me that there are many classics available for free download too and that might entice me to read those again. The navigation was a no brainer and with the swipe of a finger, can turn the page (as simple as my iPhone). Since I can never find a bookmark when I need one, I really like the idea of electronic bookmarking. Mostly loved the built in dictionary and the convenience of writing notes with the stylus on the screen. It says you can charge and read for 2 full weeks and that will be a bonus for the deployed folks! It claims to be easily readable in direct sunlight so that will be something I look forward to testing (not sure would bring to the beach though). Other bonuses: PC & Mac compatible, 5 font sizes to choose from, cute little carrying cases for purchase, multiple file types compatible.

We must all face that this is the future of books and embrace it instead of fear it. Thanks for this opportunity Borders, or I might have waited even longer to come over from the antiquated side!

24 Responses to Win your Deployed Spouse a Sony Touch Reader for Valentine’s Day

  1. Kate January 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m not sure yet if e-Readers will completely eliminate the need and desire for paper books, but I surely see all sorts of possibilities. People who are deployed, or traveling, or live outside the US and find the cost of media postage too high, will all find e-Readers to be great tools!

    I know exactly what you mean about books & PCSing. Nearly every move, at least one of the packers mentions that we have “too many books!” I’m not sure I’ve ever told you the story about the time we asked the packers to mark whether the books were for the children or the grown-ups; we ended up with about 30 boxes labeled “adult books.” I’m sure the new neighbors were quite impressed!

    Great contest, Greta. I’ll be sure the tell everyone about it, even though I’m not sure I technically qualify. The husband is deployed, but he will hopefully be back within weeks of the end of the contest. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!)

  2. Angela January 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    I was sent this link by a wonderful soldier/military family supporter. I was just telling her how I was researching the ereaders online trying to find out which one would be best and how well they’d work here. My husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and myself and our three children are waiting here at ‘home’ in Italy. Being that we are in Italy makes it extremely hard to buy books. Our PX is very small and the selection is slim in books. We usually order them online and have them shipped to us, IF they ship APO. Our entire family enjoys reading. My husband is Native American and very active in his tribe. He loves researching books on his heritage and gain the most knowledge he can about his tribe and others to pass down to our children. Of course there’s nothing like that for us to buy at our px and since he’s downrange we can’t go to the library and mail him a book. LoL Anways, I may have commented more than needed or something I didn’t need to about this on here and apologize if I did it all wrong. Wasn’t quite sure what to type. LoL I think this is a great thing that you have going.

  3. Greta (Hooah Wife) January 10, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    This is perfect – keep them coming!!!

  4. amber January 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Hi my name is amber and my husband is currently deployed to iraq.. I have been looking into ereaders for him since he has started reading so much more there.. since my hubby is constantly in his vehicle on patrols.. I know he would love it.. .and I ts light wheight.. it would be just right and would keep him entertained for a while.. He is such a tech geek its not even funny.. so i hope u think of us when making your decision it would be awsome for the kids and i to win and send to him.. have a wonderful day and thank you for supporting our troops.. Amber soto

  5. Tracy Davis January 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Hello my name is Tracy and my husband is currently deployed for the 3rd time to IRAQ. I personally feel that E-readers would be a excently oppourtunity for many solider weither they are in iraq, afghan or any other location the military services sends our troops to. With the modern technology and the use of computers in every day world that would be a good thing for people. Trying to send books or other forms of reading material to soliders overseas can be a big burden. For instance you cant really send religious material to service memebers due to the muslim religion in iraq and if e-readers was available that will give that solider the opportunity to access the bible thru that service. Which I can go on and on with this email on why I feel that is best but dont want to take much space…Hope I get selected……also, thanks again for supporting the troops , organizations like this makes other soliders moral just a little higher why they are away…….

  6. Tsoniki Crazy Bull January 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    I think if I could get past not actually holding a book, ebooks and readers would *definitely* change how I shopped for books! I’ve looked at a few different readers, but for whatever reason I just can’t make the leap! We have over three packed full bookcases and yes, they are super heavy come PCS time, or heck any time for that matter since I like to rearrange as well. I am one that doesn’t like to get rid of books either, I hold on to them for ages! My DH is currently deployed and though he’ll be gone for a bit longer, has already started sending stuff home because he just doesn’t have the room for any of it – and then in the next breath will tell me about whatever books he just bought. He’s currently trying to learn a new language and bought a few books for that! Thanks for the chance!

  7. Tsoniki Crazy Bull January 10, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    I posted on twitter!

  8. Andrea January 10, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    I think E Readers are the next big thing in reading. In my life I have read too many books to even fathom. Being a military spouse it is heart breaking to think about having to choose which books I keep and which I get rid of. My husband who is on his 3rd deployment to Iraq always has a hard time because books are so bulky and he may run out when he is nowhere to get access to more. This way he can have multiple books on hand in one divine. I think everyone can relate to both of those problems.

    In civilian life, people worry about space, clutter, and even the environment. Books are printed on paper! Each book takes it’s toll on the environment. By switching to an E Reader you are doing your part to help elevate that issue. Having books stacked on bookshelves and, if you’re like me, on top of books on the bookshelf is no way to have a clutter free home! Think of all the space you can save!

    I believe in the future everyone will have E Readers. Think of computers. When home computers first arrived on the scene not everyone had one. Today it is hard to imagine not having one in your home. Even our kids have them for school. Speaking of school, I have no wonder how my son’s back got hurt, have you picked up a teenager’s backpack lately? Imagine the day when school kids have their school books on one E Reader! Lighter loads and no more “Oops, I forgot my history book Mom”!

    In the end, I think one day paper books will be a cherished “novelty” and E Readers will be the mainstay of those who love to read!

  9. Jennifer Sloan January 11, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Ahh…the ever-lasting question of ‘which e-reader should I get??’ With all the ones on the market-with more to come-it’s a difficult decision to make!
    My love has asked me to research this so that when he comes home on R&R we can make the decision, purchase, and load it up for him. He’s with a lot of single guys who don’t really get the concept of ‘down time’ or ‘alone time’ just yet. They don’t understand that his need for solitude after putting in the hours he does. I think that comes with some maturity. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But my love just likes to wind down, escape from reality for a bit with a good book….this is where the e-reader comes into play for him.
    I’m wanting one for myself as well. I have a few allergies that I have quite the reaction to–enough to have weekly shots–and of course one of them is dust. Looking at the selection of books online, I’ve discovered that almost every single author I love to read is available! This is wonderful!! I could load up my e-reader with ALL the books I love to read (and I don’t just read a book once or twice, I’m known for reading a book 7-10 times, which is why I keep all my books), and donate my books to someone else. At one point in my young life I had over 1000 books at my disposal. I’ve had to downsize for PCS purposes though–something that really broke my heart. With an e-reader though, we would never have to do that again!! And with me being physically broken, I spend a lot of time down on my back in bed, on ice.
    There are so many reasons to get one of these nifty gadgets….and very few NOT to.

  10. Lori Burdette January 11, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I think the readers will catch on and eventually be very popular among our soldiers. I just think right now, those at home are used to sending books and they have libraries on the bases so you can swap books. I debated getting my husband a reader this past Christmas but decided I would wait for the prices to come down. I don’t like to be one of the first to buy things. I have done this before and have ended up not using the product. So I will let others post their reviews and then make a decision. I do think if someone is a reading junkie, this reader would be an amazing gift. To be able to store multiple stories prior to a deployment would be amazing.
    Another issue is the ability to download large amounts of memory while deployed. Most of the bases, even when paying for the best internet connection, is limited at best. I can not even send my husband a small video to load. So this may be of some concern.
    I would love to try one of these and allow my husband to see how it works as a soldier deployed but not ready to invest to possibly be disappointed.

  11. Heather@It's Twinsanity January 11, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    My husband is currently deployed to Iraq and I’m at home with our 6 young children. We have 2 sets of identical twins, ages 3 and 1, and 2 singletons, ages 7 and 5. (I’m not joking! Proof is on my blog at This is our first deployment in 6+ years of military life. It’s been so hard. My husband actually left in January 2009 for a year of various schools and training and then deployed immediately after finishing that. This means 2 full years of separation for us. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, even harder than having newborn twins (twice!)

    I think ebooks can change the way some people shop for books. Personally, I prefer to settle down with a hardcover book and enjoy it with a cup of coffee. That never happens these days of course. My husband would prefer to read an ebook because he loves technology and he has limited space. He can only fit so many things into his trunk. He brought along several books to read in Iraq and he’s asked me to ship him several more. I’m not sure where he’ll put all of them! I think ebooks can expand a personal library without requiring the physical space of an actual library. That’s convenient!

    Thanks for hosting this contest!

  12. Heather@It's Twinsanity January 11, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    I just tweeted about it:

  13. Carla Hall January 11, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    I have been looking at E-Readers for a while, hoping to send one to my husband who is deployed to Afghanistan. This is his second deployment to the middle east and the begining of a long and hard road for us. I am currently expecting a little girl (Due in April) that he will not be able to see until he comes back. He was unable to take the pregnancy related books that we bought for him due to the sheer amount of belongings required due to his deployed location. There was just no more room. An E-Reader would be a wonderful way for him to be able to read the books that we both wanted to read, while not taking up the space that a real book requires. And like some other military wives that have posted, I will also not be able to see my husband for very any long period of time during the next two years due to a harsh deployment cycle, multiple trainings and lengthy travel times. With this amount of travel this would allow him to also read all of the books that he loves (or I make him) without figuring out how to send them home, pack them up or giving them away.

    E-Readers could be a great gateway for soliders to have a bit of normalcy in a chaotic evironment that is anything but comfortable. In the very small amount of time that they have to themselves, reading a good book may help keep them a sense of normalcy.

  14. Photina January 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    As a Library and Information Science major I hope that books will always be in use. But as a gadget lover I realize that times are changing. I think the e-readers will become very useful, handy and prominent for troops who are deployed. They are smaller in size, can carry more books and are light. They will save on space and weight for the troops who are deployed whether on a ship or on land. Having an e-reader would enable my husband to save space in his rack as he is a big reader. We are always sending books back and forth since he tries to read as much as possible when he can.

  15. LilyN January 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    With the demise of our only local bookshop in Marysville (near Beale AFB), the move towards e-books is imminent for me. 2010 is the Year of Change (well, it’s the Year of the Tiger, if you’re scoping out the Chinese calendar and don’t tigers change their stripes… wait. That’s not right. Never mind.)

    Short story long, e-readers are The Wave of the Future…. wait. They can’t be The Wave of the Future if they’re already here. They’re The Beacon of Now and Tomorrow. Books, instantly, in your paw – ignore that vague Tiger reference – and ready to travel with you.

    I predict backpacks will become passe once the e-readers hit the textbook market. No more sloped-over students, their spines crumbling under the weight of pages and pages and pages of knowledge. They will hop and skip freely in the sunlight, freed forever by the e-reader. And thanks to its innovative screen, they can even read their e-readers in that delicious sunlight.

    Oh yes, the e-reader will indeed revolutionize (and I’m aware of the heavy implications of such a word) the reading world…. and it can start with me! I have nothing but time to figure out new technology while my darling is deployed….

  16. Suzanne January 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Bonjour !
    My name is Suzanne, I’m French married to my American soldier and currently living in Germany. We got married in June and he deployed 2 days before Christmas…sad.
    But it was also very sad to see how much gear my husband had to carry with him and space was extremely limited. No need to say that he wasn’t able to put many books in his footlocker- that’s when I started looking up e-reader…But I can’t afford one ๐Ÿ™
    I believe the e-reader will play a key role in the future for many people in the world.
    People like our men in uniforms who spend months or even years fighting on the other side of the world and far away from home rarely have the opportunity to order and get books shipped to them. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be for a soldier, far from home, friends and loved ones with very little comfort, to be able to pick what book he wants to read at any time of the day?
    I can only imagine my husband or any other soldier, reading a book on the e-reader and escaping this very cold environment that they have to call “home”, for an amazing story, no matter what it is about. It would help them escape, dream, imagine, hence hopefully recharging their batteries. Reading is one of the best and healthiest past time any one can have. It enriches your mind and unleashes your imagination.
    Thanks to the e-reader, there are no more limits to the reading books for the passionate people.

  17. Amy Jeffries January 17, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    My husband is currently deployed to Iraq and will return at the end of this year. We were married for six weeks when he left, almost to 7 months of wonderful matrimony as of this point.

    E-books and E-readers may change the way one READS books, but I am unsure as to whether it would change how one shops for books. As it stands, I already check reviews and synopses online to make sure I’m not wasting my time buying a title I won’t want to finish or waste money on. My husband does the same. He loves to read and buys books while deployed constantly, and even sent me some for Christmas that he thought I would like. He’ll have to give all of the ones he bought away at the end of the deployment to avoid having to ship them home.

    Probably the best parts of having e-books are the convenience, accessibility, and reduction in paper waste. What might change the way I shop is that I am more likely to buy titles I may not normally consider because of these advantages. If I don’t like the story, well, I buy another e-book and there isn’t any more room taken up, and less paid overall for two books!

    Also, the convenience would probably allow my husband to read more, as he can throw it in a bag and not worry about bookmarks, etc. so it may change how we/he shops for books in that it might increase our purchases. I would also be able to buy one for him to read and not have to post it in a package.

    In sum, e-books could change how I shop for books in that it will probably increase my purchases because I’m not worried about taking up space or having an effect on the environment, and they will change how I read books because I can see myself reading more often, in a larger variety of places.

    For soldiers, I can’t imagine a better gift. The internet connection is often terrible, but once a book is downloaded, no big deal. While all soldiers love their video games, perhaps this is a way for those in the field to enjoy something “electronic” AND fulfilling while overseas.

  18. Rhonda Martin January 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    All I can say is I can finally get rid of my books therefore that would free of weight on my allowance when we PCS. That just means I can get more Polish Pottery. YEAH!!!!

  19. Katy D. January 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    I was looking online for something to get my husband for valentines day while he is deployed in Afghanistan and I came across this website. This is my husband’s first deployment and I know that he would really enjoy something such as this to keep his mind in a better place when he has free time. We are both a young couple, 19 and 20, and I know that having a cool electronic gadget will be right up his alley. I know that he also wants to continue his military education and go onto the boards and become a ranger/sapper so he would be able to put the literature on the sony touch reader and read while he is working. I have not been able to afford much for birthdays and holidays for him since we both paying for own cars and have been on our own for a while now paying our own bills and such and he would greatly appreciate having something this nice send from home. It would really mean a lot to me for you to even consider us for this offering. Thank you for having such a wonderful website and having so much support for the troops overseas!

  20. Wendy January 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    My husband just left a week ago on his first deployment. Wow he would love this! He is a huge tech nerd and loves to read. He is having a hard time there as I am 7 months pregnant with our first child. He is trying to find something to pass the time by especially since they lost his luggage on the way over (it had his wii in it). I would love to buy this for him but, being a military family, we are poor. Thank you!


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