Elizabeth Semrai
June 15, 2009

Half the fun of a golf vacation is the anticipation of getting there. But those plane rides can be long, and a good book is essential. Can't decide which best seller to bring?How about all of them?

The new Sony Reader ($299–$399, sonystyle.com) might just create a phenomenon for the printed word the way the iPod did for music. It's a portable reading device that can hold up to eighty e-books, as well as text documents, audio and photos. The best part: It's the size of a thin paperback and weighs just nine ounces. We would never read a book on a computer, but this isn't an LCD screen—it's a new technology that looks so much like actual ink on paper that it's possible to forget you're not holding a real book. In fact, in order to read in the dark, an overhead light is needed. The Reader's simple menu and page buttons are faultless, and its battery is good for 7,500 page turns. E-books cost about 25 percent less than hardcovers, and the world's top book publishers are joining in on the e-book trend, adding titles every day to the diverse library at Sony's Connect online bookstore.

Also new to the market, for those who prefer to listen to the written word, are digital audiobooks from Playaway ($35 and up; playawaydigital.com, bookstores nationwide). Merely the size of a deck of cards and weighing next to nothing, each device comes preloaded with a bestselling title and includes earphones. It's a breeze to navigate and mark your place. Similar to a book on cassette or CD, but without the cumbersome tapes and discs. So on your next trip to Pebble or Pinehurst, hit the books!

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