The pointy heads at Sony have saved us from bad-novel syndrome. You know the drill: Agonize over which book to pack on vacation, then, once there, settle into your hammock and start turning pages, only to discover it's a bore. And the nearest Borders is 4,000 miles away. The Sony Reader, an 8.8-ounce digital reading device, stores almost 80 e-books (downloadable at Sony Connect) that you can read page by page with the touch of a button. But make no mistake: A computer screen this is not. The Reader employs "electronic paper," which looks like the stuff made from trees—and has no annoying fluorescent backlighting. Plus you can increase the font size to eliminate eyestrain. And with 7,500 page turns on each charge of the lithium-ion batteries, you'll have to take a very long trip to run out of reading material on just one tank. Go ahead, pack the fattest travel guide you can find—it won't slow you down.
Sony Reader $350 www.sonystyle.com