Sony announces Reader Daily Edition, free library ebook checkouts

It flew under the radar until a quiet leak this morning, but Sony's just announced the Reader Daily Edition, as well as updated Mac-compatible eBook Library 3.0 software and a new library content service. The Reader Daily Edition has a seven-inch touchscreen with 16 levels of gray as well as a AT&T 3G modem, enabling it to pull content wirelessly -- it'll launch in December for $400, and the 3G access will be free, but limited to accessing the Sony eBook store. Yeah, sorry -- no web browser here. We're a little more geeked about the library finder service, which enables you to check out ebooks and other digital content from your local public library on any of the Readers -- for free. The New York Public Library is the flashy public launch partner, but there are "thousands more" looped in through a partnership with -- check out the huge selection of top-tier content you can get through the Chicago Public Library, for example. Interestingly, the library buys a fixed number of "copies" of each title and "checks out" the licenses, so you're on a time limit -- licenses will revert after 14-29 days depending on your local branch's rules. Yeah, it's a little DRM-y and there's a lot of interesting new media and copyright implications there, but it's still a pretty amazing idea, and it's definitely a major advantage over the Kindle. We're gunning for more info now, we'll let you know as soon as we find out more -- until then, check two more images after the break.

Update: We're told that partnerships with university libraries were "only a matter of time," but sadly there's no timetable for a European launch at the moment.

Read - Sony Reader Daily Edition PR
Read - partnership PR