I’ve been very, very happy with my Sony E-reader 505 and am still chewing through my first ebook on the device. (American Gods by Neil Gaiman – I’ll post a quick review it when I’m done) Yesterday I got lucky and found a lot of accessories for the Sony 505 e-reader on clearance at a local store and grabbed everything I could.

The big find was a “Sony E-reader cover with light for the 505 series”. The new cover is black on the outside, which is a much better look than the muted brown cover that initially came with the 505. Inside the new cover is a small glass-like square that just covers the LCD screen of the 505. It’s not actually a light in itself, but illuminated from a light source inside the spine of the cover. It works by sending light into the glass and not illuminating from it… kind of like putting a flashlight under bottled water.

The light pane can be moved out of the way to the left side just like a page of a book, and has two intensities to select from, depending on how much light you want to frame the LCD screen with. I found the first intensity setting perfectly acceptable for both low light and complete darkness.

This is how the 505 looks with the new cover in very low light…

Sony 505 e-reader in dim light

Sony 505 e-reader in dim light

…and this is how the 505 looks in complete darkness.

Sony 505 e-reader in complete darkness

Sony 505 e-reader in complete darkness

Not bad at all!

The cover with light does add a little weight to the overall feel of the e-reader, but it’s not enough to change how I’ve been using it. It still fits in the same dimensions the previous cover did, and the light pane is barely noticeable if left in position while it is powered off. The new cover uses AA batteries, but it has a 30 hour runtime estimate.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic accessory for the 505. Even though the newer and touchscreen-enabled versions of Sony’s e-reader are hitting the store shelves, you can’t go wrong picking up a “previous generation” 505 and one of these cover lights if you can find them. Four and a half out of five stars.