What Formats Are Best for Viewing on Sony Reader?

By Ashley Poland

Use software to convert an ebook to a new format.
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The Sony Reader is just one of dozens of e-readers available to consumers; the most recent model supports several types of document files, as well as image and audio files. With e-ink presentation, a touch screen, expandable media, and a backlit screen, the Reader may pick up in popularity as the ebook market grows.


The ePub format is considered the standard in ebooks; most e-readers, including the Sony Reader, are able to read this format. The catch for the Sony Reader is that while it can read DRM-protected ePub files that are purchased from the Sony store, it cannot read DRM-protected ePub files from other sources. However, there are websites that offer book downloads in ePub format that are not DRM-protected, including but not limited to Google Books, Bookrix, and Archive of Our Own --- leaving you with a large pool of free books for your Sony Reader.


While the Sony Reader can read ebooks in the BBeB format --- the proprietary format designed by Sony when it ventured into the world of ebooks --- the format is not longer being supported. As of August 2009, Sony has switched gears and is focusing on providing content in the ePub format.

Additional Formats

In addition to standard ebook formats, the Sony Reader can also read unprotected documents in the PDF, TXT, and RTF formats. The machine even boasts being able to convert documents from the Microsoft Word format, making it easy to take your own documents with you.


The Sony Reader not only stores books, but can also render images and play audio. Audio file formats supported by the Sony Reader are MP3 and ACC. While images may not render as well on the black-and-white e-ink screen, the usable formats are JPEG, GIF, BMP, and PNG. With only 512 MB of internal space, you will likely need a memory card to store music on your eReader.