My first portable e-reader was this Toshiba Pocket PC. It's a bit heavy and fat to fit in a pocket but it fit in my purse and held it's battery power for longer than I could tolerate reading a back-lit screen. It's great for reading in the dark.
I had Microsoft Reader, Adobe Reader, and Mobipocket Reader installed. I kept libraries on compact flash cards that fit in a slot at the top. It worked well because I could pop my card in the card reader on my desktop PC or on my laptop and pick up where I'd left off in any book as I moved between devices. It wasn't my first PDA, but it was the first one that read e-books and after I had that feature I rarely used my PDA for anything else.
If I had one complaint about this one, it's the backlighting. It's hard on the eyes to read on a bright screen. That's the key to newer e-readers like Kindle and Nook. When your eyes first settle into the beauty of an e-ink display, they say ahhh. It's something I had to experience for myself before I truly understood why everyone raved about it. I still use the Toshiba but less often now that I have better reading devices.
My favorite thing about the PDA is that when people see me with it in my hand -- concentrating, tapping the screen -- they think I'm working. No one interrupts. When they see me with a book in my hand, they think it's an invitation to interrupt.
Tell me about Your first e-reader.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="500" caption="Toshiba Pocket PC"][/caption]