Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Chose the Nook

I debated for a long time over the current e-book readers.

I had an eBookwise 1150 reading device for a couple of years. It was cheap, $99 when I bought it and was the bare bones of electronic readers. But it finally stopped charging and I could no longer use it.

I shopped the Kindle, the Sony Reader, the iPad, and the Nook looking for a replacement. I read the reviews, went to the stores to check them all out. I pestered friends and strangers whenever I noticed them using an e-reader.

Mixed opinions abounded, confounding my already confused brain.

All I wanted was something that I could comfortably read. I wanted clear, readable text, no jumbled characters allowed. I wanted the device to be lightweight so that I could hold it in one hand and turn the digital page without dropping it.

I didn’t care about making notes, storing music, playing games, or all the other hodge-podge of features that make a device so many things other than an e-reader.

When I read a book, I’m reading a book. I’m not listening to music, playing games, and although I might make notes in the margin of what I like or don’t like, it isn’t essential that I do.

In the end, I choose the Nook.

One, the price was reasonable. Two, it came with a $50 gift card for eBooks. I love to read. Sellers take note, for die-hard readers, a deal sweetened with books is a hook that most of us can’t resist.

Now, the Nook isn’t a bare bones device like the eBookwise 1150. It does have some nifty features. The text size can be adjusted to suit your reading preference. It has 2GB of memory, which I’m told means that it can hold 1,500 books, newspapers, and magazines. If that isn’t sufficient, you can add a memory card.

The version I purchased has built-in Wi-Fi and can utilize the AT&T 3G network if Wi-Fi isn’t available. The Nook also allows you to read complete eBooks while visiting any of the BN stores. I haven’t tried that yet, but WooHoo! if it works! And yes, I will be checking out that feature the next time I’m in the store.

Chess and Sudoku come pre-loaded on the Nook. I’ve played Sudoku and like it. I haven’t tackled the Chess board yet.

When browsing the BN online bookstore, a conglomerate of titles appear and in no particular order. Usually, I use my netbook to browse the online bookstore and make purchases through the website that are then updated directly to my Nook. If you are hunting for something in particular, you can tap the slide bar to access the keyboard and tap out the title or author you are looking for.

I was able to easily order from other online stores and transfer the books to the Nook using the USB cable that comes with the device. I like the USB cable design because it also has an attachment that converts it into a plug so the device can be recharged using a computer or electrical outlet. I find this very convenient because I don’t have to carry two cords.

I love the easy of reading the Nook. It’s lightweight, slightly larger in size than a paperback novel but much thinner. For me, it is easy to read, even in dim light. Some might disagree. But growing up, I was the girl with the flashlight under the covers reading way into the night. I could read by the light of the moon or a flickering candle if need be.

What I’m not a big fan of is placement of the page turning buttons. The top buttons turn pages back. The bottom buttons turn the pages forward. To me, this is backwards. But, I’m adaptable.

Also, I wanted to be able to see the book cover art in color. Although the Nook does have this feature for the thumbnails on the slide bar, it doesn’t transfer to the actual viewer. Big belly-busting bummer!! Part of the fun of buying romance novels is drooling over the hunky heroes blazing on the cover. Some of the sizzle is lost in black and gray.

Speaking of the slide bar, it’s a smidgen too slow for me. Or maybe my fingers are too quick for it. I have to tap it several times for it to respond. Patience, patience, patience.

Dear hubby stresses patience with electronics and elevators. And I say, with OCD and ADD I’ll have patience when I’m dead. Until then, I’ll keeping tapping the button until I get the desired response.

Other than those three teeny hiccups in the design, I’m very happy with my Nook. And my hubby was happy for the $50 gift card. My eBook spending could bankrupt the budget.
~Kristal Lee

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Anonymous said...

Lynn Rush says:
I LOVE my Nook!!! I recently went on a trip (England/France) and it was so awesome having so many books on there. I read, like, five. That would have been too bulky to carry FIVE print books around.

So far, I haven’t found any flaws that are glaring. I love it.

July 21, 2010

Anonymous said...

rynogeny says:
I’ve decided in the past few days that the nook is the very last device I’ll go for because BN is utilizing deceptive business practices. When they first opened their ebook store, they chose the PDB format — the old Palm format. This meant that the books would load on PDAs, and that books previously purchased in that format would load on the nook. Since I have several hundred books in PDB, that was a huge plus for me.

But a while back they changed their format to ePub. I don’t blame them for that — not only is it becoming the new standard, it’s apparently more stable. But they’re hiding that information. As of last Friday, nowhere on their site do they indicate which format they’re using, not even in the FAQ. So people with PDAs are continuing to buy books from them that they then can’t read (there’s no ePub reader software for PDAs) and Barnes & Noble knows this. They know they’re deceiving people who were able to buy and read books from them a few months ago, and can no longer do so, and are fine with that. (Customer Service admitted as much to me.)

So I effectively donated $40 to them for files I can’t read except on my PC (which I have no interest in doing. Would you?)

On the plus side, I’m wondering if this means nook owners can buy ebooks from other stores selling in the ePub format. (Borders, for example.)

At this point, I’ve decided to buy an iPod Touch with apps that will let me read not only my PDB files, but also the books I bought from BN last week, as well as books for the Kindle.

I also saw a comment online that a BN rep told a nook owner complaining about the increase in ebook prices that since he could afford a nook, he obviously had the money to pay even *more* for ebooks than print books are costing, and should be happy that so far, they’re either the same price as print or still a little cheaper. I don’t know if a rep really said that but I can well imagine it after my conversation last week. That rep cheerfully told me that some books on the site are still in PDB format and when I asked if there was any way of knowing which ones, he said, ‘No. You’ll have to pay for them and then see if you can read them.’

Because, clearly, I’m independently wealthy.

At this point, I don’t trust any of the stores with dedicated devices to do what’s best for their customers if they think they can grab an extra buck in some way by screwing them over.

Sorry for the rant, but that $40 is going to be a sticking point for me for a long time. If they’d just say on their website — even with a positive spin — ‘we’ve changed to the new standard in ebook formats!’ I’d be fine, even though it means I’d no longer be buying from them. But hiding the information about the format and then telling me I should buy more books from them that I can’t read really ticked me off.

None of which changes the fact that the nook is probably a wonderful device. I hope it does exactly what you need for it to do, that BN never decides to screw with the nook customers, and that you never have a need to talk to their customer service reps!
July 21, 2010

Anonymous said...

Jody says:
I have a kindle and I love it but it doesn’t have a back light. so when we thought to buy a new computer I opted to get an iPad as it does everything except large word processing and it has a backlight for the reader. I can get the apps for the kindle, Barnes and Noble, Borders and iBooks, so I can shop around for the best price.

And the claim you can’t use them outside is hooey, I use mine all th time and I can a set the screen to sepia to deal with any glare. For me though they are pricey I love mu iPad,

July 21, 2010

Anonymous said...

Nicole North says:
Thanks for the detailed post! I’ve also been trying to decide on an ebook reader.

July 21, 2010

Anonymous said...

Kathy Crouch says:
I haven’t converted to ebooks other than ones on the computer. I guess I’m old fashioned but I like a book as opposed to an ereader. Maybe down the road if I get a job and we get out on our own again. Right now we’re living with my sister until we find our money.

July 21, 2010

Anonymous said...

Nancy J. Cohen says:
I am still debating which device to get. No one talks about the Kindle DX because it’s pricey, but their new design looks nice. It’s not carried in any retail stores that I know of, meaning you can’t actually see it in person. And why get something bigger like that without getting the iPad?

July 22, 2010

Anonymous said...

Alexis Walker says:
Thank you for the great information on the Nook. I have also been debating which device to buy. Your post definitely gave me a lot to think about. My biggest issue is the size of the device I buy. I love the iPad with it’s color, but it’s way too big. I don’t even buy hard cover books because they are too bulky. I like a nice small paperback I can curl up with. Very good to hear you can read in the sunlight with the Nook. What good is a device that you can take anywhere if you can’t read anywhere.

July 22, 2010

Anonymous said...

Pat McDermott says:
This is great info, Kristal. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts about the Nook. I’m still waiting for prices to drop before I buy a reader.

July 22, 2010

Anonymous said...

Linda says:
I have purchased the Kindle. I love it I can’t stop reading. It’s very addictive. I can purchase from e-publishers and download it to my device. I have discovered that some writers only write in the e-books, so I have since discovered new authors that I really enjoy. The convenience is wonderful. I can look up books and download them within seconds. Of course, I have to keep track of how many I purchase because I can go overboard, it’s so easy to purchase them.

I never thought I would enjoy having an e-reader, I am such a traditionalist, but having the convenience of having, so far, over 200 books with me, for a book lover is heaven. I carry my Kindle everywhere in my purse, I am definitely sold me on device.

I have downloaded from Amazon free Jane Austen books, and Goggle has a project of publishing, for free books before, I believe the 1850′s that are no longer copywrited, I just have to find the list, that you can download through Amazon.

One last comment, the 1500 books can be added to. Amazon keeps a database of what you read, and you can off load some of the books to this and purchase more and move them back and forth, storing some and keeping some on your device. Also if you lose or your device is destroyed, you can reload them to the Kindle as well.

I love my Kindle. For a book lover like me, it’s heaven.

August 10, 2010

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