Yesterday was very exciting because I went to Barnes and Noble and brought home the nook. It was after much deliberation between the nook and its rival, the Amazon Kindle and also figuring out whether I even really wanted one in the first place. So I had to come up with a pros and cons list.
- Everyone has one! While usually that’s not a good justification to buy something, immersing yourself into a new trend like e-books which has a huge potential for building a new community for readers and writers is, in my opinion, a smart choice. Sometimes you have to go with the flow, dial down the nostalgia a few notches and embrace the digital advancement of our times if you want to keep up with the market.
- It’s handy! This was a really important decision factor in that I don’t have to carry a bunch of books around and add to the 50 lbs I’m already carrying in my purse. The nook can hold 1,500 e-books, magazines and newspapers (and more, if you get a memory card) and it gives you access to B&N’s library of over a million titles. I don’t think my bookshelf can compete with that.
- I want it now! Yes, the benefits of having an e-reader involves instant download of books. So instead of waiting until the next time I’m free and can go the bookstore to pick up Catching Fire, I can get it at the touch of a button wherever there’s wi-fi. They’re also pretty cheap and getting cheaper. Veruca Salt would approve.
- Can I have some ‘ore, please? I have a long list of books to read and I’m very behind. The nook could drastically improve my dismal reading pattern as of late by encouraging me to read and help me keep up with the latest books out there. You can sample books for free, get recommendations from B&N and lend books to other people.
- How can it be a page-turner if you can’t turn the pages? It was very difficult to reconcile my guilt over transitioning to a piece of technology which may contribute to hammering the nail that seals the traditional paper book’s coffin. Will there be no more physical books printed, which means no more bookstores along with that? No more bookmarks, no doggy-earing pages (guilty), no annotating on the margins, no reading your book with a flashlight underneath the sheets and no paper cuts? Okay, I think we can all live without that last one.
- No cool covers! When you have an e-reader, you don’t have an awesome, shiny cover that allows for great conversation to spark over the story while sitting on the bus or waiting in line at a store. All people see is you holding the cold, emotional back of some iPad-looking object which reminds them they need to text someone on their cell phone for the 37th time that hour or check in to Foursquare.
- Square-eyes! I’m around my laptop for most of the day everyday as a student and young person who has no life. I already have poor eyesight-incredibly poor- and suffer from chronic migraines from childhood. Okay, it sounds bad, but I’m not so miserable. The point is, I like taking a break to disengage from a screen when my eyes feel strained. Reading a physical book doesn’t hurt or tire me, but I worried reading on the nook for a long period of time would.
Obviously in the end, the pros won out, because I did end up purchasing the nook and am quite happy with it. I was able to counter the cons by realizing-1) that the simulated page turning on the nook’s screen is eventful enough, 2) there are tons of cool nook covers out there such as this one or this one , 3) reading the nook is actually very comfortable and you can adjust the settings of font, size and screen brightness.
When comparing it to the Kindle, it really came down to superficial, minor things like the color touch screen, the design and the fact that I’m a loyal BN customer and like their library more than Amazon’s. The prices are also really close; nook is $149 and the equivalent Kindle model is $139.
I also read a great post by Scott Nicholson on four ways e-books will change your world, which makes feel me even better about my choice.
What do you think of the e-book phenomenon? Do you have an e-reader already or plan to get one? Or would you rather stick with traditional books?