Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don’t worry, just read & be happy


I’m in a love-hate relationship with Barnes & Noble.  Recently I purchased one of their ebook readers, a “Nook”.   This wasn’t an impulse buy either, as I’d been wanting one of these contraptions for some time.  Originally my heart was set on an Amazon Kindle, after seeing a woman on my bus with one; it looked private and convenient. 

So last winter, around the same time I decided on buying one, B&N said “Wait, before you buy a Kindle, look at this!”   They were rolling out their new e-reader, the Nook.

I liked what I saw—it was similar to the Kindle, but included an MP3 player and a beta web browser.  It was a little smaller, a little heavier, but was getting great reviews (and okay, looked pretty stylish too).  But what really set it apart was a color touch screen below the reader that also displayed all the books in your e-library.  I was drooling!   At the time though, it was kind of pricey ($249) and bound to have bugs being a brand new product and all, so I made myself wait at least 6 months before buying one.  


My ‘e-library’; I currently have around thirty books, but it can hold thousands—also magazines, newspapers,songs, photos, etc.


I’m glad I waited, because they worked out the kinks and lowered the price too.  So last month I finally decided the time was right & bought one.  It’s a cool device, and renewed my interest in reading (which has been on the decline for the last couple years.)   You can browse the Barnes & Noble e-Bookstore right on it, there’s ‘Free Ebook Fridays’ and it only takes a few seconds to download Mackenzie Phillips drug-laced tell all.  (Or ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, better?)

To be honest, when I first got it I found it a bit peculiar that I needed a reading lamp, just like a regular book—but then I visited an online forum of Nook fanatics, who explained to us newbies that it uses “e-ink” which is supposedly easier on the eyes, and besides your “real” books don’t light up either, do they?  Well no, but they’re not electronic.   It would’ve been nice though.  Maybe someday, in the far future…

And then last week, after I’ve had my Nook a total of 4 weeks, I get an email from Barnes & Noble:   “As a Nook owner, we thought you’d like to know—on November 19 we’re releasing a brand NEW Nook, the NOOK COLOR.  Wait, what?!  If I’d only held out a little longer!


The whole screen is now a touchpad, not just the bottom; you can read magazines in full color & without any external light source, son of a—!


Of course, the Nook forums are now full of Nookies (you know, Nook Groupies) telling everyone not to panic, this is not replacing THE Nook, it’s just another model to the B&N lineup.  “And besides, for reading the e-ink is best!”  Uh-huh.   

So after spending a couple days sulking over the lousy timing, what could I do?  I shrugged my shoulders and got back to reading with my Nook.  And y’know, the more I use it, the more it hit me—I love this simple thing.   (It also helped when I learned the new Color Nook only holds an 8 hour charge—my Nook’s battery lasts at least a week.)   So fine, Barnes & Noble—unveil your new reader in a couple weeks, I hope you sell a million of ‘em!

(And I’ll just wait six months or so until they work out the kinks and drop the price some…)


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