*(I apologize for this title. It's all I could come up with. ~BK)
I often refer to myself as a techtard. My laptop is ancient, my phone only calls people and takes pictures, my television is not flat. But when both Barnes and Noble came out with the Nook… I knew I needed to own one, now.
And lo and behold, the greatest in-laws who ever lived got me one for Christmas after I threatened to go to B&N and lick the display one all, over so the store had to give it to me.
Tech specs are not my strong point, but here is why I give this device the highest rating I possibly can:
- It would be very easy for me to blow entire paychecks on ebooks (or real books). I’m pretty well behaved though. Also though, B&N offers a crapton of free books for download on the Nook. Most classics are free, and not just the crappy ones by Dickens either. Both Frankenstein and Dracula are free, free, free. Aesop’s Fables are free. Patrick Ness wrote a short story prequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go that you can download for free (and I have) that is only available on the Nook. A few authors have done this. I haven’t even been able to search all of the free stuff yet, there’s so much of it.
- What, that’s not enough free stuff? There’s a new coupon on the Nook every week that you can download to take into the store. Free smoothies, hot chocolate, cookies, extra percentages off real books. Yup. Just take your Nook to the nearest B&N and they will give you whatever it tells them to give you.
- Still not enough? Jeebus. Free tech support at the store all the time whenever you want (during store hours of course). There are people who work at B&N whose job it is to help you with your Nook, and that’s it.
- Okay, not everything is free, but the books you can buy are usually less expensive than the ones on the shelf. You can set up an e-wishlist on your Nook. And let’s say you’re really in the mood to start The Passage by Justin Cronin but B&N is closed and you don’t have $30 anyway. Get on the Nook, download it for about $15 and you have it in seconds without having to even put on pants. This is especially good for me because my book buys can be impulsive. I’ll buy something that looks good while I’m already reading something else and then forget I have it. With the e-wishlist, I can keep tabs on books I want to own without having to buy it, and then buy it when I’m ready to read it right that second.
- Speaking of impulse… I am so guilty of buying books with awesome covers and then reading the book only to find that it’s God awful. The Nook lets you preview books. You can download sample chapters for free.
- Sharing is caring. The Nook allows you to share books with other Nook owners at no cost. My in-laws also love crazy fantasy books, so we’ll be sharing a lot. This is a feature the Kindle does not have.
- Nook users can also check out e-books at the library. You download a book for free from the library and then delete it in two weeks so someone else can download it. This is another feature the Kindle does not have. However, I still have a problem with the whole giving back library books thing.
- E-ink is mind blowing. If you’re worried about staring at yet another screen after being at work all day, don’t. I have no idea how this works (magnets – how the fuck do they work?!) but e-ink rules. It’s like reading a paper page.
- Overall, the Nook is super user friendly. Very easy to navigate. It does a lot of the work for you, like bookmarking pages. Oh, also, you can play with type size and font. If you like large print – the Nook totally does that.
- In terms of e-readers in general, the concept as a whole is excellent. I have too many books and I don’t like giving them away. I don’t like using the library because I have to give the books back. But will I read most of these books again? Probably not. Some books are one read books, but I still love them. With an e-reader, I can have these books without them taking up real space and being a pain in the ass to move when we finally decide to buy a house or move to a less shitty apartment.
I will admit to one problem with the Nook, only because it would be dishonest not to. When I first got it, I had awful problems downloading books. B&N as a company had sold so many Nooks that their website server was at capacity. For 3 days after Christmas I couldn’t even add books to my e-wishlist. I couldn’t even log on to B&N.com. This problem has since cleared up, but it was very frustrating at the time.
Also, B&N for some reason did not like my personal email address. Downloads weren’t registering and my credit card was not being charged. All employees at both the store and the 800 number were stumped. After another few days of this, I went home, deleted my B&N.com account and created a second one with my professional email address. The Nook liked this one just fine, my credit card was charged, and I have been happily reading The Dresden Files for a couple of weeks now.
So, once my Nook and I solved our personal differences, everything was and is wonderful. I love this thing. And I still love books. There are certain authors whose books I will always want on the shelf. Owning the one does not mean I will stop buying the other. I’m Bi-booksual. AC/DC, baby. That’s how I roll.