I’ve been in the market for an eReader ever since I got into the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I saw the full box set of the books available at bookstores, but it cost about $80 and that was just more than I was willing to spend. On top of that, I really wanted to read a few other books that were only available in $30 hardcover form. After thinking about the price of buying books and the space they’d take up in my tiny condo, I decided it might be time to invest in an eBook reader.
Naturally, I turned to my twitter friends for advice. When you’ve got 1,500 potential votes, it’s easy to pick a clear winner. Almost everyone advised me to get a Kindle. I got tweets from very satisfied Kindle users and even a brief endorsement from my Dad. Still, I had heard good thinks about the Barnes & Noble Nook and wanted to check it out.
I’d read about the eBook reader, which features a small iPhone-like touch screen, on Gizmodo, where they’d given it a very positive review. Having done my research on several other sites, I decided to go down to Barnes & Noble to see for myself. One of the biggest benefits of the Nook is that you can actually go to the store and try it out or get tech support. I went up to the counter where they had a Nook on display and began navigating the menus on the touch screen and clicking through pages on some of the sample books. I was impressed. I was really impressed. The navigation was great, perfect for someone whose iPhone was almost glued to her hand. I loved being able to view the covers of books before I bought them and being able to read sample chapters before you decided to purchase a book. I had heard that eInk screens had slow response time that made reading an annoying activity, but I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the “pages” could turn and how quickly the screen was able to change from the text of a book to the main navigation screen. The Nook also offered GoogleBooks, which meant several titles available for free, and you could customize it with your own screensavers and home page images as well as load it with your music. The books were affordable and the Nook featured 3G and wi-fi and didn’t start at $500 like some other handheld devices (*cough* iPad *cough*).
The coolest feature, though, was all the Barnes & Noble perks. You could get special deals or even free eBooks when you used your Nook in any Barnes & Noble store. You could read any eBook free for up to an hour in the store too. I must say, I was also really impressed with the idea of in-person support in case something ever went wrong.
I went home and looked up the Kindle a bit more, having narrowed it down to those two candidates. The Kindle seemed nice, maybe even great, but I just couldn’t get over the fact that it had a real keyboard as opposed to a touch screen. A physical keyboard can’t change, a touch screen can gain added features with every software update.
I bought the Nook and started reading. I’m happy to say, I absolutely love it! I’ve probably been reading more in the last few weeks than I ever did in school. After burning through the first five books in my beloved Southern Vampire Series, I’m excited to keep using my Nook and get more cheap eBooks to read in the future.