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Road Testing a Nook, and the NYPL!

July 9, 2011

After about a week of walking around muttering to myself “Kindle? Color Nook? Kindle? Color Nook?” and a couple of weeks really liking the e-ink screen on the Kindle (easy on the eyes!) I realize that there’s no way to actually finalize this decision until I get a chance to hold, and read a Nook Color properly, in some form other than the weird tethered setup they have in stores.

“What,” I asked at the Barnes and Noble store “is the return policy on Nooks?”

14 days.

This sounds reasonable and solves a lot of problems. It will give me time to do what I did with the Kindle: get hands on, and see whether I can immerse myself in the reading, rather than the device awareness.

The big things I want to know about a Nook are:

Is it nice to read in sunlight, or will I frown and squint?

Will having all those versatile Internet options distract me from reading?

Does the screen glow too much for an insomniac to read in bed?

 

I am also curious about using the library with the Nook, which is one asset it has over the Kindle. Already, I see it could get frustrating. Unlike my mental image of a digital library full of virtual books meaning easy access all the time ever, there’s a certain limitation, and even physicality to library e-books. I think it has to do with licensing, and it baffles me.

So picking a book to download made me feel thwarted. There were a few false starts.

But I have lined up ePub editions of a mystery and a YA to serve as test cases of the Nook’s library-capability.

And a couple of free chapters of e-books I know I’d like- a Rizzoli and Isles short story, a bit of Rick Riordan. Load those up, add sunshine, test.

Repeat x 2 or 3 days. Will see if I feel bookish enough. What’s bookish, and what does it feel like? I couldn’t even tell you. It’s the reason I like reading, the relaxing, dreamy way a story goes, the way a book is different from the glow of a computer screen.

Because here’s where I’ve been stuck for weeks on the Kindle vs Nook debate:

The Kindle is flat out comfier to read! I never expected to enjoy e-ink, but I do!

The Nook Color, however, seduces me with the whole Android underpinnings. The possibility of Kindle books AND library books AND NetGalley, for a device to access! So, while I’m dubious of a glowing shiny screen, and a reader thing that has the distracting Internet tagging along with it… I persist in thinking of the Nook because it gets me more books, possibly cheaply. A Kindle is just a Kindle, but a Nook can be a Kindle too.

And I think the only way to break out of my endless indecision is to get my hands on a Nook for a few days. I apologize to the store in advance, if I wind up returning it, and joining team Kindle.

And thanks to all on Twitter who have weighed in, as I dithered!

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