In my last post I mentioned that I had acquired a new toy. As it turns out, my Barnes & Noble nook ebook reader has been more than a toy. It has been my constant companion in the two weeks since I’ve purchased it. I’ve taken it with me to work, on public transportation, visiting a relative in the hospital, on a 700 mile road trip and even to the bedroom for some night time reading.
I wasn’t even in the market for an ebook reader, but just before Father’s Day I had the good fortune to receive enough Barnes and Noble gift cards to make a nook purchase a “no-brainer.” Before pulling the trigger on the nook I did my due diligence just to make sure I’d be happy, and so far I can say that I do not regret the purchase.
I’m not going to write a full review of the nook, but I will talk about some of the things I’ve been up to with this handy little gadget with the catchy little name. I’ve purchased and downloaded Barnes and Noble ebooks directly from the nook; I’ve downloaded ebooks from all over the Internet and “sideloaded” them to my nook with the included USB cable. I’ve gone into a Barnes and Noble store and browsed their “More in Store” content, including coupons for free coffee from their cafe. I’ve even borrowed an ebook from my local library!
There are some other features of the nook, such as ebook lending, that I’ve yet to try because I’m in the middle of reading the Hugo Voter’s Packet that I talked about last time. A minor annoyance that I’m running into with the HVP is that unless PDF ebooks are laid out with the nook in mind, there can be some formatting issues to contend with. I haven’t found any so bad that it makes it impossible to read, but it’s something to be aware of.
If there is one major drawback to the nook right now, I’d have to say it’s the lack of any kind of organization for your book collection. All of your ebooks are separated into two stacks, if you will; your Barnes and Noble stack and your My Documents (Really? Not even My Books??) stack. Each stack can only be sorted three ways; by Title, by Author and by Most Recently accessed. For a device that can hold 1500 ebooks before adding any additional memory (up to a 16 GB microSD card), the lack of organization is inexcusable.
Right now there’s a lot of nook vs. Kindle vs. iPad debate out there on the web, especially with the recent nook/Kindle price cut, but I really haven’t paid it much mind. As always, everyone has an opinion. Mine? There may come a time when e-readers become obsolete. Heck, I can remember reading ebooks on my Handspring Visor 10 summers ago. When was the last time anyone saw a PDA? No device lasts forever. For now, the nook meets my needs and does it well.