If you had told me a year ago that I would spend money on purchasing a eReader, I would have balked but I am completely in love with my recent purchase of the Nook eReader from Barnes & Noble. I have always been a strong advocate of printed books. While I still contend that printed books are still very much in the mainstream, I think that Barnes & Noble will reap the rewards of their fantastic device. I truly think that it will take the lead away from Amazon as the leading eBook reader.
As with Amazon, there are two options for those wanting to purchase a Nook. There is a WiFi-enabled device priced at $149 and then a 3G-enabled device priced at $199. I think that going for the 3G device is completely worth the money. This is a convenience for me as I am not always near a reliable WiFi source. The Nook is only about ten dollars above the price points of Amazon’s Kindle. However, it is vastly a better choice. The nook is a much better buy. One of the most important features is that the nook is compatible with Adobe PDF files and EPUB files, not just the eBooks downloaded from Barnes & Noble. Also, this device can read eBooks from popular library services like Overdrive. As someone who would potentially use a library service like downloadble eBooks, this was a very important selling point for me. I am hopeful that the library where I currently work will adopt this in the near future. So many people do not realize that their precious Kindle will not work with eBooks from other sources. Barnes & Noble very smartly partnered with Adobe to enable the device to read Adobe’s very popular PDF format. I was also a fan of this feature because I can load PDF articles for assigned reading for my grad school classes.
I have encountered many who laud Apple’s iPad as the end-all-be-all of reading devices. Well, one can actually change the battery and add a microSD card to the nook. Both of which one cannot do with the iPad. While the reading panel is black and white, it is not back lit and there fore I do not get headache while reading. Now, if one wants to have an overgrown iPod in which you can only run one application at a time, that’s fine. Fore me, its not worth the money and is just a toy and a gadget.
Some other features that the nook offers include the ability to load audiobooks and music, surf the web and play games. For me, these were ancillary features that may be selling points for some but are just nice to have. Also, Barnes & Noble has deals and variable prices on their eBooks. Most new releases are $12.99 or $9.99, a bargain when compared to the print book prices. However, they make many classics available for free or for small change. They also offer many book fro under $5. There is also a feature on some books called LendMe, which allows the buyer to choose to lend the book to a friend for two weeks. I love this feature and the more people I know who get the nook the happier I’ll be.
I really think in the coming months as we approach the holiday shopping season, the nook will surge ahead as the leading eReader. I will hate it when this happens but I think that they will slash the price for Black Friday. In the meantime I keep my eye out for downloadable eBooks and deals.