Thursday, February 24, 2011

Julia's Ereader Of Choice: The Nook!

This past summer I found myself on vacation in Florida. It was a sultry beginning of summer and dragging my book down to the pool every day was making me a little down. My Aunt who was on the trip with me was sporting a fancy eReader. A Kindle in fact and I thought to my self "Jules (what I call myself) you just graduated from college. Why don't you get yourself one of those as a nice pat on the back gift"

So I did. I did the research and found one that best fit me. The Nook. That is my nook in the picture. Well, it's not my Nook because I am on the road and have no way of uploading a picture, but that is what the cover looks like anyway! (The back side is a question mark!)

Since this is a site known for the Top Ten Lists, I'll make a listing of Ten Things I Love, Hate and Hate that I Love about the Nook.

Things I Love
1. It has all my books on it.
This isn't technically fair since all eReaders share this same feature, but really, how could I not include this? I travel a lot for my job, and I can have instant access to a library at my finger tips if I so chose. I can start multiple books and pick up right where I left them. I can highlight something without actually marking it up.

2. I can check out libray books on it
This was the big seller for me. When I was doing all my research, I was a broke college student, looking for books on the free. Being in the middle of nowhere for school, my options at the library were limited. So what I did was check out digital books from my library back home and ended up reading them on my computer which led to some serious eye strain. But with the Nook, I can go to my libraries digital content site and download any ePub (or a PDF I guess) formatted eBook. (For those of you who are like what? as of now different eReaders use different formats. The Kindle's main format I believe is a mobi which is a little rarer in the library digital book pickings.)

For me I wanted access to that wealth of content. There were more selections with ePubs and Adobe Digital Editions so that leaned me toward the Nook.

3. It uses eInk
I did not want an eBook reader that had a backlit screen (like a computer screen... I'm looking at you mac products). It doesn't happen often but I sometimes get eyestrain from reading too many things on a computer. Plus all day I work in front of a screen. I wanted my eyes to have a break. eInk afforded that option. eInk is like reading a book. Plain and simple. I can read it in the sun without worrying about the reflectiveness that a screen has but at the same time I'd need a light to read it in the dark.

4. It has a web browser
Honestly, if I had a "meh" category, it would fall better there. But I don't and it is a pretty cool feature, especially since I dont have a smartphone. My favorite part about the web browser is only the little touch screen at the bottom is in color; the rest is in eInk so it looks like I am surfing the net on an Etch-a-Sketch!

Things that I Hate
1.When I resize things that I did not buy from B&N, the formatting gets a bit wonky
So occasionally I get free eBooks. Win. But then I put them on my nook and I up the font a bit (really who those 6 pt font was a good choice?) and then my page numbers get all out of whack.

2.My books aren't organized that well
Initially when I got it you had two options for organization 1)books you got from B&N and 2)Books you didn't. With one of the more recent upgrades, it looks like you can add shelves. I haven't played with it yet so I can't speak to its effectiveness at organization.

3.The search/chapter features a little lacking
Some books I have seen not have the ability to skip to the start of a certain chapter. That was a pain. And the search I just did, did not loop back to beginning of the text when I was near the end of a book. So I had to jump there myself and then do my search. Lame.

Things that I Hate that I Love
1. It has all my books on it.
Wait! Wasn't this already there. Oh, astute reader, you are correct. But it's true. Sometimes, it really bothers me that all of my books are on this thing. Sometimes I just want to hold to book, smell its pages. These are the times that I usually hit up the library, but still.

2. I can take it with me while traveling
Catch-22 here because I seriously love that it fits in my carryon. The part I seriously dont love is that for 20 minutes minimum before and during take-off and 20 minutes while we land, I can't use electronic devices. The first time I had my nook I didnt even realize it because it was just like the book I would normally read during these times when my iPod is illegal. But now I can't even read my book. So what I end up doing now is bringing a physical book anyway. This one technically isn't B&N's fault. But it falls under this category.

3.When you drag your finger across the touch screen, it will turn the page
I found this out by accident but was overjoyed when I did. How fun! Why do I hate it then, well it works shoddily at best. Maybe this is a case of user error. I don't know.

Overall though I am really happy with my purchase. It is exactly what I wanted and fit my needs to a T. (Is that the phrase? Let me look it up in my Phraseology book that I have on my Nook and therefore is with me on this trip.. darn not there but I did learn that Gloves can be called Hand Shoes (what?)) These are my reasons, for better or for weird. I am glad of my purchase and would buy again.

So what about you? Have opinions on the Nook? Questions for Nook users? In the market to buy one and want to know more (there are actually a few of us on the blog that have nooks so hopefully a few will chime in with their opinions as well!).

Also, my caveat. Forgive me for my all over the place style of this review. I am going to blame the sudden sickness and douse of cold medicine I just took. Mea culpa!


  1. I agree with pretty much all of this! I love my nook :)

  2. If you turn the 'Airplane mode' on, you can use it at anytime.

    And as for the page turns with the touch screen, I guess it just takes practice. I use it all the time and it works wonderfully.

    Definitely try out the new shelves! They're wonderfull. I currently have a shelf for 'read', 'currently reading', 'school books' and 'need to read soon'.

  3. I bought a Nook last month, and I definitely agree with everything you said here. The resizing issue drives me nuts, but the portability of it, and the convenience of having a bunch of books at my fingertips, wherever I am, makes it worth dealing with minor annoyances.

    I am not really a fan of the web browser feature myself, but I can browse the internet on my phone, so I don't really plan to use the Nook for that anyway. I just felt like it was kind of difficult to use, and slow.

    And the other thing I love is that I can read books from the library, and from NetGalley. It's been really good for that so far.

    Great review! Thanks for posting it.

  4. here's a post i made about my lovely nook

  5. I love my Nook. Especially since I sold my first eReader (a first gen. Sony Reader) to purchase to Nook instead. I did that for a myriad of reasons, but the winner was that as much as I liked my first generation Sony Reader, the newer Reader products had changed & lost most of my favorite features. The Nook preserved my favorite features & added some great ones (love the flick-turn-page feature, though it took a few books for me to learn to use it without having to think about it).

    I'm only bummed that my library doesn't offer digital content, so I can't check out books on my Nook. But that should only improve if my library does ever get dig. content; not worse.

  6. I've been debating which eReader to get whether a Nook, a Kobo, or a Kindle. There are pros and cons to all three, though I seem to be leaning towards the Nook or the Kobo. What made you decide to go with a Nook rather than the Kindle that your aunt had with her?

  7. I have a Kindle and wouldn't trade it for anything. I really haven't found anything I don't like about it. While I'll never give up paper books, I love the extra perks of the Kindle!

  8. I love using the touch screen to turn the pages. It took me a few books before I got it down but I'd say it works for me about 95% of the time now.

    I agree with you about the formatting/sizing books that aren't from B&N. It's annoying but I've learned to just deal with it.

    The eInk looking like an Etch-A-Sketch is the perfect description!

    Other things I love about the nook:

    - Sudoku. I love this game and I love playing it on my nook
    - Being able to set your background/screensaver to your own pictures
    - B&N Free Fridays feature. Even though I don't always like the free book of the week, I do like that they offer this
    - The in-store features. I've only taken advantage of this a couple times but by showing my nook to the barista at the cafe I was able to get a free smoothie. Plus if you bring your nook into the store you can read any book for up to an hour a day.

  9. @Kimberly That's not 100% true about airplane mode. You still can't use it during takeoff and landing. They dont let you use any electronic device, even if it is not hitting any wireless connectivity (like my iPod..).

    And yeah I love the touch screen page flip too.. I just stink at it lol. Then it takes me out of the book while I yell at it to turn haha.

    @DJL The main reason I didnt go for the Kindle is that it I can check out digital library books on my Nook. That was really what put it over. I beleive theoretically you can do the same with a kindle, but all I read pointed to the ePub + Adobe Digital Editions being the easiest method. I also liked the simplicity.. there were so many buttons on the Kindles I had seen! (they may have been older ones though). I also liked that I wasnt locked into getting eBooks from Amazon. (though don't quote me on that being 100% true... someone with a kindle help me out?)

    @Jen - omg Sudoku on that thing is awesome! Way better than on my tiny tiny phone screen! AND I love my backround picture and screen saver. I didnt mention them by my background picture is me and my sister drinking butterbeer in Hogsmede in Universal Studios and a picture of Hogwarts is my screen saver :)

    OMG I remember another reason I went with a nook. The ability to take it to a store and talk face to face with a person! How could I forget!

  10. I love love love my Nook, for basically the same reasons you listed. I have 2 libraries near me (San Francisco and Oakland) that both have awesome ebook collections, so that was the MAJOR selling point for me of the Nook over a Kindle. I also feel like I get more interesting free books, like on Free Fridays or when they give away the B&N Classics. I like those because the formatting is already perfect for the Nook, unlike some of the free ones you find in other places.

    I was a reluctant convert, but I do a good amount of traveling and commute every day on the subway, and that was what really got me to purchase one in the end. I'll never give up actual paper books (I have a pretty big personal library), but I love having my Nook as a supplement to it.

    I agree with those that said the page turning takes practice. It took me a bit to get the hang of it, and sometimes it works really well for a while and then suddenly doesn't want to work. But I think it's a neat feature.

    And I have the same cover for my Nook! :) Love it.

  11. I really like the shelf feature.

  12. All good points and comments. I didn't know about the new "shelves" feature so thanks for that.

    I personally miss the ease of highlighting a passage (which is cumbersome on the Nook) although I've heard that's "fixed" in the Nook color...

  13. I loooove my Nook! I was going to treat myself to the Nook as a graduation present to myself, but my parents beat me to it because I'd spent the whole two months prior to graduation talking about the Nook and how awesome it was going to be owning on.

    I'm curious about your book cover. How is that working out for you? I've been wanting to get one, but all the reviews seem to be mixed. A lot of people talk about how sturdy the covers are NOT. Have you had any problems with yours?

  14. Awesome post! While I'll never give up physical books, I love my nook! You really need to check out the new shelf feature, as it's great for organizing your library! Hope you have fun discovering all the new features!

    Alexia's Books and Such...

  15. @Jackie I love my cover. It's not flimsy like the cheap ones made of plastic but has some sturdy to it, i don't know what it is. But not only that it gives me a nice grip on it when I ma holding it, stand it up for me on a table if I wanted it to, and in general just protects it over all.

  16. Apparently my mom was signed in on my computer... that was me up there talking about my cover lol

  17. Ha, it is like you're surfing the Internet on an Etch-a-Sketch!

    Number 2 was the selling point for me...and number 3 is why I didn't opt for the Nook Color. My library is always adding more ebooks to their collect, so this will become even more of an option as time goes on.

  18. I have a Kindle and a Nook, I love them both, but Kindle is my favorite! I just got the Nook for library books

  19. Have you guys paid any attention to the HarperCollins/OverDrive debacle? Since one of the reasons you got your Nook is because of library books, I'd love to hear what you think!


  20. I've been debating for a few months now whether or not I want to get an ereader. I was doing some research on the different kinds, and getting other peoples opinions. My main reason for being ify on getting an ereader is because I love the actually feel and smell of a book. I suppose having an ereader wouldn't necessarily take that away ALL of the time. It would be pretty awesome to have so many books at your finger tips to choose from, wherever you are!!!

    I have a question for you: Price wise when downloading books through B&N and other places, is it pretty "cheap"? Is the Nook less expensive to buy books than the other ereaders, or about the same?

  21. @Melissa I have been reading about the Overdrive and HarperCollins shenanigans and it makes me quite sad. My overall opinion is I feel like with eBooks the publishing industry is really shooting itself in the foot.

    @Stephany I wish I could say that it was pretty cheap, but the trend is getting to be that the publishers are setting a number that retailers of eBooks must start at. So occasionally the eBooks are more expensive than the paper books. I am not going to lie, I think I have bought three or four book for my nook. The rest I have gotten from their free books page or the library. As for B&Ns Nookbooks being more expensive, i think they are comparable. Like I said the ebook industry is bouncing all over the place and trying to figure everything out so sometimes the ebooks are more expensive across the board. What I would suggest is to look into the main retailers of the kind of eReader you want, pick a book and look at the prices across the sites. Do it a couple of times and see what would be sustainable. Another good site to check out is books on sometimes they have some good deals :)


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