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My Nook

[ALERT: This will be a longer post than normal.]

In addition to a little French book, I recently purchased my first e-reader: the new Nook Simple Touch, or Nook 2nd generation. I had several reasons for not buying an e-reader until now, as well as several reasons for buying this one now.

First, I did not want to buy an e-reader until now for the following reasons:
  1. I did not think I truly needed it. This is an important but usually forgotten (ignored) reason in materialistic consumer societies.
  2. I did not like any of the available e-readers. The Kindle from Amazon was the closest to what I might have been tempted to buy, but it had several unpardonable problems, such as no touch screen and therefore very difficult navigation. In addition, its proprietary format for e-books meant it was not viable for my needs.
  3. I already had books at home that I haven't read, so why buy an e-reader and have even more books sitting on it that I don't have time to read?

With the new Nook, however, I was ready to jump into the publishing maelstrom that is e-publishing. The following reasons answered the previous three objections and led to my purchase:
  1. Due to my current stage of graduate studies (research for articles and working through the reading list for comprehensive exams), I realized I could use an e-reader. My wife was of the same opinion. She was somewhat exasperated by all of the books around our home, some bought and others checked out from various libraries. Having an e-reader cuts down significantly on those stacks and makes for a tidier house. Besides, if your spouse is encouraging you to make a $140 purchase of a cool little gadget, you don't argue.
  2. The Nook Simple Touch is finally an e-reader I like. It is a dedicated e-reader,* it is the first to sport a touch screen (my only non-negotiable), it is from Barnes & Noble (meaning an even-larger digital library than Amazon),** it supports other formats (viz., epub) besides one proprietary format, it is affordable, and it works very well.*** I already have close to 100 books on my Nook and have paid nothing other than the price of the Nook and $1 for one of the books.
  3. I still have books at home that I have not read. But I do not own all of the books I need to read for my graduate studies and research. A lot of them I can get for free on my Nook, generally in PDF or ePub format. That way I do not have to buy hard copies or check them out of a library and thus exasperate my wife. See point number 1.
In closing, I still would not classify the Nook as a need, but a highly useful tool, definitely. These are personal observations that should not be persuasive for anyone besides me, technology being an intensely personal matter. We all have technological preferences and should follow our own, not those of other people. Have a wonderful day, and eat your vegetables.

*I am very interested in a tablet but am biding my time for the right one (meaning, mainly, the right time and price). I see the tablet world much as I saw the e-reader world until now: still very messy, confused, proprietary, and unfriendly--but improving at lightning speed. But tablets are discussion for a different post.
**I would not consider this or any other reason an argument for a current Kindle user to switch to the Nook. As long as the Kindle has met your needs, a switch would obviously mean you lose your Kindle library, or else have two separate libraries and e-reader ecosystems. Plus, you should be able to get a Kindle with a touch screen before long.
***I am not being asked or paid by B&N to write this review on a personal, largely unread blog. This is my honest evaluation of the Nook Simple Touch. To which I will add some negatives: the Nook accessories sold by B&N are unnecessarily expensive; and that 2-month battery life? Yeah, not going to happen. I read a lot almost every day, so though the Nook battery life is great, there is no way it will last for 2 months, even with the WiFi off. Note, of course, that B&N advertises the battery as lasting "up to 2 months"--the "up to" is important, but the whole thing still could be construed as misleading.

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