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Take a Look, I Got a Nook!

Take a Look, I Got a Nook! post image

As the image and lame songish title suggest, I did in fact take the plunge and get myself an ereader — the nook from Barnes & Noble!

I got my nook a few weeks ago, actually, but was waiting to post until I had pictures and some stuff to say about it other than “Ohmigod it’s so cool!” I picked it up in a B&N store in Madison, which was cooler than ordering online and then waiting for it to come. The sales people were helpful, and as part of a month-long nook promotion, I got a $50 giftcard to B&N! I see ebooks in my future!

I chose it over the Kindle because it’s less proprietary, there is some in-store support if necessary, and it’s easy connect to Google Books with the nook. Also, I got sucked into the color touch screen at the bottom when I played with it at the store. I’m easily swayed.

Things I Like

This is what the nook looked like when I first took it out of the box. It also came with a start up guide, USB connector, and charger.

The nook is perfect for at the gym, which is where I’ve been using it most. I love not having to turn pages or otherwise be awkward when reading. And the make text bigger function works really well too.

I love that you can download free samples of books. When I find one I like, adding the sample is really easy. Buying books is easy too, but I haven’t done that quite as often just yet.

The nook comes with some daily digests you can subscribe to, which I’ve liked reading (when I remember).

Even not at the gym, the nook is quite comfortable for reading. With the cover I got, holding it feels a lot like a real book. It’s probably about the weight of a thick paperback, or a small hardcover book. And the main screen doesn’t have a glare, so reading doesn’t give me a headache at all.

I like how easy it is to connect the nook to Wi Fi, and than in general the connection is very fast —Β downloadingΒ books is nearly instant, and going online with the beta web feature isn’t bad (although I can’t see using it much).

Things I Dislike

This is what the nook looks like in the case I bought for it -- almost like a regular book.

Why is nook written without a capital first letter? Dislike πŸ™‚

People who pointed out that Amazon’s Kindle selection was better were absolutely right. The B&N ebook store has been pretty disappointing so far. I’ve had a number of occasions where I book I wanted for the nook wasn’t available, but I could have gotten it for a Kindle.

I also am coveting this Moleskein Kindle cover, which I don’t think will work for the nook. Boo.

In general though, ebook pricing is a little absurd. Many are over $12, which I really don’t want to pay since ultimately I don’t have the book and I can’t share it with anyone else. I know a lot more goes into a book than just the stuff it’s printed on, but the pricing still seems high to me, especially for older books.

But it’s not all bad. Here are some ebook pricing/finding dilemmas/successes I’ve had so far:

  • The Devil and Sherlock Holmes by David Grann was $19.40 for a book, but $20.02 for an ebook. No way! Amazon had a similar pricing scheme – fail!
  • Zetioun by Dave Eggers was not available for the nook when I looked earlier this week, but was available when I searched today for $9.99 – success!
  • Crashing Through by Robert Kurson (a 2007 book) was available for $9.99 – success!

That said, I have some good cheap and free options to use, plus the $50 gift certificate I got in the promotion, so I’ll be ebook set for awhile.


Look! It's my blog on the nook using the beta web option!

I had some initial challenges connecting the nook to Adobe Digital Editions so I could read books from NetGalley. But after about 45 minutes of annoyance, I found a fix in a forum online and was ready to go and could read The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors no problem.

I’m still learning how to use the touch screen at the bottom. My fingers sometimes feel a little fat for it, so for awhile it was really hard for me to use and I kept hitting things I didn’t want to hit. I’m better now, but instead of writing notes I tend to just bookmark pages because it’s less time consuming than typing on the little screen.

So What’s the Verdict?

Despite a little Kindle envy when it comes to covers and book selection, I’m happy with my nook so far. I hope that in the future it’ll be easier to read books across devices so that the overall ebook market will get bigger.

I’d also like to make it easier to lend ebooks — not just for two weeks, and not just to other people with the same device. If we can do it with “real” book, we should be able to do it with ebooks.

Oh, and I still haven’t named my nook — I’m taking suggestions!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nicole June 18, 2010, 5:42 am

    Enjoy your nook, Kim! Thanks for the great overview.

    I think I might not get an e-reader until they are as ubiquitous as mp3 players. Right now the advantage that I see is for travel. Being able to take a big selection for the same space is very appealing, but I haven’t been traveling much, so I can wait a bit longer.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 8:57 am

      Nicole: It would have been nice to wait a bit to see if a universal format is going to happen, but I think for now the nook will do what I need and hopefully I’ll be able to upgrade sometime in the future to one with more features.

  • bermudaonion June 18, 2010, 6:03 am

    I hope you love it! I had tons of trouble with Adobe Digital Editions too.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 8:57 am

      bermudaonion: Somehow when I first installed it, it didn’t work with the nook correctly, so I had to delete some folders and try again. Second time it seemed fine though, so hopefully it stays fixed. It’s worked great since then.

  • Amy June 18, 2010, 6:51 am

    Well, disappointed that you didn’t join the Kindle crew, but if nook was available for Canadians I would have considered it too πŸ™‚ Congratulations!

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 8:58 am

      Amy: I am having some Kindle envy — they are awesome too. My future roommate has a Kindle, so I can image borrowing that for some books if needed πŸ™‚

  • Trisha June 18, 2010, 7:44 am

    Congrats on your nook! I still haven’t made the plunge to eReader, but the idea is starting to percolate. Enjoy!

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 8:58 am

      Trisha: For the things I wanted it for, the nook is awesome. I love, love, love being able to use it at the gym.

  • Steph June 18, 2010, 8:08 am

    Yay! So glad you are enjoying your new splurge! I have to admit, Tony & I recently got Nooks too, but I haven’t posted about them yet as I’ve only had mine for about 1 week and I don’t have enough to say just yet. I totally agree with your frustration with some of the pricing issues, however, especially that B&N charge for many of the classics off of their site, whereas through Amazon you can get those free for Kindle. Also, we haven’t had much luck with the Google Books on our nooks thus far – they are rife with horrific typos, some so bad that the books are near unreadable! Still, I’m really glad that the nook can read things other than a proprietary format, as that’s really key for me. I have tons of free epubs that I can now read!

    Oh, and thanks for the info on Net Galley! I had no idea that existed, but will be making use of it in the future!

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:00 am

      Steph: I had mine for a couple weeks before I posted — I wanted to check it out and make sure I had real things to say. It is annoying that B&N charges for classics. I downloaded a couple of Chekhov books from Google Books, but haven’t tried them yet — I hope they’re not as bad as the ones you’ve tried! And I do love it can read other things — that, long term, is going to be important.

  • softdrink June 18, 2010, 8:38 am

    Sweet! And Calliope (that would be my nook) says to say hey. Did you know you can actually enter your nook’s name in the settings and it’ll always appear in the upper left corner?

    I’ve bought very few books on the nook…mostly hardcovers that end up being way cheaper.

    Last week I remembered to take Calliope with me to the B&N store and I found a 10% off coupon on the in-store deals. I thought that was pretty cool.

    And the color nav bar was a huge draw for me, too…I like seeing the itty-bitty covers in color!

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:01 am

      softdrink: Yeah, is saw the name thing, that’s why I want to have one. I just am not sure what yet πŸ™‚ I haven’t been into B&N since I got it, but I do remember them saying there were instore deals. I’ll have to do that when I used my giftcard to make it last longer.

    • Aths June 20, 2010, 4:41 pm

      Thanks for that name tip! Gotto try that one! πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie June 18, 2010, 8:57 am

    Hurray! Congrats on your new nook, and I hope you read lots of fabulous books on it. I’ll admit my jealousy here. πŸ™‚

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:02 am

      Stephanie: Thanks! I’m excited about it, even with a few annoying things.

  • Andi June 18, 2010, 9:33 am

    Yay! I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far. I’m also pretty irked at e-book prices as of late, but I do find that they bounce quite a bit. One day the book I want will be $9.99 and the next it might be $13. And then it might go on sale for $6.

    Looking forward to reading more about your e-book adventures, and I may be hitting you up for advice when it comes to NetGalley. I have a subscription and one graphic novel to read, but I’ll do that on my ‘puter. I’ll save the Nook reading for a printed book with more text.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:03 am

      Andi: Yeah, it’s very bouncy. I went to look for one book on Monday and it wasn’t available in ebook, then it was later in the week. I can’t really explain that either!

      I’d be happy to give tips on NetGalley — so far it’s worked well for me, other than the odd problems connecting it initially.

  • Sarah June 18, 2010, 11:56 am

    I have had my nook for about a month. It’s name is “My nooky book”. πŸ™‚
    I love it so far. I am not going to give up regular books altogether, so I don’t mind that not every title is available in e-book format.
    I like that BN does a free book every Friday and that when you go to the a store a special offer or coupon shows up on the device.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:12 am

      Sarah: Lol, I like that name. I’m not giving up on regular books either — I have waaaaay to many in my apartment and on reserve from the library to do that. But it is frustrating when a newish book I was and would like to read just isn’t available. I’ll have to try the in-store coupons, I haven’t done that yet.

  • Kara June 18, 2010, 1:09 pm

    I just got a nook a few weeks ago too!!! I love it!!! Congrats on your new purchase.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:12 am

      Kara: Thanks! I hope you’re enjoying yours as well.

  • Michelle June 18, 2010, 2:00 pm

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! I’m sorry you had issues connecting with Adobe Digital. I know someone had to walk me through the process too but once you figure it out, it’s addicting. You have been much more careful about downloading books, I see. I’ve gone e-book crazy! LOL!

    If you ever want to try out the share feature, let me know!

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:14 am

      Michelle: It is really addicting. I have to keep myself out of NetGalley just so I don’t get sucked into more books! I’ve been trying to be careful about it, but part of it is that I have so many library books out right now I’m trying to deal with those πŸ™‚

      And yes, I’d love to do the share thing… I’ve no idea how though!

  • Jenny June 18, 2010, 4:40 pm

    Not sure if this was your intention but I now have the Reading Rainbow theme song stuck in my head. IIIIIII can do anything!

    Love the nook! I’m most envious.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:16 am

      Jenny: Ha ha, it was. That’s what got stuck in my head when I was trying to come up with a title πŸ™‚

  • Valerie June 18, 2010, 9:47 pm

    When I was at the health club a few weeks ago, I saw a guy reading his e-reader (I think it was kindle) on the elliptical machine. I thought, wow, how clever.

    As for names, would Paige be too obvious? Or how about Brooke the nook? ok, I’ll stop now :-).

    As more of your thoughts arise about this e-reader, I hope you’ll share them for our benefit.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:19 am

      Valerie: It is perfect for at the gym. No pages flying everywhere, no books falling down… just hit the button to turn the page. And being able to adjust the font size is huge.

      Both of those name suggestions made me laugh out loud πŸ™‚ I like Brooke the nook a lot!

  • Laurie June 19, 2010, 9:01 am

    i’m pretty fascinated by all this. i’ve never used any kind of e-reader, though i’m not opposed to them. just waiting…. i do love my paper-and-cover books. and unlike with an ipod, you can’t just load up your reader with stuff you already own.

    so i wait, and watch, and read postings like yours, and i think about it…and maybe i’ll spring for one fairly soon. maybe i’ll spring for…an ipad….

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:22 am

      Laurie: I waited quite awhile too, but then had some gift money and wanted to get something special — this seemed like a good thing to get. I do love real books too, and I certainly won’t be giving them up any time soon.

      But yesterday, for example, I went with a friend to go read outside. I brought one paper book and my nook, which has four or five books on it already. It was nice to only have to carry two books, and know that if the paper one didn’t hold my attention I had a bunch of other options with me.

      The ipad is beautiful, but I don’t think I cold read for long periods of time on the backlit screen… headaches!

  • Care June 19, 2010, 9:21 am

    Congrats! How about Nellie? Aurielle?
    My IRL bookclub will be reading Zeitoun next month. πŸ™‚

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:22 am

      Care: Those are pretty, but sort of random names πŸ™‚ I really want to read Zeitoun — I’ve only read Eggers’ memoir and liked it a lot.

  • Iris June 19, 2010, 3:03 pm

    I think eBook prizes are still very high as well. For 12 euros I culd buy the actual book and I believe I’d still enjoy that more (although an ebook does safe space).

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:23 am

      Iris: Yeah, when the ebook and paperback book are the same price, I would almost never choose the ebook just because I like having it and being able to share it with other people. So I won’t be using an ereader for everything, but it is nice for some specific reading habits like going to the gym or traveling.

  • Amanda June 19, 2010, 3:46 pm

    I have to admit, my husband got me a Kindle last year and at first I thought it was really great. Then I started reading books on it, and I realized that when I read on it, I don’t retain stuff from the book! I read several before I figured out that I always gave them solid 3-star ratings and reviewed t hem in a way that said, “I’m not really sure about this book. It was okay, but i didn’t really get anything out of it.” Turns out it was the reading format rather than the books themselves. I haven’t used it since. Luckily, my husband absolutely loves the Kindle and reads tons on there. Since most of what he loves is free on Gutenberg, it means we never have to pay for those books. That’s nice!

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:38 am

      Amanda: That’s an interesting observation! I wouldn’t have thought that format could impact comprehension so much. I’ve only read one book on the nook so far, but I’ll be paying attention to see if that’s true for me as well.

  • Esme June 20, 2010, 8:30 am

    Good for you-I know I will eventually cave and purchase one. I am curious to see what percentage of your books will now be read in e-books vs still picking up a book.

    • Kim June 20, 2010, 9:40 am

      Esme: I’m curious too. Given the massive number of books in my apartment, I don’t imagine it will be a huge percentage for awhile yet, but maybe long-term that will change.

  • Aths June 20, 2010, 4:44 pm

    Did you give your nook a name? I’m still hunting, though it’s been 3 weeks! I love my nook! It’s so much fun reading at the gym now! πŸ™‚

    • Kim June 22, 2010, 4:20 pm

      Aths: I’m leaning towards Crusoe, since I have a weird irrational affection for that book, but still deciding. I LOVE being able to read at the gym.

  • tolmsted (BookSexy) June 21, 2010, 7:50 am

    Hi Kim –

    Grats on the nook. I was at B&N over the weekend eye-ing one for myself (though I think I’ll wait for 2.0) when I cam across this Kate Spade cover. Now, I’m not normally a fan of pink, -and yes, it costs almost as much as an actual nook – but I love the quotes and area for your credit/debit cards on the side.

    And if you really hate pink – there’s this one in lime green…

    • Kim June 22, 2010, 4:21 pm

      tolmstad: Wow, those are SO EXPENSIVE! Beautiful though, I love the lime/teal one.

  • Jennifer June 26, 2010, 5:36 pm

    Well, it sounds like you are enjoying your nook, and I’m glad. I still have my heart set on getting an iPad. I’m an appleaholic so nothing can compete with it in my eyes. But before the iPad came out, I was definitely coveting the nook over the kindle. The only thing I really disliked was the the tester nooks in the stores never seem to really work. I like to try things out before I buy them.

    • Kim June 27, 2010, 9:19 pm

      Jennifer: The iPad looks beautiful, but I just don’t think I can read comfortably on that screen for long periods of time since I spend all day at a computer at work. My eyes just can’t take it. But I wish they could, because it would be nice to have a device that does multiple things well rather than just one.

  • Becca July 22, 2010, 9:45 pm

    Today is my dad’s b-day and my mom and i got him a nook.

    long story very short i tried the nook at the store and now i really and i mean really want one!!!!
    its bugging me thought because he hasnt opened it yet and i so so so want to try it!!!!!!!

    • Kim July 23, 2010, 7:48 pm

      Becca: I hope your dad loves the present you got him — I think he will!

  • Marie August 31, 2010, 10:21 pm

    I just got my Nook and I’m having trouble with getting my NetGalley books to work with it, may I ask what forum you found to be helpful? Thanks!

    • Kim September 6, 2010, 10:02 am

      Hi Marie – this is the forum that addressed the problem I had – Adobe not recognizing the nook when I plugged it in.


      I hope this will help!

  • Marie December 14, 2010, 1:53 pm

    Hey Kim!

    I got a Nook today! I am so excited. I will have to let you know how it goes. Are you and Crusoe still happy together?

    • Kim December 14, 2010, 7:06 pm

      Hey Marie! Yes, Crusoe and I are still happy. I don’t use the Nook quite as much as I was a first, but things are still good πŸ™‚