Confession time

I bought a nook!

Perhaps you’re thinking, “that’s your confession? That’s actually kind of cool. I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing.” Well, the nook purchase itself is technically not my confession. The confession is that I’ve had it for almost two and a half months, and barely read a book on it this week. Yeah, that’s right. I paid full price for this baby–about 2 weeks before they started offering $50 gift cards with purchase for Father’s Day, and about a month before the price dropped by $60 (I have wonderful luck, eh?)–yet for the past 2.5 months, it has been little more than a high-tech Sudoku machine for me.

Pretty bad, right?

There’s a couple of reasons for this. Contrary to popular belief, I actually did think this purchase through. I’d been wanting a Kindle ever since they came out, but I didn’t want to drop that kind of cash. So I waited, and when the nook came out (years later) with its superior specs, I decided that’s what I wanted. Tax return+good reviews=nook!

What I didn‘t take into account was the price of ebooks. And really, those prices are offensive. $9.99 for a book that was not printed, shipped, and stocked on shelves by workers? When a book book (one with actual production costs) usually costs about a dollar more online? Fuck that.

Another reason I didn’t use it right away was that I already had a major lineup of books wanted to read, including books I’d interlibrary-loaned through my fave public library that I had to read within two weeks (*ahem* for free, might I add).

Barnes and Noble offers a lot of 99 cent ebooks, but they’re mostly classics. Much as I love classics, I also love me some contemporary lit. (That said, they just started giving away 12 free classics each week, and I’m definitely downloading those with glee!)

Luckily, I was also a library nerd when I lived up in NY. All the local libraries around here are unfortunately not as up-to-date with new releases as I’d like, and online mp3/ebook downloads are unheard of. But I still have a valid NY library card, and the library system where I once lived is amazing, so voila: access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks at my fingertips!

My initial impressions of reading on the nook:

It’s not a book. It’s just not. Roger Ebert recently lamented that fact (re: iPad). It’s not the same as holding an actual book in your hands, not the same as turning the pages. You don’t get the same satisfaction of closing that back cover contentedly when you’ve just finished a great book (or closing the back cover in disgust and tossing the book aside, as the case may be).

That said, it’s still a damn nifty little gadget.

I can stare at that screen for hours without my eyes hurting.  I can change font sizes. I can change the font. I read Cleaving by Julie Powell (a review on that is forthcoming), and I was able to highlight passages that I want to include in my review. I was also able to bookmark recipes that I want to go back and copy before my loan period is up.

I know I said earlier that for 2.5 months the nook was little more than a high-tech Sudoku machine, and that’s mostly true. But when I was “studying” (and by studying, I mean skimming my prep manual) for the Texas state educators certification exam, I uploaded the PDF file on my nook and was able to “study” off that. (Fear not, Texas parents: I passed the exam with flying colors.)

Overall, I think the nook was a good choice. It’s small and sleek, I love the color screen and the ease with which I can browse through my library. Reading an actual book will always be my preferred method of reading–you really can’t beat flipping actual pages, or the satisfaction you get when you finish the last page and close the book. But when I read novels, I rarely mark my favorite passages, unless I type or write them somewhere (or unless I’m actively trying to analyze the book). I don’t know, I just like to keep my books pristine. That’s probably one of my favorite features on the nook: the highlighting and note-taking functions. They’re not perfect, but they get the job done.

Only time will tell, but I do already have 33 ebooks in my nook library (with several more classics being added each week), and at least 10 more on my public library ebook wishlist. If that’s any indication, it looks like I’ll be getting a lot of use out of my nook in the future.

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