Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thou Shalt Not Covet...Unless You Really, Really Want It!

(hmm...somehow that's not exactly how I remember that verse!)

Well, if you've been following my blog for a while, you'll know at least two things about me:

1.  I love to read...and to read a lot.

2.  I've been obsessed with e-readers for about eight years, and have been following the advent and updating of amazon's Kindle for as many years.  I wrote about my lust for this product around this time last year:  I Know I'm Not Supposed to Covet...But

Oh, I can hardly wait to own one of these precious e-readers, to hold my very own in these hot little hands.  Yes, yes, I know, you're probably a die-hard, something-about-the-feel-of-a-real-book-in-your-hand kind of person.  I don't disagree.  I can just also see myself sitting in my little library, or on an airplane, or in a waiting room somewhere, or waiting for someone to show up or dinner, or waiting for a client to arrive...and pulling my paper-back-sized, leather-bound, e-reader out of my purse to snuggle into my book for a few minutes.  Sounds like a bit of nirvana to me!

I've been thinking for a while that a number of factors are coming together in such a way that I believe it's allllmmooosst time for me to purchase one of these beautiful little babies:
  • the price point has come down to a much more manageable point ($150 - $199)
  • the features I'd been waiting for (for example: highlighting; noting the texts; backlit screens; purse-size; etc etc) are now available in the most popular e-reader brands.
  • I'm contemplating a long airplane trip to a far-away country (like, maybe, ETHIOPIA) and I seriously do not want to be lugging along with me about five, big, library-borrowed, hardcover books.  Somehow, I'm thinking that my luggage allowance would be far better served by packing up a few boxes of orphanage donations!
I've always assumed that it would be the Kindle I would eventually purchase.  But then calamity hit:  I realized that the Kindle is completely amazon-connected, and that I would not be able to download onto it books from my local library.  This is a grave situation indeed, because over the past year or two, my volume of library-borrowed material has increased exponentially, while my book purchases have declined in similar proportion.  When one reads the number of books in a year that I do, purchasing of books becomes very prohibitive; thus, over the past couple of years, over 90% of my books have been borrowed rather than purchased.

I have learned from my local library that the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader is compatible with library downloads of e-books, and I have therefore begun to compare these two top sellers:  the Kindle and the Nook. It seems on most fronts that they compare very favourably...and it appears that the Nook's primary advantage is its ability to download from various free sources, including from one's local library. I am caught in a dilemma: my heart belongs to the Kindle, but it may not be the right fit for me.  What to do, what to do....  I am dreaming about them both now.

Amazon's Kindle                                Barnes and Noble's Nook

So here is my question to you, dear reader... do any of you have experience with the Nook?  I know quite a lot about the Kindle, but am very interested to know more about the Nook from an experienced user perspective.  Here are the questions I just today emailed to Barnes & Noble about that product, but perhaps you already have the answers:

1.  I understand that, with the former version of the Nook, it was difficult to register it with B&N when the Nook was purchased in Canada (or elsewhere outside of the U.S.).  Is this still the case? Do I need to physically be in the U.S. to register it?

2.  Must one have a U.S. IP address in order to be able to download books?

3.  Would I be required to make all e-book purchased through the online B&N bookstore, or can I order e-books through Chapters/Indigo and amazon as well?  (note: I think I know the answer to this question but we'll see what I find out)

4.  What about the wireless connection - does this work outside of the U.S.?

5.  My local library indicates that it is compatible with the Nook; can you confirm that the Nook is set up to provide this type of functionality?

6.  Once I purchase the Nook, am I entitled to software upgrades at no additional cost?

7.  If I purchase the Nook and am not happy with it, how would I return it?

Anyone out there with the answers to these questions?  Better yet, any other Canadians out there who own a Nook and can tell me more about its functionality here?

I am sitting here, rubbing my hands together in anticipation, knowing that the time is drawing near...


  1. I know very little about the nook, but from what I know of the Kindle, I'd say, just buy the Kindle.

  2. i have nothing for you, all i can say is....i'm so excited to read the answers! i would LOVE one of these...i read and read and read...but i read very fast, so yes, i would have to take a suitcase for books if i planned to read in Ethiopia...let me know what you pick and how you love it. :) love darci

  3. Why not just go with the Chapters Kobo, it is compatible with the library and it is a Canadian company.

  4. I don't know about the nook, but I know about the excitement of e-readers! I can't wait to open up the little present under the tree. David and I bought Kobo's for each other. :)

  5. Have you considered the iPad? It is more expensive, but you can do so much with it - books, websites, video, TV, games, etc. I definitely plan on purchasing one before I make my "big trip".

    It is connected with iTunes and you can purchase through the iTunes store or move other files into your iTunes library. I don't have an iPad, but I do download audio books from the library and listen to them on my iPod without a problem (although my mac computer is a bit of a problem, but that is another story!).

  6. Well, if you're at all willing to spend the money (and I suspect you are not), then go Ipad. I saw someone on the bus the other day reading an ebook (bible study book or soemthing), and was swapping back and forth between it and the bible (for verses), and it looked awesome. I told Hilary I'm starting to get the itch for that now :), but I will have to wait for awhile after all the other tech toys I've splurged on lately :)

    And yes, I was totally reading the other guy's book, over his shoulder on the bus. Doesn't everyone :)

  7. Well, my dear husband was going to get me a Kindle a couple of years ago...I'm a voracious reader. I just looked at him in disbelief...should've played him the video I featured on my blog about men & gift giving.
    And then he offered me an ipad. I know. It's more shekels. But ooooh, boy. He also got me a keyboard/charger to go with it. Surf, read, blog, go app-happy. Games for little changstein & petunia. Although he told them it was strictly verbotten to them & their greasy mitts.
    I guess you need to ask yourself how much functionality you want. Changstein follows all these things, and would recommend Kobo (or Kindle) if you want strictly a reader. But think about it. Do you want essentially the functionality of a mini-laptop? If you do, then there's the ipad. I love mine. So, so much. Never thought I would. But there you are.

  8. Hi Ruth!

    Timely post! We were out looking at e-readers just last night and I think we are going to go with the Kobo. You can download free from the library, and after speaking to a rep, it has many wonderful features that the others do not (plus right now as a bonus you can get 100 free books). They said to be very careful about backlit screens because in the long run they can actually do retinal damage - yikes! After we looked around, it your looking specifically just for a piece of technology that the Kobo would be the way to go (longer battery life too). Anyways, good luck - Can't wait to hear what you picked!

    Side note - in Ontario they are apparently sold out but can be ordered on the Chapters website!

    Tracey H.

  9. I ordered the Kobo for my Mom for Christmas! I will let you know how she likes it!

  10. Thank you all for your comments and input. I think I've made my decision, but will wait for the new year to purchase and announce it!!

    Much appreciated everyone!!