Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nook vs. Book

A recent acquisition: a NOOK, that sleek, beautiful cousin of the Kindle that allows one to read from the electronic page, unencumbered by bookmarks, page turning or marking one's place.  I was a skeptical holdout for a long time, withstanding the raptured reviews from Kindle/Nook friends.  However, being something of a 'careful spender' (my daughter says tightwad), it was only when I WON a free Nook in a library competition that I really paid attention to how it all works.  My Nook was given as a prize for writing the best book review (see review of "The Financial Lives of the Poets," below) in a contest sponsored by the Sno-Isle Library Foundation.

Getting up and running was difficult; in fact, I had to enlist my computer-expert husband to wade through the labyrinth of downloading, passwording, registering, authorizing etc. etc. etc.  I downloaded the third part of Stieg Larsson's trilogy, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," as my first experience in Nook-ness.  As you know, that is a thick book!  I have to admit it was easy and enjoyable to lounge in my chair with the lightweight Nook in my lap, turning pages by pressing an arrow.  BUT at the end of it all, I found I missed the paper experience -- physically turning pages, using a beautiful bookmark to hold my place, feeling and smelling the paper.  The Nook screen does not display a full page at a time, so it takes 2-3 clicks to read one page; not a biggie, but something to keep in mind if you are considering buying one of these.

The Nook certainly wins in terms of green-ness:  no paper consumed to make another book; no gas consumed or exhaust fumes created to drive back and forth to the library; nothing generated that will end up in a landfill.  One also saves driving time, and keeps a car off the roads at least for as long as a library trip would take.

For me, it comes down to lifestyle.  If I had a job where I traveled a lot, the Nook would win hands-down.  Lightweight, consumes very little space, versatile -- you could get any newspaper or magazine in any city in the world, I imagine.  But for home use, I find I still prefer the anachronistic printed paper book.  What do y'all think out there?  Let me hear from you!

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