Joining the Dark Side with a NOOK

Photo credit: Yes, I'm a fabulous photographer

A few months ago I wrote a slightly hyper post possibly influenced by a sugar rush explaining why I didn't yet have an e-reader.

For those of you who didn't read it (or else don't click that pretty blue link up there), I came to the conclusion that the e-reader I wanted was out of budget, but we would see how I felt around Christmas.

WELL. As some of you most astute readers probably noticed, I did indeed write those summarizing sentences in the past tense there is indeed a reason for that.

I received a gift, you see. An e-reader gift. Specifically, a NOOK gift (the e-ink Simple Touch variety). So for those of you who still swear completely by print books, I suppose I've joined the dark side. And I'm not apologetic.

Firstly, I still love print books and just because I'm officially the owner of an e-reader and, naturally, a few e-books, doesn't mean I won't continue to buy print books. I will— in fact, that hardest part I've found is now deciding which books to buy for my NOOK and which to buy for my bookshelf. It's a much more difficult decision than you might think, but I digress.

Secondly, I have discovered that owning a NOOK (or any e-reader for that matter) is a dangerous thing for writers and readers alike. For anyone who's friends with me on Goodreads, you've probably noticed that in the past couple of days I've added about a bazillion books to my TBR pile (ok, I exaggerate— I've added a little less than ten in four days, but STILL). The reason for this is indeed my NOOK.

You see, having an e-reader is basically like having a bookstore on your lap. If you see a book that interests you online, you can whip out your e-reader and read a sizable sample. If you're bored and flipping through covers on the online bookstore on your e-reader and see something that interests you— download a sample and read it. One of your Goodreads friends finished a book you haven't read and loved it? Go get that e-reader and download a sample to read STAT.

As you can imagine, I've read quite a few samples. In fact, they're pretty much what determines whether or not I buy the book 100% of the time.

Because I came to realize it's not so different from what I do in a bookstore. At bookstores I walk through the shelves, pick up something that interests me, read the blurb—and if I like it—move on to the first few pages. If I don't like it, I'd put it down and move on.

Turns out, it's the same thing with e-readers. Samples that I don't like get archived. Samples that I read and love are left to torture me on my NOOK until I finally cave in and buy it.

I think I'll be reading much more this year.

So for those of you who are wondering, quick pros and cons of the NOOK Simple Touch.

Pros : It's affordable (only $99), the e-ink screen is very easy to read on (as opposed to backlit screens which can tire your eyes out), it's small and light enough to be easily portable and the battery life is pretty fantastic. I read online that it's something like 14 days with heavy use. I charge mine every couple of days once the battery starts dipping below 50%, but I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the battery's resilience. Also, you can add storage through an SD card which I suppose is always a plus.

Cons: There isn't any color! Yes, I obviously knew that my NOOK Simple Touch wasn't going to have color as it has an e-ink screen (which I'm finding more and more that I actually enjoy reading on), but it makes me a little sad inside when I flip through my little virtual bookshelf and everything is in black and white. The covers just aren't nearly as pretty as the ones sitting on my bookshelf (or my iPod, for that matter). And, you know, the new book smell isn't there when reading an e-reader. Which is a little sad.

I've also noticed that Barnes and Noble tends to have less promotional little things for their e-books (in comparison to Kindle books). I can't tell you how many times I've seen free or discounted offerings for a Kindle book, when the NOOK counterpart was, erm, not. That combined with Amazon's constant LOOK! SHINY KINDLE! DID YOU BUY ONE YET? on their homepage (I'm a Prime member, so I suppose I kind of asked for it) while I'm all noooo Amazon, I have an e-reader, kthanks can be a little irritating, but hey! It's a minor thing, really.

So that about covers it, really. I think I'm going to go read now.

Thoughts! Do you have an e-reader? If you do, what do you think? If you don't, tell us why you're holding out! There are e-readerish things to discuss!


David Brown said...

I received a first generation NOOK as a gift when they first released, and I still love it (the small touchscreen at the bottom gives me my book covers in color, which is nice). I haven't seen a need to upgrade as of yet, partly because I like having the 3G model, so I can download books on the go (the Simple Touch doesn't have 3G, right?). Like you, I wrestle with which books to purchase physically and which to purchase digitally. I particularly like that I have my ebooks with me wherever I happen to be, though, and can squeeze in more reading that way. I'm also a huge fan of the eInk displays. I use the NOOK app on my iPad, as well, but I can't read for nearly as long due to the eye strain of a backlit screen. 

Enjoy that new toy! 

Ava Jae said...

As far as I know, the Simple Touch doesn't have 3G. I could definitely see how that'd be useful, though. I agree that being able to carry around multiple books with you wherever is a definite perk, and I've certainly found I'm reading more (and faster) because of it. I also like that I can download as many samples as my heart desires and carry those around with me as well so I can read them whenever I get the chance. A very definite perk. 

As for the e-ink screen, I didn't think it'd be a big deal, but I've found that it's definitely much easier to read for longer periods on the e-ink screen than it is on a backlit screen. 

Thank you! I will! :)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

You see, having an e-reader is basically like having a bookstore on your lap.
Oh yes. This. :) (There are studies that show that people buy up to 3x as many books after purchasing an ereader!!)

My son got a Nook Simple for Christmas (LOVES IT) and we were a Nook-only family (mom, neices, house has 3 now!)...until my father-in-law bought me a Kindle!! So, yeah. Now I have both! (And I'm scooping up all those Kindle deals, don't you know.)

Welcome to the dark side.

Ava Jae said...

It's not hard to believe that statistic about people buying more books after purchasing an e-reader. It's certainly much easier than it ever was before--now you don't have to drive to a bookstore or sign into an account online then wait for it to be shipped, you can simply buy it on your e-reader and download it in seconds. Voila!

What do you think when comparing NOOKs to Kindles? Just curious.

J. A. Bennett said...

I am beyond jealous! Sounds like you have your reading for the year made! So cool, I totally want one!

Ava Jae said...

I definitely have my reading for the year made! My bank account is trembling, though. :D

Pooks said...

I love my Kindle 2.  There is nothing color on it, none of the new bells and whistles.  You will love your Nook the same way!

Ava Jae said...

I already do. :)

Pooks said...

BTW, don't buy books without reading samples first. Seriously. That will save you so much money (that you will then spend anyway, but at least on books you really want to read).  Every time somebody mentions reading a book they didn't like or starting a book they didn't finish on their ereader I ask if they read the sample first and they say no.  Since getting rid of TBR stacks that I finally admitted I was never going to read was one of the first things I did after getting my Kindle, I was hyper aware of my tendency to "buy" and not read.

Ava Jae said...

Samples are one of my favorite things about having an e-reader. I sample everything before I even add it to my TBR pile. I agree completely. Buying a book without sampling it is an unnecessary risk. 

Alivia Anders said...

I became the owner of a very shiny, very new NOOK COLOR two years ago when it first came out just in time for the holidays. I must have ran around like a nucklehead buying all these little books for sale on there. 

And then my birthday came around, I bought my own iPad 2 to replace my 4-5 year old laptop, and my Nook... fell to the side. My Dad's taken it off my hands now and uses it for reading like I had, but I'll never stray from my iPad for books unless I really desperately want that hardback copy.

Ava Jae said...

I intend to get an iPad in the future, but that future is probably pretty distant. Until then, I'm very happy with my NOOK and packed bookshelf. :) 

Vicki Orians said...

I received an iPad for Christmas, and the Kindle app is available. So, I guess technically you can call that an e-reader! A lot of the “classics” have found a home on my iPad.

I do love the feel of a real book in my hand, though. And I’m stubborn. So, my current 550-book library still continues to grow (I’m talking real, letters on paper, bound books). Someday maybe I’ll switch over to an e-reader solely…some day. J

Ava Jae said...

An iPad is definitely an e-reader! You can actually buy e-books directly off the iBookstore on iPads, which is another option. 

I don't think I'll ever fully switch over to just reading via e-reader. I love the feeling of a real book and the new book smell and adding books to my (physical) bookshelf once I've finished reading them. But I've found there are definitely advantages to having an e-reader on hand as well. :)

Joe Bunting said...

Nice Ava. I'm a big fan of my little Kindle. I didn't think I would like it so much and then... well, I did.

Becca Puglisi said...

Welcome to the dark side!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Ava Jae said...

I know exactly what you mean. :D

Ava Jae said...

Thank you! ^_^

JFeijten said...

Oh Em Gee! You joined the dark side! All my respect has just gone.

Just kiddin' about that last part off course. So, you like e-readers, then? Well, I can't say if I do, because I haven't got one and I probably never will. Yes, I'm one of those grumpy old traditional booklovers (Although I'm quite young xD) who believe that printed books are sacred.

I just don't see the point of buying an e-reader. I like printed books. I like the smell of them, I like the look of them. And I really don't need another 'hobby' where I have to throw my eyes in front of a screen for. I mean: if I write, it's usually on my laptop (screen), if I play a videogame, it's on my Playstation (screen), If I'm watching a movie, it's either on my laptop or on television (screen).So if I start reading with an e-reader the moments that I won't be facing a screen will be very rare.

I do believe that an e-reader can come in handy when on holiday, but for now I don't see it as a problem to take a couple of 'real' books with me. And also: I want all my books in print edition. So if I bought an e-reader I would have to buy some books twice. No way!

Oh and one more thing: I refuse to buy an e-reader, also because I'm scared that the print book will disappear then, and I really don't want that to happen.

The only negative thing about printed books I can think of is that they wear out when read too many times.

About your Goodreads: do you only accept people you know? Or can I friend you too? ^^ Is your username also Ava Jae there?

JFeijten said...

Another Oh Em Gee after realising that I'm the only one here who's still that stubborn about e-readers. The moment my exams are over, I'll write a blogpost on why NOT to buy an e-reader. That's for sure xD

Krista Wayment said...

I don't have an e-reader. Why? Because I like having options. So instead I have three different e-reader apps on my phone. Also - I plan to purchase a tablet this year which will double as my e-reader. 

I was going to get one a year or so ago - but was not all that impressed with the eink screens. I thought if I was going to get a back lit screen anyway - why not just spring for a tablet.

But I must add - I really do like the e-reader apps and electronic books.

Daniel Swensen said...

 I own an e-reader, and I love printed books. But I don't believe they're inherently sacred. I've bought lots of books that I don't cherish -- I read them once and  then sell them back, or give them away, or even throw them out. The advantage of having an e-reader is that those books will never take up space or have to be disposed of. I also think there's a big advantage to reference materials that can be searched and highlighted with ease, without having to mark up (or lug around) a big text.

So it's no better or worse for me, just a new option, and although I used to be staunchly anti-digital, I really can see the advantages now.

Daniel Swensen said...

 That should be interesting. :)

Daniel Swensen said...

 The Kindle app for the iPad is quite nice. Although I personally prefer the e-ink -- backlit screens give me a headache.

Ava Jae said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I love print books--I love the new book smell and flipping the pages and the pretty covers and adding them to my bookshelf collection of boos when I've finished reading. 

Even now that I have an e-reader, I'll still be buying print books, because I too like to have books on my bookshelf and there's something special about opening a book for the first time and seeing the covers line up so nicely on the shelf and well...I already mentioned the book smell. :) 

However, there's something to be said for the convenience of an e-reader. Being able to read samples whenever I want is a huge plus and although I haven't traveled with it yet, I know it'll be a nice advantage to be able to carry as many books as I'd like on my rather light NOOK. But will I ever stop buying print books completely? No. I think I'm just becoming a hybrid reader. 

The screen thing is a totally valid objection, too. Reading an e-ink screen I've found is totally different on the eyes than a backlit screen, but it is a little disconcerting when you consider that sit in front of one screen or another for a large portion of the day. I suppose in this day and age that's not entirely uncommon, though. 

Also, I am indeed Ava Jae on Goodreads. :)

Ava Jae said...

Throw away books? *cringe* *hugs ALL the books* 

Ehem. I agree with the highlighting thing--I forgot to mention that, but I love that I can highlight it without feeling like I'm...damaging the book somehow. Even though I've highlighted books before, for some reason I never liked highlighting novels because I guess I'm just quirky like that. I have no problem with highlighting digital books though, and I've already found it rather useful. 

Ava Jae said...

No worries! I've talked to many who are still anti-digital books. You're most certainly not alone. :) 

Also, I would love a link to that post once it's been written. 

Daniel Swensen said...

 I don't LIKE throwing away books, I hate it. But I have books that neither I nor anyone else want anymore! It's kind of a problem.

And I agree. Some people love writing in books and highlighting them and marking passages. I can never bring myself to do it. I get neurotic about creases on the spine.

Ava Jae said...

You know, it's strange because in the stores when I looked at the e-ink screens I was very...meh. I'm an artsy person. I like color. Black and white didn't do it for me. 

Then I started actually reading on one and I found that I actually liked it quite a bit more than I thought I would. It doesn't tire my eyes out like backlit screens do, nor does it give me a headache after hours of use. 

I agree, though. E-reader apps are very useful and if I ever get my hands on an iPad, I will most certainly be using them. 

Ava Jae said...

Have you tried donating books? It's not as painful as throwing them away and sometimes someone else can enjoy them. 

I don't know why I'm ok with highlighting non-fiction books but not novels. For whatever reason highlighting a non-fiction book is entirely different than highlighting one of my beloved novels.  Either way I'm incredibly OCD about the state of my books. When I let people borrow them I remind them not to dog-ear the pages. 

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