Monday, December 7, 2009

Nook? Kindle? Bookstore?

My local Barnes and Noble, my home away from home because (a) the B&N Café serves amazing chai latttes (b) wonderful, talented people work in that store and (c) the atmosphere can be perfect for writing. When I’m hit broadside with a mega case of cabin fever and need to get out of my office because I’m about to suffocate or implode, I often trot off to my fave B&N (okay, I don’t trot, but you get the idea).

Today “my” Barnes and Noble is putting Nook demos on display. This going to be very dangerous. Hello temptation. If you don’t know what a Nook is, it’s an e-book reader. A new competitor up against the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader. I don’t own a Nook or Kindle or Sony Reader. I’m still carrying around mauled paperbacks, boxy hardcovers, and magazines permanently curled into periscope-like shapes. I buy books at any and all bookstores (not just “my” B&N), I borrow books from libraries and I swap novels with friends.

These days, though, the temptation to drop many greenbacks on an e-reader, each with it’s own bells and whistles, is growing. How cool would it be to download a book the moment you felt inclined to read it? How convenient to be able to slide an ultra thin e-book into a bag or case and tote it everywhere, stealing moments here and there to read. As I said: temptation.

I’ve also been told that manuscripts can be downloaded on these e-reader puppies. Whoa. Imagine being able to write and revise without papers flying in every direction. How much work could get done while in a waiting room, in a line, or on a bus? The possibilities of places to bust out the e-book seem endless. As if this isn’t fabulous enough, apparently most e-book readers can read a story to you, say while you are cooking or driving. Maybe in upgraded versions, the e-books will read aloud while actually doing the cooking or the driving or whatever. Imagine.

But I wonder if I’d miss the feel of a real book in my hands. And what about the joy of overcrowded bookshelves? The comfort of titles on spines of old, middle-aged, and new books staring out, calling to be read or read again. The delight of passing along books to others? And would I have to give up my routine of going to bookstores to peruse titles and book jackets? Or, would I still eyeball them, only to download titles on my e-book reader? So many questions.

Tell me, what are your thoughts on the e-book readers? I’m curious.


  1. I have the Kindle 2--I LOVE IT!!! Yes, you can email your (or anyone's) manuscript to it and read it and put in notes to yourself so you can edit anywhere/anytime. Also, you can sample a book before you buy (which I suggest highly) and no book is more than 9.99--most are $7.

    It's such a yay! I got it for my birthday in August and I still tell my husband thank you. He laughs and says that's the best gift he ever has gotten me and he would have gotten it sooner if he'd known it would make me so happy!!!!

  2. Wow, Pam, I didn't know that most of the books were $7. That makes the Kindle even more tempting. And I love what your husband said about it being the best gift he ever got for you. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I don't know how I feel about it as I've never seen one or know how it works. But I just don't see me curled up on a cold dreary day with a hot cup of chocolate and a piece of machinery. And if $7 is what it costs to buy the book, what does the author get? And what do you do with the book after you've read it? Does it get passed on like you do with a nice warm book or is dumped/thrown out into that cold dark otherworld called cyberspace?

  4. And there's the other side of the matter, Bish. I'm so glad that I blogged about this. I love reading the different opinions. Thank you for commenting!
    I can tell you that with The Nook, the buyer gets to select a Nook case. A couple of the cases offered open like a book, thus giving the feel of a book. The question about what happens to your "book" after reading is a good one. I'm told by some that it stays in the memory of the e-book reader. However, I've heard, too, that after a specified period, the books disappear from the memory. If that's true, it's not a selling point for me.