Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I have a love hate relationship with...

My 1st Edition Nook.  
Start up screen

Its not fancy and by now I am sure you all have seen, own, or at least tried out an eReader in the store.  I needed a reads like paper on because I can't stare at computer screen for too long without it bothering my eyes or giving me a headache.  The reads like paper screen with a touch screen navigations is perfect to me.  I have looked at the new Simple Touch Nook and I really am not pleased with it.  I will stick with this for now.

So why a Nook and not a Kindle?  The Nook allowed for more formats of ebooks than the Kindle at the time we picked these up.  I have no clue if that has changed now or not for either the products.  Our Library had a ton of ebooks we could borrow and the Nook allowed us to do that.

Open to the cover of a book with active touch screen

The added bulkiness and weight of our books grows at each and every location as we acquire more books that we love.  I sort of expect it to.  If it were left up to me I would have a library that would rival Belles from Beauty and the Beast.  However with Hunter being in the military for the foreseeable future, that extra weight isn't really a good thing.  

For those of you not living the military lifestyle let me take a second to clue you in.  The military pays to box up and ship your goods to each and every location you go to.  It's sort of a bit of compensation for making you move every 2-3 years.  That being said they will only pay for "X" amount of weight per number of members in your family.  Essentially the more family members the more weight you are allowed.  To my knowledge rank doesn't have much to do with this but I am not positive about that so don't quote me on it.  This all means that if I want to ship a 1,000 pounds of books the military will gladly put them in a box (hopefully keeping them in good condition), throw the box on a truck(um... I mean place...lol), bring it to my new home, and put it the box in whatever room I want it in.  

However you also need to keep in mind that you have furniture, pictures, clothing, kitchen supplies, etc that all need to get packed up, weighed and sent to the new location.  This then becomes a matter of what you want your weight to be used up on.  For me I would rather it but things like my wardrobe or craft supplies.  Not on heavy books.  Hence the Nook is a smart investment for us.  I can store, reread, share (more on that later) and enjoy my favorite books in one convenient compact location that can all fit in my purse.

Like I said in the title thought this is a love hate relationship I have with it.  While there are many great things about the Nook, it has it's flaws.  They have started to annoy me as of late.  It breaks down into two reasons that for the life me I can't seem to wrap my head around. 


Why on earth is the ebook more expensive than the hard copy is?????
Screen shot from Barnes and Noble Website

Sorry I know that is blurry and all but it says $2.99 for a Hardcore and $7.99 for the NOOK Book.  Granted this is on sale but its pretty common for the ebook to be more expensive than the physical copy of the book.  Sometimes it is less by only a dollar or two.  Ok I get it. I know there are royalties and yada, yada, yada, but give me a break.  It clearly costs much less to "produce" an ebook than then physical copy so it should be reflected in the price.  I have the same problem with iTunes when the cd is cheaper for the same thing.  It just shouldn't be this way.


The Lend Me Program that Barnes and Noble has incorporated with the Nook

This may or may not be a Barnes and Noble Nook problem per-say but more of an ebook problem.  Regardless its a flaw in the system.

The Lend me program is a great concept.  A friend in your Nook network sends you a message asking to borrow a book.  You click accept.  The book gets slotted into a separate folder where you won't be able to access it until it is returned.  In the folder it tells you who has what and when thy borrowed it.  It gives them 10 days total with the book before automatically returning it.  When those 10 days are up if they aren't finished they must send another message and you go through the process once again.  You can also recall the book anytime you would like.

Let me just say its not all totally bad.  The recall feature is a nice added bonus.  There are always that person you lend something to and never see it again.  This lets you get your book back if you need it.  However I suppose the automatic return does that for you as well.

OK, clearly 10 days isn't enough time to finish every book.  The average library gives 15 - 30 days per book based on an average reading speed and the notion that the person is reading said book for 30 minutes to 1 hour everyday.  That makes sense.  The bigger the book the more time you will need to read it.  Following the library standards would help to make this Lend me program better.

There are other flaws in this program.  It limits the number of books you can lend out at a time, who you can lend it to, and how many times each book is lent out.  

I don't know about you but when I go to the store, Barnes and Noble lets say and buy a book, I can and will lend out that book as many times as I want, to as many people as I want and for as long as I want.  To my knowledge there is nothing wrong with this since I am not copying the product to give to multiple people at once.  The same should hold true for my ebooks.  I buy a book and lend it out one at a time to whomever I chose.  

Taking into account that you can only lend to Nook users, fine I get it.  You want to keep the purchased ebooks on your own product.  I even think it's right that you can't access the book while it is lent out because thats exactly how it is when you lend a book in real life. 

I know that there are copyright laws and such that all conventional libraries must adhere to by law.  My personal Library is not held to such high standards and as such I believe I should be allowed to do what I lend freely the books I purchase be it ebook or a physical copy.

I will step off my soap box now about then lending program.


When it comes down to it the Nook is a great thing to have regardless of its flaws.  I have enjoyed several good books on it.  Some of which I am sure I will read again at some point.

Hindsight being 20/20, I don't think we needed to buy two of them seeing as we hardly use it to it's full potential due to the high cost of ebooks.  I will generally buy what is cheaper because that is the type of person I am.   That and they both have been sitting collecting dust on the bookshelf since I started the Harry Potter series.  Hunter's has a bit more dust on it than mine.  Oh well.

How many of you have an eReader?  Do you love it or hate it? 


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