When I first saw an e-reader, I thought I would never own one. After all, I loved books. I liked the texture of the pages. I liked the holding the book firmly in both hands. Books and I had a connection. And while I enjoyed technology, I didn’t really want to curl up with it on the couch.
That changed last February. I was preparing to run my first-ever half-marathon, and my family decided to give me a gift in honor of the big event. My son, who is an avid reader himself, suggested a Nook. Not wanting to surprise me with a gift I wouldn’t use, my husband mentioned it to me, and I started looking into it. I decided that it would be handy to take when traveling or to appointments, but I didn’t have high expectations. My husband and kids headed to Best Buy to make the purchase, and then happily presented me with the Nook.
I left for my half-marathon trip (an extended weekend) with my Nook in tow. I immediately fell in love with the convenience of having multiple books and a Bible at my fingertips, and it fit so nicely in my purse! The e-ink screen was easy on my eyes, and I appreciated that I could read it in bright daylight. (I also got a cover that included a light, so I could read it at night as well.) Although I had scorned the idea of an e-reader, my feelings changed quickly when I experienced the convenience and portability. I returned home from my trip a huge fan, and I still enjoy it almost a year later. I take it on trips, toss it in my purse for appointments, read with it by the pool and even curl up with it on the couch. My 9-year-old son uses it as well (we all know nine-year-old boys think that screens make everything cooler). The Nook has become a useful part of my reading experience.
At the time, I chose a Nook for one reason: it supported the EPUB format, and I wanted to be able to check out library books for my e-reader. Last February, Kindles did not support the EPUB format. Although I am a loyal amazon customer, I am also very frugal, and I wanted to have access to the library’s e-books. This tipped the scales in favor of the Nook, and I have been pleased with my purchase. Less than a year later, Kindle now supports the EPUB format, and there are many types of e-readers. What’s the best option? Would I still choose a Nook today? I don’t know. I think that’s a decision that involves many factors and individual preferences. I prefer e-ink screens, so that is a priority for me. Some people want to use their e-reader for internet access as well, so a back-lit Kindle Fire might be the best choice. Whatever your preferences, I encourage you to give an e-reader a try. I still love books, and there’s nothing like the feel of turning real pages, but e-readers are convenient and offer benefits worth exploring. Although I thought I would never own one, I am now a fan and encourage you to check them out for yourself. I guess the old adage holds true: never say never!
What about you? Do you have an e-reader? What brand and type do you prefer? I would love to hear about your experiences!
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Lauren is a wife, mother of two, and an avid reader. She blogs at Baseballs and Bows.
Annette W says
It seems like so many books I read are for review or from the library…and now I could use an ereader for that…but for now, I am content not to have one till they are a bit cheaper. 🙂
I still do read many regular books because of the many review copies I receive, but my Nook has its place as well. Keep watching those prices. I am amazed that they are already half the price they were when I got mine, and it hasn’t even been a year!
Annette — have you seen the new kindles? $79 is pretty cheap, but even with library lending, I’ve always thought that if you primarily read library books, an e-reader isn’t as handy.
Like you I held out for a long time on the e-readers, but this summer I decided to get one with the news that Kindle would soon allow Library lending. I absolutely love my Kindle! I find myself reading more with the portability…have to wait? No problem, I’ll whip out my Kindle and read a few pages of the latest book I’ve started. It also was a Godsend on the long flights to Europe to visit our kids. Scrabble is our new favorite game to play! As with everything, technology does have some advantages!
For me, traveling is the best time to have an e-reader. You can carry countless books and take up no space!
I had an original nook and loved it so much that I just bought a nook Simple Touch for myself on Black Friday! Like you, I prefer eInk and don’t plan on using it as a tablet. Never thought I would ever buy an eReader and here I am on my second one! Love it!
We do have an iPad, and it’s tops for internet access. I have the Kindle app on it, but I never use it. You can’t beat reading on the e-ink screen!
Funny, just asked my readers for feedback on the same thing yesterday…and then ordered a Kindle last night! 🙂 I hope I’ll love it as much as you’ve liked your Nook.
I love my Kindle, and am hoping for a Kindle Fire for Christmas, but I think that I will stick with the e-ink for most books, using the Fire mostly for times when the backlight would come in handy (like nighttime car reading), and for watching movies/TV and using game apps.
Jennifer, I look forward to hearing how you like your Fire (if Santa brings it, of course).
Jean Lewis says
As an employee of Barnes & Noble for many, many years, I must say I am grateful your family chose a Nook for you. I understand your hesitation in joining the e-book world. I, too, bulked at first. But once I realized Nook was not a replacement for my books, just another option. Nook is great for those huge books that are just too big to tote around. It’s also great when traveling. I bought the original but have since given it to my husband. I love the tiny Simple Touch, which is perfect for just reading. By choosing Nook people are helping to keep bookstores alive. Our stores have employees ready and able to assist our customers with their Nooks in each store. You can’t find that with Kindle. So, having said all this, I am just thankful we have come up with a product that is awesome and one we can be proud of.
Beth G. says
Minor point: The Kindle still doesn’t support ePub. It’s just that OverDrive and Amazon worked out a deal so that OD can offer .azw format books via libraries. If you go to check out a library book for a Kindle, you still have to make sure you’re downloading the Kindle version, not the ePub version.
I, too, opted for a Nook because of the ability to check out library books. It was a holiday present last year, and I absolutely love it. Besides library books, Project Gutenberg books, and books I’ve bought (don’t forget B&N’s Free Friday items!), I also use it to read pre-pub books from NetGalley. It’s definitely an addition to, not a replacement for, my personal library.
Thanks for that clarification, and you raise another good point. There are so many free and discounted books available for e-readers. That is a definite perk!
I got a Nook last year as well, choosing it for the library capability as well as the lower price at the time. I really like it. It became particularly helpful as my son was born this year. I was able to read one handed while holding him. Also as his little hands started to reach for things I didn’t have to worry about him tearing pages. I still enjoy regular books, too. I’m picky about which books I buy on my Nook vs. which ones I want to own and have on a shelf. One last thing, if you download the Nook (or Kindle if you have that) app on your phone or iPad you have even more choices for picking up and reading.