Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Look what I got for Christmas:
 It's the Barnes & Noble ereader, the nook.

I bought it envisioning all the hours I'd spend this year feeding the baby. And how you try to hold the book in one hand, but then there's no way to turn the page, and it's all so awkward you just put the book down.  (I'm all for gazing lovingly into baby's eyes, but there are hours and hours and hours of feeding time and I plan to read for some of them.) Sure enough, this is so light and small that it's easy to hold in one hand. You turn pages by pressing buttons on the sides where your thumb naturally rests anyway.

I've loved it for whipping out of my purse in carpool lines or doctor's appointments. I've especially loved it for reading in bed. You can scrunch yourself down into any position and still read the nook comfortably. You know how when you're lying on your side with a book, one page is comfortable to read and the facing page isn't? No problem with the nook.

According to my research, the Kindle is the iphone of ereaders--coolest, highest rated, but most exclusive. Meaning you can't download library books onto the Kindle (unless you have hacking skills). So I went with the nook. I download library ebooks onto my laptop, the transfer them to the nook. So maybe the nook is the droid of ereaders. I'm a bit disappointed with my library's paucity of ebooks, but I'm thinking that's a problem that will resolve itself over time.

The first book I read on my nook was The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. I knew nothing about it, just happened upon it in my library's limited e-holdings. It's a strange novel, with three strange, criss-crossing plot lines that drag you around and around Eastern Europe. And it's about Dracula. I felt even more disoriented by the book because I was reading without benefit of all the cues you get from a book's size, texture, cover illustrations,  jacket blurbs, author photo, etc. The book felt like an enigma all the way through its 700 pages.

I've since learned that other ebooks are formatted much better than that first one. But I still miss the actual book. Knowing the heft and size of it. How you gaze at the cover for a moment each time you close the book.

On the other hand, I'm currently reading a real library book (that wasn't available as an ebook) and missing the comfort of my nook as I try to slant it into a comfortable reading position in bed.


  1. I think you should get some type of endorsement from "nook" for this great advertisement! It definitely makes me miss books in general, since we haven't opened library accounts yet.

  2. I never thought of how odd it would be to not be able to judge a book by the things you mentioned. Hmmm.

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  4. Funny about book covers, isn't it? A lot of time, money and thought is put into a books cover. The artwork, the author blurb, the explanations. It's almost like publishers WANT you to judge a book by its cover. (that was sarcasm) I always told people at the bookstore to pick a book with a cover they liked. It's how I pick them. I miss being surrounded by books. I don't miss working being surrounded my books, though. Well, I like your take on it. Is kinda like to test drive one!

  5. I read books on my phone -- via a kindle app. I refuse to buy digital books, though, I just download them from project gutenberg and read classics. But I too love it for the things you mention!

    I actually read a really long book on my phone, thinking it was 400 pages. The bottom of the screen told me what percentage was read. And I kept thinking, "this is a really long 400 pages!" After I finished, I realized the entire book was 900+ pages. I probably never would have kept with it had I realized that....and I did like it in the end, so anyway, I liked being "tricked".